The Republic of Suriname is a state in South America. The former name of the country is Dutch Guiana. It shares its borders with French Guiana, Brazil and Guyana. The northern part of the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital city is Paramaribo.
Suriname has a sub-equatorial climate with hot and wet weather. The average temperature all the year round is +26°C. In a dry season, the temperature can reach +36°C. The north-eastern trade winds bring some cold to the country. The wet season lasts for almost 200 days a year from November to January and from May to June. Plan your travel to Suriname for the beginning of February until the end of April and from August until December.
Near 47% of the population are the Christians, 27% are the Hindus and 20% are the Islamites. The official language is Dutch.
The lovers of beach holidays will enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic coast in Suriname and will take advantage of excellent facilities for surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Those who like country holidays should have a trip to the village of Alben and the Galibi reserve near the village. In this reserve, you will see thousands of green turtle eggs. The travelers can also go to Nyiv-Nikkeri and see the legendary Blanche Mary waterfalls. You can have a boat trip along the Nikkeri river, go hiking in the rain forest and go fishing.
The capital city Paramaribo is the center of city entertainments and shopping. Have a walk across the Old City which is in the UNESCO World Heritage List; have a look at the Presidential Palace; visit the Independence Square and the Palm Garden City Park. Anyone can visit the Zealand Fort which is a Suriname Museum now. Take advantage of the visit to the Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, the largest wooden cathedral in this region built in the 19th century. On the Vaterkrants boulevard, you will find the major market of the city.
The fastest and the most comfortable way to get to Suriname is a flight. There are no direct flights between CIS countries and Suriname. The travelers from these countries need to plan the flights with a transit in the hub airports of Europe or Caribbean countries. We recommend the flights with a stop in Amsterdam and from there Suriname Airways and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offer flights to Paramaribo.
Miami, Brazil airports or Caribbean island countries can also be transit points.
There are regular flights between Suriname and its neighboring countries offered by REDjet and British Airways. There are regular flights to neighboring French Guiana from Paris and almost all European airlines offer flights to Brazil.
There is the international ferry route between Guyana and French Guiana and Suriname across the Maroni river.
The tourists from CIS countries and the EU must obtain a visa to travel to Suriname. You can get a visa right at the border provided that you have a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Suriname.
Normal time for processing the documents for a visa for the citizens of CIS is 3-5 days.
If a tourist has a valid US or EU visa, then the time for processing the documents is 1 day.
At the arrival to Suriname, the travelers must show their yellow fever vaccination certificate.
In Suriname, there are not restrictions concerning the amount of imported and exported currency but the sum of 10.000 US dollars must be declared. The tourists can import and export national currency but the sum must not exceed 150 SRD per person. All jewelry and gold must also be declared.
The travelers can import the following goods in Suriname duty-free:
- alcohol and tobacco;
- maximum 50 g of perfume and maximum 1 l of other perfume products;
- personal belongings and gifts (the total cost should not exceed 500 US dollars).
Additionally to general restrictions, is is not allowed to import to Suriname:
- non-preserved meat;
- fruits except those that have been bought in the Netherlands;
- bulbs and roots;
- cocoa and coffee;
- all types of rice;
- seafood and fish.
It is prohibited to export from Suriname without a special permit the following things:
- items with acknowledged artistic and historical value;
- items recovered from the seabed;
- goods made of the wild animals' skins or tropical birds' feathers;
- goods made of a sea turtle shell;
Jewelry and gold must be declared.
The authentic cuisine of Suriname is diverse and includes cooking traditions of many nations. The staple food in the country is rice which is usually served with vegetables and fruits such as yams, manioc, red pepper, bananas, awarra and maripa. To spice the dish, in Suriname they add thyme, ginger, garlic and pepper mix.
The Surinamese people prefer game, poultry and beef. They often cook meat curry. We recommend trying Rijsttafel (rice with vegetables and stewed meat), Nasi goreng (fried rice with bananas and awarra), Bami goreng (fried noodles with maripa), Moksi meti (rice with poultry), chicken with vegetables Pom and meat pie Pastei.
In Suriname, you will discover an unusual taste of a peanut soup with banana noodles Tom tom, fried vegetables with peanut sauce Petjil, fried plantain with nut sauce Bakbana, salad with coconut flesh Goedangan and fried lentils Phulauri. When it come to soups, you should try Sato, an unusual chicken soup with celery and beans sprouts.
The dishes are usually served with traditional flatbread Roti, bread made of manioc Quark and fried pies Samosa.
When it comes to fish dishes, treat yourself to a pickled trout Bacalhau and smoked fish with fried bananas and manioc with pepper sauce Herheri.
If you have a sweet tooth, treat yourself to such fruits as carambola, rambutan, papaya, passion fruit and jackfruit. The best love dessert among the Surinamese people is Bojo Cake made of manioc and coconut flakes. At the end of the meal, you can order a lemongrass and coconut milk drink.
A traditional alcoholic drink in Suriname is a rum “Black Cat” and ginger beer Gemberbier.
The national currency in Suriname is Surinamese dollar (SRD). We recommend exchanging currency at banks or in exchange offices. Avoid exchanging money on the streets or in hotels. In provincial banks, the tourists can face the problems when exchanging the currency because the procedure takes a lot of time and banks require many documents.
Almost in any place in Suriname, the tourists can pay with US dollars. The stores accept American currency at normal rate and some shops offer two prices in Surinamese and US dollars.
Credit cards (American Express, Visa and MasterCard) are accepted in hotels and restaurants. In Paramaribo, there are many ATMs in central post offices and banks.
You can cash traveler's checks at banks. We recommend having checks in US dollars or Euros.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Suriname
- If you stay in Paramaribo, go to the Historic Inner City of Paramaribo which is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Also visit the Independence Square and the Presidential Palace. You will surely enjoy your walk in the city park Palm Garden with palms and tropical birds in it. Anyone can visit the Zealand Fort, Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, the Reformist Church and the library on Zorg-en-Hop containing a huge collection of antique books.
- Take a boat trip along the rivers Tapanahoni and Marowijne and get acquainted with the ancient Paramakan tribe. In Stelmansiyeland, where the rivers Tapanahoni and Lava flow into the Marowijne, the tourists can visit Benzdorp gold mines. The tourists can also go rafting and fishing on the rivers of Suriname.
- Blommestein Meer or Brokopondo is one of the largest human-made lakes in the world. The tourists can also visit the city of Malobbi.
- The Central Suriname Nature Reserve is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the reserve, you can see tapirs, armadillos, jaguars and over 400 species of birds.
- Do not leave Suriname without visiting the Raleigh-Falls-Voltsberg reserve and the Braunsberg National Park. The tourists will go hiking across the plateau and go down to the canyon to see a complex of waterfalls.
- In Brownsweg, there is one of the largest evergreen tropical forests.
- On the board between Suriname and Brazil, there is a Sipalivini's region and you can get there only across the river. There the tourists can meet the Indians from the tribes uayana, tyriyo and akurio. On their trip to Sipalivini, the tourists can also visit the Tarfelberg National Park, see the Kau waterfalls and Itabr waterfalls and go climbing in the Vilhelmina mountain range.
- Goods made of crocodile skin (shoes, wallets, bags, belts, and purses) are sold in Commewijne.
- Masks and figurines made of rare species of trees can be bought in the villages on the Marowijne river.
- In Albina, you can buy wooden plates and kitchen utensils
- Look for clothes from natural materials and hand-made painting in Paramaribo.
- In the region of Sipalivini, the tourists can make unique pictures of the people from the tribes.