How to Spend Two Weeks in Suriname
Suriname is a hidden gem in South America, with a rich cultural diversity, stunning natural beauty, and fascinating history. Whether you want to explore the colonial architecture of Paramaribo, the vibrant markets and warungs of Commewijne, the historic Jewish settlement of Joden Savanne, or the pristine rainforest and rivers of the interior, Suriname has something for everyone. In this blog post, we will show you how to spend two weeks in Suriname, covering the best places to visit, things to do, and tips to make your trip unforgettable.
Week 1: Paramaribo and Surroundings
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique blend of Dutch, British, French, Jewish, African, Indian, Indonesian, and Chinese influences. You can easily spend a few days exploring the city’s attractions, such as:
- Fort Zeelandia: A 17th-century fortress that was the scene of many historical events, such as the arrival of the first Dutch settlers, the slave rebellion of 1763, and the December murders of 1982. Today, it houses a museum that showcases Suriname’s history and culture. You can also enjoy a delicious meal at De Gadri, a restaurant that serves traditional Surinamese dishes with a view of the Suriname River.
- Saoena Market and Kwatta Market: Two of the best places to sample the diverse cuisine of Suriname, from Javanese snacks and dim sum to roti and barbecue. You can also buy fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and souvenirs at these bustling markets.
- Waka Pasi: A colorful craft market that showcases the work of local artisans and entrepreneurs. You can find handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, art, and more at this charming spot. You can also learn more about Suriname’s history and culture from the guides at the tourist info cabana at the beginning of Waka Pasi.
After exploring Paramaribo, you can take a day trip or an overnight stay to one of the nearby districts, such as:
- Commewijne: A scenic district that lies across the river from Paramaribo. You can visit Fort New Amsterdam, an open-air museum that displays the colonial history of Suriname; Peperpot Nature Park, a former plantation that is now a wildlife sanctuary; and Tamanredjo, a village that is famous for its warungs (Indonesian eateries).
- Brokopondo: A district that is home to Joden Savanne (Jewish Savannah), a historic Jewish settlement that dates back to the 17th century. You can see the ruins of the oldest synagogue in the Americas, as well as a cemetery and a museum. You can also stop by Lelydorp, a town that has several warungs and a butterfly garden.
- Brownsberg Nature Park: A protected area that covers a mountain range and a lake. You can hike through the rainforest, spot wildlife such as monkeys, birds, and frogs, and enjoy panoramic views of the Brokopondo Reservoir.
Week 2: The Interior
The interior of Suriname is where you can experience the true beauty and adventure of this country. You can visit one of the many resorts or lodges that offer accommodation and activities in the heart of the jungle. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Bergendal Resort: A luxury resort that offers comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, a spa, a restaurant, and a bar. You can also enjoy activities such as zip-lining, kayaking, hiking, cultural tours, and wildlife watching.
- Tapawatra Resort: A rustic resort that is located on an island in the Gran Rio River. You can stay in traditional huts or tents, enjoy meals cooked by local staff, and relax in hammocks or on the beach. You can also explore the surrounding area by boat or on foot
- Celestial Tours Paramaribo: A tour company that organizes trips to various destinations in the interior. You can choose from different packages that include transportation (by bus or plane), accommodation (in lodges or campsites), meals (local or western), and activities (such as fishing, hiking, cultural visits)The interior of Suriname is also home to many indigenous and Maroon communities that have preserved their traditions and customs for centuries. You can learn more about their culture, history, and way of life by visiting their villages, participating in their ceremonies, and supporting their crafts
Suriname is a country that will surprise and delight you with its diversity, beauty, and charm. You can have a memorable two-week vacation by following this itinerary, or customize it according to your preferences and budget. Either way, you will discover a hidden gem in South America that will make you want to come back for more.