YACHTING IN GUYANA
Guyana’s Essequibo River is the third largest in South America next to Brazil’s Amazon and Venezuela’s Orinoco. Its expansive waters provide a truly magnificent cruising destination and Guyana, located outside of the hurricane belt, is proving to be a safe haven for Cruisers to hang out during the hurricane season.
The waters surrounding the small mining town of Bartica, Baganara Island Resort and Hurakabra River Resort provide some of the most exciting, virtually untouched, and beautiful river anchorages anywhere in the world.
The Town of Bartica is now an Official Port-of-Entry and cruisers making the Essequibo River their destination can sail the 30 miles up river from the ocean to Bartica to clear customs and Immigration with a simplified 2-page form. Clearance takes less than an hour.
Guyana was first featured in the Doyle Cruising Guide for the Caribbean, the bible for yachts cruising the Caribbean, in its 3rd Edition in 2006 as a potential destination for cruising yachts.
Chris Doyle, accompanied by Donald Stollmeyer, owner of Power Boats in Trinidad & Tobago and renowned yachtsman, Simon Wall, came to Guyana to advise on how to develop Guyana and, in particular the Essequibo River, as a yachting destination. The visit had the full support of the government who, as Doyle wrote in the introduction to the Guide on Guyana, “were keen to see yachting develop and …wanted to get Guyana on the yachting map.”
Simon Wall had first sailed to Guyana in 1969 and helped compile the Doyle Guide feature on Guyana, including plotting the navigational waypoints from the entry to the Essequibo up river to Bartica. The launching of Guyana as a yachting destination had begun.
In 2011, David Matelicani, an Italian who had retired from business in Australia, sought refuge in the Essequibo from a storm when sailing his yacht off Venezuela and met with Kit Nascimento and Gem Madhoo, the owners of Hurakabra River Resort. Matelicani decided that there was huge potential for developing a yachting industry in Guyana in the Essequibo River and indicated his interest in investing in a boatyard in Guyana. He has since presented an investment proposal for a boatyard to the Government of Guyana.
David organized the first ever Yachting Rally in September 2013, “The Nereid’s Rally” to come to Guyana which began in Trinidad & Tobago, was hosted at Hurakabra River Resort and spend 10 days enjoying true Guyanese hospitality before departing for Paramaribo and conclude at Saint Laurent du Maroni in French Guiana.
Since the Rally, yachts have consistently visited Guyana from the Caribbean and from Brazil and further south, having crossed from Europe on their way up to the Caribbean.
Now an annual event, the second Nereid’s Rally, organized by David, followed the first in September 2014, with some 8 yachts participating. This year, the third Nereid’s Rally was hosted in Guyana by Minister of Tourism, Ms. Cathy Hughes, at Hurakabra with 10 yachts directly participating and 12 more yachts visiting at the time of the Rally. On this occasion, an official delegation from French Guiana were guests of the Minister at a luncheon launching the Rally.
The Minister of Tourism accompanied by her husband, Mr. Nigel Hughes, Kit Nascimento and Ms. Gem Madhoo-Nascimento, were then Guests of Honour of the Sous Prefet , Mr. Vo Dinh and Mayor of Saint Laurent, Mr. Leon Bertrand, at the conclusion of the Rally.
The Doyle Guide provides full planning and cruising details from the Caribbean and up river to the anchorages off and around Bartica, Baganara Island Resort or Hurakabra River Resort.
Cruisers, once happily anchored in the Essequibo, can explore the wonders of Guyana.
For tours to any part of Guyana and caretaking of vessels, visit www.hurakabra.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org