Discover Suriname: Your Ultimate Guide to the Top Tourist Destinations | Insider Travel Tips |
published Apr 16, 2023

Travel to Suriname: An Insider's Guide to the Best Places to Visit

Travel to Suriname: An Insider's Guide to the Best Places to Visit

Suriname is a small country located on the northeastern coast of South America. It is known for its rich cultural diversity, pristine rainforests, and vibrant wildlife. Despite being one of the smallest countries in South America, Suriname has a lot to offer to travelers who are looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Whether you are interested in exploring the untouched Amazonian rainforests, learning about the local cultures and traditions, or simply relaxing on the white sandy beaches, Suriname has something for everyone. The country is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups, including the indigenous Amerindians, Maroons, Creoles, and Javanese, each with their own unique customs and traditions.

For those seeking adventure, Suriname offers a wealth of opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting. The country's vast network of rivers and waterways also makes it an ideal destination for kayaking, fishing, and river cruises. With its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty, Suriname is a destination that should not be missed by any intrepid traveler.

Why Travel to Suriname

Suriname is a hidden gem in South America that offers a unique and authentic travel experience. Here are some reasons why you should consider traveling to Suriname:

  • Cultural Diversity: Suriname is a melting pot of different cultures, including Indigenous, African, Indian, and Dutch. This diversity is reflected in the food, music, art, and architecture of the country, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in culture.

  • Nature: Suriname is a nature lover's paradise, with over 90% of the country covered in rainforest. The country is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including jaguars, giant otters, and harpy eagles. Visitors can explore the rainforest on foot, by boat, or on a jungle tour.

  • Adventure: Suriname offers plenty of opportunities for adventure, including hiking, kayaking, and zip-lining. Visitors can also explore the country's caves, waterfalls, and rapids.

  • History: Suriname has a rich history that is reflected in its architecture and museums. Visitors can learn about the country's colonial past and its role in the transatlantic slave trade.

  • Beaches: Suriname may not be known for its beaches, but it has some hidden gems that are worth exploring. Visitors can relax on the white sand beaches of Galibi or explore the rocky shores of Blanche Marie.

Overall, Suriname is a destination that should not be overlooked. Its unique blend of culture, nature, and adventure make it a must-visit for any traveler looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience.

Getting to Suriname

Visa Requirements

Before traveling to Suriname, visitors should check the visa requirements for their country. Some countries may require a visa, while others may be eligible for a visa-free stay. The length of stay may also vary depending on the type of visa. It is recommended to check with the Suriname embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information.

Flights to Suriname

Suriname is served by Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport, located in the town of Zanderij, approximately 45 minutes from the capital city of Paramaribo. Flights to Suriname are available from major cities in South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. The airport also has connections to North America through connecting flights.

Some of the airlines that fly to Suriname include Surinam Airways, KLM, Caribbean Airlines, and Copa Airlines. Visitors can check with these airlines for flight schedules and prices.

Transportation within Suriname

Transportation within Suriname is mainly by bus, taxi, or rental car. Buses are the most affordable option, with routes connecting major cities and towns. Taxis are also available, but prices may vary depending on the distance traveled.

Rental cars are available at the airport and in the capital city of Paramaribo. It is recommended to book in advance to ensure availability. Visitors should note that driving in Suriname can be challenging due to the condition of some roads and the lack of street signs in some areas.

Where to Stay in Suriname


Suriname has a range of hotels, from budget to luxury, to suit all travelers. The capital city, Paramaribo, has many options for visitors, including international hotel chains and locally owned hotels. The Royal Torarica Hotel is a popular choice, with its central location and amenities such as a pool, fitness center, and restaurant. The Courtyard by Marriott Paramaribo is another option for those looking for modern amenities and a convenient location.

Outside of Paramaribo, there are also hotels located in the jungle and near the rivers. For example, the Bergendal Eco & Cultural River Resort is a luxury eco-resort located on the Suriname River, offering guests a unique experience in the heart of the rainforest.

Stay in Overbridge River Resort

Overbridge River Resort is a popular destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Located on the Suriname River, this resort offers guests a peaceful retreat in the midst of nature.

The resort offers a variety of accommodations, including cabins, tents, and villas, to suit all travelers.

Guests can enjoy a range of activities at the resort, such as kayaking, hiking, and bird-watching. The resort also has a restaurant and bar, as well as a pool for guests to cool off in.

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For budget travelers, hostels are a great option. Paramaribo has several hostels, such as the Guesthouse Albergo Alberga, which offers affordable dormitory rooms and private rooms. The hostel is located in the heart of the city, making it a convenient base for exploring.


Airbnb is also an option for those looking for a more local experience. There are many Airbnb listings in Suriname, ranging from apartments in the city to jungle lodges. This can be a great option for those looking to save money and experience the local culture.

When booking accommodation in Suriname, it's important to research the location and amenities to ensure that it meets your needs. Whether you're looking for a luxury resort or a budget hostel, Suriname has something to offer all travelers.

Top Attractions in Suriname


Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Suriname. The city is known for its unique blend of Dutch and Caribbean architecture, which is evident in the colorful wooden buildings that line the streets.

One of the top attractions in Paramaribo is the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, a stunning wooden church that dates back to the 19th century. Other notable attractions include the Presidential Palace, Fort Zeelandia, and the Central Market.

Central Suriname Nature Reserve

The Central Suriname Nature Reserve is a vast protected area that covers over 1.6 million hectares of pristine rainforest. The reserve is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including jaguars, giant otters, and harpy eagles.

Visitors to the reserve can take guided hikes through the jungle, go birdwatching, or take a boat tour down one of the many rivers that flow through the area. The Raleighvallen Nature Reserve, which is located within the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, is also a popular destination for eco-tourists.

Galibi Nature Reserve

The Galibi Nature Reserve is located on the northeastern coast of Suriname and is home to a large population of sea turtles. Visitors can watch as the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, which is a truly unforgettable experience.

The reserve is also home to the indigenous Galibi people, who offer cultural tours and demonstrations of their traditional way of life. Visitors can learn about the Galibi's unique customs and traditions, as well as their history and relationship with the natural environment.

Cultural Experiences in Suriname

Suriname is a melting pot of cultures, with a diverse population that includes Maroons, Indigenous people, and those of Jewish heritage. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of these communities through cultural experiences.

Maroon Villages

The Maroons are descendants of enslaved Africans who escaped from Dutch plantations and formed their own communities in the interior of Suriname. Today, visitors can visit Maroon villages and learn about their unique culture and traditions.

One popular destination is the village of Danpaati, located on an island in the Upper Suriname River. Visitors can stay in traditional lodges, participate in cultural activities such as drumming and dancing, and learn about the medicinal plants used by the Maroons.

Indigenous Communities

Suriname is also home to several Indigenous communities, including the Arawak, Carib, and Trio people. Visitors can learn about their traditional way of life, including hunting and fishing techniques, and participate in cultural activities such as weaving and pottery-making.

One popular destination is the village of Palumeu, located in the southern part of Suriname. Visitors can stay in traditional lodges, hike to nearby waterfalls, and learn about the customs and traditions of the Indigenous people.

Jewish Heritage Sites

Suriname has a rich Jewish heritage, dating back to the arrival of Sephardic Jews in the 17th century. Visitors can learn about the history of the Jewish community in Suriname by visiting sites such as the Neveh Shalom Synagogue in Paramaribo, the oldest synagogue in South America.

Another popular destination is the Jodensavanne, a former Jewish settlement located south of Paramaribo. Visitors can see the remains of the synagogue, cemetery, and other historic buildings, and learn about the history of the Jewish community in Suriname.

Food and Drink in Suriname

Suriname is a country of diverse cultures, and its cuisine reflects this diversity. The food in Suriname is a blend of Creole, Indian, Indonesian, and Chinese influences. The country has a rich culinary heritage, and its food is a reflection of its history and culture. Visitors to Suriname can expect to find a variety of delicious dishes, street food, and drinks.

Traditional Surinamese Cuisine

The traditional cuisine of Suriname is a blend of Creole and Indian influences. Some of the most popular dishes in Suriname include Pom, Roti, and Nasi Goreng. Pom is a baked dish made with chicken or fish and taro leaves. Roti is a flatbread served with curried vegetables or meat. Nasi Goreng is a fried rice dish with vegetables and meat.

Other popular dishes in Suriname include Saoto Soup, Moksi Meti, and Bami. Saoto Soup is a chicken soup with bean sprouts and vermicelli noodles. Moksi Meti is a mixed meat dish with pork, chicken, and beef. Bami is a noodle dish with vegetables and meat.

Street Food

Suriname is famous for its street food, which is a reflection of its diverse culture. Some of the most popular street food in Suriname includes Bara, Bami, and Roti. Bara is a deep-fried dough filled with spiced potatoes. Bami and Roti are noodle and flatbread dishes, respectively, served with curried vegetables or meat.

Other popular street food in Suriname includes Pom, Saoto Soup, and Saté. Saté is a skewered meat dish served with peanut sauce. Suriname's street food is a great way to experience the country's culture and cuisine.

Drinks and Nightlife

Suriname has a vibrant nightlife, and visitors can enjoy a variety of drinks and cocktails. The country has a rich rum culture, and some of the most popular drinks in Suriname include rum cocktails such as Piña Coladas and Mai Tais. Beer is also popular in Suriname, and visitors can enjoy local brews such as Parbo Beer and Heineken.

Other popular drinks in Suriname include soft drinks, juices, and coffee. The country has a variety of fresh fruit juices, including mango, passionfruit, and orange. Suriname's coffee is also famous, and visitors can enjoy a variety of blends and roasts.

Suriname's nightlife is centered around Paramaribo, the country's capital. Visitors can enjoy live music, dancing, and karaoke in the city's bars and clubs. The city is also home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and street food vendors.


Suriname is a unique and fascinating travel destination that offers visitors a chance to experience a rich blend of cultures, stunning natural beauty, and a welcoming and friendly population. Whether you're interested in exploring the country's colonial history, embarking on a rainforest adventure, or simply soaking up the local culture, Suriname has something to offer.

While there are some safety concerns to keep in mind, such as petty crime and political protests, these issues are not overbearingly obvious and should not deter visitors from exploring this beautiful country. With proper planning and common sense, travelers can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Suriname.

Some of the highlights of a trip to Suriname include exploring the historic capital city of Paramaribo, visiting the stunning Galibi Nature Reserve, and embarking on a river cruise along the Suriname River. Visitors can also enjoy a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking, or simply relax on one of the country's beautiful beaches.

Overall, Suriname is a destination that is well worth considering for travelers seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path travel experience. With its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Suriname is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.