Latin America has no shortage of spectacular lakes. Lake Titicaca is, I believe, the most spectacular of all. Lago de Atitlan in the Guatemalan highlands is breathtaking.. The lakes of Patagonia will astound you with their colour and incredible backdrops. The list goes on.
Lago Petén Itzá in the north of Guatemala is not as well known but is quite the beauty as well. Recently I posted a couple of videos from my visit to Tikal. The majority of people that visit the site stay in the touristic island town of Flores. However, if you are looking for somewhere quieter, cheaper and closer to Tikal I can highly recommend the rustic village of El Remate,set on the shores of Lago Petén Itza.
Arrive, walk around, get a feel for the place, find somewhere to stay, eat some fish fresh from the lake, down a couple of gallo beers, chat to the locals, wash kids playing soccer and most importantly fling yourself into the clear waters of the lake for a refreshing swim.
It is easy to organise transport to Tikal, even to arrive before sunrise if you wish. I got up early and was the first to get to the site. After a long day enjoying the temples in the dense jungle and intense heat, you can return to El Remate for another cool dip. Whilst the majority of travellers are returning to their base in Flores in a cramped minibus, you will already be floating in the water.
* MY TIP
This is an especially good spot to stay if you are headed to Belize. The town is just a few kilometres from the crossroad heading to the Belize-Guatemala border. You can easily walk there to connect with ongoing local transport to the border and beyond. You don’t need that expensive tourist shuttle from Flores!