A friendly little village , very close to Tikal
Not much to do
Quiet, peaceful alternative to Flores
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...more
I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu, a Pollo with Champignones, and it was nothing special. Mostly, it was not very hot - temperature wise - and definitely not spicy. The service was charming, but completely inattentive, although the place was very quiet. By the end, I was all alone and I needed to hunt for staff to pay my bill.more
Many people think the only option to get to Tikal and Guatemala from Mexico is by flying. It is possible to take a bus. There are regular buses from Cancun and Tulum that go to Chetumal where it is possible to get a bus to Belize city. At the boarder in Santa Elena you will have to pay a still $50 Conservation Fee, but there are few hastles. Once...more
There are several small shops on the west side of the only road through town. They sell local crafts. Of course in Gautemal there are all kinds of local crafts sold. But I really liked the quaility and uniqueness of these crafts.
What to buy: wooden items: turtles, birds etc.
What to pay: Not much.
The carvers of El Remate started originally carving miniature canoes. About eighteen years ago they started to carve more intricate figures like , huge jaguars ,monkeys and elaborate Mayan figurines of the deities. It amazed me that there could be so much talent of this kind in such a small place.Men and women both take part in the craft.more
During my current trip I have found that the recent US travel advisory about drug violence in northern Guatemala and Tikal area is not directed at tourism. Other travelers I was talking to did not feel threatened, and all services are functioning as normal, buses etc. Dangers really seem to be exaggerated. On another note, the food at La Casa De...more
Ate lunch at la Casa de Don David, which looked like the nicest resturaunt in town. My wife got a 'steak burger' that was rotten in the center. She was sick as a dog the next day (Tikal). I had one bite and was quite sick the next morning...luckily mine wore off quickly.more
Luggage and bags:
Travel light...no formal wear here!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Long sleaves and long pants
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Take care to wear Mosquito Repellent . There is still dungue fever here !
Biotopo Cerro Cahui is new preserve created right off of Lago Peten Itza 3 kms away from El Remate. Much of the rain forest is secondary growth as it used to be apart of a farm but there are quite a lot of large mahongany trees and sapadilla hard wood. Many species of fern and orcids are here as well other kinds of many other species. Howler and spider monkeys can be herd if not seen, especially near sunset. White-tail deer, raccoon, armadillos are also here and maybe even the jaguar. There is quite a lot of birds here as well including herons, toucans, parrots, kingfishers and a Peten turkey.
The rangers are very welcoming. They let me hold a boa. There are several nice and well marked trails that go up through the 650 hectacre park. Some of the trails lead up to some really nice panaramic views of the lake.
On the lake near the gates of the park is a great spot to hang your hammock and read a book and enjoy a brown bag lunch.
Entrance cost is about $3 US and comes with a really nice map and information about the park and its floral and fauna.
Open from 6 am to 5 pm.
When I was there it looked like they were building a visitors center.
Favorite thing: At Don David's you can change money, make travel arrangements to Tikal, make bus reservations, and just about anything else you need to do. The staff is friendly, helpful, and as David says, they "speak perfect broken English".