The Republic of Suriname, or more commonly referred as Suriname, is the smallest sovereign nation in South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south, French Guiana to the east, and Guyana to the west. The country was colonized by the Netherlands from 1667 to 1954 and was formerly called Dutch Guiana. Majority of Suriname’s population are residing in the capital city of Paramaribo, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its colonial architecture.
You can get to Suriname by plane, bus, boat or by car. There are two airports in Suriname, the Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport which serves mainly international flights, and the Zorg-en-Hoop Airfield that caters mostly to domestic and private charter flights. From the international airport, several airlines operates and flies to Suriname such as Surinam Airways and Caribbean Airlines to and from North America that stops at Trinidad, and KLM flights to and from the Netherlands. From the airport, you can take a bus or taxi to your hotel. A taxi ride normally costs around 80 SRD. From the domestic airport located further downtown from Paramaribo, the Gum Air and Trans Guyana Airways cater flights to and from Ogle Aerodome in Georgetown, Guyana.
From Georgetown in Guyana, you can take bus #63a to Molson Creek in eastern Guyana where the river just across Suriname is located. The bus ride takes almost three hours. From there, go through the Guyanese customs clearing then take the 30-minute daily ferry that departs at 11AM. If you’re coming from the French Guiana border, take the bus from Albina to Paramaribo which costs around SRD30.
Water rides using small boats and ferries from St. Laurent in French Guiana to Albina are also useful. The boat ride usually costs SRD10. From the west, there’s a daily ferry from Guyana that departs every 11AM to Suriname and costs around $10 USD. The same boats and ferries from the east that can take you to Suriname, can also take your car across the border. You just have to pay for an additional fee. However, from the west, there are no car ferries available and the only choice is to leave your car parked at the Berbice car park.
Several hostels and home-stays are available in the capital city of Paramaribo. However, if you’re planning to trek and stay overnight in the jungle, it’s recommended that you buy a hammock first in the capital city. Guest houses in the forests also provide hammocks but for hygienic purposes, it’s best to bring your own.
Among the top attractions in Suriname are the Raleighvallen Nature Reserve, Nature Resort Kabalebo,, and the Brownsberg Nature Park. The Raleighvallen Nature Reserve which is part of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve and more popularly known as bird and monkey paradise is also a UNESCO site. The Nature Resort Kabalebo is an uninhabited forest that offers various activities for the adventurous such as hiking, camping, animal spotting, fishing, bird watching, and white water rafting. Finally, visit the Brownsberg Nature Park where you will find the world’s biggest man-made lake, the Brokopondo Reservoir.