El Paraíso is the heart of a major coffee-producing region (20 percent of the country’s coffee production), and if you visit during the November–February harvest season, you can learn about the picking, drying, and toasting processes.
Should you happen to be in the vicinity during the week around May 15 (the city’s anniversary), consider stopping by to check out the dancing, food, and cultural events during the Festival Cultural El Paraíso.
The most centrally located hotel in town is certainly Hotel Isis (tel. 504/US$9 s, US$14 d), right on the park, with basic comfy rooms with fan, hot water, and TV. If the Isis is somehow full, head four long blocks south of the park, to the Hotel Quinta Avenida (tel. 504/893-4298, US$9 s, US$15 d), which is similar but with saggier beds. The owner speaks a bit of English.
Just across from the Quinta Avenida is El Paraíso’s newest and fanciest hotel, the Hotel Mario Chavez (tel. 504/793-4345, hotelmariochavez [at] yahoo [dot] com, US$26 s, US$37 d), named for a late congressman from the town. The pleasant rooms have TVs, hot water, air-conditioning, and wireless Internet, and there is a decent pool and a small kids’ play area. A restaurant is in the works. The hotel can fill with groups at times, so making a reservation in advance is smart.
Típicos La Galera (7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) is a decent, inexpensive place on the park serving well-made Honduran standards as well as burgers, pupusas, and baleadas. A meal here will set you back just US$2–3.
One block from the park past the UNAH building is the clean and modern Comedor Campestre (7 a.m.–8 p.m. daily), with similar meals and prices, and their breakfast selections include pancakes and corn flakes.
Restaurante Chen’s, half a block from the park past Comercial San Cristobal, serves up huge portions of chop suey, fried rice, sweet and sour any kind of meat goes, US$2–6 depending on how big a portion you want.
Only open for dinner Friday–Sunday, Café D’Palo has good (though not huge) Honduran meals for US$2–3, but the main attraction is the live music on Saturday nights only, well worth checking out if you are in town.
Espresso Americano is on the corner of the park. The second-floor terrace of Refresquería Nancy, facing the park, is another pleasant place to have a coffee and snack.
A kilometer or two out of town on the road to Danlí , Mi Pequeño Jardín (9 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) serves up pasta and pizza as well as shrimp, fish, and breakfasts in a grassy setting with a few outside tables. Pasta starts at US$4, while large pizzas and shrimp dishes will set you back US$10–12.
Banco Atlántida (8 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Fri. and 8 a.m.–noon Sat.) on the park will change U.S. dollars or provide a cash advance on a credit card (there is no ATM). The best bet for changing to or from córdobas is at the border itself.
There are a number of Internet cafés in town where you can also place international calls, including Cafetos.com half a block from the park past Farmacia Mi Esperanza.
Minibuses to the border leave every hour or so from the terminal until 4 p.m., charging US$0.50. Colectivo taxis fitting four passengers will go for US$5.
Buses to Danlí  leave every 20 minutes between 6 a.m. and 5:40 p.m., charging US$0.85. Buses to Tegucigalpa  leave every half hour starting at 4 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. and charge US$3.80. Buses to Las Manos leave every 40 minutes starting at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m., charging US$0.75.