Suriname is considered one of the most exotic countries in South America. Before traveling to Suriname, tourists are “armed” with a Dutch vocabulary and a passion for travel. In this country they really speak Dutch, and there are a lot of opportunities for interesting adventures. More than 80% of the territory is occupied by tropical forests with mountains, nature reserves and national parks. In the north, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, there are many kilometers of snow-white beaches.
Suriname is located in the northern part of South America. Suriname borders Guyana to the west, French Guiana to the east, and Brazil to the south. In the north, the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Total area – 163,821 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 1,707 km.
The country is geographically divided into two regions – coastal lowlands in the north and rainforests with savannah in the south. Most of the population lives in the north.
The two main mountain ranges are the Bakhuys Mountains and the Van Asch Van Wijck Mountains. The highest local peak is Mount Juliana, whose height reaches 1,230 meters.
It should be noted that more than 12% of the territory of Suriname belongs to national parks and reserves.
In the northeast of the country is the Brokopondo reservoir, into which the Suriname River flows. This is the largest reservoir of water in Suriname.
Capital of Suriname
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Paramaribo is the capital of Suriname. More than 250 thousand people now live in this city. Paramaribo was founded by the French in 1640.
The official language is Dutch.
The predominant religion is Christianity (Catholicism and various concessions of Protestantism). About 19% of the population are Muslims.
State structure of Suriname
According to diseaseslearning.com, Suriname is a parliamentary republic, headed by a President elected by the local parliament for 5 years. The President is the head of government and he appoints the Cabinet of Ministers.
The unicameral local parliament is called the National Assembly (it consists of 51 deputies elected by the people for 5 years).
The main political parties are the Megacombinatie coalition and the National Front.
Administratively, the country is divided into 10 regions, each of which is headed by a commissioner appointed by the President.
Climate and weather
The climate in Suriname is hot tropical. There are two dry seasons – from August to November and from February to April. In addition, there are two wet seasons – from April to August and from November to February. The rainiest month is May. In the dry season, the average air temperature is +27.4C, and in the rainy season – +23C.
The country is outside the hurricane zone, but there are very frequent showers, which leads to floods.
Seas and oceans of Suriname
In the north, the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The length of the sea coast is 386 km. The average sea temperature near the coast is +26C.
Rivers and lakes
The largest reservoir of water in Suriname is the Brokopondo Reservoir, into which the Suriname River flows. This reservoir is located in the northeast of the country.
The culture of Suriname was formed under the influence of the Dutch, as well as immigrants from Indonesia and India. The result is a multicultural society. Surinamese architecture, for example, has a Dutch colonial character, although the influence of South American traditions is sometimes noticeable. The influence of South American architectural traditions is most noticeable in the Cathedral of St. Paul and Peter, built of wood in the 19th century.
The multicultural nature of Surinamese society is reflected in the variety of local celebrations and festivals. This country celebrates Christian, Indian, Hindu and Muslim holidays.
Every year before Easter, Paramaribo hosts the Avond-Virdaagse parade, which lasts for four days. Another grandiose Surinamese holiday is celebrated from December to January – Surifesta. These are Christmas and New Year festivities, which take place almost a whole month throughout the country.
In rural areas, parents still choose partners for their children. Almost always, marriage partners are selected from the same ethnic group. Even after marriage, a woman in Suriname cannot claim equal social status with her husband.
Cuisine of Suriname
The cuisine of Suriname is quite noticeably different from the culinary traditions found in other South American countries. This country was colonized by the Dutch. Indonesians, Indians and Chinese were brought there to work on the plantations. These workers made their favorite dishes from local ingredients. Gradually, the culinary traditions of all these population groups were mixed, resulting in the modern cuisine of Suriname.
The main feature of the local cuisine is the wide use of fish, seafood, vegetables and fruits. Other staple foods are cassava, rice, potatoes, lentils, corn, bananas. Pepper, garlic, onion, ginger and cumin are often used in cooking.
Tourists are recommended to try “Pom” (chicken with vegetables), “Pastei” (Creole chicken pie), “Dhal” (lentil stew), chicken curry, vegetables with peanut sauce, Bakbana (fried plantain with peanut sauce), Goedangan (vegetable salad with coconut sauce), Bojo cake (made with coconut and cassava), Phulauri (fried lentils).
Traditional soft drinks – fruit and vegetable juices, tea, coffee.
Traditional alcoholic drinks – ginger beer, rum.
There are not very many historical and cultural attractions in Suriname. But there are many architectural sights and national parks, which, by the way, occupy more than 12% of the country’s territory.
In Paramaribo, we recommend visiting Fort Zeelandia, built by the Dutch in the 17th century. Now this fortress houses the Suriname Museum with an interesting collection of historical and cultural monuments.
In the coastal region of Para, there is the Yodensavanne plantation, which was founded by Portuguese Jews in the 17th century. In general, there are a lot of medieval plantations in the Para area, where thousands of tourists come every year.
Suriname’s national parks and reserves are of great interest to tourists – the Central Reserve of Suriname (16 thousand sq. Km.), Brownsberg National Park, as well as the Raleigh Falls Voltsberg and Galibi reserves (4 thousand hectares of tropical forest).
Cities and resorts
The largest Surinamese city is Paramaribo (more than 250 thousand people now live in it). The rest of the local cities are not very large by Western standards. Thus, the population of Lelydorp is more than 20 thousand people, and about 16 thousand people live in Nieuw Nickerie.
Since in the north Suriname is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, it is clear that this country should have beautiful snow-white beaches. Almost all of the 386-kilometer coastline is occupied by beaches. Unfortunately, the tourist infrastructure is not developed there.
Tourists in Suriname are offered exciting sightseeing adventure tours, during which they visit the villages of local residents, national parks, nature reserves, and try traditional local dishes.
Tourists in Suriname buy handicrafts, local clothes, shoes, hats, handmade jewelry, local alcoholic drinks.
Ukrainians need to apply for a visa to visit Suriname.
The Suriname dollar is the official currency in Suriname. Its international designation is SRD. One Surinamese dollar = 100 cents. Credit cards are not widely used. Only some major hotels and travel agencies accept credit cards.
Import and export of local currency is limited to 150 Surinamese dollars per person. Foreign currency in the amount of more than $10,000 must be declared.
It is forbidden to import drugs, pornography, vegetables and fruits. Pets are allowed from Australia, New Zealand and the UK. To import firearms and ammunition, you must obtain permission from the Surinamese police.
Permission is required for the export of archeological, antiquities and art objects. Items made from sea turtle shells cannot be exported without special permission.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Embassy of Suriname in the Netherlands:
Alexander Gogelweg 2, 2517 JH The Hague
T: 31 70 365 0844
The interests of Ukraine in Suriname are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Brazil:
SHIS, QІ-06, Conjunto-04
Casa-02, LAGO SUL, CEP 71615-040 Brasilia-DF
T: (8 10 5561) 3365
1457 mail: [email protected]
115 – All emergencies
Behind Kyiv for 6 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in Paramaribo – 07:00.
Hotels and restaurants usually add a 10-15% service charge to the bill.
Doctors recommend tourists before traveling to Suriname to be vaccinated against yellow fever, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, malaria, tetanus, rabies and typhoid fever. The risk of malaria is high throughout the year in the southern regions, while the risk is almost non-existent in the coastal regions and in the city of Paramaribo.
Recently, the number of petty crimes has increased in Suriname, mainly thefts. Therefore, tourists there are advised to observe reasonable security measures.