Suriname’s extensive natural areas and the variety of flora and wildlife in them are the country’s primary tourist draw, with almost a third of the country designated as national reserves. Visit the beaches of Galibi and Albina to watch the spectacular breeding process of huge Leatherback sea turtles, or take a helicopter trip to one of the more isolated beaches to experience the same thing with less people. On the journey, look for river dolphins and observe the characteristic mangrove woods that exist between the coast and the rain forests. The Amazon rain forests comprise the majority of Surinam’s land area and are home to hundreds of birds, reptiles, monkeys, and even a few jaguars. As tourism grows, guided excursions and lodges in the middle of the jungle are springing up, providing a pleasant alternative for those looking to spend a few days seeing animals or flora such as the rubber tree, spike-footed palms, orchids, and cactuses. Day trips are also a possibility. The Raleigh waterfalls and Mount Voltzberg are located in the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, which is the most popular of the reserves. The Brokopondo Reservoir, located in Brownsberg Nature Park, is one of the world’s biggest man-made lakes. Visit Tonka Island to witness the eco-tourism initiative established by the Saramaccaner Maroons.
Maroon and Amerindian settlements may be located deep in the jungle, although many are also found along riverbanks. A boat excursion down the Marowijne river, with French Guyana only on the other side, is a wonderful opportunity to view the best of the forest, see several towns, and do some border hopping while you’re at it. Swim at Cola Creek, a black water (Blaka Watra) leisure area 50 kilometers from Paramaribo that is popular with Surinamese families. On the way back, stop at the Jodensavanne (Jews savanna), where Jews were permitted to live in the 17th century. Only the remains of this historic site remain to remind us of bygone times.
The city of Paramaribo is a lovely location, and its historic center is a Unesco World Heritage Site. The capital has many of the qualities of a big rural community, and despite the lack of genuine monuments and attractions, it is a pleasant location to spend some time. Spend some time on the Waterkant, the waterside street with its ancient wooden colonial homes, and get a meal from one of the food booths. Visit the Central Market and see the Jules Wijdenboschbrug. Stroll through the Palm Tree Garden and the Independence Square to reach Fort Zeelandia. Include the Roman Catholic Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral on your stroll since it is the biggest wooden structure in South America.
Former plantations will transport you back to colonial days, when coffee and sugar were grown on the property. Others of the plantation buildings have been restored, and some are even used to produce coffee and dried shrimp. Bike through the peaceful and lush region between the banana trees to old plantations with names like Einde Rust (End of Rest), Worsteling Jacobs (Struggle Jacobs), Zorgvliet, and Zeldenrust (Rarely Rest).