There’s nothing like escaping the bitter chill of the winter months and finding one of those perfect January vacation spots where summer seems to live all year round. But where are the best places to travel in January when you want to revive your tired and cold old bones with magical winter sun? Indulge in a relaxing sun vacation or enjoy a fun snowy adventure. Which would you choose?
Come with me on a trip around some of the heavenly destinations easily accessed from any of the main hubs of North America. Let it be the ultimate Christmas gift to yourself to book a restoring vacation after the hysteria of the holidays to one of the best countries to visit in January.
January Vacation Spots
I can be something of a traditionalist and spending the holidays with family is really rather special. Of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas can be enjoyed on vacation. In fact, it puts a lovely fresh spin on the traditional to be snacking on turkey salads on a warm beach! But there’s something really fabulous about the January vacation. How better to start a year than with a week or two of uninterrupted ‘me’ time when I can draw up my resolutions and goals for the year ahead.
As much as I do indulge in delicious foods while away, it is easier to get a bit of a mini detox going in January with some delightful spa treatments and invigorating water sports.
So, let’s get going:
Mexico – East Coast
Magical Mexico welcomes millions of tourists each year. Not surprisingly, as it is a huge country with such a diverse offering for visitors of all ages. But regardless of whether you are a bit of wanna-be archaeologist, delving into the historic past of this great nation or are a live-wire wanting to party, there is one common reason why Mexico charms everyone.
With hundreds of miles of coastlines that capture the best of the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, Mexico is a beach-combers paradise.
Playa del Carmen (better known simply as Playa) is one of those fabulous resort towns that sits on the southern part of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline known as Riviera Maya. Just south of Cancun and north of Tulum, Playa is ideally located to enjoy the spectacular countryside, beaches, history and culture.
As January is one of the driest months in Mexico, you can expect to have long dry days without the excessive temperatures of Summer. Imagine sunbathing and swimming in the sea by day but being able to sleep without air conditioning as the evenings are slightly cooler. Add to this, the less hectic pace of life in the town. The Christmas madness has subsided and the Spring Break / School holiday travellers won’t arrive until February.
The gorgeous Kite House villa in the salubrious Playacar will offer you unparalleled luxury for a relaxing vacation. A modern, beautifully appointed property in a private gated community, a short walk to a white sandy beach, tennis with a restaurant nearby. Add to this your own housekeeping staff who will cook and care for you. It doesn’t get much lovelier than this.
Or perhaps the spectacular Villa Unica might be your dream home from home for that January getaway. With six bedrooms, sea views, and all the luxury trappings you need, it might be the very best place to base yourself and a group of friends for some heavenly winter sun. With nearby golf courses, this could be a great place for a group of guys or gals who are longing for some golf while their home club is six inches deep in snow!
Heading further south along this magnificent coastline, we come to Tulum. This is one of the great sites of historic importance in Mexico as well as being a really desirable vacation town. Tulum has for years been considered one of the best places to visit in January for its consistent dry and warm climate.
One of my favourite properties in Tulum has to be Casa Lulu. It’s in the heart of the town so access to so many amenities is easily managed. Add to this, the stunning interiors, the pool and terraces. It has to be one of the most gorgeous urban properties available in Tulum. Again, discreet staff will ensure you have a seamless and stress-free stay at this exceptional property.
For a property that is not just eco-friendly and self-sustainable but utterly pretty why not consider Bejuco House. The natural tones of the interiors blend perfectly with the outdoor leafy terraces and pool area. Within the beach zone of Tulum, there are a host of restaurants and bars to be explored just minutes from the privacy of this lovely home.
Mexico – West Coast
If you’re already an exponent of holidays on Mexico’s eastern coastlines, let me suggest you sample the west coast. Puerto Vallarta and Cabo are the two centres on the Pacific coastlines that can offer very different vacation experiences. Again, the wonderfully dry and warm climate ensures that they are some of the best places to vacation in January.
About Mairead Moriarty
Born and raised in Co Kerry, lived in London, New York, San Francisco, Dublin. Owner of one very battered suitcase, a well-worn passport and a million memories.
It seems very fitting for a travel writer that my surname translates as ‘Skilled Navigator’. Apart from an occasion when, aged 3, I got lost in a Supermarket in Tralee, I have managed to live up to my name! Curiosity is probably the driver that has sent me on magical mystery tours around the world. I want to ‘feel’ a place. I want all my senses to be engaged: from the history and geography that has influenced a country or city, the arts and achievements of its natives, anything and everything really. Regardless of whether I am on a local train travelling through Morocco, or poking around in Marconi’s study in Bologna or on a canal boat weaving through the heart of the English countryside, the same rules apply - ask questions, talk to locals, eat what they eat, sit quietly with nature and simply be. Assimilate as much as is possible so as to understand the soul of a place. That is my passion. That is the compass by which I navigate.