El Remate is a small, relaxed little village on the east side of Lago Petén Itza. Some travelers looking for peace and quiet opt to stay here rather than Flores as a base for exploring the lake and the region. It's also the closest jumping off point to Tikal.
Minibuses run from Santa Elena semi-frequently throughout the day (Q20). A taxi from the Santa Elena airport will run US$20.
Central El Remate is small and walkable, but if you're staying a ways along the north road on the lake, you may want to find a bicycle to rent. Microbuses mosey along randomly, and you may be able to hop on to one of those, but don't count on it. Some hotels have their own buses and will take guests where they need to go. Otherwise, expect to do a lot of walking.
- 1 Nakum. This former ceremonial center and city of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization is best visited with a guide and arranged from an agency in Flores, Santa Elena or Melchor de Mencos. Its acropolis has been mostly reconstructed and is larger than that of Tikal. The city was able to benefit from its position on the Holmul River trade route, and had its peak in the period between the 8th and 10th century AD. It belongs with Naranjo and Yaxha to the so-called cultural triangle in the region. The city was discovered in 1905 by Maurice Perigny. An extensive restoration program was started in 1990. You can visit as either a round trip from Yaxhá or a one-way continuing onward to Tikal. From the main road between Flores (Guatemala) and San Ignacio (Belize) one branches off in the direction of Yaxha. From here an unpaved path leads to the ruins in Nakum. The path can only be mastered with a 4x4 car in dry conditions.
- Survivor Guatemala Tours. Survivor Guatemala was filmed on nearby Lake Yaxha. Hotels and travel agents can arrange tours.
Several local food shacks are scattered along the main road. Most lodges have restaurants, and often include breakfast and even dinner in the price of accommodation.
- Las Orquideas, El Remate (on the lake front road about 1km past La Casa de Don David), ☏ +502 5701 9022. Top-quality, home-style Italian food served in a quiet palapa-hut.
Outside of a quiet beer at your lodge, don't expect much nightlife in or near El Remate.
- Sak Luk Eco-Lodge, Directly in El Remate, on the road to Tikal (Look for the ranch with a giant maya mask (see link) on the main road), ☏ +502 50483982. This eco-lodge has the very best view in town! It's located on top of a hill that dominates lake Petén-Itza and cerro Cahui, a crocodile-shaped mountain. It has an interestingly unique rustic architecture and a very relaxed and communal atmosphere, with travelers from all around the world. The restaurant serves yummy food and tasty smoothies. The place is owned and run by very friendly Guatemalan sculptor and maya enthusiast (His stories about the Popol Vuh, the maya writings about the creation of men, are really worth listening to).
- La Casa de Don David, ☏ +502 7928-8469, +502 5306-2190. The best rooms have a/c, and hot water. The property is clean, tidy and well maintained with very friendly staff, who can help with all kinds of activities and transportation. Amenities for hotel guests are free bottled water and internet service.
- La Casa de Doña Tonita, 1.5 km from El Remate, on the road around Lago Petén Itzá. A peaceful and inexpensive family-run hostel with its own dock on the lake and a restaurant. Double rooms go for $3/person.
- El Gringo Perdido, 3 km from El Remate, on the road around Lago Petén Itzá, ☏ +502 5804 8639. This chill lodge is a nice place to relax along the lake. Accommodation is in a few various cabins, and in a small hotel block. One cabin in particular is close to the lake and is the most open to the elements. 2 docks make for decent swimming, and there's a couple of floating platforms to swim out to and sunbathe. Breakfast and dinner are included in the price. US$40/person.
- Hotel Camino Real Tikal, 5 km from the road to Tikal (leave the main road at El Remate), ☏ +502 2410 5299. A luxury hotel in beautiful natural surroundings. It has a restaurant, but with an unimaginative menu. The Biotopo Cerro Cahuí is close by and worth a visit. Expensive.
A couple places near the main junction offer internet. La Casa de Don David, on the corner, can get you online for $4/hr.
- Tikal – likely one of the reasons you're here in the first place, these spectacular Mayan ruins are a 45-minute drive away. Inquire at your hotel about tours, or simply ask them to have a microbus pick you up around 06:00, which will take you there for around Q70 roundtrip, returning about noon.