Into Guatemala.....Tikal and El Remate

Published: October 9th 2011
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Well, we are certainly making headway through the countries now, and have arrived in Guatemala. We got here again via Maya walk, Belize, who took us as far as the border, and then introduced us to the guys from Maya walk Guatemala, who took us from the boarder to the ruins of Tikal.

Tikal was another huge Mayan city that is amazingly preserved, and is one of the most renowned sites in Central America. We had a guide with us from Maya Walk, who was again really helpful, and informative, and gave us plenty of facts and information about the ruins, which we couldn’t have got from our guide book. About 20 mins into our tour however, my trusty Havaianas Flip flops decided the climbing of ruins was too much strain for them, and inconveniently snapped mid climb up a hill. This meant I had to trek the rest of the 3 hours or so in bare-foot through the jungle….not ideal!

Apart being shoeless and it being pretty damn hot, we really enjoyed walking round the ruins and taking in all they had to offer. The wildlife around there was pretty awesome too, and we managed to get a glimpse of some Howler Monkeys, as well as some Spider Monkeys way up in the canopy, which was awesome. The final temple that you are taken to is Temple 4 of Tikal, and this one is enormous. You are allowed to climb Temple 4 to the top (some of the temples cannot be climbed), and the view of the jungle and the tops of the other temples within Tikal really is fantastic.

When booking the tour, we asked that we be dropped off on the way back in the small town of El Remate, as an alternative to Flores which is the popular place to stay when visiting Tikal. It turned out to be a wise choice as far as we were concerned. El Remate is situated on a beautiful lake with clear blue water as far as the eye can see. It also had the peace, tranquillity and relaxing atmosphere that we were looking for after the hectic schedule of tours we had been on in the last few days.

We checked in to the amazingly well kept ‘De Casa Don David’ which was run by a small family who were extremely friendly, and couldn’t do enough for you in order for you to have a pleasant stay. Once we had checked in and put our stuff down, we had a look around the guesthouses garden on the lake, and were met by David, the father of the family who showed us round, giving us all sorts of information on El Remate and Guatemala itself, as well as introducing us to the Dragon fruit. We had seen these about, but had never tried one, and David kindly offered us one that was growing in his garden, which was delicious! It’s not often we say that about fruit, but we will definitely be keeping a look out for these as we travel. The rest of the evening we had a small wander round the lake, and finally just chilled on an old rickety jetty to watch the stunning sunset over the lake. That night I went on a hunt in the dark for the Tarantula’s that David said there were under the rocks of the gardens to get a picture, but to no avail. On the walk back to the room however, I did manage to catch a glimpse of a scorpion that I nearly trod on, so my bug hunting wasn’t completely wasted after all!

The rest of our time in El Remate, was just as relaxed, as we just went swimming and for walks around the lake, generally just taking it easy. A great place to recharge and get ourselves ready for the next stop in Guatemala, Coban.

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