As the temperature drops in the Northern Hemisphere, a certain flight impulse takes hold in travelers' hearts. So, to help facilitate your escape, we offer a dozen of the world's best island destinations—from tropical to temperate, and classic to unexpected.
Seeing Willemstad for the first time can be a startling experience. Curaçao’s capital city looks as if it’s been built out of oddly shaped Lego blocks. The streets are lined with 17th- and 18th-century Dutch-style buildings in a dizzying variety of reds, greens, blues, pinks and yellows, their prominent gables, variable windows and gingerbread details adding to the dreamlike effect. The city as a whole is just as colorful—a happy tumble of cultures and their attendant sensibilities, with attractions ranging from the famous “floating market” to the funky restaurants of Punda. And if all this isn’t enough exuberance for you, every January and February Curaçao puts on a very large, very crazy Carnival.