El Remate, Guatemala
El Remate Reviews
May 21, 2007
The Lonely Planet Shoestring Central America guidebook mentions this place only in passing. This is a mistake!!!
If you are going to go to the ruins at Tikal (and why wouldn't you?!), you should brave the sticky, baking sun in Flores and wait for a mini-bus to take you around Lago El Peten to the positively heavenly El Remate.
The journey takes about 40 minutes and will, if you're over 6 feet/2 metres tall like me, be 40 minutes of laughter for the other passengers. Apparently my contortionist impression (which involved an arm out of the window, another arm around the very butch fella next to me, a leg under the chair in front and the other with the knee also poking out the window but with the foot under my arse and my head and neck bent over to lean on butch fella's shoulder) caused great mirth. Especially to the midget who occupied the 'leg-room' seat.
However, its sooooo worth it. We arrived at about 4pm having travelled from Palenque (long day) so enlisted the help of some sweets-seeking kids. They took us to the Italian owned hostel with a weird name (to follow)!!
We got a room with beautiful views of the lake for 100 quetzals (at about 6.50 pounds a lot compared to the rest of Guatemala but worth it. El Remate buses are about an hour closer to Tikal Ruins than those from Flores and an hour and a half closer than Santa Elena. This means you can get the 5.30am 'staff' bus to the ruins and have the place to yourself for about 2 hours before anyone from the towns turns up.
After the ruins we returned to our room got changed and jumped into the crystal clear Lago El Peten, swam for an hour, had an ice-cream, then returned to the patio restaurant at the hostel. The menu is simple but wonderful and we enjoyed a plate of chinese style rice and watched the sun set over the lake.
Lovely little village!!
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