Searching for Hobbits: Comparing Hobbit Towns in Guatemala Versus New Zealand
Some people say I have been on a quest to find hobbits, since I have been to two different Hobbit Villages on different ends of the globe.
The two I visited are on the mountains of Antigua, Guatemalain a place called Hobbitenango, and the other in the center of New Zealand in Matamata , known as the famous Hobbiton Movie Set where Lord of the Rings was filmed.
I have had many sites on hobbit houses, villages, landscapes, and architecture visiting both locations. Allow me to dive deep into comparison. If you are a fan of travel, exploration, and a different more unique type of travel, these two destinations should be on your top things to see.
Hobbitenango - Antigua, Guatemala
Up high in the mountains of the historic city of Antigua, Guatemala lies the hidden village of Hobbitenango, an eco-lodge that has hotel, restaurant, and bar. You must get there by car , preferably a 4x4 sturdy car to make it up the mountain. It is probably a 30-45 minute drive upwards once you arrive in the city of Antigua.
The views of Hobbitenango will make you fall to your knees... or maybe I’m just being dramatic. But seriously, I have never seen such spectacular jaw dropping views like the ones you see in Hobbitenango. You feel like you can touch the clouds, with some clouds actually being below you. It’s truly an on top of the world feeling.
The lodges are hobbit designed houses that have round doors where you can stay overnight , with beds, a fireplace , your own garden, porch, bathroom with shower, tables, and a small living room. Each guest gets a radio to call in the staff if you want them to deliver food from the restaurant.
The restaurant has really REALLY delicious food options, including oven pizza, burgers, and typical Guatemalan breakfast options to name a few. Their hot chocolate is pure Guatemalan chocolate- perfect for a chilly night. Hobbitenango also has a full bar with a circular door that opens up . It’s nothing short of INCREDIBLE.
Hobbit Movie Set- Matamata, New Zealand
The world famous Lord of the Rings books and movie series comes to life in New Zealand at the Hobbit Movie Set.
The tour includes the waking the same paths that the famous actors took while filming the movie. Today, millions of people across the world venture to New Zealand just to get a glimpse of the magical Hobbit Movie Set.
There are so many details in this incredible movie set that they’re easy to miss if you don’t look closely. From the food and fire pits out in the front of the hobbit doors, to the apple trees and over-grown pumpkin and squash plants, it feels like people actually live there.
To arrive here you must buy a tour ticket in advance. I took the Great Sights Hobbiton Tour with the Waitomo Caves Tour that includes lunch at Hobbiton. A bus will transport you to two stops. The first is a stop at the gift shop which includes a café and restrooms. The second stop on bus is the actual movie set where you’ll take your tour. During the bus ride you will see roaming green hills and adorable white sheep. A tour guide that works for the set will be in charge of you and the group to provide a walking tour around the entire movie set and explain where certain scenes were shot.
As in many movie sets, no actual livable or usable Hobbit houses were built. Almost all of the “homes” that you see are just doors. There is one door that can be opened for guests to walk in and take pictures. There is a retaursnt that serves up a delicious buffet if you select the ticket with the lunch combo - HIGHLY recommended. Keep in mind you cannot stay overnight here, since it is a movie set.
At the end of the tour, each guest gets free beer. We can’t say no to that! The experience is definitely a true once in a lifetime experience, and the pictures and memories you walk away with are priceless.
Diclaimer: The Hobbiton Tour was provided by Great Sights and was sponsored . All words and opinions are my own.