I’ve seen it, a lot, around bars in Europe and at some markets in the USA. It is known as the best rum in the world, it’s a Venezuelan rum and I had the opportunity to visit the ranch where everything started: Hacienda Santa Teresa.
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Not only once, but I’ve been there 3 times. Although the 1st time I visited, I was only 9-10 years old, so I couldn’t even try any drinks and I barely remember the trip.
Hacienda Santa Teresa is located about an hour drive from Caracas, in Aragua State. In Venezuela of course. The town is El Consejo and it’s not just about the rum, but also about its history and getting to see colonial homes, antiques, and even trains. The place is gorgeous!
They have a restaurant, bar, clean restrooms and a huge green area to play or even for a rugby match! They actually play rugby and make rum, even helping young people to be active and do sports.
The restaurant is okay, very cheap compared to a regular restaurant and super extremely cheap if converting Dollars to Bolivares Fuerte. I paid about $2 for a natural strawberry juice, a bottle of water, chicken made with rum and french fries, including tips and taxes. They should get better with the food though, I mean they are a world known rum, with lot of people visiting and they offer ‘blah’ food. It wasn’t a bad experience because of the ambience, sitting outside, but they can do better with the dishes.
Another complain we have, not enough information when you arrive. I visited in 2013 and they had different route and tour, obviously different prices too. But they should have a flyer or someone that truly knows the information of the day because we didn’t exactly knew what to do or what to expect (the 2nd time I went with friends in 2015) plus the long line (with the hot weather, not their fault of course) waiting to buy tickets it was awful because, obviously, every one was lost as we were and were asking questions to be at the tour or activity we wanted, with just one ticket window helping.
But well, we were 5, while two of us went to buy some drinks, another stayed in line and the other 2 walked around to see the common areas, and then we changed positions. That long we had to wait in line to buy tickets. Probably we waited for 45-50 minutes or so. Perhaps an hour…
However, it was so much fun to do the tour, trying different kind of rum and getting to know about it. Laughing with friends and meeting other on our team. Because we were a team, it is all related to rugby, so they kind of compare the way they make rum with how rugby is played. And we drink more. Plus the guides, both times I went as a grown up -1st time don’t remember- were super nice and fun! They do know what they are talking about and explain very well everything.
The only thing we couldn’t enjoy, because of the long wait and they close by 5pm on Sundays, it was to relax by the (sort of) lounge area with some drinks. But we tried a beer from Aragua (it’s actually from a German town located in that state: Colonia Tovar) and 2 very refreshing cocktails made with Santa Teresa rum and fresh fruits.
I’m sure, and my friends are sure as well, that if they train their waiters and hosts by the entrance with more and proper information, add another ticket window and get (a bit) better with the food, the place will be a whole amazing experience! Even though I had a fun and good time and the green areas are beautiful! They can do better and more.