We’ve spent a lot of time in Paramaribo enjoying all the city’s attractions. The astonishment after arriving in Suriname was huge and we wanted to learn as much as possible about this, so unpopular country. Exploring the capital was both fun and enriching as the cultural diversity and the ethnical medley make Suriname an endless source of knowledge.
After a long and exciting research we’ve created a list of the most enjoyable and interesting activities, hoping that you will find it entertaining and instructive during your own journeys.
1. Go on a quad tour
The day we spent on the quad was without hesitation one of the best ones during our journey in Suriname and definitively a highlight of the stay in Paramaribo. It was a lot of action, adrenaline and fun. We have been cruising from the morning till dusk through the sandy Savannah and thick jungle. Speeding through deep puddles, sinking into mud and rushing on serpentine paths, the tour felt like a true expedition. An unforgettable adventure at its best. From the bottom of our hearts we really encourage you to set off for a quad tour whenever there is a chance, especially if you happen to visit Paramaribo.
2. Do a Swamp tour
Across the Surinamese river, North of New Amsterdam there is the Commewijne District where life goes on slowly and no one minds the busy life of the near by capital. There, together with his wife, lives Fritz. This Surinamese man with a very German name is a fisherman. On one hot day we visited him in his wooden hut and set off for a swamp tour. In a narrow wooden motorboat we passed muddy corners which not many people had the chance to explore before us. We could observe nesting birds and enormous lizards, spotted a caiman and escaped the notorious mosquitos. The tour ended where the ocean began. We took a walk on the beautiful sandy beach where hundreds of turtles are once in a year laying their eggs.
During the tour you can not only experience the beauty of the swamp and the abandoned beach but also learn how to fish with a huge net! The grand final of the day was the lunch which obviously was the catch of the day.
3. Visit one of the old slave plantation
Only a few kilometers south from the swamp there is an old plantation called Pepperpot. Tourist may visit it and discover the world of coffee production as well as housing of long gone masters and their slaves. A tour guide will explain you the history of the plantation and the process of cultivating the coffee. More information here.
4. Go for a city tour by tuk tuk
This interesting tour is one of its kind in whole Suriname. If you want to know the city, its history and cultural diversity, just hop on the biggest tuktuk in the world and stroll around with a guide ready to answer all your questions, show you the most beautiful corners of Paramaribo and tell you everything about Surinamese historical heritage. For more information click here.
5. Do a Church tour
All those interested in the spiritual aspects of the country should definitely set off for a church tour. As the religious life of Surinamese people is very complex, you will surely learn many new and interesting things. Visit the house of prayer of Hindu, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, talk with imams, priests and preachers to understand the diversity of beliefs and religions in the country. For more information have a look here.
6. Helicopter flight
All those who are not afraid of heights and want to experience the extraordinary and exciting, should without any doubt invest in a helicopter ride above Paramaribo. This 20 minutes ride leaves the most wonderful memories of landscapes and views accompanied by the rush of adrenaline. It makes the best photos too! 🙂
7. Eat bami and nasi
Every foodie in the town needs to try the Javanese- Surinamese cuisine. This most popular and the cheapest option obtainable can be found on every corner in Paramaribo and is available both for meat lovers and vegetarians. Brought from Java by the immigrants and sent here during the British colonization, the bami noodles (thick vermicelli) and the nasi rice are typical Indonesian dishes with a Surinamese twist. Eat them with chicken or green long beans.
8. Go to the Maroon market
There are markets and there is the Creole market. It is always great to walk around the local bazaar and learn about fruits, vegetables and natural cosmetic products from the region. But there is nothing like the Maroon (inhabitants of African decent) market in the center of Paramaribo. At the first glimpse the place does not look like much. (LIKE A JOKE??C/mon honey) Piles of dried sticks, green leaves and various kind of bark lay on long tables. Women, tired of the heat sit in a state of a semi-dreaming. When asked about certain plants they answer eagerly but as soon as they realize we were not going to buy anything, most of them get impatient and annoyed.
Visiting the Maroon market you can learn about the bush medicine and foods unknown to the city people. You can taste a great variety fruits juices and, if you are charming enough, talk to the ladies smoking fat cigars and selling suspicious seeds and roots.
9. Culinary tour and dance night
On weekend nights nobody in Paramaribo stays at home. The city is bursting with life, people party and hang out in local bars. This time is a great moment to go out in search for new flavors and unknown dishes. If food is life to you, just like for us, the culinary tour is a definitive must-do. You can contact local tour operators who set up a visit in several restaurants where chefs are going to prepare specially for you, samples of their finest dishes. That way we enjoyed food in 3 exquisite places and ended the night in the most wonderful Cuban disco where we danced to the life music and sipped slowly delicious Caribbean rum. Highly recommended to all foodies! All Information here.
10. Dolphin spotting
In the little harbor of New Amsterdam, right across the river from where Fritz the fisherman lives, you can set off for a pink dolphin spotting excursion. This specie can be seen in a narrow, wooden motorboat. Your guide will show you the best places to meet these extremely intelligent animals. Once you spot the dolphins, the rest of them show up in no time jumping around the boat and playing. We were quite sure that they are showing off and enjoy our calls of admiration just like we liked their company.