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Suriname - General Information

Roads

The main road (locally known as the Kennedy Highway) from the airport (Johan Adolf Pengel) to Paramaribo is paved and in generally good condition. The road from Paramaribo to Nickerie is also paved but apparently susceptible to flooding in the rainy season. Other roads are generally unpaved and bauxite topped making them dusty in dry season and in places difficult to negotiate.

Airport

Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport, often known as Zanderij, is located approximately 1 hour south of Paramaribo. The terminal is modern and has a limited selection of duty-free items available.

Language

The official language of Suriname is Dutch. In the higher-end hotels English is widely spoken. The local dialect is Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki) is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population. East-Indians communicate in Sarnami Hindostani (a dialect of Hindi) and Indonesians speak Javanese.

Safety

Street crime is common in Paramaribo particularly at night. Areas to be extremely careful are the Central Market and Palm Garden (reports of robberies and muggings during daylight hours in the Palm Garden). Try to avoid travelling alone (day or night) and take the usual precautions with money and valuables.

Check with local residents, tour operators and with hotel staff to find out if there are any security concerns in the interior.

Getting to Suriname

Suriname Airways offers flights from Amsterdam, Miami, Curacao, Port of Spain (Trinidad), Georgetown (Guyana). Check with the airline as routes and schedules can change without notice.

Tip: Confirm your flight reservation - Always make sure that you reservation has been confirmed on Suriname Air flights. This can be done either directly with the airline or through a travel agent in Paramaribo. There have been many incidents of Suriname Airways reservations being cancelled without notice.
For European travelers, K.L.M. offer regular flights to Suriname.

Paramaribo's airport code is PBM.

Photographs

Be sure to ask permission before taking photographs of local people. Do not take photographs of any military facilities.

Climate

The climate is tropical - warm and humid; temperatures average about 27º C (81º F). Even at night, the temperature rarely drops below 24º C (75º F). At mid-day during the dry seasons the temperature may reach 36º C (96º F) in the shade. Constant trade winds bring some cooling relief.

Currency

Suriname guilder. For conversion rates try our currency converter. US dollars changed for guests at major hotels in Paramaribo.

Credit Cards are only accepted in larger hotels

Time

Two hours later than Eastern Standard Time (EST) in North America and three hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in Europe.

Food & Drink

The cuisine is as as varied as Suriname's population. Rice (farmed extensively in the Nickerie region) is the country's staple. Vegetables such as sweet potato, cassava, planatin and red peppers are commonly used.

Excellent Indonesian food can be found as can Hindustani dishes.

Don't miss the opportunity to have fresh pinepapple available at the Central; market or at stalls on the roadsides leading out of Paramaribo. Other fabuluos tropical fruits include maripa and awarra.

Local rum is tasty and good value. Black Cat is recommended. Stay away from the very cheap rum. The local beer - Parbo- a pilsner type brew is also excellent; a must for beer lovers.

Communications

The telephone system is reliable although it is expensive to make overseas calls. Suriname country code is (597) + 6 digit local number.

Health

If you're planning on a trip to the interior then it is wise to have vaccinations for yellow fever, cholera, tetanus and hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis should also be taken; it is preferable to take your own rather than rely on obtaining them in Suriname. Mosquitos can be, at certain times, be ferocious. Taking a mosquito net into is advisable. HIV/AIDS is also prevalent.

Drinking water is safe in Paramaribo, but ask first before drinking water in outlying areas. Swimming can also be hazardous because of poisonous fish. Again, ask first before swimming.

Entry Requirements for US and Canadian Citizens

A passport, visa and a return ticket for U.S. and Canadian air travelers are required for travel to Suriname. There is a processing fee for business and tourist visas. A business visa requires a letter from the sponsoring company detailing the reason for the visit.

There is an airport departure charge and a terminal fee. Travelers arriving from Guyana, French Guiana and Brazil are required to show proof of a yellow fever vaccination.

For further information, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Suriname, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 460, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-7488, email: embsur@erols.com or the Consulate of Suriname in Miami, 7235 NW 19th Street, Suite A, Miami, Fl 33126, telephone (305) 593-2697.

Further information is available from the US Consular Fact Sheet, the Canadian Federal Government and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Electricity

127 volts AC, 60 cycles. Outlets are generally 2-pin round European-type.

Population

Approximately 425,000 inhabitants mainly of Amerindian, African, East-Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Dutch origin.






Turquoise Net - Your Guide to the Caribbean & Beyond
Your Guide to the Caribbean & Beyond

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