After the New Year, the warm fuzzy feelings of Christmas, a first snowfall, cold crisp air, and snuggling up by a warm fireplace begins to disappear, with the reality of bitter cold days and early dark nights seeming like they’ll never end. As you’re shoveling your driveway, you might find yourself day dreaming of hot, sandy beaches, frozen drinks, and that super cute bikini.
Well, to get through the winter blues, I’ve put together a list some of my favorite 10 tropical destinations for January!
Ah Hawaii. It is true paradise here. With warm weather year round – even in the middle of winter – you really can’t go wrong. You’ll see tropical flowers and trees blooming no matter what time of year you decide to go. There might be a bit of rainfall in January, but surprisingly it’s not the rainiest month, instead December takes the prize.
An especially exciting reason to visit Hawaii in January is the yearly migration of the humpback whale, which passes right by Hawaii during this time. You can see them from the beach, however boat tours are also available for closer viewing.
I know what you’re thinking…wait…Australia is not what I think of when I think of a tropical getaway. And yes I agree, but Australia is a HUGE continent with varied climate zones. In fact, the northern section of Australia does have a tropical influenced climate; and interesting enough, northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland is home to the world’s largest subtropical rainforest!
January is Brazil’s summer, which means it’s the high season and it’s also the best time to visit the coastline and beaches. With festival season fast approaching (Carnival) in February, January can be very busy, especially in cities like Rio de Janeiro.
Keep in mind though, although January is a very popular month for visitors, it’s not necessarily the ideal time to visit the Amazon. January through June is the rainy season, and it is possible that the heavy rains could affect your trip.
4. Costa Rica
With beautiful beaches, amazing surf, tropical rainforest, and picturesque volcanoes, say hello to Costa Rica…the ideal tropical vacation! The dry season finally starts approaching in January, and this is the best time to visit Costa Rica. While the Pacific side is nice and sunny, keep in mind the Caribbean side and central mountains can be a bit rainier.
5. South Africa
If you’re wanting to take a beach trip in Cape Town, the best time to do it is January through April, which is the city’s summer months. True high season runs from March to May, so a bonus for visiting in January is you can expect a less expensive visit. The cherry on top is if you’re travelling in early January, you can experience Cape Town’s largest carnival, Kaapse Klopse (Cape Minstres Carnival or Cape Town New Year Karnaval), which begins January 2nd.
Just watch out for those great whites! (Shark Week anyone? – yeah, it scares me)
6. Sri Lanka
Okay, so Sri Lanka is a bit complicated because this small island country just so happens to be affected by two separate monsoons. So this means usually somewhere on the island there will be good weather whenever you decide to visit. In January, the best place to visit is the west and south coasts, meaning you’ll want to avoid the east coast. This is good news because the west coast is the point of arrival for all visitors, and also the most developed and populated area, including Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.
Are you craving a cubano and a little bit of salsa dancing? Well you should be because January is an excellent time to visit Cuba! Although you can expect beautiful and sunny weather, the temperatures remain a bit cooler, and don’t fully warm up until March and April. This leaves January as the perfect time to sightsee around Cuba without the tourism masses.
Generally speaking, Southeast Asia is a dreamboat in January!
January is Thailand’s peak season, and for good reason – the weather is amazing! If you’ve travelled to Thailand during the rainy season, you might have thought a monsoon hit the country, but in January (aka the dry season)…there is plenty of sunshine to go around. No matter where you go in Thailand, the Andaman Coast, the Gulf of Thailand, Bangkok, or Chaing Mai… it’s all good during this month.
The only downsides to visiting Thailand in January is you will definitely need to plan ahead because everything can and will get booked. Prices will also be higher during this month, but hey, there’s a price for perfect weather in paradise.
Have you been dying to see the famous temples of Angkor Wat? Well January is THE time to do it! January is a popular month to travel to Cambodia with clear skies, little to no rain, and a temperate climate.
Just be sure to get to the temples early, as it will get crowded due to all the tourists.
Since the borders have opened, the tourists are flocking to Burma, and for good reason. The breathtaking temples of Bagan can stir up a bubbling effect of wanderlust in just about every adventure-craving traveller.
If you are dying to see all that Burma has to offer, January is the perfect time to visit. Being the largest country in Southeast Asia, you’ll find everything you’re looking for: mountain ranges, beautiful lakes, and white sandy beaches in this fascinating country.
Are you travelling in January? Let me know in the comments below!