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7 Awesome Things To Do in Suriname

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor March 29th, 2022 Posted in South America & Antarctica Travel Blog, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 46 Comments

You probably haven’t heard of this country called SURINAME.

It is one of the 3 Guianas: Suriname (which is the Dutch Guiana) is cradled in between the (British) Guyana on its west side, and the French Guiana on its eastern border. The Guianas lie along the Caribbean-Atlantic coast and are situated north of Brazil in South America.

While all these countries are delineated by their political borders, they all geographically share the Amazon Rainforest and its river systems. And being part of the largest rainforest and the river with the largest drainage area on Earth, all of them have natural reserves protecting wildlife and the environment. (Related Article: Guide on Finding Cheap Flights from Manila to South America)

Source: World Atlas

At different points in its history, the British and the Dutch Empires contested for their rich soil and established plantation colonies, until it separated from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to become an independent state on November 25, 1975. With its colonial past, Suriname is a melting pot of culture and ethnic diversity. Sharing the land are Hindustan, Creole, Indonesian, Maroon, Amerindian, Lebanese, Chinese and Dutch people co-existing in peace and harmony.

Would you believe Filipinos too have been helping its economy since the 1970s, building its roads and bridges, manning precious metals and oil reserves, providing health care, and have been steadily calling Suriname their second home? (You might wonder how I discovered this uncommon work destination and made it my home away from home, but I will write a separate article on this.) To see a synagogue next to a mosque, and Christian churches next to Hindu temples, where the streets are alive with the colors of multiculturalism, makes this smallest country in South America one of the most interesting countries in the world.7 Awesome Things To Do in Suriname With this geographical-political picture in mind, you would know what to expect when you find yourself in Suriname. But just because it is relatively unknown, it doesn’t mean there are no awesome things to do in this emerald country. So if you happen to put South America in your itinerary and include Suriname as your travel destination, let me entice you with these 7 Awesome Things To Do in Suriname:

1. Be lost in the streets of Paramaribo’s Inner City

Find yourself immersed in the colonial history of Suriname. With only a map in your hand to guide your way, walk along the bank of Suriname River at the Waterkant, follow the rows of buildings with characteristic Dutch architecture fused with traditional local techniques and materials most of which are woods and bricks, towards Independence Square where the Presidential Palace and Ministry of Finance with its classical portico and clock tower are found. Nearby is Fort Zeelandia which defended the old city in the past, Palmentuin, a large garden lined by tall palm trees, and the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul, the biggest wooden structure in the Western Hemisphere.

7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
The Central Bank along the Waterkant is featured on the Suriname Dollar
7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskathedraal, all made of wood
7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
The Presidential Palace in Independence Square 

Why this is Awesome: The Inner City of Paramaribo is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. Although entry to historic museums charges 15-20 SRD, it is all worth it, while the rest of the walkthrough tour is free, and done at your own leisurely pace. PRECAUTION: Always have with your water as long walks can get you dehydrated especially during the dry seasons (Aug-Nov and Feb-Apr).

2. Meet and greet the fauna and flora

Be introduced to the other residents of this country aside from the humans of course. See dolphins majestically swim along the Atlantic coast, or stay wide awake from midnight to the early morning hours to witness how endangered sea turtles build their nests and lay eggs in the sands, or be awed by newly hatched baby sea turtles scurrying towards the open sea to continue with the circle of life. Momentarily slow down your pace as you keep up with the sloths in the dense Amazon Jungle. Look up the thick green foliage and witness the play of colorful feathers of the macaws in their natural habitat. If you are brave enough, see how fierce piranhas are, or if you could maintain eye contact with the caymans. Two ways to see wildlife: (1) arrange for wildlife tours. Typical prices from 50-100 SRD per person, some tours are seasonal (2) or do volunteer works for conservation projects of the WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (WWF) in the Guianas.

7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
The Do’s and Don’ts of Sea Turtle watching
7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
Silently watching a sea turtle (illuminated by the red light) laying her eggs in the dark of night

Why this is Awesome: You will get to see wildlife roaming free in their natural habitat, and not in those cooped-up zoos. Plus learning about wildlife and environmental preservation is an awesome way to help Mother Earth. PRECAUTION: Maintain ample distance from wildlife so as not to disturb them, as well as for your safety.

3. Run for your life 

Keep a healthy outlook on things. Annually, to celebrate Independence Day, full and half marathons are organized, as well as monthly fun runs organized by different private companies. There is also duathlon (cycling with the marathon) events. These races are well attended by international athletes (Guyanese are among the fastest runners) from the Caribbean and South American regions, but you don’t need to outrun them to win. You win by outrunning yourself. Registration for these races ranges from 20-100 SRD. This year, celebrating Suriname’s 40th year of independence, the 12th Srefidensi Marathon is special and will be held on Nov 21, 2015, Saturday.

7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
At the starting line

Why this is Awesome. What better way to stay fit while on tour than by joining these races, while also making friends with international participants and spreading World Peace. PRECAUTION: Your mind and body should be conditioned to last and finish the race.

4. Join in the festivities celebrating unity in diversity

The Surinaamse people sure know how to celebrate their identity as different ethnic centuriongroups in one, unified nation. Wear white shirts and shower with brightly colored powders during the Hindu celebration of Holi Phagwa in March. There is Wandelmars (Four Day March) during Easter, which is considered their version of Mardi Gras, where every ethnic group participates in their most colorful traditional costumes dancing through the streets as they march. There is Keti-Koti every July commemorating the abolishment of slavery, setting the Maroon (Black people) finally free, Surifesta and Owru Yari (Old to New), the grandest celebration of all, during the last week of the last month of the year giving way to the coming New Year, when street parties are endless and when Pagara’s (their version of centurion ni Hudas, only it is a street block long) are lighted to get rid of the bad energies of the old year. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfXgOvGsWRs]

7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
Holi Phagwa
7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname

Why this is Awesome: You get to be part of the celebration, from dancing to the lively beats of the local music, to wearing their traditional costumes. You will be joined by hundreds of foreign tourists who flew in just to experience these cultural events. PRECAUTION: The streets can get crowded but fun!

5. Party more! Surinamer/ Surinamese style!

While item #4 is scheduled cultural events, every day in Suriname can be enough reason to party! Clubs like Euphoria, Havana Lounge, and Club Touche are always fully packed every night. These night spots offer promos like Ladies Night, themed events like Cuban Nights, and foreign acts like DJs, bands, and singers are invited to get you partying for more. Big hotels, too, have their nightly party events, so check for schedules in the hotel you will be staying in. And when somebody you know invites you to party in a moving bus, as long as you are at ease with that person, hop in and party on while the bus tours around the streets of Paramaribo.

party bus! #party_animal #drive #mobile #party #partytime #partyhard   A video posted by Miguel Rogali (@survivormate) on Jul 10, 2015 at 3:33pm PDT

Why this is Awesome: With upbeat music, voyeuristic lighting, and exotic-erotic, Surinamese dance moves, you will be in for a new clubbing experience. Plus the Party Bus takes you under the night sky around the streets, where people walk, looking on, and wish they were riding and partying with you.

PRECAUTION: You may not be used to body contacts but this is how they party in Suriname.

6. Eat and be merry

Because of the ethnic diversity, and the surge of foreign ex-pats and tourists, there is a smorgasbord of cuisine to choose from. Surinamese cuisine combines Indian, African, Javanese (Indonesian) Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese and Amerindian cuisines. International cuisines are also found in here: Italian, Japanese, Korean, French, American, and even Filipino cuisine finally found a spot on the menu, when the first Pinoy resto-bar, Flavours, was opened recently by the entrepreneuring Pinoy Nurses. Flavours Restobar and Grill is located at Kwattaweg 325, Paramaribo

7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
Surinamese Chicken

Why this is Awesome: Food replenishes and sustains you during your travel so be sure to eat well to keep you going. While international cuisines may be more familiar to your taste buds, you also got to taste the traditional dishes born out of the blending of cultures.

PRECAUTION: Be sure to specify NOT to put pepper on your order, otherwise your mouth will be smoking hot because they put pepper automatically, it can get VERY spicy!

7. Go Into the Woods

Be one with the Universe. Arrange for a tour in the binnenland (interior) of Suriname where the jungles are, and stay in for a few days to live the rustic village ways. Be an adventurer and discover the raw beauty of nature. Go kayaking upstream, hike through the wooded trails, bathe in the sula (waterfalls) and marvel at the vastness of the rainforest and its biodiversity. Be friendly with the locals while being mindful of their culture, sample their delicacies prepared in the traditional ways, and observe their inherent customs. For a 3-4 day tour staying in a village, the resort costs 700-1000SRDperperson.

7 Awesome Things To Do in Suriname
Photo by pportal CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
7 Awesome Things to do in Suriname
Tapawatra Sula in Djoemoe the village where I work 


Why this is Awesome: Away from the fast-paced city living, you will get natural high breathing in the fresh, forest air. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve has been designated a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE for its unspoiled forests and biodiversity. And because no city lights are blurring the night sky, the stars and constellations are easily identified, and if you are lucky, there may be meteor showers (Perseids in August, Orionids in October) during your stay, with enough wishes you can make.

PRECAUTION: Although malaria has been successfully controlled in Suriname, make sure to protect against insect bites by bringing repellants. Don’t swim into the deeper parts of the river where the piranhas are.

Traveling is a very rewarding endeavor. If you do find time to visit Suriname in your next itinerary, what better way to impress the locals than by learning some Dutch (their official language) phrases: goedemorgen, goedemiddag, goedenavond = good morning, good afternoon, good evening; dank u well = thank you; graag gedaan = it’s my pleasure, as well as Sranan Tongo (the lingua franca) phrases: fa waka = how are you? bun dankie = Fine, thank you abung = that’s good; goodbye. They love it if you can speak their language.

All prices are quoted in Suriname Dollars (SRD). 1 US$ = 3.27SRD; 1SRD = Php14.05

Monkey DividersAbout The Writer:

7 Awesome Things to do in SurinameMiguel Rogali is a community doctor working in the binnenland (interior) of Suriname, within the Amazon Jungle. When not traveling and during his off duties, he does artwork and writes prose and poetry.

Follow on Twitter: @survivormate

Follow on Instagram: survivor made

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46 thoughts on “7 Awesome Things To Do in Suriname

  1. Great article. Can you recommend a forest guide or adventure tour company so i can visit Suriname responsibly?

  2. So cool. After reading your article, im feeling motivated to explore my own country , It’s a shame I didn’t even know there is so much to see and to do .

  3. Amazes me that Filipino’s reached that far. Its sure is a fact that we are everywhere! Hah! Suriname looks like a swirl sundae when it comes to diversity. Very intruiging!

  4. What a fun packed place. I like doing something fitness related and focussed when travelling, too easy to just eat all of the local food! I want to see a sloth…

  5. Love how you promote my home country!!!
    I live in the Netherlands (my husband is Dutch) for more than 40 years now but Suriname is still and will always be in my heart!
    I am curies to know how you end up there!!!
    Thanks for your support of Suriname!!!❤️

    1. Thanks Patricia. There are still lots of places here in Suriname I like to see, like the Tafelberg and Julianatop. Its like an adventure being here ^_^
      I will write another blog how I came to be here in your awesome country soon.

  6. It Suriname, I was thinking about this post is about surname. haha misread. Never heard, and you did have a great experience on that place!

  7. I’m afraid I am another who didn’t know all that much on Surinam but what a cool looking place. The architecture is so mixed. Your photos have lured me into checking it out some more 🙂 Awesome read!

  8. This is another great post to share. It always amazes me whenever I’m reading about avery nice place that’s relatively unknown to me before. Suriname is for sure, has a lot to offer that we all are yet to discover. 🙂

  9. I had heard of Suriname but I knew nothing about it at all! I think I would visit for the food alone. I’m intrigued as to how you ended up here!

  10. Thank you for promoting my country. Many people have never heard of it, some just dont care because its not serving their interest like Europe, the USA, Canada or the UK. Hoping to be there for the owru yari after many years.

  11. Looks awesome and great fun! It a dream of mine to explore parts of South America and this article made me want to visit Suriname first!


  12. Nice article! From the comments it shows that there are still enough people out there with zero knowledge of this beautiful country that Surinam is! So keep on promoting!

  13. Ugh I’m in the club of people who don’t know Suriname but this was great info. Looks fun and enjoyable!

    1. Thanks Pearliza. It is one of the aims of this article to make known Suriname to the World. I am glad you enjoyed reading

  14. Dear Miguel,

    I am very happy you are enjoying my country. As a resident of Suriname, I would like to thank you for promoting Suriname by way of this wonderful article.

    Keep exploring and enjoying 597! Soso lobi

    1. Beste Eric,

      There are still lots to discover about Suriname, so many things to do I haven’t done yet. I like to reach the summits of Tafelberg and Julianatop hopefully soon.

      Met vriendelijke groeten

    2. I’ve heard about it before and became interested to work there. Can anyone help me find a job there? Your help would be highly appreciated. Tnx

  15. I had no idea people didn’t know about Suriname. I mean, I do but that’s probably because I’m curious about all the countries around the world. Great post!

  16. This is beautifully written, I enjoyed reading all of this about my country.
    To everyone reading this, there is more to see if you really like adventures. Especially if you are into the forest and everything surrounding it.
    Enjoy your stay in Suriname!

    1. It’s not the usual tourist destination but it is awesome to nature lovers.
      Thank you Shilton for your country. I am a foreigner working within Suriname’s Amazon Jungle.

  17. Yawn. This is so boring, especially to those who actually know and have experienced Suriname. Do some real reading & research on the country.

    1. thank you Jen for your comment.
      Some may find Suriname differently, others boring, others interesting. but for those who has yet to see this awesome country they can see for themselves and discover its hidden gems.
      I am an expat living and working here for a little over a year now and it doesn’t look boring to me ^_^

  18. I have heard of it, but have to admit I knew nothing about it until I read this post. Very interesting place and the architecture is magnificent! I will bookmark this for future reference, you never know!

    1. Yes Elizabeth. Suriname awaits for you. The Inner City of Paramaribo is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE for its Old World European Architecture blending with local materials.

  19. Oh, I did not know about this country. I have yet to visit South America but when I do, I’ll look at Suriname as an option. Such diversity and so much culture. It looks awesome. Is it expensive to travel there?

  20. Hey, I’m a certified renal nurse, though I’m not currently practicing. Is Suriname actively looking for nurses to hire? 🙂

    By the way, I’ve always wanted to visit South America but I’ve NEVER heard of Suriname. Amazing! Thanks for sharing your tips. 🙂

    At different points in its history, the British and the Dutch Empires contested for its rich soil and established plantation colonies, until IT SEPARATED FROM the Kingdom of the Netherlands to become an independent state on November 25, 1975.
    -Miguel Rogali ^_^

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