Travel Magazine

Discover the Rainforests of Suriname!

By Vikasacharya
Discover the Rainforests of Suriname!

Suriname, set in a natural tropical wilderness, is a splendid combination of the Caribbean and South America, with fascinating reminders of a sometimes turbulent past. In the northeast of the South American continent, bounded by Guyana on the west and French Guyane on the east and Brazil to the south. Influenced by numerous cultures - African, Amerindian, Asian, Jewish and Dutch - the country reflects this diversity harmoniously in its day to day life.The Brownsberg Nature Park is located in the Brokopondo District approximately 80 miles south of Paramaribo. 500 metres above sea level. the park occupies an area of 8400 hectares which was obtained by STINASU on a long-term lease basis from the Suriname Government.Maroon and Indigenous tribes with well kept ancient traditions and habits have their settlements mainly in the interior of the country. The coastal area is the most populated part of the country and its capital Paramaribo offers an abundance of night life activities. Suriname is one of the few countries in South America where casinos are legally allowed and most of these casinos are located in the centre of the capital. Paramaribo is often called the Wooden City for its colonial architecture of wooden structures and unique designs. Established in 1969, STINASA is mandated to, as a semi-governmental organization, to "stimulate, coordinate, and finance scientific exploration and exploitation of the Nature Reserves".The Brownsberg National Park is the northern outpost for for several plant and animal species. Covered by neotropical rainforest consisting of hundreds of different species most of which are commercially valuable. The Galibi Nature Reserve is situated in the North East Corner of Suriname, at the Mouth of the Marowijne River bordering French Guyana. 4000 hectares in size, 13 km long and 1 km wide the reserve is know for being the most important nesting beach for the oliver ridley turtle in the western Atalntic region. The reserve was established in March 1969 to protect the nesting beaches of sea turtles. It is the only beach where mass nesting aggregations of the olive ridley are known to have occurred in the Atlantic region. This is a bustling city lying on banks the Suriname River. Fabulous colonial buildings including the Presidential Palace remind visitors of its Dutch hertitage. Behind the Palace is the Palmentium (Palm Garden). Situated on the south bank of the Nickerie River, opposite Guyana is Nieuw Nickerie. The capital of the district Nickerie and Suriname's second largest city. The city has twice been moved (in 1870 and 1879) because of erosion and is now protected by a sea wall. The main road (locally known as the Kennedy Highway) from the airport (Johan Adolf Pengel) to Paramaribo is paved and in generally good condition. The road from Paramaribo to Nickerie is also paved but apparently susceptible to flooding in the rainy season. Other roads are generally unpaved and bauxite topped making them dusty in dry season and in places difficult to negotiate. The official language of Suriname is Dutch. In the higher-end hotels English is widely spoken. The local dialect is Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki) is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population. East-Indians communicate in Sarnami Hindostani (a dialect of Hindi) and Indonesians speak Javanese.Suriname Airways offers flights from Amsterdam, Miami, Curacao, Port of Spain (Trinidad), Georgetown (Guyana). Check with the airline as routes and schedules can change without notice. The climate is tropical - warm and humid; temperatures average about 27º C (81º F). Even at night, the temperature rarely drops below 24º C (75º F). At mid-day during the dry seasons the temperature may reach 36º C (96º F) in the shade. Constant trade winds bring some cooling relief.The cuisine is as as varied as Suriname's population. Rice (farmed extensively in the Nickerie region) is the country's staple. Vegetables such as sweet potato, cassava, planatin and red peppers are commonly used. The telephone system is reliable although it is expensive to make overseas calls. Suriname country code is (597) + 6 digit local number. Approximately 425,000 inhabitants mainly of Amerindian, African, East-Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Dutch origin. Spot the occasional wild cat roaming in the rainforest and hear the unearthly cry of howler monkeys echoing through the trees, see giant tarantula spider webs and huge termite nests. For the more adventurous head to the swamps where crocodiles, piranhas, anacondas and boa constrictors go about their business.

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