Suriname – Republic of Suriname South American state

Suriname

Flag of Suriname

Suriname, or the Republic of Suriname, is a state in northeastern South America. It borders on the Republic of Guyana in the west, French Guiana in the east, Brazil in the south and is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the north.

Suriname is the smallest state in area of South America. The country can be divided into two parts: the north and the south. In the north, near the Atlantic coast, a large part of the population lives and the land is cultivated. In the south there is almost no population; its territory is covered by savannah and impassable tropical rain forests.

Rivers in the country are abundant, but rapids. Navigation on them for large and medium-sized vessels is possible only in the estuaries. Small ships can go upstream in some rivers up to 300 km, connecting hard-to-reach inland areas with the coast.

Suriname River is one of the main rivers of the country (flows into the Atlantic Ocean). Its source is located in the Guiana highlands near the Wilhelmina Mountains. The length of the river is 480 km. It has several rapids and dams. The Brocopondo Reservoir, created in 1964 to provide power to the bauxite factories, divides the river into two parts.

Climate in Suriname

Located near the equator, Suriname has a hot and humid climate. Temperatures are virtually unchanged from season to season (within 2 °C), the annual average in Paramaribo is +26 °C.

There are two rainy seasons per year: December to early February and late April to mid-August. An average of 2,000 to 2,500 mm of rain falls in 200 rainy days per year.

Strong trade winds.

Population of Suriname

The population of Suriname is 575,991 (2018).

Urban population – 75%.

Literacy – 92% men, 87% women.

Life expectancy – 66 years for men, 73 years for women.

Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection – 2.4%.

Ethno-racial composition:

Creoles (mostly mulattoes) – 31%.

Maroons (“forest negroes”) – 10%.

Christians (Protestants and Catholics) – 40.7%, Hindus – 19.9%, Muslims – 13.5%, others – 15%.

Languages:

Dutch (official), English (colloquial), Sranan Tongo (Surinamese, commonly called Taki Taki, common among Creoles and most youth), Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), Javanese, and Portuguese.

Suriname’s money and currency

The Surinamese dollar (SRD, S$) is equal to 100 cents. Bills of $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 and coins of 250, 100, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cent are in circulation.

Although the Surinamese dollar is considered the only legal tender in the country, guilder coins (their current value should be calculated on the basis of the proportion of 1,000 guilders to 1 Surinamese dollar) can still be found in circulation and are exchanged at the offices of the country’s Central Bank.

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Almost all stores and institutions accept U.S. dollars at the normal rate, many stores even indicate prices in both Surinamese and U.S. dollars at the same time.

Banks are open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Currency can be exchanged at banks and exchange offices.

It is not recommended to change currency on the street (risk of fraud), as well as in hotels, where the rate is usually much lower than in the exchange offices.

Bank cards are accepted in most restaurants, hotels, and stores (American Express, MasterCard, and Visa). ATMs are quite widespread in the capital – you can find them in banks as well as in the post offices of the central districts.

Traveler’s checks can be cashed at banks.

Communication in Suriname

Internet domain: .sr

The international telephone code for the country is 597.

Long-distance codes are not used, all telephones have a six-digit numbering system.

How to call

To call Suriname from Russia, you need to dial: 8 – dial tone – 10 – 597 – caller’s number.

To call from Suriname to Russia, dial: 00 – 7 – city code – telephone number.

Security in Suriname

In the capital and other major cities, street crime, especially at night, is quite high. At night in Paramaribo, it is not advisable to visit the coastal area, especially the area around the Central Market and Palmentine, or Palm Garden.

Rural areas are perfectly safe to travel in due to the small population and the mentality of the locals.

It is not advisable to carry jewelry and large amounts of cash, or to use ATMs at night or to exchange money with strangers.

Suriname tips and tricks

Tap water is usually chlorinated and safe to drink, but bottled water is recommended, especially during the first few days of your stay.

Drinking water in the province is for the most part contaminated and not recommended.

Fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed and fruits peeled.

Fresh water bodies are often a source of contamination by various parasites and infectious diseases. We advise swimming pools, the water in them is well chlorinated and safe for swimming.

The flora and fauna of the local forests also contain many living creatures dangerous to health, so it is recommended to visit them only if accompanied by an experienced guide. Also required in this case repellent, thick clothing, as much as possible covering the whole body, strong shoes and protective nets against insects (the presence and integrity of the latter should always be checked in the hotels).

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The local hazards include high levels of sun radiation (protective creams, hats and light clothing made of natural fabrics are recommended) and high humidity (you should take special precautions against moisture in photo and video equipment).

How to get to Suriname

There is no direct flight connection between Russia and Suriname.

From Moscow you can get here with KLM airlines with a connection in Amsterdam. Also Surinam Airways flies from Amsterdam to Suriname.

Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport is the main air gateway of the country. It is located 45 km south of Paramaribo.

Suriname

Suriname is considered one of the most exotic countries in South America. Before a trip to Suriname, tourists “arm themselves” with a Dutch dictionary and a passion for travel. In this country, the Dutch language is really spoken, and there are many opportunities for interesting adventures there. More than 80% of the land is covered by tropical forests with mountains, nature reserves and national parks. In the north, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, there are many kilometers of white beaches.

Geography

Suriname is located in the northern part of South America. Suriname is bordered in the west by Guyana, in the east by French Guiana, and in the south by Brazil. The north of the country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The total area is 163,821 square kilometres and the total length of the national border is 1,707 kilometres.

The country is geographically divided into two regions, the coastal lowlands in the north and the savannah rainforests in the south. Most of the population lives in the north.

The two main mountain ranges are the Bakhuys Mountains and the Van Asch Van Wijck Mountains. The highest local peak is Mount Juliana, whose height reaches 1,230 meters.

It should be noted that more than 12% of Suriname’s territory belongs to national parks and reserves.

In the north-east of the country there is the Brokopondo Reservoir, into which the Suriname River flows. It is the largest water reservoir in Suriname.

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Suriname’s Capital City

Paramaribo is the capital city of Suriname. More than 250,000 people now live in this city. Paramaribo was founded by the French in 1640.

Official Language

The official language is Dutch.

Religion

The dominant religion is Christianity (Catholicism and various Protestant concessions). About 19% of the population is Muslim.

System of Government of Suriname

According to the 1987 Constitution, Suriname is a parliamentary republic, headed by a President, elected by the local parliament for 5 years. The President is the head of government, he appoints the Cabinet.

The unicameral local parliament is called the National Assembly (consists of 51 deputies elected by the people for 5 years).

The main political parties are the coalition “Megacombinatie” and “National Front”.

Administratively the country is divided into 10 regions, each of which is headed by a commissioner appointed by the president.

Climate and weather

Suriname has a hot tropical climate. There are two dry seasons, August to November and February to April. In addition, there are two wet seasons, April through August and November through February. The rainiest month is May. During the dry season, the average temperature is +27.4C, and during the rainy season it is +23C.

The country is outside the hurricane zone, but there are very frequent downpours, which leads to flooding.

The seas and oceans of Suriname

The country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the north. The sea coast is 386 km long. The average temperature of the sea near the coast is +26C.

Rivers and lakes

The largest reservoir of water in Suriname is the Brocopondo Reservoir, into which the Suriname River flows. This reservoir is located in the north-east of the country.

Culture

Suriname’s culture has been shaped by Dutch influences, as well as natives of Indonesia and India. The result is a multicultural society. Surinamese architecture, for example, has a Dutch colonial character, although the influence of South American traditions is sometimes noticeable. The most noticeable influence of architectural South American traditions is in St. Paul and St. Peter’s Cathedral, built of wood in the 19th century.

The multicultural nature of Surinamese society is reflected in the variety of local festivals and holidays. Christian, Indian, Hindu and Muslim holidays are celebrated in this country.

Every year before Easter, Paramaribo hosts the Avond-Virdaagse, a festive parade that lasts for four days. Another grand Surinamese holiday is celebrated from December to January, Surifesta. This is the Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities, which take place almost all month across the country.

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In rural areas, parents still choose partners for their children. Almost always partners for marriage are chosen from the same ethnic group. Even after marriage, a woman in Suriname cannot claim equal social status with her husband.

Suriname’s cuisine

The cuisine of Suriname differs quite markedly from the culinary traditions found in other South American countries. This country was colonized by the Dutch. Indonesians, Indians, Indians, and Chinese were brought there to work on the plantations. These workers made their favorite dishes from local ingredients. Gradually, the culinary traditions of all these populations blended, resulting in the modern cuisine of Suriname.

The main feature of the local cuisine is the extensive use of fish, seafood, vegetables and fruits. Other main foodstuffs are cassava, rice, potatoes, lentils, corn, and bananas. Peppers, garlic, onions, ginger, and cumin are often used in cooking.

Tourists are recommended to try “Pom” (chicken with vegetables), “Pastei” (Creole chicken pie), “Dhal” (lentil stew), curry chicken, vegetables with nut sauce, “Bakbana” (fried plantain with nut sauce), “Goedangan” (vegetable salad with coconut sauce), “Bojo cake” (made with coconut and cassava), “Phulauri” (fried lentils).

Traditional non-alcoholic beverages – fruit and vegetable juices, tea and coffee.

Traditional alcoholic drinks – ginger beer, rum.

Suriname sights

There are not many historical and cultural attractions in Suriname. But there are many architectural sights and national parks, which, by the way, occupy more than 12% of the country.

In Paramaribo, we recommend visiting Fort Zealand, built by the Dutch in the 17th century. Now the Suriname Museum with an interesting collection of historical and cultural monuments is located in this fortress.

In the coastal region of Para there is a plantation Yodensavanne, founded by Portuguese Jews in the 17th century. In general, there are a lot of medieval plantations in the region of Para, where thousands of tourists visit every year.

Suriname’s national parks and reserves – the Central Reserve of Suriname (16,000 sq km), Brownsberg National Park, as well as the reserves of Raleigh Falls Falls and Galibi (4,000 hectares of tropical forest) attract a lot of tourists.

Cities and resorts

The largest Suriname city is Paramaribo (which now has more than 250,000 inhabitants). The rest of the local cities are not very big by Western standards. Thus, the population of Lelidorp is more than 20 thousand people, and in Nyiv-Nikkeri live approximately 16 thousand people.

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Since Suriname is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the north, it is clear that this country must have beautiful white beaches. Almost the entire 386-kilometer coastline is taken up by beaches. Unfortunately, the tourist infrastructure there is not developed.

Tourists in Suriname are offered exciting adventure tours, during which they visit villages of local residents, national parks, nature reserves, try traditional local food.

Souvenirs/Purchases.

Tourists in Suriname buy handicrafts, local clothing, shoes, hats, handmade jewelry, and local alcoholic beverages.

Business hours

Banks: Mon-Fri 07:30-14:00

Stores: Mon-Fri: 07:30-16:30 Sat: 07:30-13:00

Ukrainians visiting Suriname need a visa.

Currency

The Surinamese dollar is the official currency of Suriname. Its international designation is SRD. One Surinamese dollar = 100 cents. Credit cards are not widely accepted. Only some large hotels and travel agencies accept credit cards.

Customs restrictions

Import and export of local currency is limited to 150 Surinamese dollars per person. Foreign currency in excess of $10,000 must be declared.

It is prohibited to import drugs, pornography, fruits and vegetables. Pets from Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain are allowed. To import firearms and ammunition it is necessary to obtain permission from the Suriname Police.

Exports of archaeological, antiquities and art objects require a permit. You may not export artifacts made from sea turtle shells without a permit.

Useful telephone numbers and addresses

Suriname Embassy in the Netherlands: Alexander Gogelweg 2, 2517 JH The Hague Tel: 31 70 365 0844

Ukraine interests in Suriname are represented by Embassy of Ukraine in Brazil: SHIS, QІ-06, Conjunto-04 Casa-02, LAGO SUL, CEP 71615-040 Brasilia-DF BRASIL Tel: (8 10 5561) 3365 1457 E-mail: E-mail address is protected from spambots. You need Javascript enabled in your browser to view the address.

115 Emergency Phones – All emergencies

Time

Time is 6 hours behind the Kiev time. In other words, if, for example, in Kiev at 13:00, then in Paramaribo – 07:00.

Tip

Hotels and restaurants usually add 10-15% service charge to the bill.

Medicine

Doctors recommend that tourists get vaccinations against yellow fever, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, malaria, tetanus, rabies, and typhoid before traveling to Suriname. The risk of malaria is high throughout the year in the southern areas and almost none in the coastal areas and the city of Paramaribo.

Safety

The number of petty crimes in Suriname has increased recently, mainly thefts. Therefore, tourists there are advised to observe reasonable security measures.

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