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Palmentuin, Presidential Palace in Paramaribo ©David Stanley

Boasting some impressive natural attractions, Suriname's sparse savannah is interrupted by verdant rainforests teeming with wildlife, while at least five mountain ranges tower above this mysterious land. Yet, despite its exotic appeal, Suriname remains a commonly-overlooked destination which is unfortunate because armed with a little mosquito repellent and a Dutch dictionary extraordinary adventures can be had.

Suriname is popular with eco-tourists who come to marvel at the biodiversity of the pristine Amazonian rainforests along the Brazilian border. Two of the most impressive protected wilderness areas are the UNESCO-listed Central Suriname Nature Reserve and the beautiful Brownsberg Nature Park.

The historic inner city of Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Paramaribo contains beautiful colonial architecture and makes a great travel base. Take a walk in the Maagdenstraat and buy some handcrafted jewellery, head to the Sunday flea market to pick up some souvenirs, and enjoy a picture-perfect sunset with an ice-cold beer at the Waterkant (waterfront).

Known for its torrid political history, Suriname has been ruled largely peacefully by a democratically-elected government since 1991. The Dutch heritage sets the country apart in South America and gives it a unique cultural flavour. Travel is Suriname is usually trouble-free, though the usual precautions against urban crime should be taken in Paramaribo.

Suriname is delightfully unspoiled and a great off-the-beaten-track destination for adventurous travellers.


The international dialling code for Suriname is +597. Mobile coverage is adequate in towns and cities, but is limited in more remote areas of the interior. Internet cafes are available in major towns.


115 (General)

Languages Spoken

The official language is Dutch. The local creole language, Sranan, is also widely spoken.

Duty Free

Visitors to Suriname may import the following goods duty-free: 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars or 250 grams of tobacco; two litres of alcohol; perfume for personal use; and other goods up to the value of SBD 400.


Electrical current ranges between 127 and 230 volts, 60Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.


Passports must be valid at least six months after travel and passengers must have an onward ticket. Visitors requiring visas but arriving from a country without Suriname representation can also usually obtain a visa on arrival, provided they have pre-approval. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry Requirements

Canadian nationals require a passport valid for six months beyond intended travel. Canadian passport holders travelling as a tourist can obtain a single entry Tourist Card on arrival at Parimaribo International Airport (PBM), for a stay of up to 90 days.

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Malaria medication is recommended for those visiting the provinces of Brokopondo and Sipaliwini. Vaccinations are recommended for all travellers for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and yellow fever, and those planning to eat outside restaurants and hotels may want to consider a vaccination for typhoid. Travellers arriving from infected areas require proof of a yellow fever vaccination to enter Suriname.

Tap water shouldn't be drunk unless it has first been boiled, filtered or chemically disinfected.

Medical facilities are extremely limited in Suriname and travellers are advised to have comprehensive travel health insurance. All required medications should be taken along, in their original packaging and accompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor detailing what they are and why they are needed.

Emergency Phone Number

115 (General)

* For current safety alerts, please visit Foreign travel advice - GOV.UK or Travel.State.Gov


The official currency is the Surinamese Dollar (SRD). Money can be exchanged at banks; the best currencies to change are Euros, US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. Major international credit cards are accepted at larger hotels and restaurants. ATMs are available in towns and cities throughout the country.

Exchange Rate

Not available.

Embassies of Suriname

Foreign Embassies in Suriname


Local culture in Suriname is relaxed and friendly, but strictly patriarchal. Women are expected to dress conservatively. It is customary to greet a new acquaintance with a handshake, and a good friend with a hug. It is polite to remove your shoes when entering someone's home. Ask permission before photographing government or military buildings, or any landmark considered to be holy.

Public Holidays in Suriname

Day of the Maroons10 Oct10 Oct
Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)2 Sep22 Aug
Boxing Day26 Dec26 Dec
New Years Day1 Jan1 Jan
Indigenous Persons Day9 Aug9 Aug
Good Friday14 April30 Mar
Easter Monday17 Apr2 Apr
Labour Day1 May1 May
Abolition of Slavery Day1 Jul1 Jul
Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)26 Jun15 Jun
Diwali (Hindu Festival of Light)19 Oct7 Nov
Christmas Day25 Dec25 Dec
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