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The best places in the world to travel to in January 2024

Sure, there’s something rather romantic about crisp winter snow. But sometimes, rather than taking to the ski slopes after Christmas, you long to catch the sun’s warm rays and plunge into temperate waters instead.
If you think that ‘by the sea’ isn’t a great place to be in the middle of winter, let us prove you wrong. Get some inspiration for your sunny January trip — here are our five top spots for a warm winter vacation.

The best travel destinations for January

  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Australia
  • the Maldives
  • Switzerland (for those who really love to ski!)

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Costa Rica: Travel to the home of Pura Vida

Costa Rica is known for fabulous national parks, thrilling outdoor activities, and rich biodiversity. See what one of the happiest nations in the world has to offer.

Area: 51,179 km2 Language: Spanish Capital city: San José
Population: 5.09 million Local Currency: Costa Rican colón Time zone: GMT-6

The best vacation spots in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a must-visit for those who like stunning natural landscapes (so, more or less everybody). It’s a land full of jungles and some seriously cool places that are hidden from the outside world.

Puerto Viejo — Catch your biggest surfing wave and indulge in other water sports

Puerto Viejo spoils tourists with its fantastic beaches. Manzanillo Beach perfectly suits kayakers, snorkelers, and sailors, and it’s great if you’re traveling with kids. Meanwhile, Salsa Brava Beach is well known among surfers for its strong currents. Come here to catch the famous Salsa Brava wave.

Corcovado National Park — See Ara parrots and other animals

Corcovado is the home of the Ara parrot, the Central American tapir, and the giant anteater. You can pay about $100 daily to see these amazing creatures on a guided tour, with accommodation and meals. Otherwise, take a walk through the park and along the beaches; you’re likely to come across a few different species of monkeys, at least!

San José — Travel around the capital to get a Jurassic Park vibe

It’s not often we can feel like a character in an adventure movie in a nation’s capital, right? Come to San José to see a magical ensemble of the business heart of the country surrounded by impenetrable forests and an abundance of rivers with waterfalls. Also, you can dedicate a day to a trip to the wild Cahuita National Park, 200 km from the capital. It has no equipped beaches, but the purest water and the photogenic palm trees will more than make up for it.

Average monthly temperatures in San Jose, Costa Rica

Avg Temp San Jose Costa Rica

Mexico: Drink the best tequila in the motherland of Frida Kahlo

Where else other than Mexico can you rent a room with a view of an active volcano, swim in a lake inside a cave, get into the crazy world of Frida Kahlo, or knock over a glass of canonical tequila? Don’t let the (potentially) long flight scare you—it’s worth it.

Area: 1,972,550 km2 Language: Spanish Capital city: Mexico City
Population: 128.9 million Local Currency: Mexican peso Time zone: GMT-5

The best vacation spots in Mexico

Let’s see the top places to experience the real Mexico and check out all the country’s diversity.

Acapulco — An iconic place to visit as a Hollywood star of the 1950s

Jason Derulo is not the first artist to sing about Acapulco. This place was a mecca for American stars of the 50s. Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Frank Sinatra, and many others flocked here to paint the town red.

The popularity of Acapulco has practically vanished among celebrities, so a standard 2-bedroom hotel suite is unlikely to cost you more than $45 a night. But the party spirit is still here! Have a laid-back break at Piesela Cuesta, then party hard at Mojito, dancing to salsa and reggaeton.

Cancún — Admire fancy beaches with Mayan ruins

The best thing about Cancún is that no matter where you go, you’re in for a treat. Are you a beach and sea lover? Some of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches are in Cancún. Want to dive into some ancient history? Visit the ancient city of El Meco or the ruins of the Mayan temple, where you’ll be blown away.

Mexico City — Top places for party animals, and the home of Frida Kahlo

While walking in the capital, find Frida Kahlo’s cozy blue house at Londres 247; if you are fond of the arts, visit the nearby museum. If walking around the artist’s space inspired you to have something bright in your home, pop into the vibrant Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela market.

Average monthly temperatures in Cancun, Mexico

Average Monthly Temperatures Cancun

Australia: Come for a holiday to see the Sydney Opera House

Craving sun all year round? Australia is exactly the country that will win your heart and leave you with unforgettable experiences that will last a lifetime.

Most tourists associate Australia with endless summers and a slow pace of life. See what it’s like for yourself!

Area: 7,688,000 km2 Language: English Capital city: Canberra
Population: 25.6 million Local Currency: Australian dollar Time zone: GMT+11

The best vacation spots in Australia

Be careful not to get lost among the abundance of cool places — the unique wealth of flora and fauna, the nature reserves, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast number of beaches (of which there are more than 10 thousand), and many more.

Sydney — A vacation idea you can’t resist

Spot the world-famous Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and snow-white yachts in the blue sea. Make a trip to the Great Barrier Reef! Known to be larger than the Great Wall of China and one of mother nature’s many great works.

Red Center — Where dinosaur footprints are

Here are huge plains and sun-scorched deserts where you can find red hills, fiery sunsets, dinosaur footprints, drawings made by ancient natives, unusual animals, and colorful plants. You have a unique chance to witness the changing colors of the Uluru megalith, its different shades appearing or disappearing depending on the lighting and the mood of the desert.

Canberra — A capital with the nicest weather

Chosen as a compromise between the two competing cities of Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra is a godsend for tourists looking spend time in nature. Just head to Burley Griffin Lake in the city center, where there are many attractions and things to do, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Questacon, and the National Library.

Average monthly temperatures in Sydney, Australia

The Maldives — Visit paradise on Earth

Most people imagine having their honeymoon in the Maldives. But why wait? Go there this January! Who hasn’t dreamed of being in warm places and swimming in the ocean after frost and snowdrifts? It is mainly a beach holiday, but this island nation also offers much more to tourists, including cultural ceremonies, 5-star shopping experiences, and delicious seafood.

Area: 297.8 km2 Language: Maldivian Capital city: Malé
Population: 540,542 Local Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa Time zone: GMT+5

The best vacation spots in the Maldives

People who fly to the Maldives for the first time mistakenly think all you can see is white sandy beaches, transparent blue water, and luxurious bungalows. Let’s see what else is on offer.

Thilafushi Island — Let’s take care of the environment together

Thilafushi Island is a very unusual sight in the Maldives: an artificial island 7 km from Malé, created from urban waste. The first batch of garbage was brought here in 1992, and today, it’s a growing concern among locals as trash keeps piling up while the country is threatened by climate change.

Lake on Hithadhoo — The only freshwater lake

The lake on Hithadhoo is known not only for its status of being the only freshwater lake in the country but also for its soothing atmosphere. The lake’s main sight is its fauna, especially 28 species of birds that settle here for wintering or nesting. You can safely admire the birds from wooden viewing platforms. Just don’t forget your binoculars.

Malé — One of the smallest capitals in the world

Malé is one of the smallest capitals in the world (length 2.5 km, width 1 km). It is a predominantly Muslim city, so plenty of pretty mosques will catch your eye. Make sure to see the Muliaage Palace and Hukuru Miskiyy. They are some fascinating examples of architecture that you won’t find anywhere else.

Switzerland — The ideal country for a nature-filled retreat

Have you ever wondered why people call Switzerland “Europe in miniature”? Because it consists of German, Italian, and French cantons where you can simultaneously catch the vibes of all three countries lovely Germany, friendly Italy, and charming France.

Area: 41,285 km2 Languages: French, German, Italian, Romansh Capital city: Bern
Population: 8.6 million2 Local Currency: Swiss franc Time zone: GMT+2

The best vacation spots in Switzerland

Come see Switzerland’s iconic sites and winter destinations..

Grindelwald — See massive glaciers like those in Ice Age

Once in Grindelwald, you can choose among 51 slopes to go skiing. If you want to experience nighttime skiing, head to the Bodmi Arena area every Thursday and Friday at 19:00 (7:00 PM) to participate, when everything around sparkles like in fairy tales.

Visit the Blue Ice Grotto to learn the techniques of making Swiss cheese and take some home. And, of course, the delightful Glacier Gorge, with its huge colored blocks of marble, cannot be missed.

Leukerbad — Go skiing and then relax at a spa with family

Leukerbad is famous for the Alpentherme — A Welsh bath village with various saunas, massage rooms, pools, and Roman-Irish baths. It would be best to spend at least half an hour there soaking your skin in smoking hot water after skiing.

Bern — The safe capital where bears live in the city

The medieval streets of the Old Town, the Clock Tower, and the cathedral will tell you about Bern’s history and former life. In Bern, you can see the “bear pit” where two bears live and roam freely in the city. Check out where Albert Einstein lived in Bern and run home to brag to your friends.

Average monthly temperatures in Geneva, Switzerland

Average Monthly Temperatures Geneva

Want more interesting tips and information on traveling? Read more Kiwi.com articles!

Frequently asked questions

What is the no. 1 most visited country in the world?

France is the most visited country in the world. Because of the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, it has gotten hard to compare the popularity of countries due to severe travel restrictions. Nevertheless, in 2018 and 2019, France welcomed 90 million guests from all over the world.

What to pack when traveling?

Earplugs can help when you travel in a noisy vehicle or stay at a hotel in the city center. Plug adapters allow you to charge your phone when sockets differ from your home country. Remember sunglasses and sunscreen even if you are traveling to cloudy places like Stockholm or London. A corkscrew may come in handy for a glass of wine in the evening.

What is the best way to pack your luggage?

We recommend the Tetris method: fill every inch of space (shoes should be stuffed with socks and put together, heel-to-toe, at the bottom of the suitcase). Roll clothes instead of folding them. It helps save a bit of space and avoid wrinkles. Also, keep liquids within easy reach: Airport luggage control sometimes asks you to pull out all liquids when going through security.

How to plan a vacation?

Start by allocating your budget and decide where and when to go. Then, find a suitable flight and accommodation. Remember to exchange money in advance if needed. Prepare medical insurance and make copies of your documents. Of course, plan some things you’d like to do. (Stories from kiwi.com might help you come up with vacation ideas.) And finally, pack your suitcase and go!

Where are the best places to surf?
  • Gold Coast, Australia—Straddie, Snapper (Superbank) for adrenaline surfing.
  • North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii — Waimea Bay and Banzai Pipeline for skilled surfers, and Sunset Beach on the North Shore for beginners.
  • Bukit Peninsula, Bali, Indonesia — Padang Right for beginners, and Uluwatu or Padang Padang Left for experts.
Where are the best places to scuba dive?
  • The Great Barrier Reef, Australia — The world’s longest reef has all the tropical sea life and coral you could imagine.
  • Ko Tao, Thailand — magnificent underwater life and is a cheap place to visit.
  • Sinai Peninsula, Egypt — Here, you will see not only the sea life but also a large shipwreck of a British vessel, SS Thistlegorm, that was attacked from the air and sunk in 1941. Feel as if you were investigating a great mystery with this sunken craft.