Winter months don’t really seem like a nice time for sun-worshippers to go on a holiday, do they? Well, sorry to disappoint you but you’ll be surprised to discover that there are at least 10 hot places to visit in January and they are all equally spectacular.

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Let’s see if January can give us the answer to where is hot around the globe.

1. Barbados, Caribbean

Beach and turquoise sea in Barbados

Although it’s hard to pick just one Caribbean island, Barbados earns the spot on this list for one particular reason – there is very little to no rain in January and the temperatures are as pleasant as they get. Average daytime temperatures climb up to 84°F. During the night, there is a slight decrease in degrees but it’s still relatively warm around 73°F.

January in Barbados marks the dry season and the peak tourist season as well. Visitors flock to this island to escape the cold knowing they’ll be relaxing in the sun. For this reason, you may expect higher accommodation rates but the beauty of the island will make up for this extra expenditure.

Read more: Visiting Barbados in September

2. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town aerial view

Quite amazingly, South Africa is the perfect location for a beach holiday in January. The temperatures are hot (80°F) and even the nights feel surprisingly warm (62°F). The opportunities for explorations are aplenty but you already knew that, right?

Kruger Park with its lush vegetation and diverse wildlife, majestic Victoria Falls, and fantastic beaches are what’s most appealing about Cape Town, even in January. This period is by far the best to explore the diversity of the region. January is also one of the busiest months so you’ll probably have to deal with crowds.

3. Maui, Hawaii

Sunset at Maui, Hawaii

It’s not a mistake that we’ve picked only one of the Hawaiian islands. The weather in Hawaii in January tends to be a bit cold unless you head south. Maui is a big island with several weather zones but your safest bet should be anywhere in the southern part of the island. More specifically, Kihei and Wailea – coastal communities with some of the best beaches on the entire island. Daytime temperatures vary between 75°F – 80°F which is slightly lower compared to summer months but pleasant nonetheless.

Another thing that makes January in Maui so special is the humpback whales spotting. These gentle giants visit Hawaiian waters during the winter and the biggest chances of spotting are precisely in January. Many boat operators organize these whale-watching sea trips so make sure you catch a glimpse of these majestic animals before you head back home.

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4. Bangkok, Thailand

Asian culture in Bangkok

January in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster! This is probably the best time to visit the capital of Thailand for so many reasons. First of all, travelers love this metropolis because it has an unmistakable Asian charm – ornate shrines, tasty local cuisine, and vibrant street life.

Temperatures in Bangkok in January remain at pleasant 80°F throughout the month although humidity might go up a bit. This metropolis is a bit on the pricier side regardless of when you visit so you’ll have to keep that in mind. Other than that, there is nothing left to do but start packing.

5. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket island turquoise sea

It seems unfair that Thailand gets to take two spots on the list of the hot places to visit in January but believe us, it’s for a good reason. If Bangkok isn’t enough to replenish your Vitamine D supplies, Phuket surely is. This magnificent island is magical in January.

The temperatures are around 82°F while the sea is tranquil and warm, ideal for swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling. Phuket beaches are a sight to behold so don’t miss Freedom, Surin, and Paradise which are some of the best beaches on this side of the equator.

Read more: Traveling to Thailand Solo

6. The Canary Islands, Spain

Canary Islands aerial view

The Canary Islands are heaven on earth, without a hyperbole. The first day of January marks the celebration of the New Year’s Dip which is an added bonus. It is celebrated in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria so make sure to check it out and start the new year with a refreshing swim.

Temperatures in the Canary Islands are pleasant in January, usually around 75°F but make sure to pack a light jacket as nights can get a bit chilly. The sun shines bright for the most part during the day, offering you a perfect opportunity to explore the beauty of the area.

7. Cartagena, Colombia

Old Town in Cartagena

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Yet another Spanish-speaking hot January destination awaits on the other side of Atlantic – it’s Colombian Cartagena. You can take in the architectural wonders of the Old Town, indulge in all-inclusive resorts, and treat your palates with delicious street food. Short boat trips will take you to some of the best beaches around, including Playa Blanca, Castillogrande, and La Boquilla. The temperatures in Cartagena in January are pleasant, between 84°F – 87°F and the chances of rain are at their lowest.

8. Panama City, Panama

Panama landscape at sunset

This tropical country in Central America has gained quite a popularity recently. The dry season starts in December so January proves to be just a perfect time to visit it and discover the unspoiled beauty of it. You can expect warm weather, with temperatures around 85°F or higher.

An added bonus to visiting Panama in January is Feria de las Flores y del Café (Flowers Festival) which is one of the most colorful displays of plants in the world. Panama Jazz Festival is also held this time of year so it’s a no-miss for anyone who likes smooth tunes.

9. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro aerial view

It’s true – January is the hottest month in Rio. This fast-paced tourist-centric city is the mecca of fun and sightseeing, especially at this time of year. Temperatures climb to 86°F with the sunshine lasting up to 7 hours a day. You can work up a sweat by climbing to the Christ the Redeemer statue but be sure to rest your feet back down in the shade of Jardim Botanico, the huge botanical garden sprawling across 137 hectares. Of course, you can’t go to Rio without taking a dip at its beautiful beaches.

10. Sydney, Australia

Bondi beach in Sydney is stunning

Eclectic and diverse, Sydney is the jewel of the land down under. Not only is it one of the oldest cities on the continent but it’s also a cut above the rest when it comes to architecture (think Opera House), nightlife, cultural events, and tourist attractions. Of course, glorious stretches of coast are an additional bonus, particularly Bondi, Manly, Shelly and Palm Beach. January is, hands down, just the right time to get close to the Aussie charm because temperatures are around 79°F, making it lovely for extensive exploration of this mega-city.

So, leave the blizzards and coldness behind and pack your speedos and bikinis because these destinations will disarm you with their sunny charm. If relaxing under the warm sun is high on your agenda, these places won’t disappoint.