If you’re seeking winter sun, you’ve got your pick of destinations across Central America and South America. Alternatively, you could look to Southeast Asia’s temple-strewn landscapes or Western Australia’s turquoise lagoons. It’s midsummer across Southern Africa, with hot, dry weather along the east and west coasts.
January at a glance
|Destination||Max. temp.||Sunshine hours||Average flight time|
|The Galapagos Islands||Max. temp.||85 °F||Sunshine hours||5 hours||Average flight time||6 hours 55 (New York to Guayaquil, Ecuador)|
|Chile||Max. temp.||80 °F||Sunshine hours||10 hours||Average flight time||15 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Santiago)|
|Thailand||Max. temp.||94 °F||Sunshine hours||9 hours||Average flight time||23 hours (New York to Bangkok)|
|Namibia||Max. temp.||66 °F||Sunshine hours||9 hours||Average flight time||20 hours (New York to Windhoek)|
|Australia||Max. temp.||94 °F||Sunshine hours||12 hours||Average flight time||20 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Sydney)|
The Galapagos Islands
January is one of the sunniest months across the Galapagos Islands. The warm weather brings a flurry of activity to the islands, with sea turtles laying their eggs, land birds performing courtship rituals, and marine iguanas gathering to nest.
Type of heat in the Galapagos Islands in January: Expect warm, clear-skied mornings, with a humidity level that increases through the afternoon, occasionally culminating in a short, sharp shower. Maximum temperatures can reach 85°F.
Average temperature in the Galapagos Islands in January: 82°F depending on region
Average daily hours of sunshine in the Galapagos Islands in January: 5 hours
Average flight time to the Galapagos Islands: 6-7 hours (New York to Guayaquil, Ecuador)
Chile is a land of environmental contrasts, from the cobalt-blue waterfalls of the Lake District to the arid Atacama Desert. January is the peak of summer across the country, when you can hike, drive and horse ride through these wild landscapes with the sun on your back.
Average temperature in Chile in January: 75°F depending on region
Average daily hours of sunshine in Chile in January: 11 hours
Average flight time to Chile: 15 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Santiago)
Thailand’s sprawling topography and multiple coastlines host a number of complex weather patterns, but during January the whole country is bathed in sunshine. With the humidity of rainy season long gone, it’s an ideal time to explore Ayutthaya’s temple-strewn landscape and Bangkok’s street-food markets in comfortably balmy weather.
Type of heat in Thailand in January: Across most of the country, you’ll encounter warm, dry days with little chance of rain. The hillside villages of the north are cooler, while the west coast sees its sunniest days. Maximum temperatures can reach 91°F.
Average temperature in Thailand in January: 88°F depending on region
Average daily hours of sunshine in Thailand in January: 9 hours
Average flight time to Thailand: 23 hours (New York to Bangkok)
Arguably one of the best ways to explore Namibia is by driving across its lonely desert roads and national parks. Take a self-drive tour in January, which is mid-summer in Namibia, and you’ll see the deep-orange landscapes at their best as they contrast with cobalt-blue skies.
Type of heat in Namibia in January: It’s hot and humid, with temperatures reaching highs of 86°F in the desert. Expect the occasional late-afternoon shower.
Average temperature in Namibia in January: 77°F depending on region
Average daily hours of sunshine in Namibia in January: 11 hours
Average flight time to Namibia: 20 hours (New York to Windhoek)
Western Australia’s Coral Coast sits on the Tropic of Capricorn, enjoying a warm, tropical climate year-round. Temperatures peak in January, heating the turquoise waters and barrier reef around Ningaloo Marine Park to a bathwater-warm 78°F.
Type of heat in Western Australia in January: This is the kind of humid heat that you’ll feel as soon as you step off the plane. Temperatures can reach highs of 99°F by mid-afternoon.
Average temperature in Western Australia in January: 88°F depending on region
Average daily hours of sunshine in Western Australia in January: 12 hours
Average flight time to Western Australia: Around 30 hours dependent on airline (New York to Perth)