From New Amsterdam Pier in Commewijne, we returned to Paramaribo by water taxi.
All passengers must wear a life jacket at all times.
A word of warning: watch your head as you go on board! I didn't, and hit my head on the low roof - it was very painful and produced a large bump which hurt for many days afterwards, amking it painful to wear a hat!
From London we travel on flight BW901 to Port of Spain, Trinidad where we take connecting flight BW883 to Paramaribo after a six hour stopover (we grab a taxi and go into the centre of Port of Spain for a drink). BWIA fly from London to Trinidad every day of the week, via either St Lucia or Barbados. BWIA is the oldest airline in the Caribbean, connecting the various islands for more than 60 years. We are pleasantly surprised by the amount of legroom on the flights, being six foot tall I normally sit with my legs firmly wedged into the back of the person in front, but on the BWIA plane there are a good four inches spare. Very comfortable indeed! The flight is smooth, the food is acceptable, and alcoholic drinks are charged extra. We arrive in Paramaribo at the Johan Adolf Pengel Airport, 50km south of the city and Surinam’s only international airport. Originally called Zanderij, at the end of the eighties the airport was renamed in honour of Suriname's most famous politician, Johan Adolf Pengel, who was Suriname's prime-minister from 1963 until 1969.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Hiking and Walking
All the tourist buses in Surinam are built in Japan for the Japanese, whose legs are considerably shorter than European legs. Hence the buses are extremely uncomfortable for any long journey. One good thing - they are air conditioned - a must in the oppressive heat in this part of the world!
- Road Trip
City to/from the airport
You can hire a private taxi to the airport, but a cheaper alternative is one of the private shuttle buses.
There are a few companies in town, but a common and trusted one is "Ashruf"
For 40 SRD, they will pick you up or drop you off at any address you request.
Reservations are asked to be at least one day in advance.
Upon reservation, they will tell you the pick-up time. Depending on your location and the number of passengers, pick-up may be up to 4hrs before flight.
Taxis to Albina
Taxis to Albina are not hard to find in Paramaribo, head to the market, as your looking at it, head left and you will
1. See the collective buses.
2. Start to hear people calling out to you for a taxi, and if you get close enough, they'll be all over you like a rash, fear not, they just want your business.
At this point you have 3 options.
1. You take the collective minibus, this is cheap (around 5-10euros, and they will take euros) and you will wait till the taxi is full, this is a lot of people, and it stops off all along the way, so it can take quite a long time too.
2. Take a taxi, this will be 15 euros per person but you will wait till the taxi is full (4 people).
3. Take a special taxi, this costs 60 euros for the cab, so if your 1 person, its quite expensive, 4 people, 15 euros each, but, you leave straight away.
Taxis will also do this if they are called to your hotel, but the rate can vary up to 90 euros/300SRD for this, and for the sake of walking to the taxi rank, it isn't worth it.
Whichever choice you make, the route between Paramaribo and Albina is FUN - depending on your will to live, of course. The route itself isn't that bad, a bit pot-holy in places, but OK, the drama is the speed at which the taxi guys go, and depending on how powerful their car is, depends on this speed, you can go as slow as 130km/h or as fast as 160km/h and most of the time you don't slow down for oncoming traffic, so stand by for involuntary reflexes all you drivers.
I find that if you have a good night out in Paramaribo the night before leaving, you can get some sleep in the car and this minimises any potential trauma you might experience. Expect the journey to take around an hour and a half in a special taxi, anything up to 3 hours in a collective (depending on stops).
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Car Ferry Albina-St Laurent
There is a car ferry (quite a good one) that runs between Albina and St Laurent, usually in the mornings but also Sunday evening, if you take it through Suriname with the aim of entering French Guyana, make sure you have all your docs intact, and you're visas and entry stamps in order, cuz the ferry goes to the French Guianese customs terminal, so you will be checked.
There is no schedule, the boat leaves when full.
Price is fixed for locals but could be enormous for tourist, be wise...
Very usefull on the Suriname river in Paramaribo.
- Budget Travel