Sloth in trees in Costa Rica

Where to go on holiday in April

April Holidays

Use April to venture into the great outdoors, experiencing the world’s most spectacular landscapes without the crowds.

April showers in England signify the beginning of spring – a new hope, when buds bloom in woodlands and meadows. New life is born on farms, breezes blow away the last vestiges of winter with a hint of something magical – warmer weather.

Self drive the national parks and glimpse the mountain peaks of California, or ride the train to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. It's possible that at this time of year you could be rewarded with once-in-a-lifetime views without busloads of onlookers blocking your view.

The rainforests of Central America are yours to explore during April, combining steamy jungles with exotic wildlife experiences. In Japan, locals will sit with picnics in parks ablaze with cherry blossom, while the Bahamas are awash with sailboats of every size and nature, as favourable winds draw mariners from across the globe to these picturesque island paradises.

With so many rewarding and rejuvenating experiences available, it’s time to spring forward into your next adventure.

Machu Picchu

Best holiday destinations in April

Redwood National Park California

The National Parks of California

It's worth keeping an eye on Tioga Pass during a late-April tour of California. The Sierra Nevada high roads are usually blocked with snow, but on occasion, the roads are declared fit for travel, granting you access without the crowds to this spectacular highway that leads into Yosemite. Plowing begins around 15 April and progress can be hampered by adverse weather through to May. But, time it right and these and many other mountain passes may prove to be the highlight of your West Coast trip due of the lack of peak traffic. The snowmelt is flowing and waterfalls are roaring including Bridalveil Falls, while rock formations such as the Half Dome and El Capitan will look resplendent in the Spring sunshine. Weather is usually pleasant, but pack for rain and snow showers and temperatures of 15°C. Bundled up cosily in your motorhome, these conditions won't spoil your adventure in the great outdoors. Palm Springs can average +30°C – though be sure to pack a warm fleece for stargazing at night. Further north, the main routes through Sequoia National Park are open all year round, but expect a light covering of snow in some low-level areas with an abundance of wildflowers creating a woodland wonderland scene. Average temperatures in Los Angeles are 24°C with days getting warmer the further into the month you decide to travel.

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Cow Camp

Texas

With average temperatures around 26°C April is a great time to appreciate the beauty of wildflowers in bloom. So fulfil those ambitions of a lifetime and experience life on the open range with a ranch holiday in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, trail-riding, driving cattle, fishing and listening to tales of the cowboy lifestyle by the campfire while the stars swirl in the night sky. Contrast this with city adventures beginning on the food trail of Tex-Mex eateries on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, culminating with a historical tour including the Alamo. For contrasting experiences, enjoy the popular outdoor dining scene of Houston, one of Texas' celebrated food destinations. Temperatures are perfect for eating al fresco with friends, in the late 20s and early 30°C mark.

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Costa Rican tree frog

Costa Rica

Welcome to the eco-tourism capital of Central America and one of the best times to visit this country of countless wildlife encounters. April is the end of the dry season, which begins in December. Thus, being on the 'shoulder' means the chance of a rain shower or two, but with temperatures in the mid-to high 30s morning showers followed by bright sunshine in the afternoon are no bad thing in such a tropical, lush region. Sun-worshippers will flock to the beaches to enjoy snorkelling to cool them off and provide adventures in coral gardens in either the Caribbean or the Pacific Ocean. Central Costa Rica will experience little rain during this time, but you may encounter wetter climates amid the southern lowlands. Bear in mind that April is one of the hottest months in the calendar, so expect low levels of accommodation availability to off-set these stunning conditions. Book early and enjoy the rainforests, exotic wildlife and beautiful coastlines of Costa Rica.

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Rio de Janeiro

For many travellers, a visit to the samba city of Rio de Janeiro is a dream holiday come true and April is pretty much spot on for cocktails on Copacabana Beach, or iconic photographs of Christ the Redeemer Statue. While the peak season will draw crowds between December and March, we suggest April when temperatures experience highs of 28°C – more than adequate for UK visitors in search of sun, sand and bossa nova melodies. Slightly cooler than the proceeding summer months, April is the ideal time to enjoy panoramic views from Sugarloaf Mountain or just relax with an hour or two of people-watching, sipping caipirinhas or even to try your hand at the Brazilian martial arts, Capoeira on Ipanema Beach.

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Japan

Cherry Blossom season is a major reason to visit Japan in April, although you’ll need to consider your itinerary carefully to encounter the iconic blooms to their full affect. Cruise across Lake Ashi to photograph Mount Fuji flanked by cherry trees, or head to the Chureito Pagoda in mid-month to see the shrine seemingly floating above the blooms. Kyoto in early April is the best time to see them at their best in Maruyama-koen Park and to take part in hanani (picnic) parties. Timing is essential here, as is warm clothing. Expect average temperatures hovering around 23°C. Culturally, this is a fascinating time to visit Japan. Witness the Geisha performances of Miyako Odori held each year in the historic Kaburenjo Theater. Travel to discover the Inyama Festival at Inuyama, held since the 17th century, and witness parade floats carrying colourful karakuri puppets. Venture to the Japanese Alps on the main island of Honshu to discover the Takayama Spring Festival. Alternatively, take part in Earth Day Tokyo in mid-April in Yoyogi Park featuring music, food and organisations raising awareness for the environment.

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Doha – Qatar

Non-existent half a century ago, gleaming skyscrapers and immaculate streets filled with super cars today – peak beneath Doha’s shiny surface and you’ll glimpse plenty to occupy you culturally. Contrasts between the ultra-modern and the traditional are to be seen everywhere, from the Souq Watif and its stalls of spices, fragrances and hand-loomed textiles. Consider also the Museum of Islamic Art and wander among celebrated collections of artefacts, curated and surrounded by stunning contemporary architecture. April, with its cooler climate is the perfect time to explore the Katara Cultural Centre to stroll through exotic gardens, walk barefoot along the public beach or to enjoy an evening’s performance at the Amphitheatre. Spring in Doha is the best time to absorb many outdoor pursuits, so sipping mint tea and enjoying the stunning Qatari cuisine and renowned hospitality is far more agreeable when daytime temperatures ascend towards 27°C, whereas, for that romantic night time dhow cruise across the bay, a very comfortable 22°C will leave a lasting impression as the lights of the city sparkle in the distance.

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Phuket

There are many sides to Phuket; the bustling markets, the buzzing motorbikes, the friendly locals to name but a few. But then there are the sweeping beaches, the heart-stopping marine vistas, the tranquillity experienced at stunning resorts. And then there is the Songkran Festival that takes place during 13-15 April. If there is one reason to visit this fascinating island of contrasts, then experiencing the giant water celebrations on Bangla Road is it. This is one of the hotter months in Thailand, and though the party here needs a little acclimatising to, it’s something that everyone can experience at least once in their lives. Songkran is Thailand’s most important festival and marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year and the Vernal Equinox. It originated as a blessing of a sprinkling of water for purification and has developed from there. We suggest you mark your ‘new year’ by planning your Thailand holiday around Phuket and enjoy those gorgeous 32°C temperatures.

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Couple on beach

Bahamas

April is considered one of the better times to visit this archipelago; it’s peak season offering attractive average temperatures of 27°C, providing you with comfortable weather to explore these island gems. Plus, as the Bahamas fall within the hurricane belt, April avoids these climatic events and is an attractive time to visit. In fact, this is ideal weather for sailing, so if you’re planning to charter a vessel then expect bright, sunny skies with wind speeds of 10-15 knots. This will make island-hopping a pleasure to visit the swimming piggies of the Exumas, or weighing anchor in the sailor’s paradise of Eleuthera. Water temperature is a pleasant 23°C. The Bahamas is famed for its crystal clear seas, so this is your opportunity to snorkel and discover amazing coral gardens including the black coral gardens off Bimini and Thunderball Grotto, used for the location of the classic James Bond movie. Whether enjoying the nightlife of New Providence or taking a history tour of the capital Nassau, April is an ideal window of opportunity to explore this beautiful region of the Caribbean.

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

To experience iconic sights without the crowds prepare to travel during the shoulder season, those brief windows of travel opportunity that offer blue skies, warm and dry weather, but relatively low tourist numbers. April is one such period, emerging from the wet season (November to March) before the onset of visitors peaks (June to August). Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most popular archaeological sites and there are a number of ways you can encounter this breath-taking place, from hiking the Inca Trail across the Andes or taking the luxury Belmond Hiram Train through the Sacred Valley itself. Mid-April, therefore will provide moderate weather to fulfil your dreams no matter how you would prefer to experience it. As the dry season gets under way temperatures will average 18°C which is perfect for trekking, cooling significantly after sunset. Expect the odd rain shower from time to time. The good news is that disrupted travel plans (caused by landslides for example) will have reduced by the end of February. When travelling to Machu Picchu visitors should always leave plenty of leeway, remembering that there will always be difficulties involved accessing any site that is two thousand metres above sea level.

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