Suriname, A Hidden South American Treasure

There’s a country where Javanese, Indian, native Indigenous, African, Muslim and Jewish cultures harmoniously blend to represent one nation. That country is called Suriname.

A few weeks ago,  a crew of five people from Curacao ventured to the greenest country on earth to document its enchantments. Here’s what they had to say about their experience.

Right from the very beginning, we felt a sense of welcoming. Our warm-hearted, kind and very professional driver, Sergio, gave us our first taste of what it means to be a Surinamese. Above everything, we tasted kindness. Oh, and Saoto too. It was delightful.   

The days that followed were filled with activities alongside our two other local companions. The vibrant Tesseley and the lovely Kimberly.

We were surprised to hear that Suriname’s population is just over half a million. That’s not a lot, considering the country has a total area of 163,820 km2. With most people living in the northern part of the country, Paramaribo, we were in for a dose of rural tourism.

Our first rural experience was at Plantation Frederiksdorp. Now, a historic village about 45 minutes away from Paramaribo by car and 10 minutes by boat. It’s inevitable to not feel peace in this place. Once again, we were welcomed by incredibly kind and hospitable people, like Phil, our tour guide for the day.  

At Frederiksdorp, Phil enthusiastically narrated the history of the place while giving us a walking and biking tour of the small village, which is now also a lodging sight with independent traditional cabanas. Without a doubt, however, the highlight of the day was when we were touring the swamps with local fishermen and we had to go over a patch of land turned into a ramp while sitting on the boat! It was a fun and informative day, our equipment's batteries were drained.

It was inconceivable for us to go to Suriname and not go to the Amazon, or binnenland. So after a 3-hour ride from the city, it was time for us to hop on a boat and go upstream for 2 hours.

We were going to spend the night at the Botopasi Hotel. But before reaching our refuge we had the privilege of visiting the Totomboti foundation at the village of Pikin Slee. We got to meet three of the 5 Rastafari founders of the foundation, who mainly engage in the production of functional woodwork   

Suriname wasn’t all jungle and rural villages for us, although it could very easily have been. We got to spend 5 nights at the beautiful hotel Torarica in Paramaribo. Which was a minute away from the most popular bars in the city, where you would find us hanging out at night enjoying Paramaribo’s vivid nightlife?

Paramaribo was filled with history on every corner. And dare I say that what made the biggest impact on us was its 18th-century Dutch architecture that made the city.

All in all, Suriname was a fantastic experience. Perhaps a hidden treasure waiting for you to discover it.