fun things to do with kids el remate guatemala   Travel for Kids
Guatemala
  | North - peten
     
   

El Remate

El Remate is situated on the northeastern end of Lake Peten. It's a sleepy little village, with small hotels spread along the lake. In the distance is a nature reserve, and a high ridge shaped like a crocodile (cahui). Traditional village life goes on all around – people fishing in the lake, school children getting off the bus from town, horses grazing by the side of the road.
    Cerro Cahui Nature Reserve (Biotopo Cerro Cahui)
      The most fun thing about hiking into this nature reserve is "cerro cahui" (crocodile hill). The reserve sits on a ridge shaped like a giant crocodile, with its snout poking into Lake Peten. Crocodiles are sacred to the Maya; as an animal that lives above and below the water, the crocodile is connected to the underworld, Xibalba.
    Follow the self-guided trails, hiking up to a lookout (mirador), that's the "eye" of the crocodile, with views of the lake below. It's about 6 km round trip to the lookout and back from the park entrance.
    On your hike, look for tiny geckos and lion ants on the ground, woodpeckers, flycatchers, butterflies, howler monkeys in the trees. The reserve is also filled with plants and trees used by the Maya and Guatemalans today – Ramon tree nut (a substitute for corn to make tortillas), allspice leaves for tea, sap from horse balls for glue.
      The Maya lived in this area, and on the trail you can still see fragments of unglazed pottery (you can pick up, but don't take away).
      It's best to go in the early morning, when the animals and birds are active and it's cooler.
    Horseback rides – Horseback rides can be arranged at La Casa de Don David.
    Tip: Visiting Tikal, it's ideal to stay in the three hotels within the park. However, if they're full, hotels in El Remate is another option; it's half an hour into the center of the park. Taxis and mini-buses are available.
    Shopping
      El Remate is a woodcarving village. We bought a whole group of small wooden animals of Guatemala, carved from hardwoods – coatimundis, crocodiles, tapirs, jaguars, toucans and turtles.
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