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Paramaribo, Suriname
Paramaribo, Suriname by E-Go Studios on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Latin America - Suriname Travel Notes.

Suriname Travel Notes

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Suriname Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Journey through Suriname's breath-taking landscapes, from dense rainforests to pristine rivers, and uncover the allure of this hidden jewel in South America.

About Suriname

Suriname, formerly Dutch Guiana, is in north-eastern South America, between Guyana and French Guiana.

Suriname is a small yet culturally rich and diverse nation with a unique history and natural beauty that make it an intriguing destination in South America.

Also explore Suriname's rainforests and Dutch colonial history.

Travel Map Mapping Suriname

Map of Suriname 

Map of Suriname

Suriname's coastal plains are swampy, changing to savannahs and forest areas as you move south towards the more densely forested mountainous region.

Suriname's rich wildlife, nature, ocean, and culture provides plenty of experiences for adventure-seeking tourists.

Be aware that floods often arise during Suriname's heaviest rains, between December and April.

Suriname Overview

Suriname is a country located on the north-eastern coast of South America.

Suriname is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana to the east, Brazil to the south, and Guyana to the west.


The capital city of Suriname is Paramaribo, which is also the largest city in the country.


Despite its natural resources, Suriname faces challenges such as deforestation, environmental degradation, and socio-economic disparities among its population.

Political stability and economic development are ongoing concerns for the country.


Suriname's culture is a blend of influences from its indigenous peoples, African slaves, and various immigrant groups.

This diversity is reflected in the nation's cuisine, music, dance, and religious practices.


Suriname is a culturally diverse nation with a population made up from various ethnic groups; including East Indians, Creoles, Javanese, Maroons, Amerindians, Chinese, and Europeans.


Suriname's economy is diverse, with key sectors including mining (gold, bauxite, and oil), agriculture (rice, bananas, and timber), and services.

Mining, particularly gold and bauxite extraction, plays a significant role in the economy.


Suriname was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Arawaks and Caribs, before European colonisation.

The Dutch established control over the territory in the 17th century, primarily for sugarcane cultivation.

The country gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975.


Dutch is the official language of Suriname, a remnant of its colonial past.

However, Sranan Tongo, an English-based creole language, is widely spoken and considered a lingua franca among the different ethnic groups.

Natural Beauty

Suriname is known for its lush rainforests, abundant wildlife, and pristine rivers.

The country boasts a rich biodiversity, with many species of plants and animals found in its dense tropical forests.


Suriname has potential for tourism, particularly ecotourism, due to its natural beauty and diverse cultural heritage.

Visitors can explore its rainforests, observe wildlife, visit historic sites in Paramaribo, and experience the unique blend of cultures that make up the country.

The Suriname Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHATA) offers essential services to improve Tourism in Suriname with the aim of increasing the number of travellers and tourist spending.

Visiting Suriname

It is often said that Suriname is 'The best kept secret of South America'.

Be open-minded and respectful as you explore Suriname, and you'll have a memorable and enriching travel experience in this unique corner of South America.


Paramaribo offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfasts.

Make sure to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Best Time to Visit

Suriname has a tropical climate with two main seasons: a rainy season (May to August) and a dry season (September to April).

The dry season is generally considered the best time to visit when the weather is more pleasant for outdoor activities.

Cultural Experiences

Immerse yourself in Suriname's diverse cultural heritage by visiting Maroon villages along the Suriname River, attending cultural festivals, and exploring the country's rich culinary traditions; which blend indigenous, African, Indian, Javanese, and Dutch influences.

Explore Paramaribo

Take some time to explore Paramaribo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and diverse culinary scene.

Don't miss landmarks such as the Presidential Palace, Fort Zeelandia, and the Central Market.

Health Precautions

Consult with your healthcare provider before travelling to Suriname to ensure you are up-to-date on vaccinations and to receive any necessary medications or precautions for tropical diseases such as malaria or yellow fever.

Nature and Adventure

Suriname's pristine rainforests offer numerous opportunities for eco-tourism and adventure activities.

Consider visiting nature reserves such as Brownsberg Nature Park, Galibi Nature Reserve (to see sea turtles nesting), and Central Suriname Nature Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Respect Local Customs

Familiarise yourself with Surinamese customs and etiquette to show respect for the local culture.

Greeting people with a handshake, removing your shoes before entering someone's home, and dressing modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, are all appreciated gestures.


While Suriname is generally considered safe for tourists, exercise caution and be vigilant, especially in urban areas and when traveling at night.

Take common-sense precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.


The main international gateway to Suriname is Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport (PBM), located near the capital city, Paramaribo.

Within the country, transportation options include taxis, buses, and rental cars, although taxis and buses are more commonly used by tourists.

Travel Documents

Make sure you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.

Depending on your nationality, you may also need a visa to enter Suriname, so check the entry requirements beforehand.


The capital of Suriname is on the Suriname River, near the Atlantic Ocean.

Map of Paramaribo

Map of Paramaribo

French colonists originally settled here in the early 1640s, on the site of a Native American village.

Dutch Influence

Briefly the capital of a British dependency in the 1650s, the Dutch took over control of the area in the 1660s; when the British ceded their part in exchange for New Amsterdam, now known as New York.

Airlines and Airports

Surinam Airways is the national airline, and there's an international airport to the south of the capital, at Zanderij.

The Dutch trademark can be seen in the architecture and construction of canals.

Where to Stay in Suriname

Hotels in Paramaribo.

Suriname Travel Guides

Suriname (Bradt Travel Guides) Guyana, Guyane and Suriname (Footprint Handbook)

Suriname Travel Guides - Suriname Maps.

Weather in South America:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Latin  America.

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