South America seems far away in Suriname, the smallest independent country of the subcontinent, where many cultures unite peacefully and whose capital Paramaribo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here Creole, Dutch, West African and Indian influences can be felt, all in a peaceful coexistence - relaxation is a trademark of this small country, which is characterized by the largest tropical protected area, the Central Suriname Nature Reserve, also UNESCO World Heritage and one of the country's highlights.
The neighbouring country of French Guiana boasts 90% rainforest, ten national parks and scores with the Courou space centre and a colourful market in the lively capital Cayenne. The Kaieteur waterfalls in the wild hinterland and the rich flora and fauna are certainly one of the main attractions of Guyana. The capital Georgetown boasts colonial pile dwellings from the British colonial era.
Central Suriname Nature Reserve (UNESCO World Heritage) in Suriname, Parc Animalier and Devil's Island in French Guyana, Kaieteur National Park in Guyana
Trekking, Canoeing, Sailing, Fishing
Festivals of the different ethnic groups of Suriname take place all year round, especially colourful: the spring festival Holi Pagwha.
"Papillon" by Henri Charrière
The Surinam cuisine is extremely varied due to ethnic influences, French Guyana is influenced by the Caribbean and scores with a variety of fish dishes and seafood. A visit to the Port Mourant Market in Guyana is a must!
Boat trips through the jungle landscapes, e.g. in Suriname to Awarradam, an idyllic resort on the riverbank of the Gran Rio and home of the Saramakaan marroons, the descendants of African slaves.
DATES AND FACTS
Country and people:
In French Guyana live about 250 thousand inhabitants (mainly Creoles) on 83,5 thousand sqkm, capital is Cayenne. In Guyana live approx. 800 000 inhabitants (49,5 % Indian, 35,6 Afroguyan descent) on 215 thousand sqkm, capital is Georgetown. Suriname has about 534 180 inhabitants, capital is Paramaribo with about 250 000 inhabitants.
Euro (EUR) in French Guyana; Guyana Dollar (GYD) in Guyana; Suriname Dollar (SRD) in Suriname
French (French Guiana), English (French Guiana); Dutch (Suriname)
Valid passport for stays up to 90 days. Suriname: Travel documents must be valid for six months beyond the date of travel.
Climate and travel time:
April to Oct Suriname tropical, temperatures between 23 and 32 degrees.