Where Is Suriname? Any Idea?

Okay, so where is Suriname? I have to admit when I came across this country I didn’t have a clue where it was. As a result, I got to learn about a very interesting country and culture.Where Is Suriname

It is actually a very small country on the northeastern coast of South America. Much of it is a tropical rain forest with much Dutch architecture in the towns and cities. It is bordered by Guyana, Brazil, French Guiana, and the Atlantic Ocean.


A Brief History of Suriname

Dating back to 3000 BC the first inhabitants of the area were Arawak, a coastal nomadic tribe. The Carib then settled there and overtook the area from the Arawak. Smaller groups of indigenous people lived in the inland rain forest.

English, Spanish, and French explorers showed up in the 16th century. Later in the 17th century, English and Dutch settled there setting up plantations along the rivers. The English and Dutch soon fought over control of the territory. The Treaty of Breda in 1667 enabled the Dutch to keep the plantation colony of Surinam. The English ended up with New Amsterdam, which eventually was named New York City.

The Society of Suriname was founded in 1683 and in 1795 was controlled by the Batavian Republic with its successors the Kingdom of Holland and the Kingdom of the Netherlands ruled the territory as a national colony. The British did occupy the area between 1799 and 1802, and then again between 1804 and 1816.

The Maroons, former slaves, established a unique culture in the interior rain forests with the assistance of neighboring South Americans. They eventually branched out into other tribes. The Netherlands abolished slavery in Suriname in 1863. Suriname is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the entire world.

The United State occupied Suriname in 1941 during World War ll. In 1954 it became a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The National Party of Suriname gained independence in 1975. The 1990s were comprised of civil war and new elections. Chan Santokhi was elected president in 2020.

Where is Suriname? Some Interesting Facts

  • the capital is Paramaribo which is located on the Atlantic north coast where the majority of the population resides
  • Fort Zeelandia is a 17th-century trading post
  • St. Peter and Paul Basilica, located in Paramaribo, is a wood cathedral that was consecrated in 1885
  • the population of the country is approximately 581,363 and consists of Creole, Indonesian, Chinese, Lebanese, and Amerindian
  • it has a tropical climate predominately covered by rain forests. It is hot and wet with high humidity and temperatures between 84 and 93 degrees Fahrenheit (29 to 34 C) during the year.
  • the economy is based on the country’s natural resources such as petroleum, gold, bauxite, and agricultural products
  • culturally it is a Caribbean country and a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
  • Dutch is the official language and it is used in business, media, education, and government. Sranan Tongo, an English-based Creole language, and English are also widely spoken.
  • the Republic of Suriname is a representative democratic republic. It is based on its Constitution of 1987.
  • located on the Guiana Shield, Suriname is the smallest independent country in South America
  • the Central Suriname Nature Reserve is located on the upper Coppeanme River and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its biodiversity and pristine forests; other national parks include Sipaliwani Nature Reserve, Eilerts de Haan Nature Park, Galibi Natural Reserve, and Brownsberg Nature Park.
  • Afro-Surinamese and East Indians comprise the majority of the population
  • Football (soccer), volleyball, and basketball are the major sports. Also of interest are cricket, badminton, chess, bridge, troefcall (card game), and draughts (board game).
  • vehicles drive on the left side of the road because of prior British influence
  • the main airport is Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport. There are 55 airports in the country of which 6 are paved.
  • Anton de Kom University of Suriname is the main college
  • tourism is based on the biodiversity of the country with many visiting the southern part of Suriname with its Amazonian rain forests with an array of fauna and flora. There are also many waterfalls scattered about the country.
  • there is a high level of crime in the capital city of Paramaribo but overall it is safe to travel there
  • connecting Meerzorg and Paramaribo over the Suriname River is the Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge which was completed in 2000
  • Lake Brokopondo is one of the world’s largest reservoirs

Things to Do in Suriname

* The Upper Suriname River — take a serene boat ride down the river and enjoy a mix of the sounds of monkeys and birds. On both sides of the river, you will come upon many villages with rustic houses and people willing to share their traditions, customs, and ancestry. There are many eco-lodges along the river so that you can take your time and extend your cultural experience.

* Sea Turtles — along the beaches on the Atlantic you will find many sea turtles. Many are nestled down laying their eggs. One of the best places to experience this is Matapica Beach with its copper-colored sand. Another turtle sanctuary is in Galibi Nature Preserve. You will find green turtles, hawksbills, leatherbacks, and even on occasion the rare olive ridley turtles.

* Brownsberg Nature Park — here you will find over 1500 types of plants and a good number of animal species. Both red and black howler monkeys will break the serenity of the forest as they swing among the branches of the trees. There are over 400 species of birds with the long-legged Grey-winged trumpeters being one of the noisiest. There are many trails to take through the jungle and there are four waterfalls where you can refresh yourself from the heat. Hiking up to Marazoni Top will reveal many beautiful views of the surrounding jungle and lakes.

* Paramaribo — the Dutch influence of the city’s architecture is immediately apparent with the rows of wooden houses and in the city’s downtown, Foto. In addition to the colonial architecture, you will find an eclectic mix of churches, synagogues, mosques, and Hindu temples. Spices from all over the world can be found in the local market as well as plenty of food, clothing, and other articles.

* Voltsberg Mountain — emerging from the Voltsberg Nature Preserve this dusty rock has an other-worldly aura. Sunrise is the ideal time to scale this 787 foot (240 meters) mountain. There will be plenty of birds and monkeys to entertain you on the way up.

* Surinamese Rum House — a white wooden house situated in the middle of a beautiful garden is the home of many award-winning rums. In addition to meeting and speaking with the originator of these marvelous recipes, you can also take a tour and view the oak barrels and the copper pot in which the rum is brewed. There are mixology classes as well as tasting sessions to enjoy.

* Commewijne Plantations — situated on a mud-colored river of the same name, these sugar plantations with their colonial house are now abandoned. You can also learn how coffee and cocoa factories were run in days gone by. The Museum of Marienburg on the site of a former sugar plantation is full of history. Fort Nieuw Amsterdam, a polygon-shaped fortress, is located at the meeting point of the Suriname and Commenwijne rivers.

Where Is Suriname? Is It Worth a Visit?Where Is Suriname

Now that we answered the question of where is Suriname, we can now determine whether this is a place we would like to visit and explore. This small country nestled between Guyana and French Guiana is not visited a lot but can provide many adventures and interesting experiences.

Ethnically diverse as well as one of the smallest countries in South America, it is predominantly a safe place to travel. As in any larger city, Paramaribo, does have a certain level of crime, so it pays to be aware and ask the advice of where and where not to go during different times of the day. Overall the crime rate is low and it is one of the safer countries in South America.

With modern facilities and amenities, Suriname has a relatively high standard of living with a vibrant diverse culture. The inner parts of the country are not easy to reach so they do require guides and special arrangements.

This is a fascinating country not yet getting a lot of tourist activity so this may be a good time to check things out there. With 98% of the country being jungle and rain forests, this is an opportunity to explore wildlife, nature, and the traditions of the local tribes.

The cuisine varies from Javanese to Chinese with numerous dishes in between, so that you will find something that will satisfy your taste buds. During Surifesta, the country’s New Year’s Festival, you will find plenty of fine food as well as music and fireworks.

As far as accommodations are concerned you will find vacation rentals and homes through Airbnb, and as well as a good selection of hotels.

If you are looking for an out-of-the-way place to visit this just may be a good choice now that you can answer the question, “Where is Suriname?”.

Enjoy your travels,

Joseph William

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5 thoughts on “Where Is Suriname? Any Idea?”

  1. Interesting article, I’ve never heard of this location!  Always neat to find new places to visit!   … have you been there? Where is the nearest airport?  I was confused by the picture of the map but after getting into the article it was more clear!  Thanks for sharing your insights!

    • Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated. Suriname is not for everybody. But if you enjoy the outdoors and adventures in the rainforest and jungle this is the place to be. All the Best.

  2. Hi Joseph, Sounds like an interesting place. I think the national park sounds like a cool place to visit with the howler monkeys. I think maybe I would visit if I had the money but I would probably want to check out a few other countries whilst there. Thanks for sharing;

    Kind regards



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