A group of tourists whale watching.

Best Places to Visit in January

Kick off the new year with a bucket-list trip to remote Antarctica or Argentina’s Patagonia region, where summer days offer almost 20 hours of daylight! Looking for warmer weather during the winter months? Head to Palau for snorkeling and sea kayaking amid the surreal Rock Islands or Oman for a desert getaway.

See our full list of the best places to visit in January.

An aerial view of islands in Palau.


The majestic Rock Islands of Palau are a world unto themselves, with amazing biodiversity and pristine reefs. While it’s a fantastic destination any time of year, Palau’s best snorkeling is between October and March, when you see the greatest number of pelagic marine mammals and enjoy incredible underwater visibility.

Gemsbok grazing in a field of flowers in Namibia.


Enjoy peak birdwatching for flocks of migratory species and search for energetic zebra and springbok calves amid colorful carpets of yellow and pink wildflowers. Our Green Season safari has a special visit to the remote Skeleton Coast for an overnight at the exclusive Shipwreck Lodge, timed for the calmer winds and lifted fog.

King Penguins.


Gloriously long days (20+ hours of sunlight!) and up-close sightings of young wildlife make January one of the best months to visit Antarctica. The seas are relatively calm and shore excursions bring us to throngs of penguins and their fluffy hatchlings and seal cubs nestled into their mamas.

Rice farmers in a rice terrace in Vietnam.


From thousand-year-old Hanoi and the World Heritage Site of Hoi An to the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam is a land of contrasting cultures and climates. We time our trips for the beginning of the year to enjoy the coolness of the north and the warm sea breezes of the south–with less rain!

A traveler reaches Lake Marian in New Zealand.

New Zealand

The southern hemisphere shines during January and New Zealand unfurls with warm weather and endless activities. Our journeys here make the most of this diverse country as we hike, kayak, and explore remote trails and epic national parks, including a bucket-list swim with playful dusky dolphins.

A staff member and kids in Ethiopia learning how to use a camera.


We timed our Ethiopia journey for January, when warmer and drier weather spreads across the country and the exuberant Epiphany festival (Timkat) is celebrated with three days of colorful processions, dances, music, and song. Join us on a wonderful cultural adventure from Addis Ababa to the Omo Valley.

A scenic view of snowcapped mountains in Argentina.


With its wild landscapes, ever-changing weather, and world-class wine, Argentina reveals a world of adventure during our winter months (their summer!). While Buenos Aires has mild weather year-round, Patagonia experiences famously changeable patterns, though January usually means warmer days that can reach into the 70s.

Oman landscape.


January is one of the most pleasant times to visit the enchanting realm of Oman, when daytime temperatures rarely reach above the 80s and you can comfortably enjoy activities including a camel ride amid the dunes and an early morning visit to a sea turtle sanctuary.