An often-overlooked country, Suriname boasts beautiful tropical scenery, rare wildlife and a fascinating culture. The capital Paramaribo, which was founded in the 17th century and has colonial architecture worth seeing, is a good starting point for travelers to go on a discovery tour. But the main attraction of Suriname is its tropical rainforest, which covers almost 80% of the country’s area and is home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Suriname borders the Atlantic Ocean, the Marowijne River, French Guiana and Brazil. When the Spaniards landed here in the 15th century, the Surins, the natives of Suriname, had already been expelled by other Indian tribes. Actual colonization hardly took place here due to fierce resistance from the locals, but the country formally changed flags several times. The Netherlands, England and France were successive colonial powers before the Netherlands finally took over at the 1815 Congress of Vienna. Together with the Netherlands Antilles, Suriname became an autonomous region in the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1954. The country gained full independence in 1975. See other countries in South America on dentistrymyth.
Arriving by plane
Surinam Airways (PY), the national airline, and KLM (KL) fly non-stop from Amsterdam to Paramaribo. Feeder flights from Frankfurt/M., Vienna and Zurich are possible with KLM (KL) and the respective national airline.
Amsterdam – Paramaribo: 9 hrs 20 mins (non-stop); Frankfurt/M. – Paramaribo: 14 hours 55 minutes; Vienna – Paramaribo: 15 hours; Zurich – Paramaribo: 14 hours 55 minutes
Arrival by car
The Guyana coastal road is connected to the Suriname coastal road by a regular river ferry service. Minibuses connect Georgetown (Guyana) to Paramaribo. Tolls: There are no toll roads in Suriname. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Arrival by ship
The main international port is Paramaribo.
There are regular ferry services across the Suriname and Marowijne rivers to French Guiana and across the Corantijn to Guyana.
Traveling by plane
Blue Wing Airlines and Gum Air operate domestic scheduled and charter flights. Domestic charter flights can also be booked with Suriname Airways (PY).
Traveling by car/bus
The main communication routes are in the north of the country between the borders of Guyana and French Guiana. Because of the many sandy roads, potholes, roaming animals and the country’s customary driving style, caution is advised on the road. When traveling overland, travelers should carry enough spare parts with them. Tolls: There are no toll roads in Suriname. Gas stations are plentiful in larger towns.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The roads are mostly narrow and sometimes winding. The connecting road between the border towns of Albina and Nieuw-Nickerie in the north of the country, the road south from Paramaribo to Pokigron and the main roads in larger towns are all asphalted. The rest of the road network consists mainly of sand and gravel roads. Before exploring the interior of the country, you should find out exactly what the weather is like, as heavy rain often makes the roads difficult to drive on, which can lead to considerable delays.
Rental cars are available at Paramaribo Airport and through major hotels. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held their driving license for at least 1 year. Drivers under the age of 25 often pay a young driver fee.
Taxis are available in the cities; they don’t have a taximeter, but usually have fixed prices. Travelers should still inquire about the fare before embarking on a journey, especially for night journeys, which are more expensive anyway. After 10 p.m. and on Sundays and public holidays, there are far fewer taxis.
In Paramaribo there is the possibility to rent bicycles.
Buses run mainly north, along the coast between Albina and Nieuw-Nickerie, and from Paramaribo south to Pokigron.
Traffic regulations: – Seat belts are compulsory in the front and back seats; – alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰; – Telephoning at the wheel is only permitted with a hands-free system; – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists. Speed limits: – urban: 40 km/h (25 mph); – on rural roads: 60 km/h (37 mph); – on expressways: 90 km/h (55 mph).
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Traveling in the city
Paramaribo’s often hand-painted buses are usually privately operated, but follow jointly defined routes. The buses only leave the bus station when they are full; So there are no timetables. Taxis are also available.
Locally on the way by train
There are currently no passenger trains operating in Suriname.
Traveling by ship
Suriname’s river system covers a total of about 3,000 km. To visit the interior and some coastal areas, river transport is the cheapest and often the most efficient option. Canoes are a popular mode of transportation on the country’s waterways.