Danni was working with the youth staff in charge of the children’s program while Fede was serving drinks as a bar waiter. We met during a transatlantic crossing from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Both of us have a serious case of wanderlust and love to travel the world.
Inspiration to Visit Suriname in South America
Suriname and the Guianas were on our bucket list for a while. However, due to work commitments we never got the chance to visit. Last January, we needed to travel from New York to Buenos Aires and so we decided it would be the perfect opportunity to visit Suriname and the Guianas.
We took 12 days to travel down by land – flying from the United States into British Guiana and from there down to Suriname. The country totally exceeded our expectations! We didn’t know too much before our arrival as there is not much information on the internet about this country.
Our first impressions of Suriname were fantastic. From our first food experience on the border, to the first few hours walking around Paramaribo – we realised that we landed in a place with not just beautiful landscapes but also a country with incredibly friendly local people.
Three Action-Packed Days in Suriname
From this 12-day trip we allocated three days for Suriname. Unfortunately, this was all the time we had available. This made us optimise every waking hour. Our trip started in Paramaribo (the capital of Suriname). We walked through its famous Palmtree Garden and enjoyed the blend of cultures.
Then we headed to Brownsberg to connect with nature. We visited several waterfalls and just loved being in the Amazon. Both of us are huge fans of nature and we are constantly searching for breathtaking landscapes. You can imagine how excited we were to visit a country that is 90% rainforest.
History of Suriname: A Melting Pot of Cultures
Before we arrived, we had no idea that Suriname used to be a Dutch and English colony. It was great to see the blend of cultures and hear about what motivated the locals to eventually become an independent nation.
Also, we noticed that there was a big influence of not only Caribbean cultures but Indian and Indonesian too. After asking around, we learnt that Indians were sent to Suriname for work. Nowadays, they represent over 25% of Suriname’s population. That was a fascinating fact to us.
Our Favourite Place: Palmtree Garden in Paramaribo
The Palmtree Garden in Paramaribo really caught our attention. We can confidently say that this was our favourite place in Suriname, even after being around Brownsberg. And there’s a reason behind it.
We are huge fans of natural landscapes and are lucky to see waterfalls, hot springs and mountains often on our travels. Hiking is an activity that we absolutely love and we take pictures all the time on our adventures. But the Palmtree Garden was something totally unique for us.
It’s not often you see a beautiful park like this in the middle of a city! That’s why we went there to enjoy the magical colours of the sunset in the midst of palm trees. The result was fascinating and beautiful. We highly recommend checking out Palmtree Garden on your visit to Paramaribo.
Best Things To See & Do in Suriname
As mentioned above, we had to make our visit short due to our lack of time. If you’re visiting Suriname you should give yourself at least a few weeks to explore the country. We definitely ended up craving more adventures.
In our short experience we loved visiting the Ireneval and Leoval waterfalls inside Brownsberg Nature Park. These falls are just the beginning as there is so much to see in this lush environment. It’s definitely a place you don’t want to rush but we only had time to see a small region.
Palmtree Garden in Paramaribo was our favourite place in Suriname. We also enjoyed the kiosks next to the garden which served local coffee. It was unbelievably good coffee! These kiosks are a must-visit on your exploration of Palmtree Garden as they add that extra bit of value to the experience.
We look forward to our next trip in Suriname when we can see more of the country as well as explore the Amazon rainforest more deeply!
Diverse and Delicious Cuisine of Suriname
The blend of cultures – Creole, Indonesian, Indian, etc. – makes Suriname a fascinating place. This mix of cultures leads to some pretty spectacular dishes. We were immediately blown away by the food.
Our first food experience was a Caribbean-style meat, rice and beans dish at a small stall next to the border. It was extremely delicious and well priced too. One fantastic restaurant we recommend is De Gradi in Paramaribo. It serves creole food that’s super tasty and not expensive at all.
Honestly, we didn’t even know what they served us at De Gradi. They just gave us three options. Two of the three we ended up choosing. We can’t put into words how delicious they were. We became so crazy about this place that we tried to order a breakfast-to-go before they opened!
Best Accommodation in Paramaribo & Brownsberg
There are plenty of wonderful places to stay in Suriname. In Paramaribo we stayed at a hostel called Zin Resort – a nice place with a pool, pool table and comfortable rooms. We chose this hostel because of its location which was close to the city center. This turned out to be a great idea.
On our travels we tend not to worry too much about where we stay because we are always on the move. Most of the time we are outside and only come back to our rooms to shower and sleep.
When we visited Brownsberg Nature Park, we slept in hammocks at a local accommodation for travelers. Here you have the chance of staying in a hammock (your own or rented) or pay for a cabin with beds. Either way, you will wake up in the middle of a beautiful natural setting.
Awesome Memories from our Trip to Suriname
We had a funny moment when going to Brownsberg. We knew the trail would take a long time to hike but we were kind of over optimistic about it. Since we failed to take the bus at the right time, we had to hitch-hike for the longest part of the route all the way to Brownsweg.
It was 4:30pm when we arrived and still we had a few hours of hiking ahead of us. Our favourite moment was getting picked up in an ATV by a random kid as we drove to Brownsberg with the sun setting in the backdrop. It was one of those unique travel experiences that you never forget.
There were four people in the ATV plus our backpacks on a hilly road. In fact, we almost fell out of the vehicle a few times! We remember the sunset being majestic. After that drive, and a few hours more of hiking, we finally arrived at our accommodation in the pitch black of night.
What you Need to Know Before you Go
For those planning on traveling to Suriname, remember that you will be visiting a country full of nature. Below are our main recommendations:
- Spend at least a week here if you want to experience everything
- Eat out everyday because there’s so much good local food to try
- Have cash as a lot of places only take cash and don’t accept credit cards
- Take some bug spray with you to protect yourself from being bitten
Suriname is just beautiful. We believe it deserves a lot more media exposure because it has so many wonderful spots that people should know about. Nature was our main reason to visit and we honestly can’t wait to come back – but this time spending a good couple of weeks here!