WITH MORE THAN 700 species of birds and an expanding national-park system, Honduras is no slouch when it comes to land-based offerings. But the real draw is underwater. If you’ve heard of Roatán, it’s for good reason: deep cuts in the reef around the island drop thousands of feet, offering vertiginous wall diving, wreck exploration, blooming coral, and high visibility. Head to the island’s laid-back West End for white-sand beaches, open-air bars, and the Cocolobo hotel, which has a sweet infinity pool and ten balcony rooms. Nearby you’ll find accredited dive outfitters of long standing like Coconut Tree and West End Divers. If you’ve got the cojones, explore the bizarre deep-sea universe of jelly-nosed eels and ghost sharks with Karl Stanley, a 37-year-old American inventor who takes aspiring Nemos thousands of feet down in his homemade submarine, Idabel.