Destination Holidays Philippines Travel Tips

Cold places in the Philippines

When one thinks of the Philippines, images of pristine beaches, tropical weather, and swaying palm trees often come to mind. However, this archipelago, renowned for its warmth, also boasts several destinations where the climate can be surprisingly cool. These highland havens offer a refreshing retreat from the typically hot and humid environment. Here are some of the cold places in the Philippines that are perfect for those seeking a cooler climate.

1. Baguio City: The Summer Capital of the Philippines

Cold places in the Philippines - Baguio City

Baguio City, often referred to as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines,” is perhaps the most famous cool-weather destination in the country. Located in the mountainous region of Benguet, this city sits at an elevation of about 1,540 meters (5,050 feet) above sea level. Known for its pine-scented air, Baguio offers a range of attractions including Burnham Park, the Baguio Cathedral, and the historic Camp John Hay. The average temperature hovers around 15-23°C (59-73°F), making it a perfect escape from the tropical heat.

Unique Experience: Visit during the Panagbenga Festival (Flower Festival) for a vibrant cultural experience. Held every February, this month-long celebration showcases grand parades, street dancing, and floral floats adorned with the region’s abundant blooms. The festival highlights Baguio’s rich cultural heritage and its status as a flower-growing hub. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the city’s cool climate while immersing yourself in lively festivities.

2. Banaue: Home of the Majestic Rice Terraces

Cold places in the Philippines - Banaue

Banaue, located in Ifugao Province, is famous for its 2,000-year-old rice terraces, often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” At elevations of approximately 1,200 meters (3,937 feet), Banaue enjoys a temperate climate, with temperatures ranging from 15-26°C (59-79°F). Aside from the awe-inspiring terraces, holidayers can explore traditional Ifugao villages, trek to Tappiya Falls, and learn about the rich cultural history of the region.

Unique Experience: Join a guided trek led by an Ifugao elder who can share ancestral stories and traditions about the rice terraces. You’ll be able to discover the history and importance of the Ifugao Rice Terraces and their role in the local culture.

3. Bukidnon: The Highland Paradise of Mindanao

Cold places in the Philippines - Bukidnon

Bukidnon, located in the heart of Mindanao, is often referred to as the “Highland Paradise” due to its extensive plateau and mountainous terrain. With elevations ranging from 300 to 2,938 meters (984 to 9,639 feet) at its peak, Mount Dulang-Dulang, the province enjoys a cool climate, especially in areas like Malaybalay and Dahilayan. Average temperatures range from 18-25°C (64-77°F). Bukidnon is also known for its vast pineapple plantations, scenic landscapes, and adventure parks like Dahilayan Adventure Park, which features the longest dual zipline in Asia.

Unique Experience: Visit the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, a serene place run by Benedictine monks, and sample their famous Monk’s Blend coffee. In April, you can experience the Kaamulan Festival, celebrating the cultural heritage of Bukidnon’s indigenous groups.

The Kaamulan Festival, derived from the word “Amul” meaning to gather, is an ethnic cultural festival that celebrates the culture and traditions of seven tribal groups: Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon, and Umayamnon. It also serves as a thanksgiving celebration for the harvest season.

4. Maligcong: A Hidden Gem

Cold places in the Philippines - Maligcong

Less known but equally enchanting, Maligcong in Bontoc, Mountain Province, is a serene village with cooler temperatures similar to those in Banaue. The Maligcong Rice Terraces are a sight to behold, and the area offers trekking opportunities to Mount Kupapey and Mount Fato, both providing panoramic views of the terraced landscape. The climate here is cool throughout the year, providing a perfect setting for relaxation and nature appreciation while taking a cup of coffee.

Unique Experience: Stay in a traditional Ifugao house for an immersive cultural experience while enjoying the panoramic sunrise views over the rice terraces.

5. Mount Apo: The King of Philippine Peaks

Cold places in the Philippines - Mount Apo

Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines, towers at 2,954 meters (9,692 feet) above sea level. Located in Mindanao, straddling the provinces of Davao del Sur and Cotabato, this majestic peak offers a significantly cooler climate, especially as you ascend. Temperatures at the summit can drop to as low as 6-10°C (42-50°F). The diverse landscape includes mossy forests, volcanic rocks, and sulfur vents. Climbing Mount Apo is a challenging adventure, but the panoramic views and the sense of accomplishment make it worthwhile. The biodiversity here is astounding, with rare flora and fauna, including the Philippine eagle, adding to the mountain’s allure.

Unique Experience: Take a guided tour focusing on the diverse flora and fauna, including efforts to conserve the endangered Philippine eagle. You can as well engage in bird watching and discover rare species like the Philippine eagle.

6. Mount Pulag: The Third Highest Peak

Cold places in the Philippines - Mount Pulag

For the adventurous, a trek up Mount Pulag offers not only a physical challenge but also a journey through one of the coldest regions in the Philippines. Standing at 2,926 meters (9,600 feet) above sea level, Mount Pulag is the third highest mountain in the country. The temperature here can drop to freezing levels, especially at the summit during the early morning hours. Trekkers often aim to reach the peak at dawn to witness the “sea of clouds” phenomenon, a breathtaking sight where clouds blanket the horizon.

Unique Experience: Camp overnight on the mountain to fully experience the “sea of clouds” and the star-studded night sky. Ensure you have proper gear and it’s always better to be with a professional guide when climbing.

7. Sagada: A Cultural and Natural Retreat

Cold places in the Philippines - Sagada

Situated in the Cordillera Mountains, Sagada is another cool destination, renowned for its unique cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes. With elevations reaching over 1,500 meters (4,921 feet), Sagada experiences cool temperatures ranging from 17-2  0°C (63-68°F) during the day and dropping further at night. Tourists flock to Sagada for activities such as spelunking in Sumaguing Cave, exploring the Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins, and watching the golden sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint.

Unique Experience: Participate in a traditional Sagada weaving workshop and learn the intricate art of weaving from the locals. Learn about the traditional burial practices and the significance of the Hanging Coffins. Don’t miss to try Etag (native smoked pork) and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Sagada coffee.

8. Tagaytay: A Quick Escape from Manila

Cold places in the Philippines - Tagaytay

Just a couple of hours’ drive from Manila, Tagaytay is a popular weekend getaway for city dwellers looking for cooler climates. Perched on the ridge of Taal Volcano, this city offers stunning views of Taal Lake and a consistently refreshingly cool climate. Temperatures in Tagaytay generally range from 22-28°C (72-82°F). Tagaytay offers cooler temperatures than the surrounding lowlands, sometimes even reaching lows of 16°C (60°F) at night. The city is known for its vibrant food scene, featuring local delicacies like Bulalo (a beef marrow stew), and attractions such as the Sky Ranch amusement park and the Puzzle Mansion.

Unique Experience: Take a horseback ride down to Taal Volcano and explore its unique crater lake.

While the Philippines is celebrated for its sunny beaches and warm hospitality, its cooler destinations offer a refreshing alternative for travellers. From the bustling streets of Baguio to the serene rice terraces of Banaue, these cold places provide diverse experiences set against the backdrop of cooler climates. Whether you’re seeking adventure, cultural immersion, or simply a cool retreat, the highlands of the Philippines are ready to welcome you with their unique charm and invigorating air.

Experience the Cool Highlands of the Philippines with Mabuhay Travel

Ready to explore the breathtaking beauty of Baguio, Sagada, Tagaytay, or Mount Apo? Look no further than Mabuhay Travel, the only award-winning travel agency in the UK specializing in Filipino travel experiences. With our expert knowledge and personalized service, we ensure your holiday is nothing short of extraordinary.

Why Choose Mabuhay Travel?
  • Award-Winning Service: Recognized for excellence in the travel industry.
  • Filipino Travel Specialists: Experts in crafting unique and memorable trips to the Philippines.
  • Personalized Itineraries: Tailored to meet your travel needs and preferences.

Book Your Cool-Weather Adventure Today! Experience the Philippines like never before. Contact Mabuhay Travel now and let us help you plan the perfect getaway. Whether it’s the refreshing climate of Baguio, the cultural treasures of Sagada, the scenic views of Tagaytay, or the majestic heights of Mount Apo, your adventure awaits.

Discover the cooler side of the Philippines with Mabuhay Travel – your gateway to the highland paradises!

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Author - Maya


Adventurous! Daring! Bold! Open-minded! A bit crazy but a calm and sweet lad, that is how I describe Maya. Ang isa sa mga tagapag bahagi ng kaalaman at tagapag sulat para sa Mabuhay Travel Blog! Sharing places and experiences is her hobby that helps us more to know, appreciate and understand how beautiful the country is. Giving ideas and insights, helpful tips to different places, food, festivals, historical sights, beaches, that will guide us in our future travel holidays. Come travel and be mesmerized, be captivated by this amazingly beautiful country, Pearl of Orient Seas, the Philippines.

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