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The Republic of Suriname, often referred to as simply Suriname, is a sovereign state located on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It occupies an area of 163,821 km2, bordered by French Guinea to the east, Guyana to the west, and Brazil to the south. Suriname is the smallest sovereign state in South America, and the only independent country in the Americas where majority of the population speak Dutch. The capital is Paramaribo.

What to see & do

Surinaams Museum - The Surinaams Museum is housed inside Fort Zeelandia, which is the site where British and Dutch colonists first arrived in the country. The museum was created in 1947 to display a wide range of ethnographic and historical objects, such as art, photographs, and furniture, from the former inhabitants of the fort and the surrounding areas. The permanent exhibit spaces, interestingly enough, include reconstructions of a cobbler shop, a prison cell, and an old apothecary shop.

Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge - The Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge, also known as Suriname Bridge or locally as Bosje Brug, is a bridge over the Suriname River. It connects Paramaribo and the city of Meerzorg in the COmmewijne District. The bridge is 1,504 metres long and has two lanes.

Central Suriname Nature Reserve - Created in 1998 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, the Central Suriname Nature Reserve is known for its pristine tropical rainforest system and several granite domes. Natural features in the reserve that are also noteworthy is the highest mountain in Suriname, the Julianatop (1230 m), Tafelberg or Table Mountain (1,026 m), the Van Stockum Berg (360 m), and the strange yet fascinating Duivelsei or Devil's Egg.

Mosque Keizerstraat - The Mosque Keizerstraat serves as the headquarters of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam in Paramaribo, which is located in the Keizerstraat. The first mosque of the Muslim community in the city was completed in 1932, a wooden rectangular building with minarets. The current mosque, which features a more intricate design, was completed in 1984.

Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul - Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paramaribo, is a wooden Roman Catholic cathedral also located in Paramaribo. It is the largest wooden structure in the Western Hemisphere.

How to get around within Suriname

Travelling with a tour guide is recommended but not required. There is a system of minibuses, both private and state-owned, that provides service, although this method of travelling is said to be cheap and slow. Shared taxis also cover several routes; the fare is more expensive than for minibuses, but the journey is must faster. Private taxis to the airport can also be hired. Visitors have the option to rent a car. If doing so, it is advisable to acquire a 4WD.

How to get there

The primary airport serving Suriname is Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport, also called Paramaribo-Zanderij International Airport, located south of Paramaribo. There is direct passenger service to Paramaribo from Port of Spain, Curaçao, Aruba, Amsterdam, Belém, Cayenne, Georgetown, Miami, and Orlando. Airlines that operate flights to Paramaribo Airport are Caribbean Airlines, Gol Transportes Aéreos, Insel Air, Insel Air Aruba, KLM, and Surinam Airways.

Images by Flickr\joanderuiter

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