Heading to Antigua, Guatemala and looking for info on Hobbitenango?! Here’s everything you need to know, including how to get there, what to do, and where to find that famous Hobbitenango hand for photos!
As soon as I started researching all the fun things to do in Antigua, Guatemala, I knew I needed to add Hobbitenango to my list. While I’m not a huge Lord of the Rings fan (I admit I haven’t seen any of the movies… or read any of the books), Hobbitenango just looked oh so unique. Plus, hobbits are such funny little creatures, and who wouldn’t wanna step foot in a hobbit house?! And those volcano views – wow! Just wow!
Hobbitenango is truly where fantasy meets reality. It’s perfect for Middle Earth fans, and seriously one of the quirkiest spots I’ve ever been to. So enchanting and off-the-grid; it totally feels like stepping into another world. Such a great little escape from the city.
At Hobbitenango in Guatemala you’ll find hobbit houses to check out, that iconic Hobbitenango troll’s hand, a hobbit-inspired restaurant, and even games and a tree swing. And of course loads of volcano views – what could be better?! Any Lord of the Rings or hobbit fan’s ultimate fantasy!
My friends and I loved our morning at this hobbit-inspired eco-park high up in the hills of Antigua, Guatemala. Super quirky and eccentric – way different than the charming colonial city of Antigua, in the best kinda way. It kinda felt like a mini theme park, and I loved that we were back in the city by lunchtime!
Such a fun way to get out into nature, and play around like a kid again!
Logistics for Visiting Hobbitenango
What is Hobbitenango
Surely it has something to do with hobbits, right?! Yup! Hobbitenango is an eco-park, restaurant, and even a micro hotel with only 3 rooms! It’s an interactive fantasy-filled attraction near Antigua, Guatemala, loaded with fantastic views of the valley and nearby volcanoes. And views there are!
The founders wanted a playful place in nature they could go to disconnect from their busy lives, and alas, Hobbitenango was born! Everything here is styled after their favorite fantasy genres, and it sure shows.
It’s kinda similar to the hobbit land of “Hobbiton” in New Zealand, although not as popular or well-known. Hey, I’ll take it – New Zealand is crazy far.
The eco-park just opened a few years ago in 2015 – Hobbitenango wasn’t even a thing on my first visit to Guatemala! Since opening, there’s been a few hobbit-style homes built (some available to rent out for the night!), plus hobbit-styled restaurants and spaces.
Psst: After spending some time in Guatemala, you’ll notice that certain towns end with “tenango” (Chichicastenango, Huehuetenango, Acatenago, etc). This translates to “the place of”. Meaning, Hobbitenango is literally the place of the Hobbits!
What is a hobbit anyways? No shame if you’re asking yourself this question – if you’ve never read the books you probably haven’t thought much about a hobbit, haha. Hobbits are the fictional race of human-like people in J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels. Technically, they’re about half the size of a real-life human, have hairy feet, and live underground. Nope, not too pretty!
Where is Hobbitenango and How to Get There
Hobbitenango is located right outside of Antigua, Guatemala, in an area called Vuelta Grande tucked away in the mountainous highlands. It’s only about 20 minutes away from the city by car (5 miles), but it’s super easy to get to without your own transportation as well.
Shuttle to Hobbitenango: Hobbitenango offers their own transportation, and it’s super easy to arrange. Just head to their office in Antigua (3a Avenida Norte #20A) the day before, and sign up for the shuttle. It costs 45Q per person roundtrip (~$5.50), and shuttles leave every 2 hours from Antigua starting at 8am. I recommend booking an early shuttle so you arrive at Hobbitenango in the morning before the clouds start to roll in.
If we had planned in advance, I would have totally taken the shuttle to Hobbitenango in order to avoid the shady taxi ride back down… more on that later!
Uber/Taxi to Hobbitenango: We had no problem getting an Uber to Hobbitenango, and it only cost us a few bucks. Unfortunately, getting someone to pick us up from Hobbitenango to drive us back to Antigua proved rather difficult. I get it – no one wants to drive up the hill from the city.
After a few minutes of no luck, we decided to ask around at the bottom of the hill and got a taxi for 100Q total. And lemme just say – our “taxi” ride back was no less than shady. The four of us were sitting in the back of a pickup truck, bumping around on wooden benches as we flew down the hills. It sure was an experience – we’ve got the videos to prove it! Only in Guatemala!
Not recommended if you’ve got a bad back or get overly anxious; our bodies were definitely aching a bit afterwards.
Driving to Hobbitenango: I honestly don’t think a car is necessary in Antigua (or really anywhere on my 10-day Guatemala itinerary), but if you’ve got one, you can drive yourself to Hobbitenango. The roads to Vuelta Grande are in great condition, and until you get to the Hobbitenango ticket counter itself, you shouldn’t have any problems with the drive.
However, in order to actually get right up to the eco-park itself you’ll need a 4×4 vehicle – the rest of the roads are super steep and not safe for regular sedans. Plan to park at the bottom of the hill (where you’ll buy your Hobbitenango ticket), and then take the 4×4 shuttle all the way up (included in your ticket).
Parking lot full? Don’t worry – there’s a few others nearby that only cost about Q20 (~$2) for the day.
ATV Tour to Hobbitenango: Looking for something extra adventurous and wanna explore the countryside and mountain towns around Antigua? Book yourself on a thrilling ATV ride! There’s a few to choose from, but these two sound the most epic:
Antigua ATV Mountain Tour: Tour around the outskirts of Antigua on an ATV, motorcycle, or scooter – you pick your ride! You’ll visit the mountains around Antigua, a local Mayan village, the famous El Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint, an organic farm, and of course the Hobbitenango eco-park.
You’ll also get to visit a popular chocolate factory called Chocolateria Antigua, and get to watch part of their chocolate making process (and of course taste some chocolate).
ATV Sunset Tour: If you wanna journey up into the mountains to get the best view for sunset, this is your best option. This guided ATV tour starts at El Cerro de la Cruz, heads to a local eco-lodge and avocado plantation in a little village in the mountains, and finally to Hobbitenango for sunset! Such a wonderful way to spend a few hours up in the mountains!
I wanted to take an ATV tour of Antigua and its surroundings so badly, but just couldn’t find the time! My friend Matt signed up and loved it – next time for me.
Regardless of how you get to Hobbitenango from Antigua, you’ll get dropped off at the parking lot at the bottom of the hill. You’ll then pay your entrance fee of 50Q, and take an included 4×4 off-road vehicle to officially reach Hobbitenango. The road up is super hilly and the opposite of smooth – get ready for a bumpy ride!
Make sure to save your receipt – you’ll need to show it in order to take the 4×4 pickup to the actual Hobbitenango entrance.
DON’T BE LIKE US AND WALK UP THE (SUPER-STEEP) HILL BY ACCIDENT. To be fair, we thought we were following directions, and didn’t even realize there was a shuttle to the entrance until we saw people who bought tickets after us on the back of a pick up truck about to make it there sooner than us… whoops!
Yeah, it was great early-morning exercise, but kinda sucked when we realized we totally messed up and could have taken the included 4×4. That hill was steep! So glad I wore my sneakers that day!
Planning to stay overnight? You will NOT wanna do the hike, as the path is definitely not suitable for suitcases. Take the shuttle up instead.
Cost to Visit Hobbitenango
Hobbitenango costs Q50 per adult (about $4USD), and Q30 for children between 4-10 years old. And this includes basically everything! Not bad at all.
Entrance includes transportation from the parking lot to the Hobbitenango gate, unlimited games (like archery, mini golf, and even ax throwing), unlimited jumps on the giant swing, entrance to more than 10 viewpoints, and plenty of green areas to explore.
For such a unique attraction, we found it to be a great price!
How Long to Spend at Hobbitenango
My friends and I spent about 3 hours or so here, including the time it took us to hike up (about 20-30 minutes or so, we weren’t keeping track). Most people spend at most a few hours at Hobbitenango. There isn’t enough to do here for the entire day, but I promise the short trek from Antigua to Hobbitenango is well worth it, especially on a clear enough day.
You can cover a lot of ground in only a few hours, but you can easily stay here all day if you have morning coffee, enjoy lunch at the restaurant, spend some time wandering the trails and playing the games, and taking your time at the viewpoints and photo spots.
Staying at Hobbitenango
Any LOTR super fans out there?! You can spend the night in a real-life hobbit house if you wish! What a unique experience staying nestled in the mountains.
Fulfill your real-life fantasy by staying in a hobbit house!
There’s currently 3 hobbit-style casitas you can rent out for the night:
- La Casita del Sueño: best for a couple
- La Casita del Nido: best for 2 couples or a small family
- Cala Esmeralda: the largest house and has a unique terrace with incredible views
The hobbit-style houses are not your regular old hotel rooms – you are literally staying in a house made out of only natural materials and ecological techniques. Expect double beds, a large fireplace, low tables in the living room, private bathrooms (with yes, hot showers even in the mountains!), and furnished outdoor patios.
All three have gorgeous views over the incredible Panchoy Valley, cozy hobbit-like furniture, and impeccable hobbit-style design. One walk through the round doors and you’ll see what I mean! Note that there’s no wi-fi, and this is done on purpose so you can really disconnect and spend uninterrupted time with nature and your loved ones.
Plus, by spending the night, you’ll get to enjoy the mountain and volcano views all to yourself once the daytime guests have left. There’s only 3 hobbit-style houses so it’ll hardly be crowded at night.
Imagine watching the sunset over the volcanoes from your hobbit house. And then witnessing the orange glow of lava erupting from Volcano Fuego (yes, it’s active and erupts multiple times a day) – absolutely epic!
Nightly rates are pretty affordable, ranging in price from ~$115 to $150 depending on which hobbit house you book. They do get booked up a few months in advance (hey, there’s only three available!), so be sure to book ahead of time!
Other tips for Visiting Hobbitenango, Guatemala:
Weather and When to Visit: Hobbitenango is high up in the mountains outside of Antigua, so will probably be a bit chillier than down in the city. I’d plan to take a light sweater just in case. Also, visit Hobbitenango in the morning when the sky is typically clear; clouds tend to roll in in the afternoon.
I honestly wouldn’t recommend visiting Hobbitenango if it’s raining, as almost everything is outside and the views will be obstructed anyways.
Crowds: Hobbitenango is definitely more crowded on the weekends, so if you can, I’d aim to visit on a weekday. We visited mid-week and felt like we had the eco-park to ourselves when we first got there. There’s typically a wait time for photos at the troll hand, faire games, and tree swing, but we hardly waited at all!
Do you need to be super obsessed with LOTR or hobbits to enjoy Hobbitenango? Not necessarily – and I really don’t think so! I’m not a fan of the fantasy series nor do I have a thing for hobbits, and still had such a fun time at the eco-park!
It’s honestly just so interesting to see the hobbit houses and the views. OMG the views. So quirky and fun and if you go in with a positive attitude and fun people, you’ll have the best time. Some may find it a corny and cheesy tourist trap, but we loved it!
Things to See and Do at Hobbitenango, Guatemala
The beauty of Hobbitenango is that you can explore the park at your own pace – there’s no guided tours here. This means you can spend as long as you want inside the hobbit houses, taking photos of the views, and riding the giant tree swing as many times as you want.
We spent the most time hanging out in the hobbit houses and taking photos on that famous Hobbitenango Hand!
Try some Guatemalan Coffee
Any coffee lovers here?! If you haven’t sipped on some Guatemalan coffee just yet, Hobbitenango is the place to try some.
What’s so special about Guatemalan coffee anyways? The flavor! It’s got a lot of deep-chocolate flavor notes – yummy! We started off our day trip to Hobbitenango sipping some coffees, all while staring at the volcano views in the distance and admiring the hills of the valley. The perfect way to start any morning in Guatemala.
And plus, when was the last time you had your morning coffee with views of the volcanoes?!
Walk on the Hobbitenango Hand
The Hobbitenango Hand, or La Mano Gigante Hobbitenango, is what initially sparked my interest in Hobbitenango in the first place. I saw a photo of the gray troll’s hand overlooking the Panchoy Valley and numerous volcanoes and just knew I needed to go. I soon learned it’s an icon of the eco-park, and the most Instagram-worthy spot in Hobbitenango!
And yes, you can walk right on the stone troll hand itself to take photos! Up to four people at once. I wouldn’t recommend it for people with a fear of heights (there’s literally nothing between you and the edges), so don’t get too close to the sides. And don’t touch the troll fingers – they apparently may break off…. (the staff member told us so…). A bit alarming to me, haha.
The troll’s hand is easily the most popular place in all of Hobbitenango (and the most photographed), so expect a line to get your photo taken if you’re visiting midday. We visited early in the morning and were lucky that we hardly had to wait!
There’s typically a staff member here at the Hobbitenango Hand to take pictures for solo travelers and those that need an extra hand (pun included). Note that he/she will set a 2-minute timer per person if there’s a line for photos, so everyone gets a chance and no one hogs it!
At first we had a hard time finding the Hobbitenango hand (there’s so many trails and not many signs!), but if you take a hard right after the giant tree swing, you’ll eventually make it there! Or just ask someone – there’s bound to be someone nearby who already went, considering it’s the most popular spot in the park!
Psst – there’s other giant hands up here in the mountains, like the Golden Hand at nearby Altamira Oriole, but we didn’t have time to visit.
Step inside a Hobbit House
Have you ever seen a real-life hobbit house?! Well, here at Hobbitenango you can even go inside a few and check them out. And yes, even if you’re not spending the night (there’s four public hobbit houses on site).
Hobbits traditionally live in “hobbit-holes”, which are essentially underground tiny homes built into the earth. The creators of Hobbitenango did their very best to recreate that for us visitors. Super whimsical and super fun!
We had fun taking pictures with the round door looking out towards the volcanos, with the exterior of the hobbit houses themselves, and of course taking some videos feeling like we own the place, haha.
Play Some Games
I was surprised to learn there’s a plethora of games at Hobbitenango – including archery, ax-throwing, and even mini golf! Unlimited games are included in the cost of admission. So refreshing that you don’t need to pay extra for every little thing here (that always annoys me so much!).
We didn’t have time to play any games (nor did we even come across any while wandering the property besides the games in the photo above), but they sound like a great time. Especially if you’re visiting Hobbitenango with kids!
Swing on the Giant Tree Swing
Before visiting Hobbitenango, I had no clue this giant tree swing even existed! And it’s actually the largest tree swing in all of Central America at a height of 2500 meters – pretty wild to me (although I honestly don’t know of any others besides in Banos, Ecuador but that’s South America).
Admission to Hobbitenango includes UNLIMITED jumps on the giant swing (yes, you can swing as many times as you’d like). Expect there to be a long line on weekends and holidays – there’s a reason this attraction is crowded! It’s basically a Tarzan swing over the highlands of Guatemala with VOLCANOES in the distance!
Do note a weight restriction applies for safety purposes.
Check out the Viewpoints and Wander the Trails
Everywhere you look in Hobbitenango you’ll find incredible views over the Panchoy Valley and the surrounding volcanoes. Yes, those are THREE volcanoes you see – Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango can all be seen on a clear day. We saw the plumes of smoke from Volcan Fuego go off a few times and it was absolutely mesmerizing.
One of the best viewpoints in the eco-park is The Nest – or “El Nido” in Spanish. You can actually book out the space for a private romantic meal or fun group experience ahead of time. If we had more time this would’ve been right up my alley.
We loved wandering the trails en route to all the activities on site – the area is so lush and green. Make sure to wear some comfy shoes as there’s plenty of dirt paths, loose rocks, and steep steps to navigate. Plan to leave the flimsy sandals at home and wear sneakers.
Find all the Photo Spots
Hobbitenango has a whole bunch of cute spots for photos, including some butterfly wings, a decorative swing which we loved, and colorful paintings against the volcano views. Yes they were totally made for instagram and social media, but hey, I won’t say no to a fun photo.
You’ll see these art pieces and photo spots scattered around the property, so keep your eyes open for them (they’re not hard to miss).
Shop at the Artisanal Market
The markets here are nothing like the artisanal markets you’ll find in Antigua, but on weekends and holidays, there’s a few stalls selling a wide range of Guatemalan products. Think local chocolates, coffee, typical Guatemalan sweets, and many natural products. My friend bought a beautiful jade necklace here at a great price!
Make sure to carry some cash if you intend to buy anything!
Things to do Near Hobbitenango
Don’t leave Vuelta Grande (the mountainous area where Hobbitenango is located) without checking out some other attractions up here. If you’re taking the shuttle from the office in Antigua it’ll be hard to add on another spot, but you can always come back up – that’s what we did another morning!
- Stay at Earth Lodge
Hobbit houses at Hobbitenango not available during your stay? Earth Lodge is another great laid-back eco-lodge in the mountains of Antigua, and it’s located on a working avocado farm! Like all of the highlands, expect to find panoramic views of the Guatemalan volcanoes up here too.
And better yet – it’s not just a hotel, but a fully functioning restaurant. Meaning everyone’s welcome to come enjoy a delicious, home cooked meal with a view. Plus, there’s live music every Sunday from 12-3pm, as well as yoga classes every morning!
- El Hato Verde
Up for another unique experience outside of Antigua? Head on over to El Hato Verde – you get to hang out in cool nets and tree houses overlooking the volcanoes. And it was super spectacular to say the least – I’ve never done anything like it in my life. We had a perfect view of the lush, green countryside and it felt absolutely wild sitting/relaxing on the nets staring at the volcanoes in the distance. Such a special memory.
I heard you technically only get 15 minutes at the mirador, but we had it all to ourselves for what felt like a much longer time, haha. I think we were the only ones on the entire property so far that day. The perks of going first thing in the morning. 🙂
El Hato Verde gets super mixed reviews as it’s kinda pricey. You need to pay Q115 per person just for admission, and then you’re required to spend a minimum of Q150 on top of that at the restaurant. Pretty expensive in my opinion, especially for Guatemala.
My friends and I had a mixed experience – while we LOVED the views at the mirador, relaxing on the nets, and sipping our coffees in the real-life tree house, the menu had absolutely no options for plant-based eaters. They thankfully waived our Q150 food fees once they realized they couldn’t accommodate us. At least they let us go without putting up a fight.
- Altamira Oriole Antigua Guatemala
Not ready to leave the area just yet? You can walk to Altamira Oriole from Hobbitenango in about 25 minutes or so (downhill) – we passed it on our walk up! There’s lots of funky things to check out, including 3 hand photo spots (including the popular Golden Hand) and plenty of volcano views.
It’s one of the best places near Antigua to take photos, but honestly, other than that, there’s not much to do, haha. If you’re not a fan of photos, you probably won’t love this spot too much. A few girls we met headed up here with a photographer and their pictures came out amazing!
Hope this helps you plan the best day trip to Hobbitenango, Guatemala! Send me your photos in the hobbit houses – I’d love to see them!
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