General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
The main banks are De Surinaamsche Bank (tel 47 11 00), Hakrinbank (tel 47 77 22) and RBTT Bank (tel 47 15 55).
Hakrinbank ATMs do not accept foreign cards.
RBTT ATMs accept MasterCard, Visa and cards on the Cirrus, Maestro and Plus networks and dispense Suriname dollars. ATMs are located at their branches in Nickerie (Gouverneurstraat) and Paramaribo (Kerkplein, Mr Jaggernath Lachmonstraat and Van't Hogerhuysstraat), as well as at Via Bella on Verl Gemenelandsweg and Krasnapolsky Hotel on Steenbakkerijstraat, both in Paramaribo; the Fatum Building, Kwattaweg Kwatta; Hollandia Bakery, Wilhelminastraat; L'Hermitage Mall, Lalarookhweg; the Shell station, Meerzorg - Commewijne; Supermarkt Shadien, Anton Dragtenweg; Telesur Gebouw, Lelydorp; Texaco station, Kwattaweg, Kwatta; Texaco station, Van't Hogerhuysstraat; and on Van Sommelsdijckstraat.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Banks are generally open Mon-Fri 7:30am-2/3pm
Post Office Mon-Thurs 7:30am-2:30pm Fri 7:30am-2pm
Branches with Western Union services generally have longer hours. (See the section, Postage, below.)
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Protestant, Roman Catholic and the Winti-religion are all represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the Suriname dollar (SRD$), which is divided into 100 cents. Paper money runs in denominations of SRD$5, SRD$10, SRD$20, SRD$50 and SRD$100 bills, and coins in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, SRD$1 and SRD$2.50 pieces. Credit cards are not generally accepted, although large hotels and travel agents may accept American Express, MasterCard, Visa and sometimes Diners Club. It's best to check in advance if you plan to pay with a credit card. Traveller's cheques, US dollars and euros are easily exchanged at cambios (exchange offices) or banks.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
DEPARTURE TAX The departure tax is about US$35/€27, plus a terminal fee of about US$10/€8. It is usually included in the price of your ticket and if not, it is payable in US dollars or euros at the airport.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS American, Canadian and British citizens require a visa and a passport valid for six months from the date of intended travel. All visitors must also have an onward or return ticket. Visa applications forms can be downloaded from the Embassy of the Republic of Suriname's website, www.surinameembassy.org. Travellers arriving from Guyana, French Guiana and Brazil must present proof of a yellow fever vaccination.
Nationals of some countries do not require a visa. Consult your nearest Suriname consulate/embassy.
Note: As of January 23, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION British Honorary Consul: 40 25 58 (Paramaribo, emergencies), 592/226-5881 (High Commission, Guyana) Consulate of Canada: 42 45 27 or 42 45 75 (Paramaribo), 592/227-2081 (High Commission, Guyana; also for after-hours emergencies), 613/996-8885 (collect to Ottawa) US Embassy: 47 29 00 (Paramaribo), 0-880-8302 (after-hours emergencies)
As of January 18, 2007
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS Health care and emergency facilities are not up to American and European standards. Outside the capital of Paramaribo medial facilities and emergency care are limited, and in the interior they are almost non-existent. (In Dutch, the word for hospital is ziekenhuis, and the word for ambulance is ziekenwagen.)
Academic Hospital/Academisch Ziekenhuis (tel 44 22 22), located on Flustraat in Paramaribo, is the only emergency first-aid outpost. It has limited ambulances and no neurosurgeon. Other hospitals include Diakonessen Hospital (tel 49 96 44) on Zinniastraat, Stichting 's lands Hospitaal (tel 47 36 55) on Henck Arronstraat and St Vincentius Ziekenhuis (tel 47 12 12) on Koninginnestraat, all in Paramaribo, and Streekziekenhuis Nickerie (tel 23 12 41) on Annastraat in Nickerie.
Serious cases require medical air evacuation. Doctors and medical facilities expect immediate cash payment for services and an advance deposit in US dollars is usually required before admitting a foreign patient. Foreign medical insurance is not always accepted. Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
Pharmacies are called apotheek in Dutch.
Emergency phone numbers: - Ambulance, 113 - Police, 115 - Fire, 115 or 49 11 11 - Hi-Jet medical evacuation, 110 or 43 25 77
ILLEGAL ITEMS Suriname imposes harsh penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs.
For more information call the customs department (Douane Suriname) at 597/40 27 78.
LANGUAGE Dutch is the official language; however, English is spoken in major hotels and tourist areas. Surinamese speak Sranan Tongo.
POSTAGE The main post office (tel 47 75 24) is located at 1, Kerkplein in Paramaribo. Branches are located in Latour (tel 48 16 75), Elisabethshof (tel 45 14 55), Zorg en Hoop (tel 40 10 53), Land van Dijk (tel 40 28 28), Tamanredjo (tel 35 65 07), Lelydorp (tel 36 62 31), Saramacca (tel 32 71 10), Coronie (tel 23 50 24), Nickerie (tel 23 14 24), Onverdacht/Billiton (tel 35 20 44) and Moengo (tel 84 19 29). A number of retail outlets also have postal counters.
Post offices are generally open Mon-Thurs 7:30am-2:30pm and Fri 7:30am-2pm. Those with Western Union services generally have longer hours. They include the main post office, Elisabethshof, Tamanredjo, Lelydorp and Coronie.
Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks. Courier service is also available.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Mar (varies) Holi phagwa Mar (varies) Id ul Fitre Mar/April (varies) Good Friday Mar/April (varies) Easter Monday May 1 Labour Day July 1 Emancipation Day Nov 25 Independence Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day
SHOPPING HOURS Shops are generally open Mon-Fri 7:30am-4:30pm and Sat 7:30am-1pm.
TAXES There is a 7% sales tax on goods and a 5% sales tax on services, which includes hotels and restaurants.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system in Suriname is generally good and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code is 597. Local phone numbers have six digits. To place an international call dial 00 + country code + area code + local number.
Telesur/Telecommunication Company Suriname (tel 47 39 44) provides telecommunication services. Public pay phones located all over Suriname accept Telesur prepaid phone cards, which are available at Telesur offices.
To make a collect call dial 156 (US) or 157 (Netherlands) to be connected to an operator.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
Telesur provides cellular roaming services. Digicel and Intelsur will soon enter the market as they were granted licenses in August 2006 to offer telecommunication services in Suriname.
TEMPERATURES Temperatures vary between 73°F and 88°F. The average temperature in Paramaribo is 81°F. There are two rainy seasons: May-mid-August and Dec-Jan.
TIME ZONE Suriname is three hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.