Where to Chill This Summer: 12 Cold Places in the Philippines

Jay Pagkatotohan

Jay Pagkatotohan

Last updated April 22, 2024

As a tropical country, the Philippines teems with stunning beaches that boast powder-white sand and crystal-clear waters. As such, the idea of a getaway usually involves wearing a floral shirt or riding a banana boat.

However, when the heat gets unbearable, we yearn for the chill atmosphere only the highlands can offer.

Luckily, the country has a wealth of cold destinations. These places make perfect retreats not only due to their low temperatures but also their attractions and activities. 

Ready to show off your layering game? Here’s a list of cold places in the Philippines to visit with your fam and pals!

Top 12 Cold Places in the Philippines

❄️ Baguio

cold places in the philippines - baguio

This list of cold places in the Philippines isn’t complete without the OG chill destination and one of the cold places in Luzon—Baguio City.

Dubbed the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the city’s temperatures can go as low as 9°C. The lowest recorded Baguio temperature even reached 6.3°C in 1961.[1] 

While Baguio has evolved into a highly urbanized city, you can still enjoy the cool breeze in peace. On a food trip? The city has a number of quaint cafés and restaurants that serve delectable dishes.

If you want to experience that chill Baguio weather ASAP, drive your car and take the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX). With this route, you’ll reach Baguio within four to six hours.

What to Do in Baguio

Enjoy the Baguio weather in various points of interest, such as the following:

  • Iconic parks - Visit some of Baguio’s most iconic green spaces, such as Burnham Park, Wright Park, Mines View Park, and the Baguio Botanical Garden, where you can people-watch and breathe in the cool breeze.
  • Mirador Heritage and Eco Park - This park takes you out of the country with its Japan-inspired attractions, such as the Rock Gardens and the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Don’t miss the torii, or the traditional Japanese gate, overlooking the city.
  • Camp John Hay - Formerly a military facility, Camp John Hay is now one of the most-visited spots in Baguio, thanks to its greenery and laid-back ambiance. Set up a picnic here or simply lounge at a café. Satisfy your need for retail therapy at shopping outlets.
  • Diplomat Hotel - Are you down for some spooky tales, history, or both? The Diplomat Hotel is believed to be haunted since the Japanese turned it into their headquarters during World War II. The Japanese military reportedly massacred many people in this very place.
  • BenCab Museum - Just a quick drive from the city, this museum features the works of Benedicto Reyes Cabrera or BenCab, one of the country’s national visual artists.[2] Works by rising artists are also showcased here.
  • Strawberry Farm - Pick strawberries for a day at Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, about half an hour away from Baguio. Schedule your visit between November and May for a bountiful harvest.
  • Session Road - Baguio’s most famous street, Session Road, is filled with stores, restaurants, and cafés that will overwhelm your senses. Don’t miss the night market filled with ukay-ukay stalls and food kiosks.

Read more: Escape the Summer Heat: The Ultimate Baguio Travel Guide


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❄️ Sagada

cold places in the philippines - sagada

Baguio’s one thing, Sagada is another. The town mimics winter well enough after dark given that the temperature here can drop to as low as 10°C. Sagada is 5,300 feet above sea level, so it’s bound to stay cool throughout the summer months.

You can get to Sagada from Baguio’s Dangwa terminal. The ride takes about five hours via bus or jeepney.

What to Do in Sagada

This cold place in the Philippines with a lot to offer, thanks to its terrain and unspoiled greenery.

Here are some things you’ll enjoy here:

  • Sumaguing Cave - Is spelunking your type of adventure? Marvel at the incredible rock formations inside the Sumaguing Cave while feeling the ice-cold water on your feet and the chilly air around you. If you’re in it for the thrill, complete the cave connection, which is a passage that connects Sumaguing Cave and Lumiang Caves. This activity takes almost four hours and involves crawling through tight spaces.
  • Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins - Sagada’s older generations followed a unique burial rite where they attached the coffins of their loved ones to the side of the cliff. Reach these hanging coffins by going through the Echo Valley, where your guide may encourage you to shout and wait for your voice to echo.
  • Mount Kiltepan - With a height of more than 1,600 meters, Mount Kiltepan is one of Sagada’s highest points. Wake up early and head to this spot to witness the sea of clouds glimmering under the rising sun.
  • Bomod-Ok Falls - While this destination requires an hour-long trek, the payoff is just beautiful. Ready your camera to capture the falling rapids and the verdant surroundings.
  • Marlboro Hills - At this point, you’ve probably realized that touring Sagada involves a lot of workouts. Another testament to that is the hike to Marlboro Hills, which are rolling hills that offer uninterrupted views of the Cordillera Mountains. You also get to see a vast sea of clouds.
  • Popular restaurants - Go on a food trip at Sagada’s most popular restaurants, such as Sagada Cellar Door, Log Cabin, and Sagada Lemon Pie House.

❄️ Mount Pulag 

cold places in the philippines - mount pulag

Located within the jurisdictions of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Cagayan Valley, Mount Pulag National Park is easily one of the cold places in Luzon. There are instances when the temperatures drop to as low as 1°C. 

You can opt to simply enjoy the chilly and relaxing ambiance, or work out (hiking, anyone?). The trail leading to the summit will treat you to great views. 

To conveniently go to Mount Pulag, book a tour package at travel agencies. This usually includes homestay, meals, and some essentials. 

What to Do in Mount Pulag

The third-highest mountain in the Philippines and its surrounding places offer exciting activities: 

  • Ambangeg Trail - Mount Pulag has a couple of trails. Ambangeg Trail is one of them. This route is the easiest since it lets hikers reach the summit within three to four hours. 
  • Camp 2 - Stay the night at Camp 2 before you proceed to the summit. If you time it well, you may reach it during sunset. 
  • Summit - Wake up early to see the sea of clouds at the summit and the sunrise. 

❄️ Banaue

cold places in the philippines - banaue

A large part of Northern Luzon is mountainous, which means a lot of its towns and settlements enjoy cold temperatures. Banaue is one of these chilly places. 

Temperatures in Banaue can go as low as 16°C, so bundle up when exploring the town. Fortunately, while the temperature is cold, you’ll still feel the warm hospitality of locals. 

You can go to Banaue directly from Manila via an overnight bus. Another option is to head to Baguio and take a bus from there to Banaue. 

What to Do in Banaue

Banaue has a lot of stunning views to offer, including the following:  

  • Banaue Rice Terraces - Hailed as one of the country’s National Cultural Treasures, the Banaue Rice Terraces are a sight to behold. While you’ve already seen them on the ₱1,000 bill, nothing beats the real thing.  
  • Batad Rice Terraces - The Batad Rice Terraces will make you feel like you’re in a giant amphitheater. Walk up and down the terraces, try out Ifugao coffee, and talk to locals. 
  • Tappiyah Falls - If you’re down for more hiking, trek your way to Tappiyah Falls. The crystal-clear pool, the thunderous sound of crashing waters, the gigantic rocks, and the surrounding scenery all make the hike worth it.

❄️ Tagaytay

cold places in the philippines - tagaytay

Of course, this list of cold places in the Philippines should include Tagaytay, a popular road trip destination near Metro Manila. Just a one to two-hour drive from Manila, Tagaytay is an obvious choice if you want to enjoy the crisp breeze without venturing too far from the city.

During the coldest months of December to February, temperatures drop to around 18.8°C. Aside from the cozy temps, the stunning view of Taal Lake—which houses the world's smallest active volcano—entices tourists to make the trip south of Metro Manila. 

What to Do in Tagaytay

The city of Tagaytay is highly urbanized, so you'll never run out of fun things to do: 

  • Taal Lake - There are plenty of ways to soak in the breathtaking sight of Taal Lake. If you're staying the night, check in at a hotel with unparalleled views such as Taal Vista Hotel or The Lake Hotel Tagaytay. Dine at restaurants overlooking the lake, such as Balay Dako and Bag of Beans. Cheaper alternatives include going to People's Park in the Sky and Picnic Grove. 
  • Museo Orlina - This privately owned museum houses the works of Ramon Orlina, a pioneer glass sculptor in the Philippines. Other works by local and international artists are also on display. 
  • Puzzle Mansion - Puzzle Mansion hosts what was at some point the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle collection. Its owner Georgina Gil-Lacuna reportedly assembled all 1,028 sets herself!
  • Skyranch - Traveling with kids? Spend an afternoon at the Sky Ranch amusement park, where thrilling rides such as the Drop Tower, Super Viking, and Log Coaster can terrify even grown-ups. Wind down afterward at the nearby restaurants. Don't forget to buy pasalubong at the gift shop before you leave!

Read more: Welcome to the Breezy City: Tagaytay Travel Guide


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❄️ Antipolo

cold places in the philippines - antipolo

Looking for options nearer to home? Take an idyllic drive to Antipolo, which is just a couple of hours away from Metro Manila. From the late ber months up until January or February, temperatures drop to 24.1°C—not too cold if you're lamigin

If you plan to go during the daytime, go on a pilgrimage, trek in eco-parks, or visit museums. Or make the night-time drive to enjoy a romantic view of the Metro Manila skyline, dotted with twinkling city lights and stars. Either way, you'll appreciate the city's laid-back vibe in contrast to Manila's hustle and bustle.

What to Do in Antipolo

From cathedrals to museums, Antipolo offers various points of interest: 

  • Antipolo Cathedral - Holy Week or not, millions of devotees make the pilgrimage to the Antipolo Cathedral each year. If you're planning to go on a big trip, pray for safe travels to the Lady of Peace and Good Voyage enshrined in the church.
  • Hinulugang Taktak - If the weather permits, take a quick dip at this iconic 70-ft waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery. You can also enjoy the view from gazebos or picnic tables near the area. 
  • Pinto Art Museum - Aside from its well-curated collection of contemporary art (such as sculptures, paintings, mixed media, and more), Pinto Art Museum also boasts beautifully manicured gardens and Santorini-inspired exteriors. Every corner is worth a spot on your 'gram!
  • Mount Purro Nature Reserve - Go on a nature adventure at Mount Purro Nature Reserve, an eco-park nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. You can do a variety of activities—trekking, hiking, swimming, tree planting, and more. Once you get tired, you can get a massage or enjoy home-cooked Filipino meals. 

❄️ Tanay

If you live in the metro and don’t have enough time to go to Baguio or Tagaytay, Tanay is a good alternative. Temperatures in this town get as low as 22°C. It can drop lower in the morning or early evening. 

Reach this cold place in the Philippines by driving through Marcos Highway in Marikina or via Cainta. 

What to Do in Tanay

Tanay offers various destinations to let you enjoy the chilly temperatures: 

  • Treasure Mountain - Here, waking up early is rewarding—you get to witness the sea of clouds. Get early access to this scenery by camping overnight. Nevertheless, you and your family can go on a day trip too. 
  • Daranak Falls - Splash the heat away at Daranak Falls, which is found at the foot of the mountains. Go on a picnic at the sheds and tables surrounding the clear waters. 
  • Tinipak River - Right below the Southern Luzon section of Sierra Madre is a calm river. Other than its clear and cold waters, Tinipak River is popular for its boulders and limestones. 
  • Popular coffee shops - The town of Tanay is home to quaint coffee shops and restaurants. Popular names are Kaulayaw Coffee, Cafe Katarina, and Lutong Pugon, among others. 

❄️ Batanes

cold places in the philippines - batanes

The hills are alive with the sound of… mooing. The air in Batanes is mostly cool—going as low as 22°C—because it’s located in the northernmost part of the Philippines. Brace yourself for the breezy air that comes wafting through the island throughout the day.

Life on the island is very calm and chill. You may find that time passes slowly. Though some interesting spots need a bit of travel time, the journey itself is rewarding and worthwhile.

Getting to Batanes involves a quick plane ride from Manila to Basco. Scout for discounts and seat sales when booking your flight.

What to Do in Batanes

The small islands are packed with bigger-than-life sceneries and exciting activities. Check out the following:

  • Amazing beaches - Batanes may be known for its picturesque and New Zealand-like sceneries, but it also has beautiful coastlines. Include Nakabuang Beach, Diura Fishing Village, and Chadpidan Beach in your beach-hopping plans.
  • Naidi Hills - Located in Basco, the capital of Batanes, Naidi Hills give you panoramic views of Mount Iraya, Baluarte Bay, and the lush hills of Batan Island. Time your visit around sunset to see the orange light wash over the island.
  • Marlboro Country - Known to the locals as Racuh a Payaman, Marlboro Country is a vast green canvas that gives you majestic views of the sea, the cliffs, and winding roads. Every picture you’ll take of this place will definitely be a money shot!
  • Honesty Coffee Shop - Honesty is a human virtue, but in Batanes, it’s a tourist attraction! Just visit Honesty Coffee Shop. The café is unmanned, relying heavily on the honesty of the customers as they pay for what they get.

Read more:

❄️ Don Salvador Benedicto

cold places in the philippines - don salvador benedicto

Lion monuments and pine trees line this town, located 2,500 feet above sea level on Negros Island. It’s also called Little Baguio because its temperature drops to 16°C. Unlike Baguio, however, there’s way less of a crowd here.

To get to DSB, as locals call it, take a bus or van from Bacolod or a day’s ferry ride from Manila.

What to Do in Don Salvador Benedicto

Need a game plan for your sojourn in Don Salvador Benedicto, one of the cold places in the Philippines? Here are some ideas for you:

  • Malatan-og Falls - There are two ways to enjoy Malatan-og Falls. You can visit the actual falls and bathe in the basin’s chilly water, or admire its cigarette-like silhouette from afar as you stand on one of DSB’s steep viewing decks.
  • Pine trees - The main thoroughfare of DSB is lined with tall pine trees, making you feel like you're in Baguio or somewhere in Europe. If you're a cyclist, you’ll definitely love this pothole-free scenic road.
  • Jomax Peak - A perfect spot for sightseeing and communing with nature, Jomax Peak is both a campsite and a picnic ground. Don’t forget to take Instagram-worthy pictures on the veranda, one of its most popular areas.
  • Mayana Peak - Catch the scenic sunrise while getting a workout by trekking to Mayana Peak. At the summit, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the lush mountains. Though Mayana Peak is part of San Carlos City, it’s just a 15-minute drive from the DSB poblacion.

❄️ Canlaon

Negros Oriental may be famous for Dumaguete City. But if you wish to escape the heat, head to Canlaon City, which is located in the northern part of the province. Temperatures drop to 25°C or even lower, depending on the time. 

Reach Canlaon City by riding a bus from Dumaguete. 

What to Do in Canlaon

Canlaon City boasts a few destinations that draw in both locals and tourists: 

  • Mount Kanlaon - This is the highest peak in Visayas and one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. 
  • Balete tree - At an age of more than 1,000 years, this towering tree is a natural wonder. 
  • Sudlon Falls - Located northeast of Mount Kanlaon, this waterfall boasts clear waters and lush surroundings, all making for a relaxing nature retreat.

❄️ Malaybalay

cold places in the philippines - malaybalay

Photo: Dahilayan Adventure Park (Facebook)

Surrounded by verdant mountains, Bukidnon has stunning landscapes and a refreshing atmosphere. Malaybalay, its capital, gets quite cold, especially in the morning when temperatures range between 19°C and 20°C.

With its conducive temperatures, Malaybalay is home to pine trees and fruit plantations. If you love Baguio weather, you’ll also love the vibe of this city. 

To get to Malaybalay, book a flight bound for Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental. From there, take a bus going to Malaybalay.  

What to Do in Malaybalay

Malaybalay offers destinations where you and your loved ones can chill: 

  • Dahilayan Adventure Park and Pine Forest - This is easily one of the most famous destinations in Bukidnon. The park is home to towering pine trees and features adventure-based attractions, such as a long zipline, mountain coaster, and rollerzip.
  • Mount Dulang-Dulang - The second-highest mountain in the Philippines has an otherworldly, mossy forest that looks like it’s taken straight out of a fantasy movie. 
  • Del Monte Plantation - One of the world’s largest pineapple plantations, Del Monte Plantation shares how its products are made, from harvesting to packaging. 
  • Monastery of the Transfiguration - If you love architecture, don’t miss this Leandro Locsin-designed church. This structure looks like a pyramid, easily capturing the attention of tourists.

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❄️ Lake Sebu

Lake Sebu is one of several lake towns in close proximity to Surallah. The water in the lake the town is named for never gets warmer than 25°C, striking the perfect balance between warm and cool any time you visit. Other lakes in the town also flow straight into several waterfalls.

To get to Lake Sebu, fly to General Santos City, take a bus to Koronadal, and then to Surallah. From there, grab a van or jeep to Lake Sebu.

What to Do in Lake Sebu

Lake Sebu offers a lot of interesting activities to tourists, especially nature lovers. Include the following in your list:

  • Three-lake tour - The municipality of Lake Sebu is home to three beautiful lakes: Lake Sebu, Lake Seloton, and Lake Lahit. Go on a lake cruise and enjoy the greenery and the calm air around you. Pick a morning schedule, ideally sunrise, to witness the waters glisten under the tame sunlight.
  • Seven-waterfall tour - Lake Sebu is not just about lakes. It also has seven majestic waterfalls. If you’re brave enough, you can even ride the zipline at one of the waterfalls. 
  • School of Living Tradition (SLT) - Lake Sebu is big on immersion. If you want to see how the elders pass on the T’Boli traditions to the younger generation, visit the School of Living Tradition or SLT. Here, younger T’bolis are taught the T’Boli culture, which includes music and dance.

 

Final Thoughts

The city’s heat gets unbearable at times. Thankfully, there are a handful of cold places in the Philippines you and your family can visit all year round.

The local destinations listed above are some of the most popular, but you can definitely find other under-the-radar destinations. A bit of research and conversations with experienced travelers will definitely reveal these places.

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Sources:

Jay is a marketing communications professional who specializes in short-form and long-form content. He has written ads for TV, radio, print, and digital. He has also produced corporate blogs, magazine features, white papers, product listings, reviews, and press releases for clients here and abroad. When he’s not writing, Jay plays the piano or takes pictures for his visual diary. Follow Jay on LinkedIn.

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