TRAVEL TIPS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP TO THE RUPUNUNI.
Now that you have chosen to make the journey to the Rupununi for the Rodeo, here are some travel tips to get you ready for your trip:
There are two travel modes namely overland or air. There are several bus companies in Georgetown who offer transportation to the Rupununi including Carly’s and P&A. You can contact them to book your seat. However be prepared that overland is not for the fragile person, depending on the condition of the road, this can be a rough journey which can take approximately 12 hours. However, there are stops along the way for meals and bathroom breaks. Despite of how it sounds, travelling overland gives you a glimpse into the diversity of landscapes and if you’re lucky, you can spot some wildlife along the way.
Air Services Ltd and Trans Guyana Airways are the regional carriers offering daily flights to Lethem. Contact their office for fares and securing your space. Remember the Rodeo weekend is one of the busiest so you would need to secure your seat early. With the advent of the Beechcraft, reaching Lethem can take as little as 75 minutes. Aerial travel gives one a deeper appreciation for the expanse of the Rupununi landscape.
Lethem has two banks with ATMs: GBTI and Republic Bank which are located on Barrack Retreat. Both have regular banking hours Monday-Friday 8 am-2 pm. Lethem has mainly a cash economy therefore there are very few places which accept debit card or cheque payments.
The Guyana dollar is the main currency used in the region. However, stores do accept the Brazilian Reals. For persons who may do shopping in Brazil it is advisable to change your Guyanese currency to the Reals prior to leaving Lethem. The current exchange is G$1=R$65. Bangladesh Bus Service and Hotel Amazonas offers cambio services.
There are a variety of shopping centres and smaller shops to cater to your needs. You can find basic toiletries, vegetables, snacks, clothing and the list goes on.
Opening hours: Monday- Saturday: 8 am-5 pm
However Peter Loje and Anil’s Store are usually opened in the evenings.
Temperatures in Lethem range from 27C to 35C . Rain has taken a hiatus but don’t be too surprised if there is a sudden downpour. The weather can be like life in the Rupununi- unpredictable at times. Days are hot while nights tend to be cooler. Always a good idea to keep hydrated with a handy water bottle. Remember to pack your sunscreen.
Light and comfortable clothing is preferred. Pack your swim wear, you never know when you might visit one of the nearby waterfalls or creeks. Come with your favourite hat or cap to combat the sun.
Rupununi is known for its kaboura flies, however they are mainly problematic during the rainy season, At this time, there are little to no occurrences. However to be sure, we advise that you walk with insect repellent as depending where you are staying, there may be mosquitoes.
Food in Lethem is a cultural fusion. You can find a mix between Guyanese, Brazilian and Indigenous cuisine. Generally, breakfast and lunch are readily available however its best to pre-order dinner. For the Rodeo weekend this should not be a problem as there will be many places including food booths at the Rodeo ground offering lunch and dinner.
Commute around Lethem is by taxi. Your hotel front desk will be able to source these on your behalf or ask anyone, they will be sure to know at least one taxi’s number.
Cellular coverage is provided by Digicel and GTT. All hotels have WI-FI services for guests.
Lethem Regional Hospital is staffed with doctors and nurses to assist with any emergencies which may develop. Emergency cases are referred to Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation or to Boa Vista Hospital.
Over the counter medications can be sourced at any of the two pharmacies. One is located in the courtyard of Hotel Amazonas while the other is located at Kanuku lodge, both located on Barrack Retreat.
Persons desirous of travelling to Brazil are required to have their Yellow Fever and MMR immunizations. Kindly ensure you bring your immunization cards as these may need to be verified upon entry.
Entry to Brazil
There are no visa requirements for Guyanese nationals travelling to Brazil who stay up to 90 days. However, you are required to visit the Immigration office in Lethem to fill out the departure form and the Federal in Bon Fim to fill in the arrival form for Brazil before proceeding to Boa Vista. For persons visiting Bon Fim, this requirement does not apply.
Dust and that Rupununi Colour
Lethem can be a very dusty place and is known for its brick red colour. Please note this with your white apparel.
What else to bring?Open Mind and Enthusiam!
The Rupununi is a beautiful destination, be open to the experience and most of all, enjoy your visit.