On my trip throughout Central America in 1995, I saved the country of Honduras for last. It was an Incredible way to finish up a four month journey. I had heard so many great tales of diving adventures on the Bay Islands, and stories of how inexpensive everything was. I spent a couple of weeks on the island of Utila getting my Advanced Open Water dive certification. The dives were great, and a day of diving (2 one hour dives with full equipment rental, boat, drinks, wet suits, etc.) was only $25/day! Total! Everything included! The certification course was $125, for instruction, 5 dives, lodging for four nights, unlimited sodas, etc.! I did most of my dives through Cross Creek Dive Center, but there are a dozen competing shops, all with the same prices, so be sure to ask around when you get there who folks like best.
After 20+ dives on Utila, I was out of $ and needing to head back home and back to work after almost 3 1/2 months on the road. But I wanted to hop over to the island of Roatan first for a day or two. Everything was reportedly much more expensive there, and I was running low on dough. I found a flight (American Airlines!) that would get me back home for $195.US. I could leave from either Utila or Roatan, and the flight to Roatan was only $17.US. So I hopped over to Roatan, and it was so wonderful there that 8 days later I was still there!
Every morning I walked along the water to a breakfast place in a tropical garden, and had had either fruit/yogurt/granola or buckwheat pancakes for a dollar and change. I sat and ate with different travelers every day. Some I've kept in touch with, and others; I wish I'd gotten contact info from them. I stayed all eight nights at Jimmy's Backpackers place, a big community bunkhouse which was only $2.50US/night. The place was right on the water, and I met the coolest people there. I would go there again in a heartbeat!
The last scuba dive I did at Roatan was the most awesome time I've ever had in the water, and the cost was only $10 for the dive. I hooked up with 3 other folks I had met at breakfast, and we were scuba-ing through caves, tunnels, and really neat places. We saw so many fish down there; huge groupers and jewfish and who knows what.
The best part about Roatan is the beach at West End. It was without a doubt the most awesome beach I've ever been at, and I've seen quite a few (hundreds, including almost all of the coastline of North- and Central America). We had to walk along a trail for about 35 minutes along the water, or take a water taxi for about a dollar. The beach was the most beautiful white sand, and coconut palms everywhere. I had just spent a few months along the coasts of Costa Rica, Belize, etc., but the West End beach at Roatan was a one-in-a-thousand. Only 50 meters out was a reef, and we all snorkeled for three or four hours everyday. For several days the Cousteau boat (Jacque's son) anchored offshore, and we would go out snorkel out to and dive down the 50 feet or so to tap the tanks of the divers, and glance at their depth gage before heading up to the surface. The beach faced west, so we watched beautiful sunsets every night.
I only spent a week or so along the mainland of Honduras, and very little time inland. Tela was cool; lots of Rastafarians and great music! I really didn't get to know the interior too much. But anyone who likes to dive, snorkel, or just hang out at excellent beaches, check out the Bay Islands of Honduras.