About Suriname

The country that may become the logistic gateway of South America

A survey in 2019 has shown that most people in the world never heard of the country Suriname. That is why proudly introduce Suriname to you, the gateway to the Amazone.

Suriname is located on the northeast coast of South America, bordering French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south. The country is 163,820 km2. The capital Paramaribo, located on the Suriname River, is the largest city in the country. The current president is Chan Santokhi (2020), a democratic elected former chief of police.

The northern coast of Suriname was fairly swampy, but due to Dutch engineering, this land is no longer swampy so much as it is now fertile lowlands. Rivers pass through this stretch of land and the soil is very fertile as well, allowing plant life and animals to flourish in the region. Due to this, the coast is the most densely populated region of Suriname.

Further inland, to the south, the lands aren't as fertile as the flatlands are somewhat sandy. Beyond this sandy stretch, further south, the land slowly rises in elevation and is almost completely covered with forests, in fact, most of the country is covered in forests and very few people live in these areas.

The country's small population and the large percentage of forests in the country complement each other well as the settlement hasn't expanded much over time.

In the far south of Suriname, the highlands rise up to elevations of about 4,000 (1,200 meters), which is the highest point in the country. Like the forests to the north, this region is also forested and very sparsely populated.

The Surinamese population has a very diverse composition. In the seventh census of 2004, Suriname counted 492,829 inhabitants were the relationships between the groups are as follows: 27.4% Hindus 17.7% Creoles 14.7% Maroons 14.6% Javanese 12.5% Mixed Race 6.5% Other groups 6.6% No data

The official language of Suriname is Dutch. Besides Dutch also English, Sranan Tongo, and the languages of the various ethnic groups are frequently spoken.

The religions practiced in Suriname are Protestant Christianity, Roman Catholic Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and the Maroon and Indigenous religions.

Suriname has a tropical climate, with a large and small rainy season, as well as a large and small dry season. The temperature fluctuates between 24 and 32 degrees Celsius. Suriname understands the rains as they tend to be fairly regular in the country. However, standing near the equator, the country doesn't have temperature extremes like many other countries do. The greatest variations in weather come in the rainy and the dry seasons, although it tends to rain year-round in Suriname. These rains have led to a heavily forested country and have encouraged people to settle and remain on the Caribbean Sea coast. This coast gets a great deal of rain, is home to lakes and rivers, and has numerous plants and animals, making the coast an ideal home for the people that can handle the heat, rain, and humidity. The drier of the two dry seasons is August to November, but February to April also tends to be relatively dry in Suriname. Relatively dry is the key as it rains regularly throughout the year in Suriname, even in these dry months, during which time getting up to 4 inches (100 mm) of rain per month is not uncommon. Temperatures during the dry month, and year-round, are about 72-85°F (22-30°C) from average daily lows to average daily highs in the capital of Paramaribo. In the wet seasons, which run from December to January then again from April to July, the temperatures are nearly identical to the temperatures during the dry season. The rains tend to be heavier as getting 10 inches (250 mm) of rain per month during this time is not uncommon. In most years the months of May to July get the heaviest rains.

In 1593 Suriname was taken over by the Spaniards, but they already left quickly. Also, the Dutch founded a branch, which kept not stand. After 1650 established a group of English settlers established themselves successfully from Barbados on the Suriname River. In 1667 the Zealanders led by Abraham Crijnssen conquered Suriname and following the Peace of Breda they were able to keep possession. In 1682 the province of Zeeland wore the colony to the West India Company (WIC), which founded a separate public company. One-third of the shares was acquired by the WIC, one-third of the city of Amsterdam and one-third of the family Van Aerssen of Sommelsdijk. In 1863 slavery was abolished in Suriname and in 1873, the former plantation slaves were really free. In that year their obligation to close an annual contract with a plantation owner fell off. After the abolition of slavery Chinese were contracted to work on the plantations. The plantation owners continued to search for new employees and Indians were contracted to five years to work on the plantations in 1873. In 1890 there were contract workers from Java, in the former Dutch East Indies. In 1954 Suriname was recognized by the Netherlands as overseas territory rather than a colony. Suriname was fully incorporated into the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On November 25, 1975, Suriname became an independent republic: Republic of Suriname.

Suriname Launched 4 Nike Apache Rockets in 1965

In 1965 the Dutch Space Organization together with the Americans launched four Nike Apache rockets in Suriname. Suriname was, and still is, one of the best sites to launch rockets because of its geographical meridian location. They used the airport in the district Coronie. The launching platform was only 20 by 20 meters, but enough to get the Coronie launch site listed in international directories underneath Cape Canaveral.

Below you see a photo of the Rocket Suriname 1.

Download Coronie launch site data

A large part of the workforce is employed in the government or semi-government institutions. This government is the largest employer in the service industry. The private companies focus mainly on trade and services. Suriname is rich in natural resources such as bauxite, timber, gold and oil. The revenues from the mining sector contribute largely to the economy of the country.

The Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport is approximately 45 km from the capital of Paramaribo.

Travel to Suriname
The tourist card (single entry / one entry) was introduced on November 25, 2011. From that date foreigners of Surinamese origin and owners of the nationality of the Netherlands, France, Canada, USA, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, which for tourism purposes wish to visit the Republic of Suriname, have the possibility to travel off on a tourist card. To enter Suriname, you must have a passport on arrival that is at least valid for 6 months. For more information about the tourist card and visa policy, please contact the Embassy or Consulate of Suriname.

Some banks established in Suriname are: SPSB, The Surinaamsche Bank (DSB), Republic Bank, Hakrinbank en Volkskredietbank. The banking hours are Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 14:30.

National holidays 2013

New Year Tue. 01 Jan
Revolution Day Mon. Feb 25
Holi Wed. 27 Mar
Good Friday Fri. 29 Mar
1st Easter Sun. 31 Mar
2nd Easter Mon Mon. 01 Apr
Labour day Wed. May 1
Abolition Day Mon. 01 Jul
Day of Indigenous people Fri. 09 Aug
Ied-Ul-Fitr Thur. 08 Aug
Day of the Maroons Thur. 10 Oct
Diwali Sun. 03 Nov
Ied-Ul-Adha Tue. 15 Oct
Independence Day Mon. 25 Nov
1st Day of Christmas Wed. 25 Dec
2nd Day of Christmas Thur. 26 Dec

The time zone in Suriname is Greenwich Time, GWT-3.

The legal tender is the Surinamese dollar (SRD). In addition, currencies such as the U.S. Dollar and the Euro are accepted. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the banks and the Cambios (exchange) Credit cards (American Express, Mastercard, Diners Club) are not very common in Suriname. They are accepted by some larger hotels.

Wildlife, Flora and Fauna
Biodiversity in Suriname is high, mostly because of the variety of habitats and the temperature. The average annual temperature in the coastal area is between 26° and 28° Celsius. Suriname can be divided into four major ecological zones, namely from north to south: The young coastal plain, The old coastal plain, The Savannah or Zanderij belt and The interior residual uplands. There are four categories of wild animals, namely protected animals, game species, cage species and predominantly harmful species. The giant anteater, red-faced spider monkey, ocelot, jaguar, bush dog and the Guiana dolphin are some of the mammals that are under complete protection in Suriname.

Suriname is a very heavily forested country, much of which is rain forest; due to this, the wildlife is very impressive. Most of the animals and plants in the country are woodland in nature as this tropical country is home to dense rain forests and all the animals that live in these forests. There are hundreds of mammals in the forests of Suriname, with some of the most common being deer, wolves, opossums, rabbits, squirrels, mice, rats, bats, tapirs, and sloths. There are also a large number of monkeys and cat species, although they tend to be much less common. Ocelots, tamarins, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, marmosets, jaguars, and cougars (puma) can all be found in the dense forests. Numerous other mammals can also be found in smaller numbers, such as the porcupine, armadillo, and anteater.

The sea life in Suriname itself is fairly limited as the country boasts many rivers and a few large lakes, but the small country size still limits the freshwater fish life to catfish, pike, and a few others. Off the coast, the animal life is much more impressive. While the waters have some mammals like whales, dolphins, and manatees, these waters are also home to thousands of fish and shellfish. Sharks, marlins, barracudas, grouper, snapper, mackerel, eels, rays, jellyfish, shrimp, crab, seahorses, starfish, and sea urchins all call these waters home.

The forests and coastline also attract hundreds of bird species every year. These range from woodland birds and rain forest birds to waterfowls and others. Among these birds are sparrows, cardinals, parakeets, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, parrots, toucans, macaws, eagles, egrets, condors, frigate birds, pelicans, and pigeons among many more.

The reptilian, amphibian, and insect life in Suriname are also diverse. Many of these animals are spiders, including the tarantula and black widow, snakes, including the rattlesnake, and frogs. In or near some of the rivers the amphibian population spikes a bit as the number of frogs and lizards increase. The number of insects is quite substantial, including flies, mosquitos, butterflies, beetles, moths, ants, and more.

When it comes to native plant life, South America is home to many famous edible plants and these plants quickly spread throughout Suriname, South America, and beyond. The pineapple is from the region where Brazil and Uruguay meet while potatoes and tobacco originated in the Andes Mountains. A few others, including cacao trees (used to make chocolate), peanuts, and tomatoes are also from South America, although their actual origin is unknown. Peppers, both sweet and hot peppers are from Central America or northern South America while vanilla, avocado, papaya, and corn (maize) are likely from Central America itself. No matter each food's origin, what is known is that these foods spread throughout the continent and to the country of Suriname with the help of pre-historic people, animals, and winds. These people have had these foods for nearly as long as people have inhabited the region and each makes an important part of the people's diet and culture now and for thousands of years into the past.

More than just the edible plants, Suriname hosts numerous other trees and plants. Lilies, orchids, hibiscus, oleander, pine trees, eucalyptus trees, cedar trees, mahogany trees, and cypress trees are all common.