Suriname

South America’s smallest country, Suriname is a warm, dense convergence of rivers that thumps with the lively rhythm of ethnic diversity.

Suriname, South America’s smallest country, may not seem like must-see destination if you’re planning a trip to this remote corner of the continent, but dismiss it at your peril. For adventurous travellers who love nature and wildlife its abundance of protected prime jungle and fast-flowing, converging rivers offer an exciting and little-explored nirvana. It’s one of the least-visited countries in the world.

The biodiversity is rich as is the ethnic mix of the friendly and welcoming population drawn from a mixed ancestry of indigenous Amerindians, Asian workers from India, China & Indonesia, escaped African slaves and British and Dutch colonialists. From the buzzing capital Paramaribo to the unspoiled rainforest of the interior, you’ll be entranced by this small gem of a country.

An interesting historical fact; the Dutch and British controlled Suriname along with Guyana with the French next door in French Guiana. In 1667 the Dutch wanted to have the country to themselves and the British agreed to swap their interest in Suriname for a little-known trading post in America called New Amsterdam. Nowadays it’s better known today as New York!

Paramaribo is an enchanting and lively capital with the strongest influence on its beautiful and often grand architecture being Dutch-colonial. It has some superb restaurants and nightspots as well as a host of historical buildings, markets and river front. A few hours’ drive, or, better still, boat ride out of Paramaribo takes you right to the heart of the rampant wilderness of Suriname’s pristine jungle. The mainly water-based infrastructure for getting around this densely-forested country crossed by so many rivers is well established. Suriname uses its many rivers in preference to roads with dugout canoes used for journeys between smaller rural communities. The beaches are not so easy to access but well worth the effort as they are a magnet for turtles who lay their eggs all along the coast. There is also an excellent network of domestic flights serving tiny airports around the country.

As with Paramaribo, Suriname’s other places of human habitation sit along the Atlantic coast and this is where the vast majority of its half million or so population live. Suriname’s interior is virtually uninhabited other than a handful of villages inhabited by Maroons, people descended from escaped African slaves, and indigenous Amerindians. For food lovers, there’s plenty to enjoy in Suriname which has the best which the Guyanas have to offer, with all the influences of its diverse population finding their way into the cuisine – Caribbean, European, Asian and Amerindian are all represented in the delicious, often spicy food found in this country. Making the time to visit Suriname is not easy and certainly feels like a big adventure but there’s so much to enjoy for those who do.

Boasting some impressive natural attractions, Suriname’s green savannah is interrupted by verdant rainforests teeming with wildlife, while at least five mountain ranges tower above this mysterious land.

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