El Remate is a small town on the banks of Lago Petén Itzá, about 65 km from Melchor de Mencos on the Guatemalan border with Belize. To get there, you have to get off the colectivo from Melchor at Puente Ixlú (commonly known as El Cruce). From El Cruce, it’s about 2km to El Remate. The walk is easy, but you can also catch a colectivo into town (for example, if it’s raining).
El Remate is a quiet town, closer to Tikal than Flores but without the nightlife and colonial color. The ratio of chickens, pigs, and turkeys to people is probably around 6:1. It’s a great option if you’re planning on staying in the area for a while and would like to save some cash or if you’re just in Peten to visit Tikal and move on. There are quite a few places to stay, but it’s difficult to find somewhere that allows guests to use the kitchen–the price of propane is a major disincentive. There are a few restaurants, some of which offer reasonably priced food, and a number of small shops where you can buy fruit and other basic staples.
Be warned: though there are signs everywhere advertising an ATM that takes international cards, it’s hasn’t yet arrived (as of February 2013, at any rate). Although Restaurante El Muelle changes cash and maybe travelers checks, it’s less of a hassle just to come prepared with the cash you figure you’ll need.