Explore Paramaribo, Suriname 1/3

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Traveling to Suriname? There are several sightseeing places you can visit. Also, Suriname has a big history as a developing country. We visited Paramaribo, (the capital of Suriname) for two weeks. We have done and seen so many things that we have divided our Paramaribo adventure into three separate Travel logs. You are now about to read the first!

About Suriname

Suriname basically has 14,776,000 ha of dense rainforest. Only a small part of Suriname is actually inhibited. The two biggest cities are Paramaribo and Nickerie. In this blog, the focus is on Paramaribo and surrounding area.

Suriname used to be a colony of the small country of the Netherlands. Not until recently (relatively), in the year 1975 Suriname became an independent country. Slavery plays a big part in the history of Suriname.

Fort Zeelandia

Nowadays Fort Zeelandia is a museum and memorial on the Suriname war and slavery history. However, the fort has had many different functions in the past.

Picture: Fort Zeelandia Picture: Fort Zeelandia bridge

Fort Zeelandia was initiated early 17th century by the Dutch in order to establish a location for trade and business. Later on, the Fort was enforced in order to protect them from attacks. In the years following, the area was nevertheless taken in by the British and the French before it was taken back by the Dutch again.

Picture: Fort Zeelandia Picture: Fort Zeelandia

When WWII started, in 1940, Germans were held hostage in Fort Zeelandia as, since the Netherlands was at war, Suriname, as a Dutch colony was at war with the Germans too. Fort Zeelandia then functioned as a prison. After the war, Fort Zeelandia became a museum, however, not for long.

Picture: Fort Zeelandia Picture: Fort Zeelandia

In the year 1982, the Surinam dictator Desi Bouterse and his military force took over Fort Zeelandia to live there. In the same year, in March, a coup took place, led by Surendre Rambocus aiming to take over the power of Desi Bouterse. The coupe was not successful. In December of 1982, 8 political opponents were tortured and killed by gunshots while lined up against a wall in Fort Zeelandia. These killings are now commonly known as: “the December murders” in Suriname. You can still see the bullet holes in the (ring) wall facing the Suriname river.

Fort Zeelandia is open to visitors typically from 9:00 until 14:00 on Tuesday to Saturday. If you are interested in the history of Suriname, Fort Zeelandia is the place to visit.

Berg en Dal Adventure center Suriname

Jumping to a less heavy/much more ‘fun’ activity, there is an ‘adventure center’ in Suriname, located relatively¬†close to Paramaribo called: “Berg en Dal”.

Canopy zip line adventure

One of the things you can do, and which we did was go canopy zip lining in the Suriname forest. The canopy trail has 10 platforms connected by zip lines. One of the zip lines actually crosses the Suriname river. Very entertaining!

Picture: Adventure center Picture: Ziplining

The canopy zip line takes about 1,5 hours. Before you go up, you receive your gear (helmet and ropes) and get an explanation and a test run on a low hanging rope.

  • max weight: 90 kg
  • min age: 12
  • you need a car to get there
Picture: Canopy walk Picture: Zip line 

Other activities

For the rest you can do a lot of relaxing, swimming, canoeing/kayaking and hiking in and around the Suriname river.

Note that Berg en Dal also offers multiple day kayaking trips.

Dolphin sailing trip

During our stay, we went on a dolphin and sunset boat tour. The trip costed EUR 27,50 per person and lasts 3 hours. The traditional Suriname tent-boat departs at 16:00 at Leonsberg, at the Suriname riverfront.

We set course to the Commewijne river to spot the dolphins with a small group of passengers. And what do you know! The dolphins responded to the special sounds our captain was making and were swimming playfully around our boat for quite some time. Pretty special!

Picture: Dolphins Picture: Sunset over Paramaribo

After seeing the dolphins, we visited the old Johan and Margaretha Plantation to have a bite to eat and something to drink and walk around for a bit.

Then it was already time to head back to the boat and slowly sail back while watching the sunset. A pretty great daytrip to go on!

Take a sneak peek!

I don’t want to go HOME, but okay