Paramaribo

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Paramaribo (Port of Entry)

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05°49.13′N, 55°09.54′W
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Photo gallery
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Local chartlet
Paramaribo waterfront - Click for larger views
Fort Zeelandia
Ice shaving, delicious with syrup
Keti Koti in the Palm Trees Garden
Girl wearing festive costume on Independence Day

Paramaribo is the capital of Suriname and it is one of the most beautiful towns in the Caribbean. It also has a great atmosphere. The town plan seems a bit cluttered, because the oldest streets are built on shell ridges running parallel to the shore in an angle of 45° to the river; newer streets are built square to the river, as is common in most cities. The oldest houses are constructed in wood in colonial style and painted white and well-kept. They make the city attractive. Fort Zeelandia is the most famous historic building in Paramaribo. It was built in the 17th century and originally called Fort Willoughby, after the English governor who reigned over Suriname before the Dutch took over. On 6 March 1667 Surinam came in the hands of admiral Crijnssen, who named the fortification after his battleship after the English traded Surinam for the colony of New Amsterdam, later New York. Now the historic Museum is located in the fortification, with a large collection on Surinamese history.

The famous Palm Trees Garden nearby is also worth a visit.

Charts

British Admiralty
BA99 Entrances to Rivers in Guyana and Suriname

Weather

Give local weather conditions or refer to another page (a region or island group) that covers these conditions.

Sources for Weather forecasts:

Passages

List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.

Islands

This section does not apply for most ports, if that is the case for this one remove it. You may, however, list ismall islands near this port.

Communication

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Navigation

Start your approach into the Surinam River at the outer marker at LW. The trip to Paramaribo is, calculated from the outer marker, approximately 25 miles. At that time the water level seems quite low, even in the buoyed channel, but you will never sound less than 1.5 m below the keel (assuming a draft of 2 m). The channel is well buoyed and buoys are regularly moved if necessary. Even at night the approach is a piece of cake because they are all lit and... the lights are working! Keep red to starboard (IALA-B).

Entrance

Surinamese authorities are friendly and quite relaxed. They don't expect you to rush off and see them immediately upon arrival but it is advisable to register with MAS (Maritime Authority Suriname) on VHF12 when approaching the Suriname river. Arrange your paperwork the following day.

  1. Visit the MAS, Department of Maritime Administration, Cornelis Jongbawstraat 2, open from 7AM-3PM. Dresscode: no bermuda's or short skirts, no flip-flops, no sleeveless shirts. Bring passports of all crew members and a photo of your yacht (MAS can also print from your tablet or phone). Complete 2 forms at their office or download them in advance from the MAS website http://www.mas.sr/download
    • Notice of arrival
    • Maritime Declaration of health
    After completion you will receive a copy of your registration to present to the Military Police (step 3). MAS is currently working on an online procedure. Remember to sign off when you leave Suriname (VHF12).
  2. Caricom citizens don't need a visa and are allowed to stay for 6 months. Dutch citizens need a Toeristenkaart/tourist card (€30 or US$ 35). In all other cases you'll need a visa. Obtain your Tourist card or visa at the Consular Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Lim A Po straat 25 (at the corner of Watermolenstraat). Bring cash and 2 passport photo's, crewlist and photocopies of your passport (personal page, in coliur). The office is open from 7.30AM to noon. If you get there before 11AM you can collect your tourist card or visa the same day.
  3. Next stop for your entry stamp is Immigrations: located at the office of the Military Police on the corner of Tourtonnelaan and Henck Arronstraat, tel. +597 472221. Bring a crewlist, ship's papers and last clearance. The office is open from 07.30 AM to 1.30PM. You are allowed to stay for 3 months but the Military Police only grants you 1 month. If you want to stay longer, you have to visit the "Vreemdelingenpolitie", Jaggernath Lachmonstraat 167, tel. +597 532123, open until 2PM (local bus #8 in Steenbakkerijstraat). You are expected to refresh your permit monthly at the Vreemdelingenpolitie until you leave.
  4. Yachts normally don't clear with Customs.
  5. Before you leave, check out at the Military Police. Want to leave in the weekend? Visit them on Friday. Don't forget to sign off on VHF12 when sailing (or send an email). Email

Berthing

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

There are currently no marinas in Paramaribo, although there are some plans.

Anchorages

A popular anchorage in Paramaribo is off Torarica, but anchoring there is not encouraged by MAS.

A better spot is in the bend of the river where usually some Venezolan fishing boats lie at anchor, just NE of the bridge. Coordinates 05.49.34N and 55.10.34W.

Domburg (8 miles upriver) is probably the best and safest anchorage and from there it is only 30 minutes by bus into town.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

  • NV Propellor, Industrieweg 18c, tel. +597 481348, e-mail: propeller@sr.net. This is the one and only chandler in Surinam, don't expect too much but still they might surprise you with what they actually have in stock. Go by bus as the store is near Paramaribo.

Repairs/Yards

Outboards:

  • Yamaha dealer: Datsun Suriname NV, Wagenwegstraat 53
  • Evinrude and other: try the shop next door to Yamaha, they carry parts for many brands and are very helpful
  • Mariner: CHM, Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 2-12
  • Tohatsu: Jong Tjien Fa, Dr. F. Nassylaan 47

Batteries and Electricity parts:

  • Cormoran, Burenstraat 9

Remember you are in South-America, where people are creative and clever in finding solutions without spending too much money. You'll find many skilful mechanics, electricians, welders etc, but nobody is really specialised in something. So depending on the problem you have, check the Yellow Pages or just ask around. Cevihas is not only a fishery but also a boat yard, the only place where you might be able to have your boat lifted. And you will find mechanics there as well - and/or in the companies in the vicinity (for instance Maro is a good welder).

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Water at Torarica, fuel at service stations in town.

Things to do Ashore

Tourism

  • Fort Zeelandia is a must, as is a walk through the historic city centre. Actually Unesco World Heritage! You will find the Tourist Office right in front of Fort Zeelandia and they supply all kinds of information, maps, route suggestions, etc.
  • Turtle watching in Matapica and/or Galibi.
  • Take a tour to Brownsberg, the nature forrest park nearby Brokopondo lake. You can go by yourself by local bus (they start from Saramaccastraat, opposite Jeruzalem Bazar) or book with Stinasu. All details in the Tourist Office.
  • If you are a true nature lover, go to Kabalebo. In this area are almost no villages so it is still packed with birds, monkeys, sloths, etc.
  • And perhaps the best option: take a tour with Twist! Mr. Twist is an extremely experienced guide but more important: a very helpful and friendly man who knows everybody in Surinam, and everyone knows him! The main thing about Twist is that you can trust him. He knows what sailors enjoy, so if you go with him you'll never be among a group of 20 other white folks. Of course you can discuss your destination(s) with Twist, but probably he will propose to bring you into a secluded marron village (marron are descendants of the former slaves who ran away from the plantations), an indigenous village (Amer-Indians), Brownsberg (a nature park) and he will stop along the way whenever hee sees something that might be of interest. Twist will tell you about nature and wildlife, about the ways of the locals in the villages, history, etc etc. Your day out with him will be a great experience and something you will never forget. Call Twist at +597 404450 (home) or +597 8139768. Price indication for 4 persons: € 75 per person. All snacks, meals and drinks included; even beer and/or rum! (You will find this with no other tour guide, but Twist knows what yachties want.)

Grocery & Supply Stores

Suriname is a great place to stock up. Cheap and everything available.

  • Supermarkets all around. The smaller ones are mostly run by Chinese and they are local shops. There are also some very large supermarkets where you will not only find all the basic stuff, but also any luxury food you can imagine: Tulip (Tourtonnelaan 131), Choi's (Johannes Mungrastraat 17 and Tweekinderenweg 99), Jong A Kiem (Jaggernath Lachmonstraat 203). A more basic supermarket is Combé Markt (Grote Combéweg 121), where the stuff is not so nicely displayed and the shopping carts are all quite battered, but that is why it is so cheap.
  • Central Market: don't miss it. Fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, interesting drugstores with all kinds of bush medicins... but also don't forget the first floor where you will find clothing, souvenirs, etc.

Eateries

Surinamese people love to eat. In fact, they eat and snack all day. Suppose they invite you to their home, you will NEVER leave without a meal and something to drink. So one can imagine that eateries are all over the place, for every budget.

A nice place to have lunch is the Waterfront, below the almond trees. There is the in Surinam almost obligatory Javanese food (barbecued chicken, saté, bakabanas, etc) but you can have this kind of food anywhere. Try typical Creole dishes such as "heri heri" (various kinds of root vegetables, such as sweet potato, cassave and yam, served with boiled green banana, an egg and most important with "bakkeljauw" - salted fish stewed in tomato/pepper sauce). Only one of the eateries on the Waterfront is serving this traditional dish, so you can't miss it.

Internet/WiFi

Many spots in town. Closest to Torarica is Queens (also WiFi).

Laundry

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Opposite Torarica and many other places. Check with the Tourist Office in front of Fort Zeelandia.

Garbage Disposal

Ask at Torarica.

Transportation

Bus service is well organised. There are two kinds of bus operators: the government (Nationaal Vervoer bedrijf, Heiligenweg), and the so-called "wild buses", exploited by private owners/drivers. These are the decorated buses that you see everywhere in town. Find out where they start at the bus station Heiligenweg, where a map is displayed showing the various routes.

You can take your boat to the Commewijne River and up to the Cottica River. On the way you'll pass some small villages and you just anchor in the middle of the river in the forrest. But be aware that sometimes big freighters on their way to or from Moengo will want to pass.

Pass below the bridge to go to Domburg (8 miles upriver). You can't miss the wreck of "Goslar" in the middle of the river, which was sunk deliberately to prevent it from being claimed by the Germans, but now they can't lift it anymore. Pass on either side.

Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

List links external to the wiki such as in Wikepedia.

References

Books, Guides, etc. Use the Reference template or not at your discretion. For example:

{{Reference|Rod Heikel|Greek Waters Pilot|Imray Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire|9780852889718}}, expands to
Rod Heikell, Greek Waters Pilot Imray, Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire, ISBN 9780852889718
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number

Comments

We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • Petra & Jan Willem Versol (sy Witte Raaf): We arrived in Suriname in February 2006 and liked the country and especially its people so much that we bought ourselves a home here. We sailed three times to the Caribbean and back to Suriname. We kept our boat in Trinidad for a couple of years, but since February 2014 Witte Raaf is back in Suriname and berthed at the Sailing Club Suriname (Ornamibo, between Paramaribo and Domburg).

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Date of member's last visit to Paramaribo and this page's details validated:



This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.
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Names: Witteraaf


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