The Christmas holiday season is a whirlwind of visiting, shopping and partying. once the rum and egg nog haze has lifted and you’ve come out of your turkey coma, it’s time to start thinking about somewhere to travel (detox?!) after the busy festive season. If you’re looking for the best places to visit in January, this list has you covered.
December is meant for getting together with friends and family, but after that, it’s time to find the best places to go in January so you can recoup and (if you’re from the northern hemisphere), take a break from the freezing cold weather.
If you’re trying to figure out where to vacation in January, look no further.
Time to book your trip for January!
There are many beautiful places to visit in January, but in this post, I’ll list the top 15 for 2022 based on price and things to do.
Plus, I’ll list a mix of beach destinations and winter holidays.
Update December 2022: With the current situation in the world, you may not be able to travel to many of these destinations. However, I’ve done my best to add a few places to go in January that are open to travellers.
2. Sri Lanka
3. Mexico (one of the best places to visit in January for North Americans)
4. Chicago, Illinois
7. Whistler, B.C. Canada
9. Harbin, China
10. Miami, Florida
12. Costa Rica
13. the best places To visit in January For Safari
14. Colombia (one of the most diverse places to travel in January)
15. the Dominican Republic
Now You know the best places to visit in January
Update January 2022: After closing its borders for almost 2 years, Argentina is open again for tourism!
Why is Argentina one of the best places to visit in January?
Weather is great
Costs are low in Argentina right now thanks to a recent currency drop
It’s hiking and fly fishing season
Having spent 3 months in Argentina in 2017, and the fact that we’ve been here for a month so far in December 2021/January 2022, it’s safe to say that we know a few things about this incredible (and large) South American destination.
Whether you’re into culture and history, nature and landscapes, lakes and fishing, or cities and wine, Argentina has something for you.
Since Argentina is such a vast country, with a wide variety of landscapes and regions, it can be visited year round. But, it’s one of the best places to travel in January if you’re looking to do some hiking and fly fishing.
In fact, it’s one of the best countries to visit in January no matter what type of trip you’re planning.
The northwestern region (around Salta) might be a bit wet during this time, but the rest of the country is dry and warm.
Argentina is known for being one of the top fly fishing destinations in the world. If you’re an angler, you’ll be happy to know that fly fishing season in the Lake district of Patagonia is best in January and February due to the warm weather, and ability to fish all waters during this time.
There are some stunning lakeside and riverside lodges you can stay in. Don’t miss the famous Correntoso Lake and River Hotel, beautiful Faraway Hosteria and Rio Hermoso boutique Hotel.
For trekkers, January is a good time to lace up your boots and hit the mountains of Patagonia.
El Chalten in the south is dry and has temperatures around 20°C (68°F), perfect for checking out the peaks of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, exploring waterfalls, drinking beer on patios and much more.
Don’t miss nearby El Calafate and its popular Perito Moreno Glacier, which calves massive chunks of ice every few minutes!
Although January is high season at Perito Moreno Glacier, you can avoid the crowds by visiting before 9:30am or after 5:00pm — take the later shuttle bus, or rent a car to explore at your own pace.
El Chalten is a great place to hike in Argentina
While you’ll miss the grape harvesting in Mendoza (it happens in February), January is still a great time to visit because the vineyards are green and the grapes are everywhere.
Be prepared for hot temperatures (30°C / 80°F+), fantastic wines, great hiking around Parque Provincial Aconcagua (2 hours from Mendoza), picturesque parks and plazas, and some awesome restaurants. There are many things to do in Mendoza to keep you busy.
If all of these places to visit in Argentina aren’t enough to spark your interest, maybe the cost will.
When we first travelled to Argentina in 2017, we received around 18 Pesos for 1 us Dollar. In January 2021, the rate was 85 Pesos for 1 us Dollar.
Right now, in January 2022, the Argentine Peso has taken a huge dip and the economy is struggling.
The official exchange rate is: $1 USD = 102.69 Pesos
However, there’s a “blue dollar” here in Argentina. If you bring us dollars (in cash) and exchange those at a cuava or exchange centers (such as Pago Facil, etc.), you’ll receive around 204 pesos for $1.
Another option is to send yourself money by Western Union and pick up cash pesos at a WU location. If you do this, you’ll receive around 207 pesos for $1.
This is a cash economy right now. If you pay with your credit card, you’ll pay the official rate, which is essentially double. If you use the ATM, you’ll pay huge fees and receive cash at the official rate.
In our on-the-ground experience, being here now, the entire country is approximately 75% cheaper than it was when we first visited in 2017.
Of course, restaurants and accommodations have adjusted their rates, but it’s still incredibly economical and of excellent value right now.
Argentina isn’t known for being one of the cheapest countries to visit, but with the current instability of the peso, you can definitely save some money by visiting now and help out the local economy along the way.
2. Sri Lanka
Update January 2022: Sri Lanka is open for tourism again!
Why is Sri Lanka one of the best places to visit in January?
Numerous historical Sites
This teardrop-shaped island located off the southeast coast of India is often overlooked by travellers.
If you’re searching for the best places to visit in January that offer national parks, wildlife spotting, pristine beaches, fantastic cuisine, ancient sites and friendly locals, then make sure you add Sri Lanka to your holiday list.
As a bonus, this country is very affordable.
Since the average temperature in January is around 30°C (86°F), you’ll want to hit up the coast!
Don’t miss the stunning Unawatuna beach, with its calm water and numerous accommodation options. just 15 minutes away, the nearby fortified town of Galle is an remarkable spot to sit and watch the sunset from the UNESCO listed fort walls.
Sri Lanka may be small, but it has a lot to offer travellers
If you’re into surfing, check out the breaks at Hikkaduwa on the south coast of Sri Lanka. even if you’re not a surfer, this chilled out beach town offers bars, restaurants and some safe swimming spots as well.
If you’re in search of the best places to travel in January that offer historical sites, you’ll be happy to know that Sri Lanka has those in spades.
Check out Anuradhapura (where Buddhism was first introduced to the country), Sigiriya (rock fortress towering 200m above the trees below), Cave Temples of Dambulla (built in the 1st century BC, and filled with over 100 Buddha statues) and the city of Kandy (an important Buddhist city, home to Buddha’s tooth).
For a pretty mountain village, don’t miss Ella and the surrounding tea plantations and hiking opportunities, including little Adam’s Peak.
For such a small country, Sri Lanka really does have a lot to offer travellers. And, with an average travel cost of around $30-$50 per day, per person, you really can’t go wrong.
? looking for accommodation in Sri Lanka? check out Booking.com and Airbnb for the best room rates (don’t forget your Airbnb coupon code). These are the two platforms that we always use for booking rooms and highly recommend them.
Looking for flights to these top places to travel in January? check out websites like Expedia and JustFly to compare flights from numerous airlines. If you have any questions or issues with booking, both companies have a great support team that you can actually call to ask for help.
3. Mexico (one of the best places to visit in January for North Americans)
Update January 2022: Mexico is currently open to visitors and is one of the only countries in the world that has kept its borders open since the beginning of 2020.
Why is Mexico one of the best places to visit in January?
Whale watching Season
Proximity to North America
There are endless remarkable places to visit in Mexico, and there’s really no bad time to travel here. since this is such a large country, the climate varies depending on where you are, and which time of year you plan to visit.
Guanajuato is one of the prettiest cities in Mexico
Hurricane season runs from June to November and the cities at elevation can be cold during the winter months (November – February).
But, for the most part, Mexico is a great place to visit in January if you’re looking for warm beach weather — which is good news if you’re from the northern hemisphere!
Having spent over 10 months travelling through Mexico, on numerous different occasions, we rate Mexico as one of our favourite countries.
This is a place where you can dine on one of the world’s best cuisines, visit a wonder Of The World, swim in pristine water and explore Spanish colonial towns…all while not breaking the bank.
Venture away from the typical, 1-week all-inclusive holiday and explore the real Mexico. trust me, the food and the experiences you have will be far more memorable.
If it’s cities and towns you’re after in January, places like Mexico City and San Cristobal de las Casas will be quite chilly.
But, you can enjoy all of the things to do in Oaxaca City, including a visit to the impressive Monte Alban ruins, or check out the colourful towns of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato, both of which have comfortable temperatures at around 21°C (70°F).
For people from Canada, the United States, and Europe, what really makes Mexico one of the top places to visit in January is the beaches!
Don’t miss Puerto Escondido or Huatulco in the state of Oaxaca. In the Riviera Nayarit, check out San Pancho, Sayulita, Bucerias and all of the beaches and other awesome things to do in Puerto Vallarta.
De zonsondergangen in Puerto Vallarta zijn spectaculair
Further north, explore the Baja peninsula including Cabo San Lucas and La Paz (January is the best time for whale watching.)
If you’re planning on spending time in the Yucatan, which is home to some of the best beaches in Mexico, check out the powdery sands of Isla Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Cancun. At around 28°C (82°F), it’s definitely beach weather in the Yucatan!
On top of the fantastic beaches and pretty towns, the food in Mexico is one of the best. In fact, it’s listed by UNESCO as an Intangible cultural Heritage.
Try the various regional dishes, the street food and of course, the drinks. going on a food tour is one of the best things to do in Mexico.
On the budget end, expect to spend around $40 / day. For Midrange, $60+.
4. Chicago, Illinois
Sure, it may be cold in Chicago in January, but there’s a lot going on!
Why is Chicago one of the best places to visit in January?
Since the USA is so large and diverse, I had to break it down and list just a city, rather than a whole country. And, when it comes to American cities, Chicago is a top choice.
There are so many fun things to do in Chicago to keep you busy for a week, or more. since the city experiences cold winters (lows of -6 ° celcius), you’ll need to bundle up to visit, but it’s still a great place to visit in January.
During the high season (June – September), you can expect clear skies and warm temperatures…but with that comes many tourists and high room costs.
When it comes to accommodation in Chicago, even if you book on Airbnb, it’s a pretty expensive city.
Luckily, if you visit in January, you can expect huge discounts on hotels. Occupancy is low in the winter months, meaning that hotels offer big drops in room rates — even the luxury accommodation is on special. expect discounts of around 50% off.
Chicago is enjoyed year-round, but expect discounts and awesome events in January
Not only will you spend less on your room, but you’ll be able to avoid the crowds at the popular sights. and luckily, the muse