It sounds like some fabled land from The Lord of the Rings. Instead, Roatan is one of the hidden jewels of the Caribbean - a long island off the coast of Honduras that I hadn't heard about until last week.
What makes Roatan special is the barrier reef - the second largest in the world, after Australia's - that lies just 100 yards off shore. For a SCUBA diver like me, that is very tantalizing. The beaches are also, by many accounts, to die for; The temperature is always wonderful (it's south of Jamaica), and there seems to be lots to do (hiking, butterfuly and nature gardens, kayaking, swimming with dolphins).
It's also quite appealing because Continental has direct flights from Newark, and it's rather inexpensive (it is, afterall, part of Honduras). We have found a number of two-bedroom houses that rent for under $1,500 per week.
We, along with a couple friends, have decided to head there over the winter, and I can't wait.