Best places to travel in January 2021
As Christmas slopes into the distance and with cold weather still to come, travelling to find some sun is an appealing prospect for January. We recommend beach time in the west of Thailand in Krabi, Phuket and Koh Lanta. In Africa, the January rains break the Kalahari heat and the quenched plains spring to life. Journey to Botswana to watch the migration of wildebeest and zebra as they follow the scent of the fresh grazing. And January marks the start of another wildlife showpiece. It’s the whale watching season in Baja California on Mexico’s Pacific Coast and on a cruise you can sit alongside as hundreds of whales and dolphins leap, arch and twirl in and out of the ocean.
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Popular countries to visit in January
Our specialists share their ideas, personal recommendations and inspiration about the best places to visit in January
If you’re looking for winter sun, January offers plenty of options. It’s a great time to drive South Africa’s Garden Route or visit characterful old Galle in Sri Lanka, both of which can be combined with time on the beach. New Zealand is at the height of summer and the southern USA is pleasantly warm and sunny.
Tours we recommend in January
Trip suggestions that we know capture a route at its best if you’re planning to travel in January.
Stay within the Dutch fort at Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore the various boutiques within the fort walls.
Take time out to relax on the beautiful southwest coast.
Visit architect Geoffrey Bawa's Brief Garden.
Explore Arenal Volcano, a spectacular setting for some of the country's best activities.
Visit the Monteverde Cloudforest: a cool, lush climate with excellent birdwatching.
Try zip-lining or tackle the Cloudforest canopy walkways.
Relax on the beaches of Manuel Antonio.
Explore the historic streets of Old Havana in Cuba's pulsing capital.
Visit a traditional Cuban music hall in Trinidad.
Admire the views in the peaceful valley of Viñales.
Experience life in the artistic rural community of Las Terrazas.
Enjoy the museums, restaurants and shops of Cape Town.
Take a cable car up to the top of Table Mountain for incredible views of the city below.
Visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned during apartheid.
Enjoy a full day guided tour of the Cape Point and Peninsula and see the jackass penguin colony on Boulders Beach.
Indulge in fine food to accompany the great wines of Franschhoek and the surrounding vineyards.
Get to know Cuba’s vibrant and historic capital, Havana.
Visit the colonial city of Trinidad and its surrounding sugar cane plantations.
Go walking and explore caves in the valley of Viñales.
Relax on one of Cuba's beaches in the northern cayes.
Enjoy a shared tour of the magnificent Cape Point and Cape Peninsula.
Take a private tour of Robben Island to learn about South Africa’s apartheid history.
Go wine tasting at the various estates in and around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
Enjoy game drives in a private nature reserve, looking for zebra, wildebeest and antelope.
Relax and stroll on the beach in the laid-back coastal town of Paternoster.
See a different side of Mumbai at dawn as the city wakes.
Visit the bustling, entrepreneurial Dharavi slum with a local.
Relax on the palm-fringed beaches of Goa.
Sample freshly-caught seafood in Goa's old town.