Not only do Honduras' Bay Islands offer some of the most affordable diving in the hemisphere, Roatan, Utila, and exclusive Guanaja sit on the very same barrier reef as world-famous sites like Cozumel. Add pretty beaches and a largely English-speaking population and you can see why divers are coming to the islands in ever-greater numbers. Although Honduras marks the very southern edge of the Mayan empire, it is the site of Copán, one of its most important cities. The ruins overlook a picturesque valley studded with ceremonial stelae – the most intricate in the Mayan world – while the nearby colonial town of Copán Ruinas has a relaxed pace and an almost-perfect climate. At its best, Honduras is Central America at its most relaxed, affordable and authentic – and you can often have it all to yourself.