Explore the Rupununi with us
Unless you holiday literally in your own backyard, you’re likely to get on to a plane to start your vacation. But, if you choose to get off at Waikin Ranch in Guyana’s hinterland, you’ll be giving back to the Earth instead of taking from it for your entire holiday. Even the water you drink comes straight from the ground to you. Look and see how clear the ice in your drink is!
Waikin Ranch was started by one family to give all families (and couples, and even introverted loners) a retreat offering the best attractions of an all-inclusive resort except in a sustainable, self-sufficient, ecologically-respectful way, and with the overarching goal of improving the environment and the quality of life of the surrounding communities; even if there is electricity and Internet.
At Waikin, sustainable renewable energy is produced by solar panels. All four guest cabins have fans (that aren’t needed on most breezy nights) and power points with two 110v plug-in outlets and two USB charging ports. But, apart from the deep and restful sleep brought on by a day full of fun and healthy activity, being in the cabin is wasting time that could be better spent walking or hiking. Or horseback-riding. Or fishing. Or canoeing. Or at waterfalls. Or swimming in a natural pond fed by a spring. If Nature, in all her pristine powerful wonder is not enough for you, well, there’s Netflix.*
Waikin is a working cattle ranch and arable crop farm on 33,000 acres of largely untouched land in the Rupununi, an area world-renowned for its life-respecting approach generations before the term Òeco-tourismÓ was coined. It encompasses savannah grassland, walking and hiking trails, rivers, lakes, wetlands and small pockets of forest, every square inch teeming with birds, insects and animal life.
Stroll around the pastures, ponds and farmlands of the central homestead and you’ll notice large areas have been purposely – and most strategically ‘ left wild and untouched, to act as both sanctuaries and corridors for the wildlife that makes its home at or passes through the ranch.
The goal was to help wildlife populations to both thrive and remain in the area. It worked.
Indigenous creatures have returned, giving guests up-close sightings of giant anteaters, capybara, red-toed land tortoises, spider-monkeys, tamanduas, racoons and iguanas.
Over 200 different species of birds land at Waikin, including the critically endangered Rio Branco Antbird, the Hoary-Throated Spinetail, the Bearded Tachuri, the Bobolink and more.
You will never want to bird-watch anywhere else.
As a working cattle ranch, horses are a necessary – and delightful – part of life at Waikin. Experienced vaqueros (and a choice of wonderfully tame horses) make riding easy and rewarding for novices. For experienced riders, sturdy, trustworthy horses who love to be allowed to run free make exploration an adventure.
Fish effortlessly at onsite ponds and natural lakes. Or plan an outing to the Ireng or Pirara Rivers. Explore meandering waterways in canoes. Just you and your friends or family. And Mother Nature.
Spend two-to-four days – or more – at Waikin Ranch, a terrific destination in its own right and a fantastic base camp from which to explore the many attractions of the North/Central Rupununi.
One of the first interior lodges to close when the pandemic began, Waikin, before reopening, voluntarily adopted a policy of enhanced cleaning and sanitising protocols governing the movement of personnel, goods and supplies into the property. These strict measures – and being so far away from other homesteads, villages and townships – has allowed Waikin Ranch to remain in its own bubble of safety.
Waikin was the first North/Central Rupununi resort to reopen to guests and the first to be certified by the Guyana Tourism Authority as compliant with its hygiene and sanitation protocols. Even as covid appears to be fading, Waikin maintains these protocols for safety.
Many activities in the modern world are worthwhile and some are even rewarding. But the best have always been simple and shared with others: good food; good drink; good company. You can have it all anywhere. But it’s better at Waikin. Strenuous – or entirely relaxed – communing with Nature. Swimming in clear, uncontaminated water. Exploring the natural world until you’re bone tired.
And then a great dinner, a comfortable bed and a good night’s sleep.
And all of the Rupununi at your fingertips when you wake up the next morning..
*Prolonged Internet connectivity cannot be guaranteed.