Best time to visit Suriname

Pack for humidity and rain, even in the ‘dry’ months – Suriname’s capital Paramaribo gets 240cm of rainfall on average a year.
Suriname is tropical with roughly four seasons in the north. There are short rains from early December to early February, then a short dry season into March and April. The major rainy season starts in late April until mid August, with May and June the wettest months. The long dry season runs from mid August to late November or early December. September and October are the warmest months but also the driest; if you can stand the heat, now is the best time to come. Expect daytime temperatures in Paramaribo to hit 32°C. January is coldest (minimum 22°C), but it’s hot and humid all year.

Suriname Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
23
30
197
FEB
23
30
144
MAR
23
30
140
APR
23
31
213
MAY
23
30
302
JUN
23
30
302
JUL
23
31
224
AUG
23
32
171
SEP
23
33
87
OCT
23
33
86
NOV
23
32
107
DEC
23
30
181

Things to do in Suriname

Things to do in Suriname…

You can eat really well in Suriname, and particularly in its capital Paramaribo. The diverse ethnic mix of its people has created a vibrant foodie scene, with a wide variety of cuisines served here, including lots of spicy Indian and Southeast Asian influenced food – the legacy of the thousands of indentured labourers shipped here from the Dutch East Indies to work in the sugar cane plantations. Tuck into roti, an Indian grilled flatbread with meat or veg, fried plantain dipped in peanut sauce (bakbana), Indonesian fried rice (nasi), noodles and the Suriname staple, peanut soup. Head inland and meet the Maroons. While French Guiana’s interior is almost impossible to penetrate, Suriname has more accessible rainforest, reached via a canoe from Atjoni. Here you can meet the Maroons, the descendants of slaves who escaped and recreated an African way of life in the heart of the rainforest, unobserved, for centuries. Many Maroon villages now have lodges, ranging from luxurious to basic. Come with a sense of adventure. Suriname is not on any established tourist trail and infrastructure is sketchy here. Be ready to disconnect from the modern world, expect lengthy road journeys on often bumpy roads and carry cash not cards, as ATMs are few and far between.

Things not to do in Suriname...

Brush up on your Spanish or Portuguese. Suriname’s colonial history means Dutch is the national language here. This is just one of the many ways that all three Guianas don’t behave like your typical South American destination. An ethnic mishmash of Amerindians, European colonists, the ancestors of escaped African slaves and descendents of Asian indentured labourers is unique, and the north coast geography means that the culture in the Guianas is more Caribbean than South American. Try to go it alone. Independent travel is really tricky here, with poor infrastructure and very few tourists. Joining a small group organised tour, which will generally take in all the Guianas and perhaps Brazil, too, is the best way to visit Suriname. Logistics, accommodation and excursions are all organised for you, and you’ll have the support of a guide who can speak the various languages of this region. Bring sterling into Suriname – it can’t be exchanged. If you bring currency with you, bring US dollars or Euros. Go to bed too early. Paramaribo has a happening nightlife, with clubs bouncing until the small hours from Wednesday through to Sunday, casinos everywhere and the chance to drink with the locals at outdoor stalls near Platte Brug on the Waterkant.

Our top Suriname Holiday

Guyanas adventure holiday, off the beaten track

Guyanas adventure holiday, off the beaten track

Explore the path less travelled in Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname

From £4402 17 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2019: 6 Oct
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Suriname or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Suriname travel advice

Chris Parrot, director of specialist supplier Journey Latin America has this advice on travelling in Suriname:

Safety advice

“Paramaribo is the only city; others (Nieuw Nickerie, Moengo, Albina) are smallish towns. Other than that most settlements have only a couple of thousand inhabitants. Paramaribo has a defined centre, and many of the dilapidated and crumbling colonial mansions I saw in 1975 have been - or are being - renovated to former splendour. The only area which has a ‘reputation’ is the large market on the waterfront. Tourists stand out and locals really don’t like discourteous photography. Best to visit in groups of three or four, rather than alone (unless you’re confidently chatty and gregarious), or en-bloc. Avoid money changing on the street or in dodgy mini-shopfronts along Waterkant.”

Food and drink tips

"There are lots of influences: Dutch, Indonesian/Javanese, Arab, Jewish, Creole, Brazilian – past clients have tried most, and enjoyed them. More conservative tastes like the very popular Zus & Zo restaurant - it feels European, like being in Amsterdam. Ubiquitous is ice-cold Parbo beer (the big bottles are called djogo).”

Benefits of joining an organised tour here

“There are flights from Amsterdam, and reasonably reliable but ramshackle public buses all along the coastal strip, but our escorted tour leader (a native Dutch speaker) organises this all for you. Very few British people visit Suriname on its own, they tend to combine it with the neighbouring Guianas, and this takes a lot of preparation, coordination and determination."

Advice on what to expect

“The Dutch influence is very strong, both the language and culture, but the Asian/Indonesian influence is, too. Most people speak English, except for small convenience stores and specialist restaurants. All are friendly though. When I was last there, few ATMs accepted VISA cards (mostly Mastercard) but our tour leader will help. The currency is SRD, the Suriname dollar, but the euro is often accepted. Almost all settlement is along the coastal strip, and coastal road. Mostly well-paved, the road stretches west to east from Moleson Creek car ferry (Guyana) near Nieuw Nickerie to Albina car ferry (French Guiana). Inland is impenetrable rainforest, bauxite mining, and a few tourist facilities, but we don’t stay long enough to go to these.”
Written by Joanna Simmons
Photo credits: [Page banner: Jan Hazevoet] [Weather Intro: -JvL-] [Things to do: -JvL-] [Safety advice: pratiproy] [Food and drink tips: amanderson2] [Weather wisdom: eric molina] [Advice on what to expect: -JvL-] [Benefits of joining an organised tour here: -JvL-]
Convert currencies