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Best countries for travel in January

Whether you want a winter-sun adventure, a cultural discovery tour away from the crowds, or an active holiday on two wheels, here are our top ten suggestions for a trip away in January.
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Winter sun adventures

Jamaica

Discover the hidden gems of Jamaica on our Explore Jamaica tour in January. This time of year is ideal for avoiding the crowds so take a break from the rat race and follow your local guide on a circular route around this lush green island. Hike into the Blue Mountains National Park to spend a night under the stars in a forest cabin surrounded by exotic flowers, birds and butterflies, before diving into the aquamarine waters of Frenchman’s Cove and feasting on authentic Rastafarian Ital food.
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Canaries

With year-round sunshine and mild, pleasant temperatures in winter, the volcanic island of Gran Canaria is a wonderful destination for a winter walking holiday in January. Venture across the lava fields of old and circumnavigate the craters of dormant volcanoes, before indulging in a spread of tasty tapas, washed down with fruity sangria and local wines in a local restaurant by the beach.
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Cultural tours

Ethiopia

Get off the tourist trail and discover the true culture of Ethiopia on our Blue Nile and Lalibela tour.  Ethiopia celebrates Christmas and the Timkat Festival (the Ethiopian Epiphany) in January, so you’ll get a deeper insight into the beliefs of the local people during this time. Explore medieval churches carved into the red rock of Lalibela, come face-to-face with gelada monkey along the remote walking tracks of the Simien Mountains, and delve into Harar’s labyrinth of narrow alleyways to barter with market traders.
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China

Head to Hong Kong in January 2020 to welcome in the ‘Year of the Rat’ and join in with the eclectic Chinese New Year celebrations. Begin the festivities with a traditional feast of Dim Sum before heading to the water’s edge to watch the colourful floats meander through the city’s streets. This is also the perfect time of year to visit the Harbin Ice Festival with its colourfully-lit life-size ice buildings and giant snow sculptures depicting Chinese folklore characters.
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Ice adventures

Antarctica

Make the most of longer days and milder temperatures (up to 0 degrees!) with a trip to Antarctica in January. Take a voyage into the frozen south and sail across the Drake Passage in search of penguin and seal. Expect the unexpected as you navigate through snow-capped mountain scenery and drift past vast icebergs jolting through the cobalt blue icy waters. Feel the hairs on your neck stand on end when you spot a pod of humpback whales stirring up the water as they feed.
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Patagonia

Home to turquoise blue lakes, icy glaciers, towering mountain ranges and diverse wildlife, Torres del Paine enjoys warmer temperatures in January, making it a great time to visit this wild, rugged landscape. Our Adventures in Patagonia tour will take you on a wild, once-in-a-lifetime trip beyond the beaten track. Don your walking boots for a day’s hike amongst the craggy snow-capped peaks and glistening aquamarine waters, and keep an eye out for guanaco, black-necked swan, pink flamingo and maybe even a puma. 
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Cycling holidays

Cuba

January is one of the best times to explore Cuba on two wheels. In the middle of the dry season, the skies are typically clear and temperatures a bit cooler, making it a perfect time to explore by bike. Cycle along quiet roads, navigating the Caribbean coast and pedalling past tobacco plantations in the limestone hills of the Viñales Valley, before descending through tropical forests and stopping at a coffee farmer’s home for a local Cuban brew.

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Sri Lanka

Cycle around the southwest of Sri Lanka in January to avoid the monsoons and make the most of the dry season. Immerse yourself in a world of ancient temples, tea plantations, tropical landscapes, cascading waterfalls and super friendly locals. Get up-close with the local wildlife and go in search of leopard in Yala National Park, before taking a break on the golden shores of Mirissa. The whale migration season is in full swing at this time of year, so you’ll have the option to go whale-watching too.
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Bucket list walking holidays

Tanzania

If climbing Kilimanjaro is on your bucket list, January sits in the dry season, providing fine, sunny days and typically good conditions for taking on this epic challenge. Trek across the vast savannah plains of Tanzania before tramping through dense forest on the lower slopes, and navigating the icy landscapes of the caldera. Reach the summit of Africa's highest mountain on a clear day, and you may even be able to see the curvature of Earth on the horizon!
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Wildlife expeditions

Uganda

Come face-to-face with mountain gorilla on our Gorilla and Chimp Safari in Uganda. Trek through Bwindi National Park in search of these wide-eyed endangered creatures and quietly watch as they eat, play and rest in the dense undergrowth. The best time to spot gorilla in the wild is during the dry season from December to early March, when they seek sources of water, so January is an ideal time to embark on this unforgettable wildlife adventure. 

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