14 Warm Places to Visit in January

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January 1 may usher in a new year full of excitement and possibilities, but a few weeks in, that positive attitude quickly fades as the snow piles up. You start to find that snow angels aren’t that amusing after all, and your favorite hot cocoa would taste better if it were a piña colada and you were drinking it on a luxurious beach somewhere. As the temperatures continue to dip, you find yourself constantly staring out the window and fantasizing about going somewhere warm.

The good news is that January is a great month to travel. With the holiday rush in the rearview mirror, rates begin to drop, ushering in the ideal time to jet off to greener (and sunnier) pastures. So if you’re dreaming of a winter getaway (or simply need some inspo to get you through the frosty month), here are 14 warm places to travel in January.

10 Island Vacations You Can Take Without Leaving the Country

warm places to visit in january colombia
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1. Cartagena, Colombia

Average daily temperature in January: 88°F

Cartagena is the epitome of a steamy escape. January delivers tropical temperatures, minimal humidity and the lowest chance of precipitation. You’ll certainly appreciate the gentle breeze while walking around this picturesque port. This UNESCO-listed old town is an Insta-worthy maze of cobblestone lanes, Spanish colonial buildings with balconies covered in bougainvillea and glorious churches that dominate the tree-lined plazas. When it comes to tasty eats, find your way to a palettas, a fruity and refreshing mid-afternoon snack. You gotta try pescado frito (fried fish) with green plantains and coconut rice. For the best beaches in the area, book a day trip to the magical Islas del Rosario.

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warm places to visit in january aruba
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2. Aruba

Average daily temperature in January: 86°F

Aruba, the happy island 48 miles west of Curaçao, welcomes hordes of repeat travelers—especially in the winter when consistently warm weather, endless sunshine and cooling trade winds sure beat the forecast in most of the U.S. So get ready to take a load off on Aruba’s famed sandy beaches with copious amounts of rum punch that add to the carefree vacation vibe.

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warm places to visit in january california
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3. Palm Springs, California

Average daily temperature in January: 71°F

Sunshine. Highs in the low 70s. Yeah, January in Palm Springs is total perfection. The hip Sonoran Desert oasis is known for its mid-century design cred, iconic architecture and salacious tales from Tinseltown’s golden age. That raises the question of where you’re going to stay. Whether you’re a fan of retro glamor or contemporary aesthetics, stylish hotels abound. We also love the idea of renting a fabulous house erected by a famous architect. Of course, a pool and jacuzzi are non-negotiables regardless of where you shack up. Round out your itinerary by doing a historical walking tour to see where the Rat Pack used to party, snapping (mandatory) pics under luscious palm trees, indulging in spa treatments, shopping for vintage treasures and communing with nature on a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

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warm places to visit in january mexico
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4. Cancun, Mexico

Average daily temperature in January: 82°F

It’s all about sun and fun in Cancun. And it truly has activities for all types of travelers—from hard-partying college students and bachelorette parties to honeymooners and families. Nonetheless, you’ll undoubtedly spend the bulk of your trip on the beach (hello, Playa Delfines). For a dose of culture, head over to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and if you’re on the market for some adventure, take up some whale shark snorkeling courtesy of Ocean Tours. Have a hankering for authentic Mexican food? TripAdvisor reviewers rave about El Rinconcito de Puebla and Los Caporales.

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warm places to visit in january thailand
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5. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Average daily temperature in January: 85°F

Dubbed the “Rose of the North,” Chiang Mai is a continual reminder that there’s more to Thailand than the islands of Phuket (though we’ll get to that later) and Koh Samui. The capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom charms tourists with its relaxed pace and rich culture. The city boasts hundreds of opulent Buddhist temples including the gilded Wat Phra Singh as well as lush rainforests, majestic mountains and elephant sanctuaries within driving distance. Since Chiang Mai has a slightly cooler climate than Bangkok, you can clock more sightseeing hours without sweating through your gauzy printed pants. Let’s be honest, it’ll still feel quite balmy.

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warm places to visit in january french polynesia
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6. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Average daily temperature in January: 82°F

Why is this South Pacific Island one of the most sought-after travel destinations? Sandy beaches, translucent lagoons, glorious sunsets and world-class scuba diving, of course. We’ll admit the weather in January tends to be a tad unpredictable (it rains approximately half the month). If you’re a betting woman or a bargain hunter, you might be keen to take those odds. Of course, with temperatures hovering in the low 80s and a solid probability of experiencing clear skies, it’s not that big of a gamble.

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warm places to visit in january grenada
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7. Grenada

Average daily temperature in January: 86°F

Part of the Lesser Antilles, Grenada is a leading producer of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, and it’s easy to sniff out how the “Spice Isle” got its moniker. Of course, its aromatic exports aren’t the only selling point. Grenada also boasts flawless weather and wild beauty in spades. Think forested hillsides, 300-year-old plantations, pink blooms, hot springs and cascading waterfalls. This striking two-mile stretch dazzles with its perfectly golden sands, crystal-clear water and colorful fishing boats, while almond trees and coconut palms create natural shady spots for travelers endeavoring to avoid UV rays. Laid-back bars and resorts occupy prime oceanfront real estate. St. George’s features pastel houses and a picturesque harbor. A 20-minute drive from the capital sits Grand Etang National Park, a phenomenal spot for hiking.

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warm places to visit in january campeche mexico
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8. Campeche, Mexico

Average daily temperature in January: 82°F

The Yucatan Peninsula shines as a hotbed of tourism thanks to Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. But you likely haven’t heard of Campeche. (That’s OK, we didn’t know much about it either until recently.) This less-frequented port city oozes charm and heritage. Mild weather makes January the perfect month to visit since you’ll want to spend time exploring the cobblestone streets, sherbet-hued colonial buildings, UNESCO-listed walled historic center and hilltop fortresses. The waterfront promenade is a lovely spot for a morning jog or a sunset stroll. Embark on an artisan, culinary and archeological tour or explore the historical artifacts in Edzna.

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warm places to visit in january phuket thailand
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9. Phuket, Thailand

Average daily temperature in January: 88°F

From backpackers and spring breakers to honeymooners and celebs, everyone loves Phuket. It’ll downright blow you away with its white sands, swaying palm trees and turquoise tides, but the stunning scenery is hardly the only draw. Thailand’s biggest island also has legendary nightlife, delicious local eats, Buddhist temples, fabled diving sites and hundreds of hotels. Despite its status as a full-fledged tourism darling and January being the preeminent time to visit, you can still score legit deals. At the time of this writing, a deluxe room at the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa—an attractive oceanfront property with swish decor and stellar service—will run you less than $100 per night, for example. Couples in the mood for romance will fall hard for Trisara, which woos with its Michelin-starred restaurant, plush spa and private beach. It’s on the pricier side but definitely worth it for an unforgettable anniversary trip or your first international getaway in nearly two years. On the opposite end of the spectrum, hostels in the lively town of Patong start at $8.

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warm places to visit in january big island hawaii
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10. Big Island, Hawaii

Average daily temperature in January: 81°F

The Big Island earns our vote as the picture-perfect place to kick off your adventures in the Aloha State. Blessed with an unimaginably diverse landscape, this tropical paradise is teeming with hiking trails, waterfalls, giant lava rocks and jaw-dropping shores in colors you’ve never imagined. On the southernmost tip, Papakolea Beach displays dazzling green sand as a result of a mineral called olivine. Basalt gives Punaluʻu Beach its black hue. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is truly unlike anywhere else on the planet. You can also swim alongside gentle manta rays with massive 16-foot wingspans. If you’re into java, be sure to book a Kona coffee tour! January falls within the rainy season for Hawaii, but the upside is that everything looks so green, and the flowers are blooming. Plus, it’s not too humid. Rates tend to be on the higher side at the beginning of January, but by the middle of the month prices drop back down to average.

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warm places to visit in january costa rica
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11. Costa Rica

Average daily temperature in January: 86°F

Keep the excitement of the holidays going by escaping the frightful winter weather and trading it for sunny Costa Rica. January is the perfect time to visit this South American country because it’s just after the holiday rush and it’s the first month of the dry season. That means you can expect smaller crowds and picture-perfect weather when you embark on wildlife tours at the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge or the Curi Cancha Wildlife Refuge. Costa Rica is also nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea which means countless blue water beaches to just relax and unwind at—try Playa Conchal or Manuel Antonio Beach to start.

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warm places to visit in january cape verde
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12. Cape Verde

Average daily temperature in January: 74°F

Sure, it’s not nearly as hot as, say, Colombia, but the cool January temperatures in Cape Verde make it so it’s not too cold that you don’t want to go outside, and it’s not so hot that your afternoon adventure is ruined by your desire to get to an AC ASAP. This island off the coast of west Africa has a lot to offer for snowbirds escaping the harsh winters. Adventurers can go on an excursion and get a different view of the Island of Sal courtesy of Zipline Cabo Verde, and those who like to keep things more grounded can still get their adrenaline pumping while on a 4WD Buggy Island Adventure.

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warm places to visit in january grand cayman
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13. Grand Cayman

Average daily temperature in January: 84°F

Known for calm waters, coral reefs teeming with marine life and most famously the spectacular beauty of Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman is the quintessential Caribbean getaway. Catching rays, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding in a bioluminescent bay and fishing are among the most popular pastimes. Need a break from the sun? Head over to George Town to watch the massive cruise ships dock in the port. The capital is also home to the ruins of a colonial-era fort and the Cayman Islands National Museum. Foodies won’t want to pass up the return of the Cayman Cookout (January 9 to 15). Held at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the mouthwatering event brings together leading chefs, sommeliers and spirit aficionados from all over the world. The 2022 headlining chefs include Emeril Lagasse, Deedee Niyomkul, Éric Ripert​ and ​José Andrés—just to name a few.

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Nassau, Bahamas has an average temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit in January.
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14. Nassau, Bahamas

Average daily temperature in January: 79°F

Nothing compares to the sweet island breeze, vivid coral reefs and soft and silky sand in the Bahamas. Specifically in Nassau, the capital, which is also one of the most popular cruise ship stops and home to the beloved The Atlantis Resort. (You know, the humungous hotel that Michael Jackson frequented, which now has a suite named after the king of pop). A seven-day trip for two people can cost as high as $3,000, but you can get day passes starting at $135 to enjoy all that the resort has to offer (including swimming with dolphins, a 30-minute lazy river and water slides, to name a few), if you decide to stay somewhere else. Then you can go into town to shop and eat with tourists and locals alike.

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