Illegal land-use change inside protected areas (PAs) in the global south is common. Yet little is known about whether PAs disproportionately discourage conversion of forests to capital-intensive land uses (CILUs) like coffee and oil palm—an important consideration because CILUs likely have outsized adverse ecological and political-economic effects. We use remotely sensed fine-scale data on tree cover loss and land use along with quasi-experimental statistical methods that control for confounding factors to identify the effect of PAs on CILUs in Honduras, where rates of deforestation both inside and outside PAs are among the highest in the world. We find that PAs do have disproportionate effects on the conversion of forestland to CILUs: on average, they reduce by more than two-thirds the probability that forestland will be converted to a CILU versus traditional agriculture or pasture. Land characteristics moderate this effect. Social media abstract. Protected areas disproportionately discourage conversion of forests to capital-intensive land uses.