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8 of the Hottest Places on the Planet You Can Visit (and What You Can Do There)

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Chris Osburn
Written by Chris Osburn

Done with winter weather already and in desperate need of some sun? Consider making a break with a vacation to one of these sizzling hot destinations where it never gets too cold and sunny days are a given most days of the year.

Bangkok, Thailand

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The average January high in balmy Bangkok is around 90°F and the average low is about 72°F – and it stays pretty much like that during all the other months of the year. But as hot as Bangkok can be it’s always a very cool place to visit. Foodies love it for the fresh and fiery Thai cuisine and street food. The nightlife is legendary. Shopping opportunities are mega abundant but minus the hefty prices you’d probably pay back in the States. Major historic attractions such Wat Pho Buddhist temple, the Grand Palace, Jim Thompson House, and Taling Chan Floating Market ensure there’s always something fun and fascinating to experience.

Barbados

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January is part of the Barbadian dry season, when temperatures drop to around 70°F at night and can reach 88°F during the day. It’s a perfect place to work on your tan and do little else if you so choose. But for those looking for adventure, there’s plenty to be had in Barbados, especially if you like being in the water! Its snorkeling, diving, and sailing are among the best in the Caribbean while conditions on the island’s Atlantic east coast are ideal for surfing.

Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

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One the hottest and most surreal places on earth is the Danakil Depression in Northern Ethiopia. January is the coolest month of the year in Dallol, with an average daily temperature of 86.5°F. In July and August that average is over 101°F with highs of over 120°F possible any time of the year. Located in the aptly named Afar region of Ethiopia, this area attracts adventurous travelers keen to explore its volcanic and otherworldly landscape set 100 meters and more below sea level (the lowest points on the continent of Africa). A trip here offers the chance to gaze into a lava lake at Erta Ale, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. A vacation for the intrepid, but one said to be the trip of a lifetime.

Dead Sea

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At 422m below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. Whether you’re visiting from the Israeli or Jordanian side, you’re sure to be amazed when floating with extreme buoyance in its extremely salty and mineral rich water or when you feel the therapeutic effects of a Dead Sea mud bath. Temperatures aren’t crazy hot in January, with average daily highs hovering around 70°F compared to average highs at or over 100°F during June, July, and August. But with less than 2 inches of annual rainfall, you’re guaranteed sunshine. As for which is the better side – Israel or Jordan – that largely depends on your interests and itinerary. From the Israeli side, you have easy access to the archaeological site of Masada with Jerusalem within fairly easy reach as well. In Jordan, you’re not far from the wonders of Petra. The Jordanian shore is better known for its luxury resorts and variety of hotels, while Israel is more popular with day-trippers.

Death Valley National Park

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America’s hottest, driest, and lowest national park is Death Valley. The vast majority of the park is in California with a bit just across the border in Nevada. Average highs in January are in the 70s but it can get downright nippy at night with lows in the 40s. Highs in the summer months exceed 110°F. Whatever the temperature, expecting cloudless blue skies is a safe bet, making this 3.4 million acre wilderness area with more than 1,000 miles of road a fascinating destination for outdoor fun, hiking, camping, photography, and scenic driving.

Lake Havasu City

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Lake Havasu City is situated at the northwest corner of Arizona near the California and Nevada state lines. With its year-round sunny clime and relatively mild winter temperatures, the area is known as “Arizona’s playground” and a top choice for outdoors-oriented vacations. January highs usually stay just below 70°F but highs in the 80 are not uncommon. July tends to be the hottest month with average highs around 110°F. Top activities here include boating, fishing, cycling, and visiting London Bridge (which once spanned the Thames in England but was dismantled and moved here). But if the heat gets to be too much, and you’ve had your fill of dips in the lake, you can always head inside one of the local casinos for gaming or a show.

Manaus, Brazil

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The capital of the Amazonas State, Manaus is set at the confluence point of the Solimões and Negro Rivers, the main tributaries of the Amazon River. Excursions into the rainforest are the key reasons to visit the city of three million people, but there is an impressive number of attractions in and around Manaus including several colonial architectural gems; a highly regarded zoo; the ‘in-town jungle’ of Mindu Park; and the Meeting of Waters, where the dark Negro River and the muddy brown Solimões verge and flow together side by side without mixing for nearly four miles. Just south of the Equator, temperatures here rarely dip below 80°F or hit 90°F, and tropical humidity can be expected any time you visit.

Singapore

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The tiny island city-state of Singapore packs a major wallop as a hot place to visit. Located one degree north of the Equator, Singapore stays warm all year with a daily temperature range of 73-87°F. The city is famous for its street food and for being a melting pot of cultures. Markets such as Tanjong Pagar and Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, Little India, Gluttons Bay, Maxwell Food Centre, Satay Street, and Lau Pa Sat ensure foodies will be satisfied, while sightseers will love its many attractions (most of which are free to visit), including the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museums, Singapore Botanical Gardens, and its many national museums. And, of course, there’s always the beach or a swimming pool close by!

Are you planning to escape the cold this winter? Where would you love to go to warm up? tell us in the comments section.

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About the author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, and curator and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, tikichris.com. Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001.
Chris has been nominated for Best Travel + Food and Drink blog in the 2016 UK Blog Awards. If you like what you see at tikichris.com - cast a quick vote for Chris!

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