March 2012
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Travel – Paramaribo – the most populated district of Suriname

Paramaribo which is also known as Par’bo is the most populated district of Suriname. This district comes under the Surinamese East Coast and the coast is the urban part of the country which includes Paramaribo along with Albina and the Galibi Nature Reserve. Dutch is the official language of Suriname, with English being also widely spoken. In other languages, Sranang Tongo which is referred to as Taki-Taki, is the native language in French Guiana. Sarnami (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese, Chinese (Mandarin, Hakka and Cantonese) and Portuguese are other languages spoken in Paramaribo.
Paramaribo is the capital of the country, and is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its colonial buildings. The capital has some very attractive British, Dutch, French and Spanish colonial architecture styled buildings. There is a fort nearby known as the fort Zeelandia, which is actually a restored fort and it houses the Surinam Museum. There is a Roman Catholic cathedral that dates back to the 19th century and which is entirely made of wood. The Independence Square, the Presidential Palace with a palm garden and the lively waterfront, Palmentuin – a park and market districts are other attractions of the place.

Attractions of Paramaribo:
• The Mosque Keizerstraat: This is the headquarters of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam in Paramaribo in Suriname, “Surinaamse Islamitische Vereniging” (SIV). This is situated in the Keizerstraat which is adjacent to the Neveh Shalom Synagogue.
• The Neveh Shalom Synagogue: It is the only synagogue of the Ashkenazi community located in Suriname. This is made of wood and was built in between 1665-1671 but later rebuilt with brick. In 1735, it was known to be sold to Ashkenazim. The present synagogue on the Keizerstraat which is located on 82 lot was designed by architect J.F. Halfhide which was completed in 1842 or 1843.
• The Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral: This is a wooden Roman Catholic cathedral that is located in the center of the city of Paramaribo, Suriname. This is known to be the largest wooden building in South America, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paramaribo. This cathedral was constructed in 1883 and it was earlier a theatre.
• Watersports: Colakreek is a recreation area that is about 50km (32 miles) to the south of Paramaribo. It contains numerous creeks having brown water, in the small savannah belt behind the coastal plains. Other than these, there are public pools in Poramaribo which are called Niew-Nickerie, Moengo and Groningen. In Jachthaven Ornamibo there are sailing facilities.
• Golf: There is an 18-hole golf course that is located about 5km (3 miles) from Paramaribo on the airport road.
• Galibi Nature Reserve: This is a nesting site for the giant leatherback turtles- Dermochelys coriacea. These are endangered sea turtles. These turtles nest from February and August which is peak season for more than 200 leatherbacks. Their eggs are known to hatch from July to September. Even green turtles- Chelonia mydas nest here along with Olive ridley turtles- Lepidochelys olivacea and hawksbill turtles- Eretmochelys imbricata. Eilanti Beach is the only beach where mass nesting aggregations occur in the Atlantic region. Christiannkondre and Langemankondre are the nearby Amerindian villages that can be visited and Carib Indian artwork is popular here. This reserve is on the edge of Marowiine River. This reserve is used by villagers for fishing, hunting, and plant collecting and small-scale agricultural activities.
• Brownsberg: This is a natural park that is located 130 km (90 mi) south of Paramaribo. The view is great over the Brokopondo Reservoir. It is a birdwatchers paradise and has about 650 birds, some of them rarely seen. The waterfall Irenevallen is very popular here, which about 10 m high. Witikreek is a stream at the foot of the Brownsberg.
• Fort Zeelandia: This is actually a restored fort and it houses the Surinam Museum.
• Kekemba Resort Paramaribo, Mangolaan: This resort is best for relaxing and swimming.
• There is a flea market that is open on Sundays which should be visited.
• Letitia Vriesdelaan: There is a flower expo at Letitia Vriesdelaan every other Sunday which is beautiful and must visit as different orchids, cacti, and other plants are for sale.
• Others: Royal Palm Gardens, Presidential Palace, Historical city center and Jodensavanne.

Best time to visit / climate:
The climate is Tropical and moderated by trade winds. There are 2 dry seasons which are from February to March and August to November. There are 2 rainy seasons from December to January and April to August. November is considered the hottest month so it is best to avoid this time.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

How to get there:
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Suriname:
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica (for holders of diplomatic and official passports only), Colombia (for holders of diplomatic and official passports only), Cuba (for holders of diplomatic and official passports only), Dominica, Philippines, Gambia, Guyana, Grenada, Hong Kong, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Monserrat, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela (for holders of diplomatic and official passports only), South Korea.

By plane:
From Amsterdam there are daily KLM flights. Surinam Airways serves flights from Amsterdam and various Caribbean destinations.
From the United States, airline service is available via Surinam Airways and Caribbean Airlines via Trinidad.
The Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport, which was formerly called Zanderij International Airport, is the arrival point which is located 45 Kilometers south of Paramaribo from where one can take a taxi or bus.
There are weekly flights to Trinidad, Belem (Brazil), Cayenne (French Guiana) and Aruba.

By car: There is a road from Guyana to Suriname. There are mini buses from Georgetown to Suriname.

By bus: One can take a bus from Albina to Paramaribo.

By boat: There are small boats and small ferries between Albina (Suriname) and St. Laurent (French Guiana).

Getting around: One can take a boat or car to go around Suriname. There are charter boats too.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

Tripadvisor Hotels
Yahoo travel

Blogs / Sites about Paramaribo:


Images and photos of Paramaribo:


Buy these books to make your trip more enjoyable:

A Journey into Another World: Sojourn in Suriname Paramaribo: Webster’s Timeline History, 1600 – 2007 Guyana, Guyane & Suriname (Footprint Focus)

Videos of Paramaribo from youtube:

Paramaribo, Suriname

Living in Suriname ( facts and tips from Suriname)

Suriname Paramaribo at night

Garden birds of Paramaribo, Suriname

suriname paramaribo a great city

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