Hiring a car
To get around in the northern districts of Suriname, an ordinary sedan car suffices, although in places the roads are in bad repair. We used such a car to
- do a round tour through Commewijne, and go farther east up to Albina;
- go west to Saramacca, Coronie and Nickerie districts, up to New Nickerie;
- go south up to Paranam and Zanderij, as well as Republiek, Berlijn and Cola Kreek.
We saw many private sedan cars on the Afobaka 'bauxite' road, but car renters will object to you taking their car there.
We would recommend Cupido Rentals, Evitastraat 2, tel. 464843. Cheap and good service. From them we hired a Toyota Spacio for EUR 25 a day, discount for longer periods. They have no 4-wheel drives.
We hired a 4WD from AVIS (at Torarica), to go to Jodensavanna, Afobaka and Brownsberg.Related to:
- Road Trip
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Cross a river or cruise in a korjaal.
Suriname is covered with rainforest and has innumerable rivers and creeks. But there few bridges and few roads. So, everywhere in the country people use "korjalen" to cross rivers and to travel on the rivers. Korjalen may be large canoes with outboards, but also smaller dugouts with paddles.
You can use a taxi-korjaal to cross the Lower Suriname River in Paramaribo to go to Braamspunt beach or make a long, long korjaal trip (about 8 hours) on the Upper Suriname River through the Amazone jungle to reach e.g. Kajana, the last Marroon village on the Gran Rio. The scheduled line boats from Atjoni south of Lake Brokopondo are very cheap. And there is no other way into the wilderness that by korjaal or by bush plane.
Crossing the Suriname River with a scheduled line korjaal, for instance from Domburg to Laarwijk, costs about $1 return. If you cannot wait for the next line boat, your private korjaal costs $10 return. If someone has rented a private korjaal and it has free seats, ask if you can join them. The friendly Suriname people will never refuse. It is polite to give the 'bootsman' the amount you would have payed for a line boat crossing.
For korjaal traffic and fares on the Upper Suriname River into the Amazon rainforest have a look at www.surinamelodge.nl.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Jungle and Rain Forest
In Suriname, use taxis also for long distances.
Use taxis in Suriname, not just because they are cheap (e.g from 8 am till 3 pm we paid $35 to go wherever we wanted within a circle of 30 Km around Paramaribo; and we paid $15 for a 30 Km ride), but also because taxi drivers know a lot about the country. Suriname has an oral communication culture where people communicate a lot through cell phone, not so much by texting. Surinamians often speak several languages: Sranan Tongo, Dutch, Hindustan, Javan, Saramaccan etc. and that's why it is understandable that it is difficult for them to know them in writing too. So, here it is very important to kwon people who know people. And taxi drivers know lots of people and have lots of cell phone numbers. Having the right cell phone numbers is often more valuable than owning a tour book.
Tour operators often ask more money for a tour in a group that taxi drivers for a private tour. Cell phone numbers of good taxi drivers circulate in Suriname. For instance my favorite taxi driver Anand I found through a blog +597882684. And another one, Jef, through a restaurant owner. Jef has +5978844867.
And consider using taxis instead of car rental. Paramaribo traffic is terrible and the roads in the country are often in bad shape or just dirt roads. You enjoy the countryside more, if you are not the driver.Related to:
- Budget Travel
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- Road Trip
From Amsterdam we took a 9 hr flight to the international airport of Paramaribo.
The flight is non-stop, so convenient and pleasant.
Arrival around 1pm, so you have some time to acclimate and go to sleep before starting the real big journey on the following day
Suriname to/from Guyana
While you could hire a taxi, it is more cost effective to take a bus. If you are in a large group however, pooling your money may make a taxi worth while.
To reach Georgetown the same day you have to leave Paramaribo by 5 am latest and most of the transport will be leaving around 4 am. Otherwise if you are starting anywhere else along the way, just intercept the following route as needed.
The reason is the rivers and ferries. There is only one ferry per day at 11am between Suriname and Guyana. After that, the roads in Guyana are slow and there is one more river ferry to cross at New Amsterdam.
You can either buy a ticket for the whole trip including ferries and everything (easier) or save a little money by buying separate tickets for the each section (only cheaper by a few dollars), it's up to you.
If you happen to miss the official ferry you could also take a motorboat across, the way many of the locals do, but you wouldn't go through customs or immigration and you would be in the country illegally. Can't really recommend that.
Getting to Guyana
From Paramaribo, pick-up times vary between 3:30 ~ 5:00 for a 5:00am departure. It will take up to 5 hours to arrive at Southdrain (the ferry terminal). Cost should be no more than 50 SRD.
Guyana/Suriname Ferry costs 26 SRD one-way or 39 return (2000 & 3000 GYD respectively). Ferry allows 30kg (66 lbs) free and charges US $1 for every kilogram over.
Bus 63 goes direct between Corriverton (Molsen Creek) and Georgetown. Price should be 2500 GYD. Plenty of buses will be waiting at the ferry fighting for your business.
After about 1.5 hours drive you will arrive in New Amsterdam. From there, a ferry operates about every 30 minutes to Rosignal.
From Rosignal, it is another ~1.5 hours to Georgetown.
If you want to prearrange transport, one such operator can be reached at:
Suriname: (+597) 456593 / 8844880 / 8507731 / 8900843
Guyana: (+592) 6217286
if u want to go to brownsberg/brownsweg go from waterkant about 300m south and ask the people around for the "bus" to brownweg.
there are 7 seater cars for the people of brownsweg. it starts wenn its ful, so it can take for an hour or so until its full.
but be warned that the last bus from brownsweg to brownsberg is going abount 13:00 and if you miss it, it can be trouble^^
Georgetown to Paramaribo
We went overland from Georgetown to Paramaribo, which made for a very long day. We left Georgetown at 5AM in a taxi (about $120, split 3 ways). There are also minibuses that ply this route. The main road here was in good condition. The ferry from Guyana to Suriname only runs once per day at 11AM so you must make this. There is also a ferry crossing at the Berbice river that only runs once an hour, we literally missed the 6:30 ferry by two minutes. We arrived at the Guyana ferry terminal around 9:30. The ferry ($10) was supposed to leave at 11AM but it was almost 2PM by the time it left the Guyana side. Once on the other side there are minibuses waiting to leave for Paramaribo. I think this was about $13. This took another 5 hrs, as the roads were in bad shape and there was a lot of flooding.
cheap transportation by bus
This tip is for BUDGET travellers:
Many visitors like ordering taxi's, but I prefer travelling by bus in Surinam.
It might not be as comfortable, but you can save a lot of money.
For example: A trip to White Beach: Taxi -> SRD 80,-, Bus -> SRD 2,- !!!
Or all the way to Albina for only SRD 7,50!
The main busstation in Paramaribo is near the Heiligenweg.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Hiring a bike
We found a hired bike suitable to get about town in Paramaribo, as far as Leonsberg. If you do not mind saddle pain, you may also do the tour of Commewijne on bicycle.
We discovered three bike rentals, all in the vicinity of Torarica.
Prices are uniform: EUR 3 or SRD 10 per day for a bike with single speed gearing, EUR 5 or SRD 15 for one with multiple speed gearing. Hire for a week and pay five days.
(1) KLACO at Van Sommelsdijckstraat 6 say they were first in the business; phone 08548904. Open Mon-Fri, from 9.00 am to 16.00 pm.
(2) SURIANI is at Kleine Waterstraat 6; phone +597.473625, cell 0553029 and 08601037. They run a restaurant open after 18 pm, for a bike ring the bell.
(3) We preferred the newly established bike rental at Grote Combé 13A, in front of the Palmentuin. Service includes a pump and tire repair kit. Cell phone 08675757 and 08815361.Related to:
Call Carlo for Taxi
On the days when we had not hired a car and were in need of transport, our cousin Carlo Bulo was always ready with his taxi. Also for the drive from and to the airport. So, when you want to call a taxi, dependable and for a competative price, we recommend Carlo.
make tour to the inside of suriname
to see the real suriname you need to make a tour to the inside of suriname ..book by a tour agent...a must to see is brownsberg and any place inside the river/rain forest
we had a very helpful and excellent organized travel agent:
Sun & Forest Tours Suriname, located in center of Paramaribo, kleine waterstraat 1bRelated to:
Ferry to Guyana
The overland route from Suriname to Guyana, roughly follows the coast, along a very unsmooth track. We were very surprised that the main road to Guyana was so rough! A lot of it is through swamp land though, so excellent for bird watching!
From New Amsterdam, you need to cross the Corentyne River by ferry to reach Guyana.
Immigration formalities need to be completed, something which can be a very lengthy process, and tickets need to be purchased.
The ferry itself is reached by a long walkway/driveway, and the craft is very modern indeed. Seating is provided in the shade, ot you can go up on upper deck to watch the crossing from a great viewpoint. There are toilets on board.
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!Related to:
- Road Trip
Flight from London to Paramaribo
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.
Suriname is reachable by car from Guyana and French Guiana only. No roads exist between Venezuela and Guyana or between Brasil and French Guiana.
Mini bus for your travel needs, Comfort & Safe!
I have used these mini buses to travel around town and various locations they are very comfortable and safe, even more safe than those in my country.
Their fares ranges from 626 - 675 guilders this depends on the location.
I must say I admired the orderly manner in which they queue for passagers.
You'll recognize their routes with the letters such as PK, PKW, PKS, PM, Line 5, etc or maybe u can rent a car to travel around, there's car in all styles and fashion to rent for those who dare for others to care!Related to:
- Road Trip
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