Travelers who live in South Florida rarely take for granted the warm weather and world-class restaurants available in the region, but enjoying that means sometimes it’s easy to forget how close Miami is to some of the most exciting destinations in the world. While people in the rest of America needs extended vacation time to visit countries like Dominica and Ecuador, Miamians can wake up, jump on a direct flight from Miami, and be in a new country in time for dinner (or maybe even lunch). And if someone in Miami gets a hankering to head to Europe, most of the continent is only an overnight flight away.
With airports in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, almost everyone in Mimmi is within half an hour of a hub, so escaping to a far-off land is laughably easy. And while you probably know about the heavy hitters like London, Paris, and Dubai, there are some fantastic direct flights from Miami you may not realize can get you to a new country surprisingly quickly.
The direct flights from Miami-area airports below are listed in order of cost by airport, starting with MIA — and yes, we’re also shocked that getting to Ecuador is under $400.
Direct flights from Miami International Airport
- Flight time: 3 hours
- Airline: American
- Lowest round-trip price in 2024: $305 (September)
- Where to stay: Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort Is the Perfect Home Base To Explore All the Island Has To Offer
The most colorful island in the Caribbean feels like a European city dropped in the tropics, where floating bridges, streetside cafes, and art-filled neighborhoods give the place a decidedly continental feel. The winding streets of old town Willemstad are comparable to a warm-weather Amsterdam, and with cafe names like “Van Gogh” and “La Reina,” you may completely forget you’re in the Caribbean. The city’s Otrabanda area is plastered in murals, and you’ll find artists’ studios and cocktail bars – try Ochenta and the green-rum-slinging-Netto – tucked between gorgeous historic homes.
It’s not all drinks and cafes in Curacao, though, as the hike to the top of Mt. Christoffel is a manageable 45 minutes with a seriously panoramic payoff. You can also rent jet skis and cruise through the beaches and hidden coves along the island’s west side, with a stop to jump off the famous cliff outside Restaurant Playa Forti. Shete Boka National Park is also very worth a visit, both to see the wild flamingos and hear the boisterous blowholes where the surf explodes into the limestone shore.
Read more about Curacao
- Flight time: 3 hours, 25 mins
- Airline: American
- Lowest round-trip price in 2024: $493 (April)
- Where to stay: 6 Dreamy Places To Stay on Dominica, the Nature Island of the Caribbean
For those who love rugged adventures, one of the best direct flights from Miami will undoubtedly be to the island of Dominica in the Caribbean. It’s the kind of place where you’ll hike three hours on a muddy cliff to find a 200-foot-tall waterfall around the corner with absolutely no other tourists around to muck it up — and then you can do an even better hike the next day. While the signature treks are those to Boiling Lake (which passes steaming volcanic vents) and the 114-mile Waitukubuli Trail, the island has dozens more to fill an active vacation.
Dominica’s waters are equally alluring, whether scuba diving on the bubbly champagne reef or hopping on an all-day boat tour to spot sperm whales. While there are plenty of cool eco-lodges on the islands, a slew of new and higher-end properties have opened lately, headlined by Coulibri Ridge. It’s a sprawling resort that exemplifies how possible it is to be both sustainable and luxurious. There’s also the classic Fort Young Hotel and the relatively new Cabrits Resort and Spa Kempinski, both of which are also high-end.
Read more about Dominica
- Flight time: 3 hours, 10 mins
- Airline: American
- Lowest round-trip price in 2024: $493 (April)
Bonaire bills itself as the diver’s paradise, which might seem a bit braggadocious for an island in a region where reefs surround nearly every beach. But Bonaire does diving a little differently, offering an island-wide tank refill program that means divers can come down for the week, get a rental car, throw as many tanks as they need into the car, and drive to one of more than 60 short diving locations. Rocks painted yellow mark spectacular shore dive sites along the coast, so you can literally road trip your way around Bonaire, stopping to dive wherever you see fit. Divers can then swap the empty tanks for full ones at multiple locations around the island.
The Salt Pier is one of the island’s most popular dive sites, where you’ll float between pylons and are likely to see squid, eels, and plenty of parrotfish. Advanced divers can explore the wreck of the Hilma Hooker, a 236-foot-long, fairly intact ship that sits at a max depth of 105 feet. Beginner divers should stay near the top but can still get close to the port side, which sits around 60 feet deep.
Above water, the bright old city of Kralendijk feels like a less-crowded version of Aruba or Curacao. And kicking back with drinks at Tiki & Co. is a relaxing way to end the day. But the reason this is one of the best direct flights from Miami is the price: by Caribbean standards, the island is pretty inexpensive.
Read more about Bonaire
- Flight time: 9 hours, 25 minutes
- Airline: Scandinavian Airlines
- Lowest round-trip price in 2023: $485 (January)
- Where to stay: These Breathtaking Hotels Celebrate Stockholm’s Devotion To Cutting-Edge Design
Sweden’s largest city is chock full of history, architecture, and fantastic food worth exploring, even if you’ve only got a few hours of daylight in the winter. The colorful old city is packed with buildings more than 700 years old, and you’ll find everything from Burger Kings to beer bars to cool Airbnbs tucked inside them. Make time to slip into Pharmerium (a classy cocktail lounge set inside an apothecary) or grab a local brew in Zum Franziskaner.
Beyond drinking, this is one of the best direct flights from Miami if you like quirky vacations. You can learn about the history of Sweden’s greatest musical exports at the ABBA Museum or relive the life of EDM DJ Avicii at his new museum (which happens to be inside the world’s largest gaming arena, a marvel on its own even if you don’t play). You can also visit the Vasa Museum, which preserves a wooden warship that sank in the 1600s and was recovered roughly 300 years later.
Read more about Stockholm
- Flight time: 8 hours, 15 mins
- Airline: American, LATAM
- Lowest round-trip price in 2024: $511 (May)
Often forgotten when people dream of South American vacations is the bustling Chilean capital, which boasts all the culture, architecture, and vibrant neighborhoods you’ll find in other South American cities, but often with much smaller crowds. You’ll learn this while wandering the streets of Lastarria, where cocktail bars, murals, and cobblestone streets abound. You can also hike to the iconic cross atop the city at Cerro San Cristobal, though if you’re not up for the walk, there’s also a scenic gondola.
Santiago is also only a short drive to Chilean wine country, and within an hour, you can be sipping a Carménère at spots like Vina Cousino Macul and Vina Santa Carolina. And if you fly down in the summer – Chile’s winter – you can catch a quick ski weekend at Portillo.
Read more about Chile:
Direct flights from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport
- Flight time: 3 hours, 30 mins
- Airline: Air Canada, Air Transat
- Lowest round-trip price in 2024: $106 (February – May)
- Where to stay: The 8 Best Hotels in Montreal Close To the Must-See Sights
One might not think the US’s immediate neighbor to the north would be all that exotic a locale, especially since it means swapping Miami’s warm weather for colder climes. But what Montreal lacks in physical distance it makes up for in Francophilia. It’s hard to find a city in North America where you feel more immersed in French culture than Montreal (and its nearby neighbor of Quebec City).
Yes, people in Montreal speak English, but it’s a little like Miami in that it’s not the primary language in some neighborhoods, and you’ll find many cafes and stores where French is the default language.
Montreal’s Old City is North America’s finest and certainly most beautiful, with a mix of buildings from the 1600s side-by-side with modern structures – a mix rarely seen outside Europe.
Though the city is always lively, visiting during one of Montreal’s many festivals is the move. The “Just For Laughs” comedy festival is probably the most famous, but the Jazz Festival might be its most prestigious as it draws top musicians from around the world. Montreal is also the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil, and you’ll see how acrobat culture influences the city during the Cirque Festival in July.
Read more about Montreal
- Flight time: 4 hours, 15 mins
- Airline: JetBlue
- Lowest round-trip price in 2024: $250 (nearly year-round)
Few know that the Americas’ largest and most intact collection of colonial architecture is in Quito, Ecuador’s second-largest city (and the world’s highest capital city, at 9,350 feet above sea level). So does that mean your Floridian lungs might be gasping a little for your first couple of days? Sure. But it’s well worth the heavy breathing as this city is minutes from volcanoes, mountains, postcard-worthy lakes, and low-slung cloud lines, making it one of the world’s most beautiful mountain cities.
The churches around Plaza Grande should be your first stop as they show off Quito’s most ornate examples of Spanish colonial architecture. From there, trek to the top of the towers at Basilica Del Voto Nacional, and catch your breath as you gaze out at the expanse of the city. For an even better view, you can head to El Panecillo Hill, where a giant statue of the Virgin Mary awaits. And make sure to try traditional Ecuadorian foods like cuy and quimbolitos, washed down with a homemade horchata.
Read more about Quito
- Flight time: 9 hours
- Airline: Norse Atlantic
- Lowest round-trip price in 2024: $486 (August)
- Where to stay: 9 Oslo Airbnbs That Capture Norway’s Charm and Cozy-Chic Aesthetic
While it’s tempting to land in Oslo and immediately run off to explore the country’s famous fjords, travelers should take a couple of days to experience one of the most advanced cities in Europe first. Your first stop should be the Norse Folkemuseum, an outdoor showcase of the country’s history with 150 buildings that date back hundreds of years. From there, you can stroll the National Gallery (home to the iconic “The Scream” painting), then peruse the restaurants along the Aker Brygge Wharf. And if you’re into art, you may want to stay at the hotel where Edvard Munch lived.
The city’s most compelling structure is its opera house, which in addition to its impressive glass walls, also boasts an extremely creative and pedestrian-friendly roof — the roof slopes to connect with the sidewalk, so you can walk to the top of the roof on the outside the building. The city also offers an abundance of free walking tours, an ideal way to get the lay of the land in an extremely walkable city. The tours are also a much-welcomed respite for your wallet – while it’s one of the more affordable direct flights from the Miami area to Europe, the country is known for being extremely pricey.
Read more about Oslo: