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The Town of Lethem – Region 9 – Guyana – South America

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This page was first published on the 2nd of February 2020 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: February 3, 2020 at 22:41 pm
The round-about to the southern end of the Barrack Retreat – Lethem’s Main Commercial Highway. Photo: Department of Public Information.

The town of Lethem is located in the county of Essequibo, Region No. 9, in the country of Guyana, South America. At the time of this writing, Lethem is officially a town, having been granted township in 2016 by the present APNU/AFC government in fulfillment of a promise made during the 2015 elections campaigning.

Lethem is located towards the south of Guyana. It forms the most accessible border between Guyana and Brazil. The Brazilian city of Bonfim is on the other side of the border.

The Guyana/Brazil border. Cross the bridge to get to neighboring Brazil. This view gives you look into the Brazil from the top of the Takutu River Bridge.

Guyanese who wish to travel to Brazil often travel first to Lethem, either by plane or by bus.

Suggested Reading: Taking the Bus Down the Lethem – Georgetown Trail.

The Customs and Immigration Building where travelers go to stamp in and out of Guyana, and where people go to declare foreign goods and pay duties where necessary, is located to the south of Lethem, near to the Takutu River Bridge.

Travelers need to check in at the Guyana Immigration Department in Lethem to “stamp out” of Guyana before leaving Guyana. However, it should be noted that stamping of passports is not necessary for travelers who are only reaching the neighboring Brazilian cities of Bonfim or Normandy. In order to travel further into Brazil, Guyanese and travelers of other nationalities passing through Guyana need to have their passports stamped by both the Guyana Immigration Department in Lethem and the Federal Police in Bonfim.

Lethem was named after the British Governor Sir Gordon James Lethem, who governed Guyana from 1941 to 1947.

Commercial Activities in Lethem

An overhead shot of Barrack Retreat – Lethem’s Main Commerical Highway – Barrack Reteat – Taken around December 2019 – Photo: Department of Public Information.

The commercial zone in Lethem starts from the junction of the main road (Barrack Retreat) with the road branching off to Georgetown. The Lethem Power Company is the last building going south along Barrack Retreat and a Chinese Business is the last one  going north (towards Georgetown). Along this road, there are many Chinese stores as well as other businesses. The two commercial banks in Lethem are the Republic Bank and The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry.

Bus Services in Lethem

Carly Bus Service

Cindy Bus Service

Paul Ward Bus Service

You May Also Like: The Lethem – Georgetown Trail

Hotels in Lethem

When traveling to Lethem, you have a great number of choices to select from in terms of accommodation. The hotels in Lethem provide great accommodation and hospitality services at a reasonable rate. It must be noted that each hotel in Lethem is special in its own unique way, and each one seems to have something above the other. Here are your choices of hotels in Lethem to choose from.

The Takutu Hotel

The Takutu Hotel in Lethem is one of Lethem’s oldest, yet most modernized hotels. It sports over 40 rooms ranging from $7000.00 GYD (35 USD) to $20,000.00 GYD (100 USD). The Takutu Hotel is located towards the southern end of Lethem’s Main Commercial Highway. Learn more about the Takutu Hotel in Lethem.

The Amazonas Hotel

The Amazonas Hotel in Lethem was completed around the year 2016 and is a great option when traveling to the Region 9. It sports a clean environment and insect-proof rooms as well as an amazing panoramic view of Lethem from the third floor. Rooms start from $7000.00 GYD (35 USD) Learn more about the Amazonas Hotel in Lethem.

Ori Hotel

Ori Hotel is located in a tranquil environment away from Lethem’s Main Commercial Highway and right opposite the Lethem’s Magistrate Court. It is close the Lethem Post Office. What sets Ori Hotel apart from all the others is its round-the-clock restaurant as well as its nature-themed environment. Learn more about Ori Hotel in Lethem.

The Rupununi Eco Hotel

The Rupununi Eco Hotel is located in the street behind Lethem’s Main Commercial Highway. The Eco Hotel is another great option when looking for accommodation during your trip to Lethem in Region 9, Guyana, South America. Air-conditioned rooms start from $8,000.00 GYD (40 USD). Learn more about the Rupununi Eco Hotel in Lethem.

Kanuku Lodge Hotel

The Kanuku Lodge Hotel is located at the center of Barrack Retreat – Lethem’s Main Commercial Highway. It is located right next to the Frontier Pharmacy, right opposite Reaz Computers and obliquely opposite Macedo Gas Station. Self contained rooms start from $6000.00 GYD (30 USD). Learn more about Kanuku Lodge Hotel in Lethem.

Savannah Inn Hotel

Savannah Inn Hotel is located along Lethem’s Main Commercial Highway – right next to Best Choice General Store and obliquely opposite the GDF Base. Savannah Inn offers the cheapest rooms for those who want to economize – shared washroom rooms are as low as $4000.00 (20 USD). Self contained rooms start at $10,000 GYD (50 USD). A write up on the Savannah Inn Hotel will be added to this website soon.

Bonus: The Takutu Hotel in Neighboring Bonfim, Brazil

The Takutu Hotel in Bonfim, Brazil is your “bonus” hotel when traveling to the Rupununi Savannahs of Guyana. I say “bonus” because it is not located in Lethem, but it is located just about two miles from Lethem – in the neighboring Brazilian municipality of Bonfim – just across the Takutu River Bridge which connects Guyana to Brazil. The Takutu Hotel in Bonfim, Brazil is one of your options if all of the hotels in Lethem are booked out, or if you just want to sample a taste of Brazilian culture. A write up on the Takutu Hotel in Bonfim will be added to his website soon.

Tour Operators in Lethem

When you come to Lethem, you may be looking for touring opportunities and to explore the Rupununi Savannahs as well as neighboring Brazil. To find tour operators in Lethem is not hard, and you have several options.

First of all, all the taxi drivers know how to get to the Kumu and Moco Moco Falls, and they can take you there for a small fee. In addition, several of the hotels, such as Amazonas and Takutu Hotel, have staff who serve as tour guides or can direct you to one.

Furthermore, there is the Visit Rupununi Office in Lethem which provides even more detailed tourism information.

People of Lethem

Most of the people of Lethem are very nice and friendly and very hard working and will help you find your way around the town.

The population of Lethem, including the North and South Rupununi Savannahs, is estimated to be about 50,000 as of the year 2020. And the racial composition of Lethem is estimated as follows:

Amerindians: 35%

Mixed Races: 35%

East Indians: 10%

Africans: 10%

Chinese: 5%

Other: 5%

Education in Lethem

The town of Lethem sports a primary and nursery school: the Arapaima Primary and the Arapaima Nursery School. However, Lethem does not have a Secondary School as yet. Instead, the students of Lethem have the option of attending the St. Ignatius Secondary School in St. Ignatius Village – a neighboring village to Lethem which is also an Amerindian Reserve Village. The St. Ignatius Secondary School also serves students from all across the Rupununi Savannahs of Guyana and is one of the few secondary schools in the region.

What To Do When You Are In Lethem

Some of my readers ask me “what are some things to do when I come to Lethem.” So I decided to include this section. Here are my suggestions:

Visit the Moco Moco Waterfalls.

Tour the Rupununi Savannahs

Visit the Kumu Waterfalls.

Visit Surama.

Visit Karasabai Village

Visit the Brazilian city of Bonfim, or go further to Boa Vista.

The Takutu River Bridge in Lethem

The Takutu River separates Guyana from Brazil on Guyana’s southern border. The Takutu River Bridge is a 230 meters-long bridge which crosses over the Takutu River and connects the Brazilian city of Bonfim with the Guyanese town of Lethem.

Learn more: The Takutu River Bridge

Criminal Activities and Violence in Lethem

Although Lethem is a relatively safe place to walk at nights, there have been occasional disturbances of the peace. These include rapes, robberies and murders. Learn more about Crime in Lethem.

And More…

What other information would you like to learn about the town of Lethem? Tell me in the comments section below.

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June-Ann Amsterdam
June-Ann Amsterdam
1 year ago

How can I live there? What would it take to move there from the coast