Maldives Weather in January - Experience the Best of this Country!

Sun-kissed beaches, glittering turquoise water, lush green trees, gently swaying palms and an idyllic landscape smack in the middle of the Indian Ocean - sounds dreamy, doesn't it? This, and so much more, is what the islands of the Maldives have to offer! Ranked one of the best island destinations of the world, the Maldives consists of twenty-six atolls (lagoons enclosed by corals). The coral reefs on the island are exquisite, and are definitely a must-visit, any time of the year. A break din of the busy cities and a blissful nap by the ocean are all you need to rejuvenate, refresh and revitalise yourself. It is time for you to cross off a beach vacation from your bucket list this year, by visiting Maldives! If you're planning a vacation to the Maldives in January and you're unsure of the weather conditions, we've got you covered! 


Average Weather in January

January is arguably an ideal time to visit the Maldives, as it falls in the middle of the dry months. The climate in the Maldives is unconventional because of its unique geographical location, topography and size. As it falls in the tropical region of the earth, the temperature usually ranges from 25 to 30 degrees Celcius (77°F to 86°F) throughout the year. The month of January sees one of the most pleasant weather conditions because it is not too hot, not too cold and not too rainy as well. This makes for perfect weather for snorkelling in Maldives, also giving you lots of impetus to lounge by the ocean. The winds and currents are favourable as well, with the sea being mild and enjoyable.

Average Temperature in January

Water villas in the Maldives

Since January is in between the winter months of December and March, the temperature range reported in the islands varies from 25 to 29 degrees Celcius, with the average temperature being 27 degrees Celcius. At night, the temperature drops to about 24 degrees Celcius. Even though January is the coolest month in the year, the tropical location of the Maldives ensures that the temperature is more or less warm and constant. The sea breeze in the evening lends a cool air all over the island, making it pleasant and idyllic. The sea temperature is a warm 28 degrees Celcius, which means that you won't have any problems swimming even at night. Remember to pack sunscreen, though!

The islands get about nine hours of sunshine during January, with the sun setting at around 6:15 PM. This means that you can retreat to your hotel in the evening, or lounge by the beach at night.

Wind, humidity and Ocean Currents in January

Ocean view of the Maldives in January

The winds blow from India, towards the north-east - these are dry, so you don't have to worry about rain. It is necessary to carry an umbrella or a rain jacket though, because there may be isolated showers. Since Maldives is a tropical country, do not be surprised if you find sudden rainfall. However, don't worry - on an average, there are only five rainy days in January. The north-eastern winds from India are dry - they drive away the moisture-laden clouds and humidity from the island, bringing down the humidity to about 70% in the islands. You can expect around 75 mm of rainfall, concentrated around the southern atolls of the Maldives in January. Due to the eastern direction of the winds in January, the ocean currents are predominantly eastern (except for a few days) before and after the full and new moon days, during which the currents shift between the east and the west due to tidal superposition.

Best Places to Visit in Maldives in January

1. Malé city

Male city in January

This buzzing city is the capital of the Maldives boasting of great nightlife, busy local markets, exotic food and exotic culture. Formerly called 'Mahal', as it was the city of the royal family, the city is now famous as the King's Island. January is a good time to visit this city as the weather is ideal, and the fish is the tastiest. Make sure that you go to the local fish market there, and try to see if you can catch the best catch!

Things to see: Malé fish market, National Museum, Tsunami Monument, Grand Friday Mosque

2. Artificial Beach

Manta sighting in the Maldives

This beach, is as its name proclaims, is completely artificial! Built on the North Malé Atoll, this beach is also called 'Carnival Beach' because it regularly hosts carnivals, festivals and events. Water sports like scuba diving, paragliding and surfing are also super popular here!

Things to see: Manta Point, Shark Point, Kani Corner, Nassimo Thila  

3. Banana Reef

Diving at Banana Reef in Maldives

The very name of this reef makes you want to check it out, doesn't it? We don't blame you! This cheekily named reef is shaped like a banana, and located at North Malé Atoll. It has a wide range of water sports and underwater activities, and long, pristine beaches. The reef also boasts of great food, mystical caves and some breathtaking views of the setting sun. The weather in January is ideal to visit Banana Reef. The white sand beaches and the stark blue waters are bound to stay in your mind for quite some time!

Things to see: Maldive Victory, Alimatha Island, Manta Point, Biyadhoo Island, Huhumalé

4. Fihalhohi Island

Fihalhohi Beach in the Maldives

This is the perfect romantic getaway for you and your partner if you are honeymooning in Maldives. Beautiful sunsets, striking white beaches, clear, blue water and miles and miles of the sand - this is what Fihalhohi Island has to offer! Located in South Kaafu Atoll, January is one of the best times to visit this island as the rain is minimal, and the sea is ideally warm. The privacy on the island is another great add-on to the fun!
Things to see: Rannalhi Beach, Rihiveli Beach

5. Utheemu Ganduvaru

Utheemu Ganduvaru in Maldives

This island offers a slice of the history of the Maldives, along with some scintillating views of the rising sun. Located in the northern side, Utheemu is the island where Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, one of the most praised and respected Kings of the Maldives, was born. He holds a special corner in the heart of every citizen, as he was instrumental in driving away intruders from the small country. Today, the island has a monument in his name. Your trip to the Maldives will not be complete without a visit to this wooden palace!

Things to see:
New Mosque, Sultan's home, Ancient Cemetery, Beach North Shore

Things to Do in Maldives in January

1. Fishing

Fishing boat in the Maldives

Cleary, the Maldives is big on fishing. Almost all atolls offer fishing programs and allow you to rent all equipment as well. Main fishing hotspots include the Malé Atoll. You can catch yellowfin tuna, Maa Keyolhu, red bass, dogtooth, barracuda and some crustaceans. The experience is sure to be authentic, as a local head fisherman will usually accompany you. Be careful though - most fishing services are of the catch-and-release type!

Cost: A charter and equipment renting costs start from USD 130, for 8-10 people

2. Snorkelling

Snorkelling in Maldives

Banana Reef, Kaafu Atoll, Malé Atoll and others offer some great snorkelling experiences. The exotic reefs, overhangs, rock formations and caves are a must-visit in themselves, but the marine life is even more breathtaking! You can spot snappers, fusiliers, Oriental sweet lips, red-tooth triggerfish and other marine beings on your snorkelling expeditions. Weather of Maldives in January is one of the best times to go snorkelling as the sea is not too choppy, and the water is warm and soothing.

Cost: Snorkelling tours start from USD 50 per person. The cost of renting equipment is an additional USD 10 per person.

3. Surfing

Surfing in Maldives

The Maldivian Surf Club offers some great surfing expeditions around Gan Island. You can reach up to ten surf breaks where you are sure to find fewer people - so you can surf and play with the waves in peace. January is a great time for beginners as the waves are not that intense, and you can practice quite well.

Cost: Including equipment, the price to surf starts from USD 100 per day per person

4. Diving

Diving in Maldives

All the destinations mentioned above offer diving courses and expeditions in the Maldives, where you can spot different fish and corals. All equipment can be rented out as well. January is perfect for diving as the currents are not too strong, and the water is warm.

Cost: With diving gear included, a diving session can cost between USD 60 to USD 165, depending on the duration and guide

5. Lounging by the Sea

Lounging in an infinity pool in Maldives

By far the most idyllic, but the most rewarding experience at the Maldives, bring your beach bum out and relax by one of the best beaches in the world! All inhabited atolls of the county boast of beautiful beaches. Lounge by the beach as you sip on a tropical drink, and watch your worries melt away. If you make it to the Maldives before the New Year, you can also partake in the yearly New Year bash.

The beaches are public, and the entry fee to tourist hubs is minimal

This post was published by Nivedha Narayanaswamy

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