March 2012
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Travel – Suriname – located in Northern part of South America

Suriname which was earlier the colony of Netherlands Guiana or Dutch Guiana is located in the Northern part of South America. It is a country that has to its north, the North Atlantic Coastline and to the east the geography of French Guiana, to the south is Brazil and to its west is Guyana. This place is the smallest independent country with small population in the South American continent.
This land is mostly hilly in the south with an average height of around 1000 meters, while the coastal plain is narrow and full of mangrove swamps. It has a tropical rainforest with diverse flora and fauna. The highest point of this place is Juliana Top which is at an altitude of 1,230 m. This place was in control of the Netherlands, and finally became independent in 1975. Dutch is the official language of Suriname and English is also widely spoken. Sranang Tongo which is referred to as Taki-Taki is native language in French Guiana. Sarnami (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese, Chinese (Mandarin, Hakka and Cantonese) and Portuguese are other languages spoken in Suriname.
The regions of Suriname are three and are grouped on Suriname’s 10 administrative districts and they are:
• Surinamese East Coast: This coast is the urban part of the country which includes Paramaribo, Albina and the Galibi Nature Reserve.
• Surinamese West Coast: This Coast is the largest village in Nieuw Nickerie which is a city that has moved in 1870 and 1879 due to erosion. It has Guyanese immigrants and now this coast is protected by a sea wall.
• Surinamese Rainforest: This region is vast and full of flora and fauna. It includes Onverwacht, Paranam, the Brokopondo Reservoir and the magnificent waterfalls of Brownsberg Nature Park.

The city of Suriname includes:
• Paramaribo: This is the capital of the country.
• Albina: This city is a tourist spot famous in the east.
• Brownsweg: This is where the Brownsberg Nature Park is located and it is famous for its waterfalls.
• Lelydorp: This is the second largest village of Suriname.
• Moengo: This was a center for the mining and storage of bauxite in earlier times.
• Nieuw Amsterdam: This is a suburb of Paramaribo.
• Nieuw Nickerie: This is the largest village of the West Coast and it has about 13,000 inhabitants living in it.
• Paranam: This is another bauxite village along with Moengo.
• Wageningen: this is also known as the rice village of Suriname.

Attractions of Suriname:

Paramaribo: This is the capital of the country and is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its colonial buildings. The capital has an attractive British, Dutch, French and Spanish colonial architecture. 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 made of wood entirely. 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.

Watersports: Colakreek is a recreation area that is about 50km (32 miles) to the south of Paramaribo. It contains numerous creeks which has 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.

Eco tourism: Suriname has more than 80 percent of tropical rainforests, which are included in national parks and natural reserves. One can take a guided tour to Raleighvallen/Voltzberg Nature Park or Natuurpark Brownsberg (Brownsberg Nature Park) and a five day river tour to Kumalu and the Awarra Dam. One can view the diverse flora and fauna of the tropical forest which has numerous mammals that include jaguars, pumas and ocelots, birds like flamingos and eagles and rare flowers like orchids and ixora as well as the black and blue morph butterflies.
• Central Suriname Nature Reserve: The Central Suriname Nature Reserve (CSNR) consists of more than 1.6 million hectares of primary tropical forest of Suriname. The three most important protected areas are in central Suriname: the Raleighvallen Nature reserve in the north, and the Tafelberg and Eilerts de Hann Gebergte Nature Reserves in the central and southern portion of the corridor are linked by this reserve. The land area is large and has Suriname’s most important river systems, the Coppename River with diverse flora and fauna.
• The Tafelberg Nature Reserve: This is in the geographic center of Suriname. This covers the primary rainforest and savanna ecosystems.
• The Eilerts de Hann Gebergte Nature Reserve: This reserve has no human population living within or around its boundaries and comes under the Eilerts de Hann Gebergte mountain range and comes under the primary tropical rain forest and savanna ecosystems.
• The Raleighvallen Nature Reserve: This is an important area in South America and it is protected. The Vegetation here has the moist highland forest which comes under 80 percent of Suriname. This reserve is spread wide on an area of 78,170 ha. It is located along the Coppename River. This reserve also has falls named Raleighvallen (Raleigh Falls) which is near Fungo Island and in the upper Coppename River. It is also known as a bird and monkey paradise. One can explore toucans, macaws and parrots and 400 other species. There are weaver birds called oropendulas which are large and have yellow feathers which are special. Voltzberg which is a granite sugarloaf mountain and which can be reached on foot in three hours by jungle trail from Foengoe Island is another attraction of the reserve. This mountain is at an altitude of approximately 150 m (375 ft) above the forest canopy.
• 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 and that are rarely seen. The waterfall Irenevallen is very popular here which about 10 m high in the Brownskreek is. Witikreek is a stream at the foot of the Brownsberg.
• Galibi Nature Reserve: This is a single nesting site for the giant leatherback turtles – Dermochelys coriacea and one in the world. 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 of 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.
• Upper Surinam River: Brownsberg is to the south of the Brokopondo Lake and ends at Atjoni. From here the Upper Suriname River begins and so to south as Djuumu and here the river branches into Gran Rio and Pikin Rio.

Other locations that can be seen:
• Awarra dam
• Palumeu
• Kasikasima
• Nickerie / Bigi Pan
• Colakreek
• Matapica
• Blanche Marie Falls
• Berg en Dal River Resort
• Danta Bai

Best time to visit / climate:
The climate is Tropical and moderated by trade winds. There are 2 dry seasons which is 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:
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.

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)

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

Yahoo travel

Blogs / Sites about Suriname:


Images and photos of Suriname:

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