Sign up for the Guyana, South America Weekly Newsletter Absolutely Free!

Guyana, South America Homepage Form 2

Taking the Bus Down the Lethem – Georgetown Trail

Be sure to like our Facebook Page: Guyana, South America for more!

First Published: 12th November 2017 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: August 9, 2023 at 15:26 pm

Taking the Trail: Your Options

When traveling from Georgetown to Lethem, or from Lethem to Georgetown in Guyana, South America, you have two options:

  1. The Bus Service
  2. The Plane

(Unless you’re the likes of Tyson English)

Currently, there are two airlines operating from Lethem to Georgetown, and about three or four local bus services. In this article, I will give some tips for taking the bus down the trail.

Most buses usually leave Lethem at 6 pm every night and arrive in Georgetown around 3 pm the next day. They also leave Georgetown around 6 pm, and arrive around 3 pm in Lethem. However, departure times may vary from bus service to bus service. For example, Greaves Transportation and Tours, one of the most reliable services, leave Lethem at 12:00 noon and Georgetown at 4 PM. Usually, you can pop up the same day and reserve your seat at Greaves Transportation and Tours – one of the most reliable services to run the route, but it is safer to book a day in advance.

The video below was filmed in the month of June, 2023, during the rainy season. We had just left Lethem for Georgetown. This video shows about 30 minutes into our journey at around 7:30 PM. As you can see, there are lots of potholes in some parts of the trail. Thankfully, our driver had driven this trail hundreds of times, so he knows what to expect. Newbies need to be careful!

The cost of a one-way trip at the time of this writing is about 80 US dollars.

First of all, be forewarned that if you are not strong enough to take a good rocking, the trail is not the right option for you. The trail by bus is a tiring 15-20 hours of really rough riding, and from my perspective, relatively dangerous, although there have been very few reported accidents along the trail.

The video below was filmed as we approached the Kurupukari Crossing. We had left Surama Village, where we slept for about 6 hours, and passed one checkpoint between Surama Village and Kurupukari Crossing.

That said, I must add that most of the drivers of the major bus services are very experienced drivers who have safely crossed this trail hundreds of times.

If you do plan to take the trail from Lethem to Georgetown or vice-versa, here are a few things to bear in mind.

Taking the Trail: Your Hand Luggage

Your suitcase and major luggage will be stowed away on the top of the bus. Therefore, keep a hand luggage, such as small haversack, with you in the bus. Your hand luggage should contain some essential items which you will need along the way. These include:

Your ID Card or Passport – When traveling the trail, you will need to present yourself to police outposts three times. Each time, you may be asked to present your ID Card or Passport, so keep this in your hand luggage (or your pocket) with you in the bus.

The Mabura Police Outpost is a checkpoint when traveling the Lethem – Linden trail. Have your passport or ID card handy.

The video below was filmed after we arrived at the Kurupukari Crossing in Region 8. We were just in time to catch the first ferry across.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste – During this 15 + hour drive, your mouth is sure to get dirty. The bus will stop at least twice for you to eat, rest, and use the washroom. The location it stops at might have a shop selling these items, but don’t bet on it – they could be out of stock. For this reason, keep a toothbrush and toothpaste safely packed in your hand luggage with you in the bus.

Some Snickers. Ever saw the commercial: Hungry? Grab a snickers? Well, this might be the case with you several times down the trail. Although the bus has several scheduled stops down the trail where you can purchase food, there is a good chance your belly might start grumbling during the driving. For this reason, stow away four or five snickers bar, or any other of your favorite snack, for you to grab a bite, if you don’t want to half-starve yourself. You might not need all of it, but it’s better safe than hungry. Besides, you can always offer one to the person next to you.

The Kurupukari River Crossing. This is where the mighty Essequibo River cuts the trail in two at the village of Kurupukari. A ferry takes vehicles across the river every hour of the day. Presently (April, 2023), there are plans to build a bridge over the river at this point.

Water, Juice, and Coke. Yes, you may need these along the way too. You may need to sip something light if you get thirsty during the drive. Don’t over drink though. Remember there aren’t washroom stops every fifteen minutes. And if you gulp down too much liquid, you may find yourself in a bit of inconvenience, and may end up stopping the bus. Be careful with the snakes!

Taking the Trail: Comfort and Conveniences

A pillow. Why do you need a pillow? Most of the buses presently do not have these beautiful push back seats like in Brazil. You will be traveling real fugitive-style. You’ll have to master the art of falling asleep while sitting upright and resting your head backwards or sideways. Sometimes, I found myself falling asleep only to get awakened by my head banging against the window. For this reason, many passengers keep a pillow handy to rest their head on or cushion a good blow.

Wear slippers, not shoes and socks. This is my opinion based on my personal experience. In the bus, my feet would get hot and I’d take out my shoes and socks, only to have the inconvenience of having to put it on and take it out again…and again and again, during the many stops for police, customs, meals, resting, etc. So, I found it more convenient to travel down the trail with slippers rather than shoes.

Keep the equivalent of about 50 US dollars handy during the trail. You might not need it all, but keep it just in case you need to rent a hammock to rest in, buy food and water, etc.

Keep a good camera handy. You might have the opportunity to flash some great scenes down the trail. So you’ll now have something to show for that 15 hours of roughing up, other than a tired spirit and a battered body.

The Lethem – Georgetown Trail is replete with beautiful scenery.

Customs and Duty Receipts. If you’re coming from Brazil and traveling with commercial quantities of goods, make sure that you have paid the necessary duties and have the slip (receipts) to show to the customs unit along the way–if they ask for it. Otherwise, they might seize all the goods or you might have to pay a bribe.

Empty your bowel and your bladders. Remember, you’ll be traveling sometimes down the trail for six to eight hours non-stop. So keep your bladders and your bowels as empty as possible before boarding the bus.

Say two prayers. Yes, although there have been very few reported accidents and losses along this trail, you should definitely ask God’s divine protection during this trip.

Other than that, good luck and God Speed!

-The Guyana, South America Team.

Update: The paving of the Lethem to Linden Trail has commenced. One source told this publication that it can be completed by the year 2025. However, it is more likely to be completed by 2030 or later, unless of course, the government speeds up operations. Once that happens, travel between Lethem and Linden will become much easier and faster.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x