Finca El Pilar

Finca El Pilar, Antigua: Hours, Address, Finca El Pilar Reviews: 4/5

Finca El Pilar
4
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Hiking Trails
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8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Located in the heart of the Central Volcanic Chain (CVC) just a few minutes away from the beautiful colonial city of Antigua Guatemala and home of the famous El Cucurucho Hill. This site protects important pine - oak and cloud forest patches. It reaches a maximum altitude of 8695 ft. above sea level and is the perfect place to go birding (+ 150 spp) hiking and mountain biking. Visitors can take a refreshing dip into three swiming pools fed with pure mountain water.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
27 reviews
Excellent
11
Very good
11
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
4

Unlocated
14 contributions
Couples
This is a wonderful place to go just outside of Antigua, easily accessible by Uber (or you could walk there in about a half hour uphill, if staying on the south side of town).

We didn't explore the entire complex, but saw plenty. When entering, past the swimming pool, the road forks. To the right is the main dirt road, along which you can quickly get up in elevation or have more of a canopy view.

Straight at the fork, into a parking area and past the house with the 'ghost dog's sign, is a smaller trail with some boardwalks. Here are the hummingbird feeders and quicker intimate access into the trees.

The fruit growing areas were also interesting. An all around great place to spend a few hours.
Written August 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dee G
Redding, CA78 contributions
Solo
There are not a lot of safe places around Antigua, Guatemala to go for a hike on your own or as a couple without a guide or other people as a group. This is one place that you can. I'm an avid birdwatcher and had been reading from various sources that El Pilar was a good destination to look for birds. When you drive up to it, the place has an industiral look but don't let that put you off. There is a big parking area if you have your own car; otherwise the tuk tuk or taxi drivers will leave you at the gate. There is some confusion about the cost. The cost is 40 Quetzales per person to enter, park and hike. If you want to go swimming ( there are 3 beautiful swimming pools) I believe that it is an extra 15 Quetzales. The trail is basically a road past the swimming pools ; but after that turns into a trail. And the trail is 1st Class ( for Guatemala). There are several very clean and attractive restrooms near the pools, and the hummingbird viewing area. I went the day after a rainy deluge and the trail was wet but not muddy. a couple of hundred yards past the swimming pools you come to a covered viewing area to watch hummingbirds; and there were 6 hummingbird feeders there. The hummingbirds were thick. And oh so beautiful! I followed the trail up the mountain. Further on the trail got steep and turned into wooden stairs- all with handrails, cleats to keep the steps from being slippery, and with many areas was covered with plastic to keep the wood from rotting.Everything was well maintained. I went on a Sunday. I arrived there at about 9:30-10 am and was just about the only person there. There was one man swimming in the pools, and there was a couple taking pictures of the hummingbirds. I met no one on the trails in four hours of walking. Because it is basically cloud forest the temperature was cool and refreshing. There were bromeliads and ferns and strangler figs covering the myriads of trees. Bird calls rang through the forest. It was magical; and usually I am reluctant to share really cool places because the publicity changes places so much; but I am concerned that if a first class facility has no business it could close or turn into something else that is not so attractive. So if you're in Antigua then , yes, by all means go !
Written May 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for the nice review, we're glad you enjoyed the experience.
Written June 8, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Maddy003
Bethesda, MD53 contributions
Family
Well maintained trail in beautiful forest a little off the tourist track. Gates close at 5 & we got there at 4 so didn’t make it to the top. There were families and small children in the pools but no other hikers. So nice to breathe clean air in Antigua! Hummingbirds were plentiful. Highly recommended.
Written January 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Soupmother
Brighton, UK2 contributions
Couples
65 Quetzales is a lot to pay for hiking on a bulldozed jeep track, but we figured the security was worth it. Except today we were attacked by a pack of four aggressive dogs while passing a property on the main trail. Luckily we had mostly passed their territory by the time they sensed us, but they sprinted up to us barking like crazy and looked ready to bite. We had to throw rocks as we backed away and eventually they went back to the property.

This could have ended very nasty if it was just one of us on their own, or with children, and had been caught further in their territory instead of mostly past it.

Simply, this is unacceptable. And the staff at the bottom did nothing about it except tell us we should file a written complaint. Well here's my written complaint.
Written January 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jonH6533NA
Antigua, Guatemala3 contributions
Solo
Finca El Pilar is not safe. I encountered an armed man who demanded money and/or cell phone in farm. He threatened to kill me. Somehow I managed to talk him down. I would never return to this farm.
Written June 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leesburg7
Falls Church, VA18 contributions
Solo
Spent 13 hours with a local guide, from dusk to nightfall (last bird: a Whiskered Owlet!). We walked up and down the mountain-side, along well-maintained, incredibly built paths. Saw 8 species of hummingbird, most at local feeders and observed through a scope. Fabulous views and there was a modern bathroom nearby. I was wiped out by the time I got back to my hotel, but I am 82; never slipped once during the walk. I could not understand why we had this extraordinary site to ourselves, but heard that someone used the internet to claim nearby Antigua is not safe. BALONEY! My wife has been teaching there for several years. I was told a tourist was mugged at night as he walked alone on a road outside Antigua. That is really pitiful, and can happen almost anywhere in Latin America. The finca has a beautiful setting and birds one craves. Antigua and the Finca el Pilar can't be beat.
Written January 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lorilee C
Grand Rapids, MI35 contributions
Family
I recently visited Finca el Pilar with my husband and two teenagers, 13 and 17. We will never forget this incredible place, with its stunning views both of volcanoes and the thick, verdant cloud forest. Just a 45-minute walk or a 10-minute tuk tuk ride (we booked 4 x 4's in Antigua, so also about 10 minutes) from Antigua, this is a cool and refreshing getaway from the crowds and the city. For about $5-6 US, you can hike for hours and look for birds, too. The bathrooms are immaculate and so are the pools (a few extra dollars). My 13 yo happily dunked her feet in a fish pond where the carp nibbled at her heels. It's also possible to book a camping trip overnight here, which we also did. Juan was our wonderful host, and we had several tents set up with bedding etc. Everything was very clean and new. At night we had a beautiful view of the volcano and in the morning the birds woke us up with their chatter. Our tents were right by a clean bathroom too, though no showers. We felt totally safe as the property is a private, gated reserve. Truly a hidden gem near one of Guatemala's most buzzing tourist locations.
Written April 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ashbybirder9
Ashby de la Zouch, UK25 contributions
My wife and I visited El Pilar on two occasions and really enjoyed the peaceful ambience. It is a lovely place to wander around enjoying the wildlife particularly birds. The hummingbird feeders at the entrance are a must!
Written February 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

scottie552
Calgary, Canada285 contributions
Friends
After lunch, several of us walked to the square and took two cabs to the Fina (Estate or farm) El Pilar Colibri (Hummingbird). It cost Q50 for each cab. The farm is located on the south side of town and at the foot of the mountains in a valley. Admission was Q40 each. We walked up a hill past a gravel sales yard, a store and swimming pool and entered the forest. There was a trail/path leading up a valley between two mountains. At the start of the trail, there were bananas growing further up, there were coffee plants.

We came across a hummingbird feeder station and were able to see several birds and got some poor pictures as the birds move so fast and are tiny. The path continued on up the valley and climbed up through a series of stairs. Apparently you can get to the top of the mountain if you wish and then return via a gravel road. The scenery with the trees and fauna made for a pretty walk. It was cool and quiet, a nice change from the heat and crowds in Antigua. We were not rushed and could walk at our own pace.

When they dropped us off the cabbies gave us a card so we could call for pickup which we did. While we were waiting for our cabs, we watched a rock slide down the hill from the road down from the top. It looked like the road was partially blocked. The cabs back to the square were again Q50.

It was well worth a visit.
Written May 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for the comment, we are glad you enjoyed visiting Finca El Pilar.
Written June 8, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tom6670
Charlotte, NC24 contributions
Friends
Great little park to visit to find some unique birds while in the Antigua area. One of the few places around the region that actually has hummingbird feeder‘s. Look for regular visits from Rufous Sabrewings, Rivoli’s and Berylline Hummingbirds!
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Finca El Pilar is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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