South America’s Suriname may be small, but it crams in a fair bit. There are plenty of things to do in Suriname. Bordered by Brazil, Guyana, and French Guinea the majority of the country’s population lives along the coastline. Suriname is mainly comprised of undulating hills, narrow coastal areas, and mangrove swamps. The pristine rainforests are home to a rich diversity of plants and creatures.
It is a little visited country, and as such, prices can be on the high side. It also lacks a lot of tourist infrastructure. The best ways to get around the country are by boat and private car.
Some of the best things to do in Suriname include the following:
Paramaribo is the country’s capital city. Indeed, it is the only city in this bite-sized nation. It is stuffed with colonial architecture, which has earned it the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an interesting place to explore for a few days. The central market is a great place to pick up some souvenirs, and the Waterkant is a charming street alongside the water. Independence Square and Fort Zeelandia are local attractions, and the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral is South America’s largest wooden building.
Suriname has some really beautiful and pristine beaches, ideal for a few days admiring the scenery, relaxing, and soaking up some tropical rays. Two of the most popular are at Galibi and Albina. You can see sea turtles, and there are breeding programmes in place to ensure the survival of the species. Helicopter rides can be taken to even more remote beaches, and you may be lucky enough to see some river dolphins swimming along the way, and the dense mangrove forests that lie between the ocean and the jungle.
Jungles and National Parks
One of Suriname’s main draws is the rainforests and jungles. With the Amazon rainforest covering most of the country, it is easy to explore incredible natural areas. A large selection of birds, insects, reptiles, and monkeys call the jungle home, and there are even a few wild jaguars roaming around. You may also see tortoises and deer. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve is one of the favourite choices. Here, you can see Mount Volzberg, an impressive granite sugarloaf mountain, and the Raleigh waterfalls, an exciting series of rapids. It is one of the world’s best examples of ancient and remote wilderness. Another popular option is the Brownsberg National Park. Within the park, one will find one of the biggest manmade lakes across the globe. Over 200 different types of birds live in the area, and you can also visit the lovely Irenevallen Waterfall. The Kabalebo Nature Resort is an eco retreat in the heart of the wild jungle. There are various things to do, including climbing, hiking, kayaking, fishing, wildlife spotting, bird watching, and swimming. You can enjoy the rapids and the waterfalls. The Tafelberg Nature Reserve is great for intrepid explorers; the remote area takes several days to reach, using a combination of hiking and canoeing. There are no surrounding human settlements.
There are several different ethnic tribal villages in the heart of the jungle. The close proximity of most to the rivers and waterways makes them easier to visit than you would expect. Maroon and Amerindian villages provide an insight into the indigenous populations.
A visit to some of the previous coffee and sugar plantations will transport you right back to the days of colonialism. Some of the old plantation houses have been restored to their former glory, providing a fascinating peek into the past.