Located in South America’s northeastern region, Suriname combines rainforest, stunning rivers and great ethnic diversity. This small South American country, founded by The Dutch in the 17th century, offers dense and untamed inner jungles as well as lively modern cities with shopping malls, restaurants and vibrant nightlife.
Its population is composed of Blacks, Chinese, Indians, Indonesians, Dutch and British descendants. This melting pot makes Suriname a unique place, with different faces, languages, culture and religions.
Travel Noire has rounded up 10 places to check out in Suriname during your next visit.
Paramaribo is one of the most multi-ethnic cities in South America. It offers an enormous list of things that tourists can do.
Known as the capital of Guianas, Paramaribo is a must-visit city in Suriname. Visiting Dutch colonial buildings, eating at Indian and Indonesian restaurants and buying artwork by Maroon artists who sell their art on the streets are the main activities of the city.
2. Galibi Coppename Nature Reserve
This beautiful nature reserve is situated on the Coppename River. Galibi Coppename Nature Reserve is a perfect place for those who love birds due to its great diversity of species. The Foundation for the Conservation of Nature in Suriname (STINASU) organizes tours around the reserve.
3. Central Suriname Nature Reserve
Central Suriname Nature Reserve covers 12% of the country’s total land. Also, it is estimated that 40% of the plants and animals there can only be found in Suriname.
One of the most beautiful attractions in the reserve is Raleigh Falls. It is a long, low stairway of water that descends from the Coppename River. There, you can see spider monkeys, eagle cocks, electric eels and beautiful exotic birds.
STINASU also runs tours there. For climbers, Voltzbergisa, a 240 m granite dome, is a great place.
4. Commewijne River
Commewijne River is one of the most significant rivers in Suriname. You can find former cocoa plantation estates, as well as coffee and sugarcane facilities. Also, you can rent a bicycle for the day and ride the well-maintained routes around the plantations.
Fort Nieuw Amsterdam features artifacts left over during the slave trade. Other places located near the Commewijne River are Peperpot Park and the Meerzorg Bridge, which is popular among bird watchers.
5. Brownsberg Nature Park
Situated 80 miles from Paramaribo, the Brownsberg Nature Park is a tropical rainforest and home to hundreds of unique and rare species of plants and animals. You will enjoy a day of hiking through this wonderful stretch of nature.
6. Arya Dewake
This Hindu temple is the largest in Suriname, and it is located in Paramaribo. Arya Dewaker is the worship place for roughly 30,000 Hindus who live there. Designed by a Dutch architect, the building is a two-story octagonal building with meeting rooms, a library and ceremony room.
The architecture design combines the Dutch style with the ancient Moghul style of India, as well as a bit of Moorish design. The result is truly unique.
7. Presidential Palace of Suriname
The presidential palace is one of the best examples of Dutch colonial architecture in Suriname. It was built in the 18th century, and serves as the home for every Suriname president. The landscape has a wide variety of trees, as well as monkeys and tropical birds.
8. Keizerstraat Mosque
The largest mosque in the Caribbean is Keizerstraat Mosque, located in Paramaribo. It is a beautiful building with stunning gardens.
Built in the 1980s to replace an earlier wooden structure, Suriname City Mosque is known for its central dome, rectangular shape, and four towering minarets.
9. Neveh Shalom Synagogue
Next to Suriname Mosque is the impressive Neveh Shalom Synagogue. Built in the 19th century, the Synagogue has a unique characteristic: its sandy floor. According to tradition, the sand is a reminder of the Hebrews’ 40 years in the desert after the exodus from Egypt.
10. The Cathedral Basilica Saint Peter and Paul
One of the most fascinating and sacred buildings in the heart of Paramaribo, Suriname, lies South America’s largest wooden structure— the Cathedral Basilica Saint Peter and Paul. It is the seat of the Catholic Diocese and holds centuries of history. A unique work of architecture, the Cathedral is Suriname’s most historic monument.