What soccer is to Europe and baseball is to the U.S., scuba diving is to Roatan.
Professional dive shops are as abundant as Starbucks in New York. Virtually every conversation circles back to that day's visibility or curious sightings.
And it's easy to see why.
Located along the world's second-largest barrier reef, it boasts more than 150 established dive sites, from the shelf only 100 yards off the shore of West Bay Beach to the scuttled wreck of the 230-foot El Aguila. The surrounding water boasts year-round warmth and indescribable colour and clarity. Dazzling coral formations provide an ecosystem for nearly two-thirds of the world's marine species and a rugged moonscape for underwater explorers.
It is to here boatloads of divers head out every morning or evening -- in many cases picked right up on the beach -- after paying just $40 for a trip that includes tank, weights and knowledgeable guide.
And owing to the shallow reefs and comforting placidity, snorkeling can be just as much fun:
On one recent foray in the protected marine park of West Bay, I spotted two eagle rays flapping majestically by. A lime-green moray eel slithered between crevices while a hawksbill turtle plunged into the abyss.
At night, you'll see more lobster than you can count while the more adventurous will go on the popular shark dive, joining six-foot reef sharks some 75 feet below the surface.
See the footage of TAPinto Travel's Teammates, Brody Brauer, Tommy Brauer, and Erich diving in their own version of the "Shark Tank".