Overview

Suriname is the smallest independent country in South America but what it lacks in size it makes up in ethnic diversity: its friendly inhabitants are composed of Dutch and British colonialists, Amerindians, Chinese, Indians and Maroons, and any combination of them. The country can be divided into two main regions - the northern lowland coastal area where most of the population lives and the dense tropical rainforest and sparsely inhabited savannah which covers the rest of the country.

The inland forest is occupied by very small communities of Amerindians and descendants of African slaves - the Maroons – who escaped into the jungle in the 17th and 18th centuries live scattered along the banks of its major rivers.  The Dutch colonial centre of Paramaribo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city is also a melting pot of religious cultures including Jews who moved here from Jodensavanne - home of the oldest synagogue in the Americas. The wilderness interior is pretty impenetrable and is accessed by river, forest road or light aircraft. The biggest attraction of the country for visitors is its unique ethnic and social fabric.

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Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

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Coq of the Rock: Trailblazing the Guianas

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Suriname

Cultural Suriname

6 days from £2,040pp

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Suriname / French Guiana / Guyana

Discovering the hidden Guianas

15 days from £8,880pp

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Where to go when - our guide to Suriname

Paramaribo

The weather in Suriname is wide and varied

Small but ethnically diverse, Suriname’s northern lowland coastal area is where most of the population lives and dense tropical rainforest and sparsely inhabited savannah covers the rest of the country. The capital, Paramaribo is an old Dutch colonial centre and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tropical in climate Suriname has roughly four seasons and the best time to visit is in the dry sesason from February – April and August- November. However, be aware that rain can fall at any time of year and it is always hot and humid year round with average daily temperature between 22 and 32°C. Suriname lies outside the hurricane zone and the most extreme weather condition is the "sibibusi", a torrential rain shower which passes quickly.

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  • Juliet Ellwood
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

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    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

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    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

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    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

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    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

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