For fans of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, there are real life options to just buying the books or watching all the movies. There is Hobbiton in New Zealand, and also visiting Hobbitenango in Guatemala, one of the most fun things to do in Antigua.
This post will introduce you to Hobbitenango, explain how to visit, tell you all the things you can do there and, in case you want to spend the night, dive into Hobbitenango accommodation options.
What Is Hobbitenango?
If you spend some time in Guatemala, you’ll notice several towns and cities end with ‘tenango’, this means ‘place of’. So you can say Hobbitenango is the place of Hobbits!
Founded in 2016, Hobbitenango is not just a place for fans of The Lord of the Rings complete with Hobbit holes, it is also a place where you can disconnect from everything.
Many speak of the desire to live disconnected from society (not just temporarily), but the two families behind Hobbitenango went a step further and wanted others to enjoy the space they’ve created.
Every project they work on is thought of as a new eco project. This holds true as the property generates all of its electricity through solar and wind.
With gorgeous views over the Panchoy Valley, and of volcanoes like Acatenango or Pacaya in the distance, the team behind Hobbitenango invites you to stay overnight, or spend time getting away from it all on a day trip.
How to get from Antigua to Hobbitenango
Hobbitenango is located only 9km to the northeast from Antigua’s city centre so it makes for a great day trip. To get there, you have two realistic options.
The best and easiest option is to take the shuttle departing from the Hobbitenango office in Antigua. The shuttle bus departs every two hours (from 8am to 4pm) and takes you right to the entrance. This will save you a lot of hassle getting up the last 800 metres to the property, which is only suitable for 4WD vehicles.
The shuttle takes 25-30 minutes each way and costs 35Q (around US$5) for the round-trip. The shuttle leaves from Hobbitenango back to Antigua every two hours from 9am.
The other option is to drive yourself from Guatemala City, Antigua or Lake Atitlan. There’s plenty of parking space available and once you’ve parked, you’ll have a 15 minute walk (800 metres) to Hobbitenango itself. Or you can wait for the shuttle to take you for 10Q (around US$2) return.
Note, if you’re staying overnight, the path is not suitable for those with suitcases, therefore you’ll want to take the shuttle bus rather than walking the last 800 metres.
I wouldn’t recommend walking or cycling from Antigua as a lot of the journey is up a steep incline on narrow roads.
Things To Do At Hobbitenango
When you arrive at Hobbitenango, you’ll walk through the office, after which you are free to explore the property as you desire (you can read about the ticket prices below).
You’ll pass by the bar and restaurant, and then you’ll see what most come here for: The Hobbit holes. Taking lots and lots of pictures in the famous Lord of the Rings spot is the most common thing to do in Hobbitenango.
Aside from that, there are a number of paths you can walk, and given you’ll be here for 3-3.5 hours if you’re taking the shuttle, there’s no need to rush around.
Start with a walk to the highest viewpoint of the property which is 500m away. It’s steep in some sections, but take your time and it’ll be no problem. Wander back down the various paths, and you’ll come across seating areas, view points, and hammocks.
These are perfect places to take in the views or read for a bit if you brought a book. The hammocks are perfect to just relax.
In terms of activities, there are six holes of mini golf, but it’s not your traditional mini golf. There’s also an axe throwing lane, archery, skeet ball, cornhole, and giant jenga. A giant swing is under construction too.
How Much Does Hobbitenango cost?
Visiting Hobbitenango is free during the week but you pay for activities, while there is an entrance fee for visitors on the weekend. This includes unlimited use of the facilities.
On Saturday and Sunday, the entrance fee is Q50 (US$7) for adults and Q30 (US$4) for children. Alternatively, if you choose one of the lunch buffet options which range from Q90-200 (US$12-26) per person you get free entrance to the park. You can see the full menu options here.
For the minigolf and other activities, they’re Q10 (US$2) each during the week. They’re free on the weekend once you pay the entrance fee.
Where to eat at Hobbitenango
There are a few different places you can eat at in Hobbitenango. The most popular spot is the Hobbitenango Eco Restaurant which has lots of space with nice views (and they make sure to offer a second breakfast option for the hobbits). You can check the seasonal menu here.
The waiting time for your food can be slow, so be sure to leave a lot of time (at least an hour) before your shuttle is due to leave. If you don’t feel like getting a big meal, you can order a couple of the side options. I had typical Guatemalan food: tortillas, aguacate, and frijoles. Perfecto!
Alternatively, there are often a couple of small restaurants hidden in the Hobbit holes serving things like tortas and crepes. These options change regularly, so pop your head in wherever you smell good food coming from as you explore.
There’s also a cafe and bar for the coffee and beer drinkers.
Can you stay in the Hobbit Holes?
As you walk around the property, you’ll see two Hobbit holes that are inaccessible. This is because they are available for booking and you can stay in these overnight. A one night stay in the Hobbitenango houses ranges from US$80-95.
Got a tent?
There are three camping spots available from US$11 per night. The campsites are on the hill behind the restaurants close to the hammocks. While it might get cold, it’d be an awesome place to wake up for sunrise!
The staff keep a small bonfire going, which everyone will gravitate toward as everything closes to the public at 8pm, and the Wifi is dodgy at best (you’re there to disconnect remember).
How long to stay on a Hobbitenango Day Trip?
Two and a half hours will be plenty of time for most people to explore Hobbitenango.
If you caught the 8am shuttle, you’ll arrive at the property at around 8,30am. If you aim to catch the 11am shuttle back to Antigua, this should be enough time for you to relax, eat, play, and appreciate Hobbitenango.
If you’re visiting during in the rainy season, make this your first activity of the day so you can avoid the somewhat regular afternoon rain.
Finals words on Hobbitenango
The families behind Hobbitenango may hesitate at calling themselves entrepreneurs, but since 2016 they’ve grown Hobbitenango into an amazing eco retreat not too far from the busy Antigua (and Guatemala City).
Is Hobbitenango worth it?
Visiting Hobbitenango is a unique way to spend time with friends and family before hiking the nearby volcanoes. Don’t expect a massive adventure full of adrenalin, but rather to smile a bunch, relax, and get some cool photos.
BIO: Growing up in New Zealand, Jub (Founder of Chur New Zealand) didn’t understand the buzz with travel. Why would you go overseas when you have all your friends at home? He eventually figured out why it’s so great in 2013. In saying that he can’t pin down one thing he ‘figured out’, he just knows it’s amazing.
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