Presentation: A Visit to Santa Fe Ranch, Rupununi, Guyana
Presentation at Rotary Club Of All Nations
November 6, 2021 – 9:00 a.m.
One of the world’s Best Kept Secrets was recognized at the ITB Berlin Trade Show in 2018 when Guyana, a small country in South America was named the number 1, “best of Ecotourism” destination in the world. (The ITB – or Internationale Tourismus-Börse (in English: International Tourism Exchange) – in Berlin, is the world’s biggest trade show.)
This places Guyana ahead of very well-known and experienced ecotourism destinations like the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Sierra Gorda in Mexico.
The Co-operative Republic of Guyana is a country on the northern mainland of South America and the capital city is Georgetown. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east.
With 83,000 square miles and a population of approximately 800,000, Guyana is the third smallest and the second least populous sovereign nation in South America. Guyana is the only South American nation in which English is the official language.
Guyana represents 6 ethnicities including a rich Amerindian culture. (Amerindians, East Indians, Africans, Chinese, Europeans, and Portuguese.)The awards Judges were particularly impressed with the staggering mountain ranges and never-ending savannahs in the Rupununi.
The Santa Fe Farm
The Rupununi is a region in the southwest of Guyana, bordering the Brazilian Amazon. The Rupununi district is 22,000 square miles and the savannah encompasses 5,000 square miles. Located in the North Rupununi, Upper Takutu, Upper Rupununi, is THE SANTA FE FARM.
This farm occupies 29,000 acres of land for agriculture purposes, of which 8,000 acres has been prepared for rice cultivation. Other agriculture crops being cultivated are cassava, sweet potatoes, corn, watermelon, and a variety of other crops.
The livestock comprises of cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, and poultry.
The Farm is also involved in Fish Farming, producing Tambaqui a popular and tasty fish in the region.
The Farm has exported paddy rice to Brazil and presently supplies produce to the domestic market with the goal to expand to foreign markets. The workforce consists primarily of indigenous people from the surrounding villages.
The Santa Fe Lodge
Located on the farm is the beautiful fully furnished Santa Fe Lodge with a scenic view of the Pakaraima mountain range. This lodge consists of two (2) bedrooms, two (2) bathrooms with showers and toilets, a living room/dining room/kitchen, and a verandah and each bedroom has one (1) queen bed and one (1) single bed. The amenities include bedroom and bathroom linen, a complete set of cooking and baking utensils, dinnerware, flatware, glassware, and Wi-Fi for internet access.
In support of the country’s tourism drive, the Farm made a decision that the Santa Fe Lodge, Benab, and grounds be prepared to accommodate tourists to the Savannah, mountains, and those en route to Brazil. The Santa Lodge can accommodate 8 persons. The Benab can facilitate 6 hammocks and the compound as many as 10 “two persons” tents and is close proximity to toilet and bathroom facilities.
There are lots of activities offered such as: –
- Horseback riding – Enjoy riding on horse trails accompanied by a vaquero.
- Birdwatching – Accompanied by an experienced tour guide.
- Shadowing farmworkers – Accompany the farmworkers as they carry out their daily tasks, including cattle roundup.
- Boating – Either in the Takutu river which separates Guyana from Brazil or in our lake.
- Fishing – In the Takutu river, lake, or pond on the farm.
- Barbeque – Use our outdoor BBQ grill or have our staff prepare on the grill, pork, mutton, beef, and fish and enjoy with our fresh farm vegetables.
- Games – Enjoy some soccer, netball, darts, dominoes, or cards.
- Tours – By road or river tour to an Amerindian village.
While on the Farm, you may be fortunate to see one of the giant anteaters.
Getting to Santa Fe Ranch
You can get to Santa Fe Farm by Air or Land. Traveling by air takes 60 to 90 minutes from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, Ogle, which is located 4 miles from Georgetown. There are regular flights to Lethem, which is 30 miles from the Santa Fe Farm. Charter flights are also available. From the air, you will be amazed by the expansive jungle, mountain ranges, and savannahs.
Traveling by road takes 12 to 16 hours and takes you through the rainforest and Savannah including crossing the Essequibo River by pontoon. If you are lucky, you might see a Jaguar or other wild animals.
You will also have the opportunity to stop at a few Amerindian villages.
Visiting Santa Fe Farm is an exciting and fulfilling experience, from the time you depart Georgetown to the time you return.