Suriname tourism is unique by any standard.
Dominated by primary forest, more than 80% of the country's 163,000sq km is covered by the Amazon rainforest. protected through a dozen or so national parks and natural reserves.
Suriname has a long standing tradition of nature conservation, and the creation of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve is a good example of their preservation efforts.
It covers 1.6 million ha of primary forest of the most pristine state, with high biodiversity of plant an animal life. That's the core of your Suriname tourism experience.
Located in NE South America, Suriname is bordered to the East by the Marowijne river (border with French Guiana) and Corantijn river to the West (border with Guyana).
To the North, the Atlantic, and Brazil to the South.
First inhabitants were the Surinen. When the first Europeans arrived to the region, they were already driven out by other Amerindian tribes such as Carib and Arawaks.
Spanish arrived in the late 15th century and the country exchanged hands several times after that, between the Dutch, English and French colonialists.
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The English settled in Suriname in the first half of 17th century.
In 1776 they hand it over to the Dutch, in exchange for the Dutch possession of New Amsterdam, later named New York, or the Big Apple as we know it today.
For many years Suriname was known as Dutch Guiana. In 1975 became a republic, gaining fully independence from the Netherlands.
Dutch is the official language. Sranang Tongo is widely spoken, also Hindi and Javanese, together with English, Chinese, French and Spanish. You're definitely not short of options when trying to speak your way through Suriname tourism!
Suriname culture is as vast and varied as its ethnic composition, very well reflected through its superb cuisine.
Language: Dutch (official), English, Sranang Tongo. Hindustani and Javanese
Population: 519,000 (UN, 2009)
Area: 163,270 sq km (101,500 sq mi).
Climate: Visit Guianas Climate
Currency: Surinamese dollar (SRD)
Exchange Rate:1.00 SRD = 0.369004 USD (March 2010)
Religion: Hindu 27.4%, Muslim 19.6%, Roman Catholic 22.8%, Protestant 25.2%, indigenous beliefs 5%
International dialling code: +597
Places to visit include Fort Zeelandia and major religious buildings such as the 17th century synagogue, 19th century Catholic cathedral and the biggest mosque in the Caribbean.
But the biggest of Suriname attractions is the tropical forest. A number of national parks and protected areas are found throughout, including Brownsberg Nature Park, Voltzberg Nature Park, Galibi Nature Reserve (at the mouth of Marowijne river) and Coppename Nature Reserve (at the mouth of Coppename river), among others.
Many river tours are available, including guided visits to indigenous communities. Surinamese Bush Negroes (Maroons) account for about 8% of the population.
They have managed to preserve their culture and lifestyle, living in jungle villages since 18th century.
Among others, the Saramaka, Matawi, Paramake, Aukan, Boni, etc.
Suriname tourism is gaining importance. The country's cultural heritage as well as its abundance of nature and wildlife is attracting more and more international recognition, but today still remains provably the best kept secret in South America...
The airport - Johan Adolf Pengel Intl. Airport - is located at Zanderij, about one hour from Paramaribo.
KLM and Surinam Airlines fly from Europe via Amsterdam, there are not direct flights from UK.
In USA, Surinam Airlines provide connecting flights from New York, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.