What to do when you visit Flores, Peten, Guatemala? / Flores top tourist activities
Located nearby Flores on Lake Peten-Itza, El Remate is a tranquil retreat for those looking to enjoy nature and relax by the water. Though it attracts some tourists, El Remate is generally a very quiet little town with a few restaurants and hotels, so its best suited for people who want to disconnect (there is limited wifi available) and be somewhat isolated, enjoying a little peace and quiet.
It is really easy to get to El Remate as a day trip from Flores using public transportation. It’s about a 45 minute ride and the buses depart from the collectivo station inside the Santa Elena marketplace. From Flores, you can walk there in about 20 minutes (or take a quick tuk-tuk for Q5). Buses leave frequently throughout the day, so you can likely show up at any time and grab one within 30 minutes. As always with collectivos in Guatemala, the schedule is somewhat flexible so you should arrive early but also expect to wait. The trip costs about Q20 per person, but be prepared to pay Q5 more in case they charge you ‘tourist price.’ There is no negotiation once you are on the shuttle, so ask the price before you board if you want to be sure.
Once in El Remate, the bus will drop you off at the central crossroads, nearby a small park. You can walk down the road in the direction of the water, within a few minutes walking directly alongside the lake on your left-hand side, and after about 10 minutes you will start to pass docks. These docks are privately owned, but most rent access for Q5 per person. Once you see one where you’d like to spend some time, just ask the owner (usually located on the other side of the road, often in a restaurant, tienda, or other small business) for permission. From there you can swim, sunbathe, relax, and enjoy the view!
You can bring a picnic lunch with you, or go to one of several restaurants within easy walking distance. Our personal favorite is Las Gardenias, an Italian restaurant where they also infuse traditional Mayan ingredients and influences, such as pasta made out of chaya (a local green leafy vegetable), literally made fresh right in front of you!
If you have some extra time and want to get more into nature, check out Biotopo Cerro Cahui. This protected natural area offers various trails where you can see local wildlife in their habitat. The walks take about 3 hours, and there are more challenging hikes going up from there, with the longer trails taking you farther out where you are more likely to see large mammals. When you enter, you pay an entrance fee of about Q40 per person, review the maps and different options and pick your path, all equipped with lookout points and signage to help you get the best view. Of course, as with anything based on wild animals, there is no guarantee of spotting a specific species even if you follow the recommended trail. We advise getting an early start because the animals are typically more active in the morning, or even spending the night in El Remate so you can head out at dawn for the best chances. At any time you decide to go, be sure to bring plenty of water and bug spray!
When you are ready to return, just come back to the park area where the bus dropped you off and wait for a passing collectivo. They usually come about every 30 minutes up until 5pm, but again, that’s flexible. The collectivo will drop you in the main bus terminal in Santa Elena (not the marketplace) and from there it’s a 30 minute walk, or 10 minute tuk-tuk ride, back to Flores.
Prefer to skip the hassle of public buses and take private transport? Contact us for more info!