What to see in Suriname: cities and attractions not to be missed

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The smallest state in South America, Suriname was born around a dense convergence of rivers that reflect the lively rhythm of its multi-ethnicity. From Paramaribo, the effervescent Dutch capital and colony, to the impenetrable forests of the hinterland, the people of Suriname will welcome you with a warm welcome to the country, whether they are descendants of the original African tribes, whether they are Dutch and British colonialists, entrepreneurs transplanted here from India, Indonesia or China, or simply from American Indian communities. Let's find out what to see in Suriname


  1. Paramaribo
  2. Galibi Coppename Nature Reserve
  3. Commewijne River
  4. Joden Savanne
  5. Suriname Mosque
  6. The Presidential Palace
  7. Central Suriname Nature Reserve
  8. Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral
  9. Arya Dewaker Hindu Temple
  10. Neotropical Butterfly Park, Lelydrop
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Paramaribo

The capital of Suriname appears as the combination of the style of the characteristic American Wild West and the wonderful Dutch capital, Amsterdam.

Paramaribo is a high energy city full of attractions to see and activities to do and constitutes the most incredible capital among the Guiana. Strolling through the city, recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, you can admire immense grassy squares outlined by colonial Dutch buildings characterized by their typical black and white colors. In the streets of Pardo, as it is called by the local inhabitants, you can appreciate its multi-ethnicity by tasting traditional European, American and Indian foods, as well as admiring its fascinating religious buildings, where synagogues, cathedrals and mosques rise side by side in a truly unique atmosphere.

2 - Galibi Coppename Nature Reserve

This charming nature reserve it was officially inaugurated in 1969 and is located at the mouth of the Coppename River. The Galibi Coppename is a paradise for bird watchers, is home to the arrival of numerous walrus families on its coasts in maximum safety, and attracts hundreds of turtles during the egg-laying season which takes place between April and August.

The STINASU, acronym for the Foundation for the Protection of Nature in Suriname, organizes numerous guided tours inside the reserve with the aim of promoting research and responsible tourism in the interest of the integrity of their natural beauties. It is possible to visit the Gabibi Coppename reserve independently by spending around € 75,00 per person (including transport and food), while the organized tours range from € 120,00 to € 150,00.

3 - Commewijne River

One of Suriname's many naturalistic sites that make up its greatest strengths is the Commewijn River. All along its course you will find ancient properties with huge plantations of cocoa, coffee and sugar cane.

One of the favorite activities of tourists is to rent a bike for the day and stroll along the most scenic and best maintained roads all around the plantations. Another very popular option is the water taxi trip departing from Paramaribo: most of the organized tours have Frederiksdorp as their main destination, an old plantation renovated and transformed into a beautiful hotel and restaurant.

Along the way you will also find Fort Nieuw Amsterdam, where artifacts from the slave routes are kept and where you can also see the Dutch engineering dams built to contain the river. An example of a tour that you can take advantage of is the one-day tour departing from Paramaribo which starts at 9:00 am and ends around 17:00 pm; the cost is € 65,00 and includes local guide, lunch, snacks, fruit and drinks.

4 - Joden Savanne

Just south of Paramaribo, on the banks of the Suriname River, is the Joden Savanne, or the Jewish Savannah. Founded in the th century, it originally began as a farming community which was developed by Spanish Jews fleeing persecution. Most of the crops found there are sugar cane based and longits history there is a huge past of slavery used as labor within the fields. In Joden Savanne it is possible to visit, in addition to the immense green expanses and the wonderful nature that grows luxuriantly along the banks of the river, the ruins of the first Synagogue ever to be built in the Western Hemisphere. Another site particularly fascinating to admire are the ancient Jewish cemeteries surrounding the Joden Savanne. Entrance for visits is allowed from 8.15 am to 17 pm and it is possible to either visit it independently or choose to book an organized tour for the whole day with prices around € 30 / € 75,00.

5 - Suriname Mosque

As we have already pointed out several times, one of the most fascinating characteristics of Suriname is that it constitutes a state that derives its immense wealth from its multi-ethnicity, and this makes it a paradise for those who love to experience many different cultures of the world in one place. . As evidence of this, one of the most popular artistic and cultural points of interest in the country is the marvelous Suriname Mosque, the largest in all the Caribbean, located in the capital Paramaribo. The construction of this mosque took about twenty years from the time it was built entirely without the aid of machines. However, what really leaves us speechless is its position: the Suriname Mosque in fact stands right next to the Nevah Shalom Synagogue. Precisely for its iconicity as a place of harmony and union between different cultures and religions, as well as for its architectural beauties, this Mosque is one of the most recommended places to visit for tourists who want to experience this wonderful reality.

6 - The Presidential Palace

While the Surinamese capital is an attraction in its own right, the Presidential Palace located right in front of the Independence Square represents Dutch colonial architecture in all its glory. In addition to the President's residence, the building also houses the National Assembly of Suriname, the Congress building, the Court of Justice and the Ministry of Finance. It is part of the sites recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO and another of its attractions is located just behind the main building, the immense Palm Garden that surrounds the entire property and inside which it is possible to stroll admiring the beauty of its tall trees with bright colors. Unfortunately It has not been possible for some years to visit the interior of the palace, but even only from the outside it remains a must-see attraction during your trip to Suriname.

7 - Central Suriname Nature Reserve

With its 16.000 square kilometers of extension, this epic nature reserve covers 12% of the geographical area of ​​Suriname and was inaugurated in 1998 thanks to a generous donation of a million dollars from Conservation International. About 40% of the flora and fauna that you can admire here can only be found in the territories of the Guyane, and the great majority of the reserve is made up of wild, dense and impenetrable vegetation. As you can imagine, visiting the park represents a challenge from a physical point of view, but it is absolutely worth trying, obviously only and exclusively with a local guide. Generally the most visited point is Raleighvallen, Raleigh Falls, and some of the reserve's most peculiar residents that you can admire are spider monkeys, electric eels and the cock of the rock, a spectacular bird with orange and red colors.

8 - Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral

This unique Roman Catholic Cathedral represents the largest church built entirely of wood in South America. The Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paramaribo. The stunning wooden interior consists of intensely carved columns and ceilings in vivo with classical motifs and completely pure wooden walls, which have never been covered by paint in its history. For its beauty and uniqueness it represents one of the most visited sites of interest in the capital Paramaribo, and how can you be wrong: already the external glance leaves absolutely breathless, and the meticulously decorated interiors make it a pearl of art and architecture in a spectacular setting.

9 - Arya Dewaker Hindu Temple

It is the largest Hindu temple in Suriname built by the Hindu Arya Dewaker Association, as a representation of another large community and culture present in this multicolored state. This spectacular temple within its complex includes a school and an orphanage for which it accepts donations from visitors who come to admire its beauties.

More than 30.000 people live in the Hindu community that surrounds the temple; it was designed by a Dutch architect and consists of two octagonal buildings that house meeting rooms, a library and rooms dedicated to ceremonies. Every detail inside the temple is designed to reflect aspects of sunlight and although there are no images of divinities, you can observe many symbols of the Sanskrit and Hindi tradition.

10 - Neotropical Butterfly Park, Lelydrop

This absolutely one-of-a-kind park has everything it takes to be put at the top of the list of any tourist eager to know nature and its wonders in a context where nature in its most primordial state represents the hub of the attractions. of this state. The Lelydrop, Neotropical Park of Butterflies, is known for its wonderful landscapes, its collection of very rare butterflies and the very interesting museum showing a large number of Suriname's indigenous insect species, as well as many specimens of turtles and reptiles, including the fearsome boa constrictors. 7 acres of land are dedicated to the breeding of butterflies, while another equally interesting area is the farm with the fields where the plants that each species feed on are grown. Admission is allowed from 8:30 to 15:30.

Travel informed: useful information and necessary documents

  • Inhabitants: 543.925
  • Capital: Paramaribo
  • Languages: Dutch
  • Local currency: Surinamese dollar SRD (€ 1,00 = 8,46 SRD)
  • Weather: tropical, with very high maximum temperatures and abundant rainfall both on the coast and inland
  • Time zone: UTC -3 (5 hours behind Italy)
  • vaccinations: no vaccination required (vaccination against yellow fever recommended by WHO)
  • Entry requirements: passport, return ticket. Visa not required for Italian citizens for stays of less than 90 days.
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where it is

    Suriname is located on the northern coast of South America and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, it borders French Guiana to the east, Brazil to the south and Guyana to the west.

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