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Planning to visit the gorgeous island Cebu, and want to make the most out of your trip? In order to make your vacation memorable, it’s important to know the best time to visit Cebu.
The winter months are generally the best time to travel as it is low season in Cebu. Perfect daytime and nighttime temperatures make it ideal to explore the natural attractions of Cebu.
Time your visit to attend Sinulog, the biggest festival in Cebu and one of the biggest in the country. Although it is religious in nature, for many locals it’s just one big street party that’s lots of fun.
Read on to find out the best time of year to visit Cebu, Philippines for the holiday of a lifetime.
Best Months to Visit Cebu
Cebu has only 2 seasons and the weather remains warm and cool all year round. Similar to the rest of the Philippines, the best time to visit Cebu is between January and April. This is the driest time of the year when you are likely to experience little rain and plenty of sunshine.
Visiting Cebu in June, July and August: The middle summer months of the year have comfortable weather with high temperatures that are quite warm. Summer experiences the most precipitation with 9-13 days of rainfall per month. With the rainy season in full swing, grey skies and thunderstorms make the weather less promising.
Visiting Cebu in September, October and November: Daily high temperatures during autumn in Cebu hover around 31 degrees Celsius. There is a significant amount of precipitation with 8-12 days per month. This is the second busiest tourism season, so hotels may be slightly higher priced.
Visiting Cebu in December, January and February: Average temperature highs during this winter season range between 31 degrees Celsius and 29 degrees Celsius. On average, it rains or snows a significant amount, about 6-11 times per month. This time of the year is the busiest for tourists.
Visiting Cebu in March, April and May: Humidity and temperatures combine to make spring in Cebu warm. Highs range from 33 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius with temperatures rising in later months. Rain is common with 4-8 days of significant rainfall per month.
Best Time to Visit Cebu by Type of Trip
Low Season: The months of June through August are the slowest for tourism, so accommodation prices may be lower than usual. Tourists are unlikely to visit Cebu in June so visitors are likely to find it the least expensive month.
Off Peak Season: To avoid the peak season, consider visiting in late December or early May. These months make up the shoulder season which is less crowded and has fairer prices for flights and hotels.
High Season: January is the busiest month for tourism in Cebu, followed by September and May. Prices for flights and hotels will be at their most expensive during these months so purchase in advance.
Best Months for a Honeymoon: March through May are the best months for a honeymoon in Cebu. These months are by far the quietest months of the year to explore the attractions of Cebu.
Best Weather: The weather during winter in Cebu is perfect and ideal for warm weather travelers. The conditions are pleasant thanks to the wind and humidity.
Best Month to Save Money: January to April is tourist peak season with high flight and hotel prices, so avoid these months to save money. Spring is fairly slow for tourism, which makes it an ideal time for travelers looking for deals.
Tips for Travel in Cebu
- As a general rule in the Philippines, tipping is not necessary, although feel free to if you get exceptional service.
- Although credit cards are accepted at some places, it is advisable to always carry cash on hand to get you through to the next bank withdrawal.
- Do not carry too much jewellery and be careful with expensive items as there is a pickpocketing problem in Cebu, like many major cities around the world.
- For safety, solo female travelers who want to do activities like hiking or canyoneering should join up with friends or organised tours.
How to Get Around Cebu
Getting around Cebu is pretty easy. Most people speak English so if you get lost, simply ask the locals and they’ll gladly help. Although most places of interest are reachable by foot, there are also various transportation options available.
Grab is basically the Uber of Southeast Asia, having bought out Uber’s Southeast Asian business in 2018. To use Grab, simply download the app to your phone, set it up, link your credit card then call a car. Grab is the best option as it is very convenient and the prices are fixed making it scam-proof.
Buses in Cebu tend to exclusively ply the north to south route. Bus providers include Ceres, which are yellow coaches and GT Express which are people carriers.
A jeepney is a small, kitsch open bus that enables you to really travel like a local. The colorful, privately run minibuses cover the entire city and are available 24 hours a day. Routes are printed on the sides of the bus, although they tend to run north to south only.
In small towns, the best means of navigating the narrow streets is on a motorcycle known as habal-habal. You will find them all over the city parked on the sides of streets waiting for passengers. It is standard practice for passengers to be issued a helmet for safety purposes.
Tricycles are the most popular transportation option in Cebu. A tricycle is a motorbike with sidecars that can carry 3 passengers and is typically used in rural areas. Although mainly limited to areas where they are licensed, some tricycles can take you to neighbouring towns.
To avoid the heavy traffic in Cebu, many people prefer to simply rent a car. It’s possible to rent a car with a driver for half a day in the smaller towns and beach villages. This is a great way to discover the hidden gems of Cebu with family or friends.
Taxis are generally available, affordable, clean and convenient. We recommend agreeing on the fare before getting in and always making sure the drivers use the meter.