Kick off the new year with an adventure. Whether you are flying south to warmer shores or hitting the slopes, these are the best places to travel in January.

Beautiful Mara Skies


It doesn't get better than Kenya in January. The country is in its dry season, providing clear skies and minimal rainfall which enhances safari experiences. Wildlife congregates around water sources, making it easier for visitors to observe a wide array of animals in natural habitats. Lions, elephants, and the elusive leopard are all at their prime. The Great Rift Valley and the Masai Mara National Reserve are particularly spectacular in January. Additionally, bird watchers can revel in viewing migratory birds in vibrant plumage. 

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January falls within Cuba's dry season, providing ideal conditions for exploring the vibrant streets of Havana and participating in outdoor activities without the discomfort of excessive heat or rainfall. January also hosts several cultural events, including the renowned Jazz Festival in Havana, which attracts music lovers from around the world. Additionally, the post-holiday period sees fewer tourists, allowing for a more authentic experience of Cuba's rich culture, historic architecture, and the warm hospitality of its people

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Sri Lanka

January is a prime time to visit Sri Lanka, as it falls during one of the island’s peak travel season. It's typically dry and sunny, especially on the southern and western coasts, making it perfect for beach activities, wildlife watching, and exploring cultural sites without the hindrance of rain. Travelers can also enjoy quieter moments at popular attractions like the ancient city of Sigiriya and the temple-laden city of Kandy, as well as indulge in outdoor activities like whale watching in Mirissa or surfing in Weligama. 

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New Zealand


January is peak summertime in New Zealand. Travelers can therefore expect plenty of sunshine, water adventures, and outdoor pursuits. One particularly beautiful destination during January is Marlborough. Settle in to Marlborough Lodge, which first served as a convent for the Sisters of Mercy in Blenheim and later moved and converted into a bed and breakfast. The luxury lodge is set on 16 acres of parkland and vineyards and has 10 suites that sleep up to 20 people. From there, it is easy to explore the Marlborough region with a day cruise on the Marlborough Sounds on board a private yacht.

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Travel to Cambodia in January when the air is still cool. It’s definitely a peak season to travel because of the relatively cool and dry weather, but Ker & Downey will keep you from seeing too many crowds while also seeing the best the country has to offer. Temple hop between Angkor’s great marvels for a few days, then spend the second half of your trip lazing about in tropical island isolation on our Cambodian Chic journey.

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Best Places To Travel In January Luxury Chile Travel Ker Downey

Easter Island

Celebrate the traditions of the Rapa Nui culture at the Tapati Festival on Easter Island at the end of January. The yearly festival celebrates the traditional music, dance, and sports of the Rapa Nui culture with dance competitions, carving competitions, horse races, the Rapa Nui triathlon, and haka pei where villagers slide down the island’s steepest hill on banana trunks. The entire event culminates with the crowning of a festival queen by moonlight. Plus, it's also an ideal time to explore nearby Chilean Patagonia for a comprehensive tour of Chile.

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Best Places To Travel In January Luxury Colombia Travel Ker Downey


If the cold January days have you down, head to Colombia, where the days are warmed by plenty of sunshine. During the third week of January, make plans to be in Cartagena for the Cartagena Classical Music Festival where renowned musicians from all over the world perform classical music pieces in the city’s most stunning plazas, churches and theaters. Combine your stay in Cartagena with a few days spent island hopping in the Caribbean for a perfect mid-winter warm-up.

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Best Places To Travel In January Luxury Tanzania Safari Ker Downey


Tanzania is one of the best places to travel in January. It’s calving season in the famed Serengeti, an incredible spectacle where upwards of 8,000 wildebeest are born each day. With the many infants on the plains, there’s sure to be lots of predator action as well. During calving season, the Southern Serengeti and Western Ngorongoro Conservation area host the highest concentration of predators in Africa. Lions, hyenas, and cheetahs show up in large numbers to patrol the grasses, waiting for the perfect time to make a kill.

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The Galapagos Islands

There’s really never a bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands. When you travel there depends on what you want to see. In January, underwater visibility is at its best and the water is warm, so it’s a good time to snorkel. It’s breeding season for land birds so you can expect to see unusual mating rituals, green sea turtles laying eggs on the beaches, and nesting after the rains. 

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Best Places To Travel In January Utah Ker Downey
United States


Head to Utah in January to attend the Sundance Film Festival in January. The 10-day festival showcases new work from American and international independent filmmakers. Screenings are hosted in Park City, Salt Lake City, and the Sundance Mountain Resort in a variety of venues and each year, over 40,000 people attend the festival. Pre or post festival, spend some time on Utah’s best slopes.

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Traveling to Peru in January is an attractive option for those looking to explore the country during one of its most festive times of the year. January marks the heart of Peru's rainy season, which enhances the lushness of the Amazon rainforest, an ideal time for nature enthusiasts. Although January is the rainy season in the highlands, visitors to Machu Picchu can experience fewer crowds and a mystical atmosphere with mist-shrouded ruins.

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Best Places To Travel In January Luxury Malta Travel Ker Downey


Make plans to be in Malta mid-to-late January for the Valletta International Baroque Festival, a celebration that honors the baroque identity of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valletta. The city was built shortly after the Great Siege by the Ottoman Empire in 1565, and with 320 monuments in a 0.2 square mile radius, it’s one of the most densely populated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. The festival resounds with music from the baroque period when Valletta was built. There are 10 different music venues, including the Manoel Theatre, one of the oldest working theaters in Europe. The perfect itinerary combines the best experiences of the Maltese islands by day, with musical ensembles in Valletta by night.

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Best Places To Travel In January Luxury Travel Ker Downey Italy


The Dolomite Mountains are less crowded on the breathtaking slopes and there are less lines outside the beautiful sites scattered across the rest of Italy. The opera, symphony, and theatre seasons are also in full swing in the rest of the country. We can definitely say salud to that!

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Amazon Rainforest

January is special time to head to the jungle. The rains once again fall and refresh the horizon, causing the rivers to rise and the rainforest to announce its renaissance. Consider visiting to welcome this new cycle in person, when the temperatures tend to be a little cooler. A cruise along the abundant Rio Negro, rowing alongside dolphins, visiting riverside communities, and witnessing the sunrise in the jungle, proves an unforgettable way to experience the magic of the Amazon.

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Start Planning Your Travel in January

Inspired by our list of the best places to travel in January? Then contact a Ker & Downey travel designer to begin planning your journey. And stay up to date on our online content by following us on Facebook and Instagram.