There's so much to see not only in Antigua, but also the beautiful countryside that surrounds this Guatemalan city.
Antigua once served as the capital city of Guatemala before a massive earthquake damaged the city and caused the country to reestablish Guatemala City as the capital.
While Antigua may be prone to natural disasters given it sits saddled in between Agua, Fuego and Acatenango volcanoes, this also results in natural beauty and landscapes unique to this part of the world.
With so little time and so much to see in the Antigua area we ended up booking an ATV experience through Simoon Tours.
Not only are ATVs practical for exploring the Guatemalan countryside but they're also a boatload of fun!
In this post we're going to go over everything you should know and what to expect on an ATV rental with Simoon Tours.
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What to expect when renting an ATV with Simoon Tours in Antigua
While Simoon Tours offers a variety of ATV experiences in the Antigua, Guatemala region this post focuses specifically on their sunset ride.
If you didn't rent a car, this is a really fun alternative to reach these sites since they should be on your Antigua itinerary regardless!
As an added perk Simoon Tours provides transportation from your hotel accommodations to their facilities where you pickup your ATV.
Before being picked up for your tour I'd recommend packing a few things for the ride. Once the sun drops below the horizon it can cool off quickly. Be sure to bring a backpack with a jacket, gloves, sunscreen and plenty of water.
By the time we rode back in the evening it was quite cold and the gloves I packed really paid off. You'll be driving an ATV after all, so you'll have plenty of wind in your face!
Once you've been swooped up by Simoon Rentals they'll take you to their facilities in town to sign waivers, fit you for a helmet and do a quick safety lesson on how to operate your ATV.
After you're up to speed on how to operate your ATV they'll unleash you and your group onto the streets of Guatemala.
You get to ride your ATVs on the main roads with larger vehicles. It's both amazingly fun and slightly dangerous. Pay close attention while riding and you'll be fine!
We started our tour with a stop at Cerro de La Cruz.
The ride up to Cerro de La Cruz from your starting point is relatively short and only takes about 15 minutes. Don't worry, there's plenty more ATV riding to be had after this quick detour.
We parked our ATVs at the top near the Santiago de los Caballeros statue. From here it's a short walk down to the Cerro de La Cruz viewing area which is directly beneath the large cross that resides here.
Pro tip - if you're looking for a restroom you can find facilities near the entrance of the park. Just be mindful that you have to pay a small cash fee to use them so be sure to have some quetzals handy.
We spent a little under an hour walking around the park and taking in some of the best views to be had of Antigua and Volcan de Agua.
The area is very popular among locals and you'll find craft vendors situated along some of the nearby walking paths.
If you're interested in learning more about Cerro de La Cruz you can read my full post on that area here.
Once your group has had their fill taking in views at Cerro de La Cruz it's time to ride on towards Hobbitenango.
Our understanding was that the tour usually includes a stop at an avocado farm, but that area wasn't taking visitors in late 2021 due to COVID restrictions. Instead, we spent some of that time at another viewing area along the main road and had extra time for enjoying Hobbitenango.
We rode most of the way to Hobbitenango by ATV. To drive from central Antigua to Hobbitenango by car you're looking at about a 30 minute drive.
Near Hobbitenango we dropped our ATVs at a garage owned by Simoon Rentals and hopped into a pickup truck for the last leg of our journey. This was so we wouldn't have to leave our ATVs parked up near Hobbitenango.
I wasn't sure what to expect at Hobbitenango. It was on our list of places to hit during our visit to Antigua but in the back of my mind I was prepared for this to be an over hyped tourist trap.
Fortunately, I couldn't have been more wrong!
Described as an eco-park, Hobbitenango has all sorts of activities to ensure you have a fun filled visit. From axe throwing to giant swings that will launch you out over the Guatemalan hillside, there's a little something for everyone here.
Not only does this hobbit themed eco park boast tons of activities but there's also a restaurant and full service bar!
There's no shortage of incredible views throughout Hobbitenango and I think that's really what sets this place apart.
Be sure to get your photo taken on the giant hand that juts out from the hillside, it's a popular thing to do so don't be surprised if you have to wait in a line!
We had a couple hours to explore the park and to be honest it wasn't enough time. You could easily spend a half day or more trying all of the activities and sipping a few cold beers while you soak up the refreshing mountain breeze and views.
The photographer in me couldn't get enough of the sunset we experienced that night. Every time I looked up it seemed to be more beautiful than it had been just a few minutes prior. The sky was on fire framed by volcanoes, mountain ridges and multiple cloud layers.
Regardless of how much time you end up spending at Hobbitenango I would highly recommend sticking around for sunset!
After a couple of hours spent enjoying Hobbitenango it was time for a dinner pit stop back near where we dropped off our ATVs.
Just when I thought our day couldn't get any better we were lucky enough to witness a Volcan Fuego eruption after dark while enjoying our dinner.
The eruption itself was probably only visible for 15 seconds or so. Luckily I had just pulled my camera out to try photographing the sunset as the horizon was a deep crimson red like I had never seen before.
When I took a look at my first photo of the horizon I realized that Fuego had started erupting mid shot! If I wasn't awe struck by the sunset still I probably wouldn't have had an opportunity to grab my camera to capture the volcano eruption.
After enjoying dinner with our tour group we hopped back on our ATVs and made the ride back to Simoon's facilities in Antigua.
As I alluded to earlier in the post it was quite chilly riding at this point so packing an extra layer and gloves would be wise!
I can't speak highly enough about our experience dealing with Simoon Rentals or the amount of fun we had on that day. Next time I'm passing through Antigua I'll be sure to try another experience with them.
Be sure to read our guide on reducing airfare costs
One of those most unavoidable and dreaded travel costs is airfare.
Even if you budget carefully for food, accommodations and find budget friendly activities the cost of airfare can make many destinations prohibitively expensive.
But if you're a savvy traveler like me then you know there are ways to beat the airlines! I have a full post dedicated to all of the tips and tricks I use to pay the absolute minimum for airfare when I travel.
Looking for quick advice on how to book your next trip?
It's easy to forget how much time, effort and planning can go into putting together a vacation.
Booking flights, shuttles, rental cars, hotels, activities and making sure you've packed everything you'll need for where you're going is no small task!
Not to mention all of these things tend to add up in cost very quickly. With so many things that can go wrong what's a savvy traveler to do? Read my post on travel planning hacks that's what!
In that guide I will highlight all of the strategies I use to streamline the trip planning process while making sure I cover all of the tricks I use to save money along the way.