8 Best Tropical Places to Visit in January

January is peak season for travelers looking to getaway to tropical destinations. Over 28 million tourists visited tropical regions across the Caribbean, Asia, and Indian Ocean islands in January 2022. With cooler temperatures and post-holiday travel deals in much of North America and Europe, January provides the perfect weather to enjoy beautiful beaches and island paradises.

Best Tropical Places to Visit in January

The beginning months of the new year see highs of 75°F to 90°F (24°C to 32°C) across many iconic tropical hot spots coupled with abundant sunshine ideal for relaxing on the sand and snorkeling in azure waters. According to a survey by TravelZoo, over 51% of travelers say tropical beaches and oceanside locales reign as their top destinations for January vacations.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Known for its crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and scenic views of Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora is a tropical paradise northwest of Tahiti. January is the warmest month in Bora Bora, with average highs around 88°F (31°C), making it ideal for water activities like snorkeling and relaxing on the beach. 

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Why Visit Bora Bora in January?

– Warm, sunny weather all month long

– Whale-watching season from July-October

– Fewer rain showers compared to other months  

The Bahamas 

January is one of the driest months in the Bahamas, making it a perfect time to visit famous islands like Grand Bahamas, Paradise Island, and the Exumas. Average temperatures are around 73°F (23°C), allowing travelers to fully enjoy the Bahamas’ beautiful beaches.

The Bahamas 

Top Things to Do in the Bahamas in January

– Snorkel or scuba dive to see vibrant coral reefs and tropical fish

– Charter a boat to explore the Bahamas’ 700+ islands 

– Relax on white and pink sand beaches  

Phuket, Thailand 

Phuket offers a vibrant beach town atmosphere, historic Sino-Portuguese architecture, and superb dining. January falls during Thailand’s dry season, so Phuket sees very little rain this time of year, with temps hovering around 82°F (28°C).  

Phuket, Thailand 

Don’t Miss These Top Attractions in Phuket

– Patong Beach for nightlife, shopping, and entertainment

– Phi Phi Islands for exotic landscapes perfect for adventuring 

– Phuket Big Buddha, a nearly 150 ft tall marble statue

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico enjoys warm weather all year, with January seeing average highs of 83°F (28°C) in the capital of San Juan. Winter is less humid than summer, making sightseeing around Old San Juan extra comfortable.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Top Things to Do in San Juan in January

– Marvel at 500+ years worth of architecture in Old San Juan 

– Tour the only tropical rainforest in the US Forest Service system

– Enjoy miles of golden sand beaches   


Home to gorgeous white and pink sandy beaches plus calm turquoise waters, Barbados averages around 83°F (28°C) in January. The winter months offer lower hotel rates, making it easier to enjoy this Caribbean paradise.  


Must-See Sights to Visit in Barbados 

– Explore Harrison’s Cave with flowing streams and pools

– Dine at Oistins Fish Fry Friday night street party   

– Boat trip out to swim with sea turtles 


The Maldives boasts overwater bungalows, underwater restaurants, and some of the world’s best snorkeling and scuba diving. Visitors can expect temps around 81°F (27°C) with plenty of sunshine to enjoy this Indian Ocean oasis. 


Top Activities in the Maldives in January

– world-class diving and snorkeling  

– private beach picnics on secluded islands

– spa treatments overlooking the ocean


Located off the Southeast coast of Africa, Mauritius sees hot summerlike weather in January, averaging around 86°F (30°C). In addition to superb beaches, Mauritius has incredible natural sights like the Seven-Coloured Earth geologic formation.  


Best Things to See in Mauritius

– Ile aux Cerfs island’s palm-fringed beaches 

– Hike through Black River National Park’s lush forests

– Shop for handmade souvenirs at Port Louis Market 


Another tropical paradise located in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles, averages around 81°F (27°C) in January with low chances of rain. It is ideal for a romantic getaway with unique opportunities to experience nature.  


Top Experiences in Seychelles

– Hike trails through UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai park 

– Snorkel crystal clear waters abundant with unique marine species  

– Beachcomb one of Seychelles’ legendary white sand beaches

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where are the best places to visit in January for warm tropical weather?

Some of the best tropical destinations in January include Bora Bora, the Bahamas, Phuket, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles. These places offer high temperatures, sunshine, and fewer rain showers.

What should I pack for visiting the tropics in January?

Pack light, breathable clothing along with swimwear. Bring sun protection, including hats, sunglasses, and high-SPF sunscreen. Having insect repellent on hand is also a reasonable precaution. 

What tropical vacations tend to have lower rates in January? 

Many Caribbean islands like Barbados, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic have lower hotel rates during January compared to the pricier winter holiday season. However, advanced planning is still essential for finding travel discounts.

Is hurricane season active in January in the tropics?

No, the majority of hurricane seasons for tropical regions end by November. January falls during the low chance months for hurricanes across places like the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and islands of the Indian Ocean.

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