El Remate is like many dusty little village in this part of Guatemala , save for one difference "the wood carvers". The carvers do amazing work here and they are happy to show there talents to anyone who wants to watch . About 70 per cent of the locals carve ...they use exotic hard woods like mahogony and craft wonderful mayan figurines and animal figures.
There is a nice two hour boat trip available for $15.00 , to watch the sunset and get a look at some of the different water birds. There was a night tour available too and if you are lucky you an see caymen.
Be sure you take crayons, balloons and such along. Then don't just throw them around like a king throwing coins. Establish a little contact. You will make friends. If the parents are around, give the gift to the parents to give to the kids.
I simply barged into two churches, to say hello and look around. In the green one, I explained that I worked for a church-affiliated non-profit, and compared notes a bit. In the white one, I found a minister singing for the children and I stayed and enjoyed it for a while. Everyone was incredibly hospitable, kind and patient with my awkward Spanish.
El Remate is a small town of few buildings right on Lago de Peten Itza. It is the last town on route to Tikal and makes for a great place to relax for a few days and enjoy the lake and the nearby Biotopo Cerro Cahui. The lake is great for swimming and is very popular for locals to swim. It is very clear and warm.
There is some basic pensions in town that have friendly owners and staff. The local tourist restaurants are very good too. I love the fruit topped pancakes they serve for breakfast.
The buses for Tikal are frequent. If you leave early from El Remate you basically can get into Tikal to visit the temples in the afternoon without paying. You must pay for a days stay but if you arrive afternoon you only pay for the next day. This allows you to get up early in the morning at Tikal to see the magnificent sunrise over the jungle from Temple IV.
There are several docks built along Lake Peten Itza . They have a little thatched roof hut at the end . They make great place to read a book or to just unwind.
There is a huge speed bump (tumulo) at the entrance of every village. Therefore, traffic is slow through small hamlets, and you can walk safely. No one will mind you walking around smiling.
Annimals run freely throughout El Remate: horses, donkeys, turkeys, goats, pigs, and dogs. At night, the birds produce a wonderful serenade, along with a few rain drops on the metal roofs.