Top Hot Weather Holiday Destinations in January

Want to escape the winter blues but can’t think of where to go? You are in luck as we’ve compiled a list of the best places to travel to in January that offer warmth while everyone else back home is stuck in the cold. Travel closer to the equator and January can be a month of sunshine, high temperatures and dry days making it perfect for any backpacking trip.

New Zealand – Adventure capital of the world     

New Zealand Abel Tasman

  • Average High Temperature: 23 degrees
  • Average Rain Days: 12
  • Average Sunshine Hours: 8

Rainy days are more common here than anywhere else on the list but typically rainfall is low and you are rarely going to have to withstand any major downpours. Although tricky to get to for most people, New Zealand’s incredible landscape makes it’s well worth the long journey.

The many national parks on offer often make for some of the best places to admire New Zealand’s nature, Tongariro and Abel Tasman two of the main highlights. While not a park, ensure you do not miss the stunning Milford Sound with its combination of seals, penguins and crashing waterfalls.

It’s not just sightseeing on offer in New Zealand, the island is a surfer’s paradise and back on land you’ll never be far off caving, hiking or bungee jumping opportunities. You’ll also be able to get involved with Maori culture, learning more about their fascinating way of life.

Costa Rica – Central America’s most popular destination

  • Costa RicaAverage High Temperature: 26 degrees
  • Average Rainfall: 10mm
  • Average Rain Days: 5
  • Average Sunshine Hours: 7

In 2016, Costa Rica welcomed 2.9m tourists into the country and there are many reasons why tourism here is booming. It’s sometimes called the Switzerland of Central America thanks to its mountainous landscape, pacifistic history and relative prosperity in the area. It would be wrong to think that the country is perhaps slightly bland however as a result of this comparison.

Around 27% of this incredibly eco-friendly nation is formed of national parks and reserves. Green travellers will be amazed on what is on offer in a nation which has become one of the top eco-tourism destinations. Some of the incredibly well preserved areas include Manuel Antonio & Tortuguero National Parks, the latter being one of the best places to see protected sea turtles.

Volcanoes are also prominent in this country and you will no regret getting a closer look at the formidable Arenal or the more easily accessible Poas.

Chile – South American starting point    

  • Santiago, ChileAverage High Temperature: 30 degrees
  • Average Rainfall: 10mm
  • Average Rain Days: 1
  • Average Sunshine Hours: 11

Chile is now consistently ranked as the safest country in South America and for a first taste of the continent there is no place better. Its bizarre shape makes seeing the whole nation very tricky unless you have a lot of time and can afford to go on road trip. Basing yourself in the capital, Santiago, is the best way forward for everyone else. It’s a thriving city and one you can get a perfect view of courtesy of the Sky Costanera observation deck which stands at an absolutely incredible 300m tall.

Santiago itself will keep you busy for days but there is also the possibility of several fantastic day trips from the capital. The coastal cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar are close by, the former is absolutely bursting with colour while the latter has more refined charm with its beaches and boulevards. Cajon Del Maipo can also be seen in a day and the spectacular gorge is the perfect place to camp, hike, cycle or even ski.

Sri Lanka – A nation with endless possibilities

  • Sri LankaAverage High Temperature: 31 degrees
  • Average Rainfall: 62mm
  • Average Rain Days: 7
  • Average Sunshine Hours: 8

Off the south coast of India you will find Sri Lanka which looks tiny in comparison to its neighbour. It’s deceptively large though and it boasts a vast array of different places to see and things to do. If hiking is your thing then Adam’s Peak is an absolute must. The 2,243 mountain is surrounded by some magnificent scenery especially when timed with the sun rise.

Closer to the centre of the country you have places such as Sigiriya with its towering 5th century ruins that look like no other. Dambulla cave temple is nearby and this World Heritage Site is a mystical place but another in which you need to prepare yourself for a climb.

For a less taxing attraction, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya is the fine place to spend half a sunny day but a more exciting alternative is Udawalawe National Park. The gigantic nature reserve is home to a broad range of native wildlife that can be explored via a safari jeep.

Thailand – Never a dull moment   

Backpacking Asia

  • Average High Temperature: 32 degrees
  • Average Rainfall: 10mm
  • Average Rain Days: 2
  • Average Sunshine Hours: 9

It’s not the most developed or sophisticated country around but Thailand has that special something that constantly brings tourists back looking for more. Bangkok will be a starting point for most trips in the country. We’ve previously written a list of things to watch out for in the Thai capital but it’s not a place where you are likely to feel unsafe. Among the stunning attractions such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun are an endless amount of places serving up delicious Thai cuisine.

Explore the many markets on offer and open your taste buds to something new. Go further south to Phuket if you are on the hunt for beaches but do you research as while some are luscious and clean, others have bit hit hard by years of heavy tourism. Up north and you have quaint places such as Chiang Mai that offer a wonderful selection of elephant sanctuaries, giving you a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures.

Average temperature, rainfall and sunshine figures are based on the capital city of each country for the month of January.