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.
The largest and most developed of Honduras’ Bay Islands, Roatán is renowned as a scuba destination—it’s located just off the continental shelf, along the world’s second longest barrier reef, and rays and sea turtles are impressively abundant—but there’s plenty more. With its casual vibe, sandy streets and low prices, the West End is ideal for travelers looking for a Jimmy Buffett-esque experience, while the more upscale West Bay area offers luxury accommodations, haute cuisine and Roatán’s world-famous powdery, alabaster sand beaches. If non-marine creatures are more your thing, Roatán also has a popular iguana farm and a tropical butterfly garden, at which you can learn, among other things, that the “common owl” is more common than it is owl. (And is, in fact, a butterfly.)