The Best Things to Do in Suriname & What to Know Before Going

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What are the best things to do in Suriname? We bet you didn't know that 90% of Suriname's territory is actually Amazon rainforest! This small country located on the North East Coast of South America, is highly underrated!

With a combination of influences from Asia, Africa, and Europe, there is a unique mix of culture in this country. We truly loved our time here, and can't wait to show you the best things to do in Suriname, and the beauty of this tiny hidden gem.

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Where is Suriname?

Suriname is situated in the middle of the Guyanas, with Guyana to the North, and French Guiana to the South. The Guyanas are a small group of countries that are on the north east coast of South America, north of Brazil, and south of Venezuela.

Where is Suriname

Suriname is tucked away in the Guyanas of South America.

The History of Suriname

A Dutch colony until 1975, Suriname has people from different nationalities. This is, mainly, due slavery abolition in 1863 when man power started coming, instead, from countries like India, Java and China. This made the ethnic national structure more complex because Indian people were very attached to their cultural traditions.

Here we leave you with a list of things to consider before buying that ticket, and our favorite things to do in Suriname.

Palm Tree Garden, Paramaribo

The Palm Tree Garden in Paramaribo

How to Prepare For Your Visit To Suriname

Like any place, it can be hard to prepare for a visit to a new country. When we first planned to visit Suriname, there was very little information on the internet! Here are a few things we learned in the process.

Getting to Suriname

The official airport of Suriname is the Johan Adolf Pengal International airport, located in the capital of Paramaribo.

This city can be particularly expensive to fly into. However, being that it is a Dutch colony, one of the cheaper places to actually fly from is the Netherlands! So if you are coming from Europe, we suggest starting from there.

If you are flying from the Americas or elsewhere in the world, you can also consider crossing the border from Guyana or French Guiana if you find cheaper flights from there. Hotels are very easy to find, and it is not exactly necessary to book in advance.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can oput from "your city" to "everywhere". This way you can see which is the cheapest airport in the area to fly (Guyana, Suriname, or French Guiana) Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for each destination!

Search for a flight to the Guyanas:

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Entry Requirements for Suriname

One of the most important things before traveling somewhere, is to be ready with all of your documents. There are many countries that do in fact need a visa for Suriname, so it's important to check the list of countries that need a visa for Suriname before making any travel arrangements.

Documents for Traveling to Suriname

The visa for Suriname costs $45 (with a $15 convenience fee) and is easily obtainable online. Make sure to apply for your visa a few days before traveling, as it could take a few days to process.

When applying for the visa, you must put the exact date that you plan on traveling. If the date is different, you could be denied entry. The visa must be done online as of the beginning of 2020. Even if you go to an embassy in person, they will redirect you to the Suriname travel website.

Covid Entry Requirements for Suriname

Travelers must present proof of vaccination, or a negative Cocid-19 test result within 48 hours of flying to Suriname.

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Local Adjustments in Suriname

Whenever you travel there are things that may be different from where you are coming from. These are what we like to call "local adjustments". Here are a few to keep in mind while traveling to Suriname.

What Language Do They Speak in Suriname?

Did you know there is a common misconception in South America? While many countries speak Spanish, the official language in Suriname is actually Dutch. We found that it was pretty easy to get by with English as well.

Currency Used in Suriname

The currency used in Suriname is the Surinamese dollar. Currently (October 2023), the USD is equal to about 38 Surinamese dollars. Not many places take credit card, so we do suggest hitting an ATM to take out some cash upon arrival.

Electrical Outlets in Suriname

There are actually 4 different plug types served by the electrical outlets in Suriname. The country supports plug types A, B, C, & G. The supply voltage is 127/230V, so you may want to bring a travel adapter to make sure your appliances fit in the different outlets.

Is the Water Safe to Drink in Suriname?

Inside the capital, the water is perfectly safe to drink, but the rest of the country does not have potable water. We suggest having a refillable water bottle, and buying large bottles of bottled water to fill it up with.

Tipping in Suriname

Some restaurants will automatically add a service charge of 10-15% on the bill. If there is no service charge added, it is not obligatory to add a tip. Although if you feel the service was good you can leave 10% extra.

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Things to Do in Suriname

Suriname is a small country, but has some stunning nature, and unique history and culture. Here are some of the best things to do in Suriname.

1. Visit the Palm Tree Garden

This was by far, our favorite place in Paramaribo and one of the best things to do in Suriname. Welcome to a park full of Palm trees located right inside the center- how cool?! We brought our hammock and just attached it to two trees, enjoying the beautiful palms swaying in the breeze.

Palm Tree Garden, Paramaribo
Palm Tree Garden, Paramaribo, things to do in Suriname
Palm tree garden, things to do in Suriname

The Palm tree garden is one of the best things to do in Suriname's capital.

2. Browse Around the Shops Next to the Palm Tree Garden

Right next to the garden are several kiosks lined up with the coolest local crafts. There is also a coffee shop in which the owner actually grows his own coffee plants! He also imports beans from all over the world and creates unique blends. 

Palm tree garden market, Paramaribo

There are a tons of kiosks lined up outside the Palm Tree Garden.

Coffee shop Paramaribo, things to do in Suriname

This man grows his own coffee and sells it here.

crafts in Paramaribo

Homemade Lanterns sold in one of the shops.

Delicious homemade coffees and pastries, with a cute decorative inside. What could be better?

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3. Check out Fort Zeelandia

This colonial fort is located right outside the Palm Garden. It is right on the water, and offers tours, as well as a museum to learn about the history.

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Things to do in Suriname
Things to do in Suriname
Things to do in Suriname

4. Visit the Presidential Palace of Suriname

This is the prettiest and most significant building in the city of Paramaribo, and is lined with dozens of flags from around the world.

Paramaribo Suriname flags

The presidential palace is the most significant building in the city.

5. Stop by St. Peter and Paul Basilica Church

This colorful church is right in the center of Paramaribo. Built in the 19th century, this is one of the largest wooden structures in the Caribbean.

St. Peter and Paul Basilica Church, Paramaribo

This church is one of the oldest in the Caribbean.

Want an organized tour around Suriname? We found a few that you can prebook:

6. Take a Trip to Brownsberg National Park

Brownsberg Park is definitely a must, and one of the best things to do in Suriname. This is one of the easiest ways to go enjoy the Amazon Rainforest. Located just an hour outside the capital. It's the perfect day trip or weekend getaway from Paramaribo.

Waterfall Brownsberg Park, best things to do in Suriname
Abandoned House, Brownsburg Park, Suriname
Mazaroni Top, Brownsberk Park, Suriname

Browsnberg Park is one of the best things to do in Suriname.

Want to know more? We have a full guide for everything you need to know about visiting Brownsberg Park in Suriname.

Brownsberg park is located just an hour and a half outside the capital of Suriname, and makes the perfect day trip or weekend trip from Paramaribo.It is a great place to enjoy the Amazon rainforest, as you can see all types of wildlife, waterfalls, and great views! Here is everything

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7. Doratica

This place is deep in the rainforest, and it is so local that you can’t even find it on the internet! We saw it advertised at the hotel we stayed at, and we were told that it is absolutely beautiful. For off-the-beaten path activities, it is one of the more unique things to do in Suriname. 

What is there? We’re not quite sure, but if you are interested you should reach out to this hotel.


8. Central Suriname Nature Reserve

Here is another reserve, just a few hours from Paramaribo. It is not accessible solely by public transportation. However, there are tour offices that offer trips there! We didn't get the chance to go, but we heard its pretty spectacular.

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What to Eat in Suriname

Suriname has an interesting mix of Indonesian, Creole, and Chinese all together! Due to many nationalities living there, you can find any of those types of cuisines. Because of this, we found that trying new foods was one of our favorite things to do in Suriname.

For us, the local creole food was unbelievably good. We went to a small local restaurant called De Gadri. We sat outside near the water and had extremely delicious food. Honestly, we don’t even know what they served us, because they gave us just three options. We ended up choosing two out the three of the dishes , and can’t describe just how good they were.

best restaurant in Paramaribo

We definitely recommend trying some of the local creole food in Paramaribo.

The dishes were so tasty, that we even tried seeing if we could stop in before our bus ride the next the morning! Unfortunately they were not open that early, but we left extremely happy, and it costed us under $10.

best restaurant in Paramaribo

De Gadri is the perfect spot in Paramaribo to try local Creole food with great prices.

The Best Things to Do in Suriname: How to Get Around

Want to know the best way to check out all of the best things to do in Suriname? We were on a very tight budget at the time, so we relied on public transportation. The public transportation system in Paramaribo is run completely by buses. 

You can catch a bus outside of the city by going to the main bus station, which is located right outside of the Central Market. There is a small office in which they can help you out with all of the schedules to traveling around Paramaribo, and to other parts of Suriname.

bus station in Paramaribo

The local bus station in Paramaribo

Paramaribo is a very walkable city, therefore it is not really necessary to get a car for using around the capital. However, it would be a great idea to rent an SUV to discover other great things to do in Suriname. 

There are plenty of rental places, and cars are reasonably priced. We definitely suggest reserving in advance though, as you'll find better prices than if you wait.

Where to Stay in Suriname

We suggest staying in the capital, Paramaribo, as this is where most of the action is happening. The capital is definitely where most of the best things to do in Suriname are located.

Public transportation is well connected, so even if you are a little outside the center, it is easy to reach the main attractions. We stayed at Zin resort, which was budget friendly, spacious, and included a pool, as well as being well located.

Zin resort, Paramaribo

Zin Resort is a great place to stay in the heart of Paramaribo.

Want to check out other properties in Paramaribo? Just check the map below:

Is it Safe to Go To Suriname?

Suriname is overall a safe country, and we felt very welcome by the locals there. The only reports are of petty crime, nothing that we personally witnessed though. Like in most new countries, exercise caution with your belongings. Other than that, there is not much to worry about, as the people were very friendly there.

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Other Things to Know For Traveling to Suriname

Now that you know all of the best things to do in Suriname, and how to get around, we have just a few final words to share with you.

Weather in Suriname

Suriname is very close to the equator, and is surrounded by the Amazon. Therefore, it is no surprise that it is pretty hot and humid there. The weather doesn't vary too much, and is pretty consistent year round. It is a little rainier in the summer months, and a bit drier in the winter months.

The Best Time to Visit Suriname

The best time to visit Suriname is when it is drier, from September to November, or February & March.

Packing For a Trip to Suriname

Suriname is a very hot and humid country, with a lot of nature, Here are some of the things that we suggest bringing:

  • Sunscreen (the sun is super strong)
  • Bug Spray
  • Hammock (for Brownsberg, or other parks)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Flip Flops (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops, as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Sneakers (for Brownsberg Park)
  • Zippered Bag or Backpack to secure your belongings - take a look at these backpacks for travelers!
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • Bathing Suit
  • Comfortable, light clothing
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)
  • Waterproof Phone Pouch (we use the Cafago Waterproof Phone Pouch)
  • Travel Adapter (we use Tessan travel adapters as they are affordable and reliable)

Looking To Travel Somewhere?

Off The Beaten Trips is our travel agency.

But this isn't anything like you've ever experienced before. You'll have an epic trip without having to break the piggy bank.

Unique locations. Epic adventures. Lifetime memories.

Of all three capitals in the Guyanas, Paramaribo was definitely our favorite. With good food, friendly people, and diverse culture, there is something for everyone. Suriname is a country that we can't wait to go back to, with the most beautiful nature. So make sure to add this country to your bucket list!

Ready to plan your next trip? Let us help! We're here to make sure you explore more, and spend less along the way. Unlike traditional travel agencies, we don't work on crazy commissions, and only connect you with unique experiences. Want to learn more? Get your free consultation today.

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