From CruisersWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
WorldNorth AtlanticSouth AmericaSuriname
Suriname map.png
Suriname flag.png
Capital Paramaribo
Language Dutch, Sranan Tongo, Hindi, English, Sarnami, Javanese, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Hakka, Cantonese, Boni, Saramaccan, and others
Currency Surinamese dollar (SRD)
Time zone SRT (UTC-3) , DST: not observed
Calling code +597
Colonial style houses
Carib-indian pirogue skipper
Chief plays bone flute and turtle
School in the interior (deep south)
Marron home
Women wearing traditional dresses (Keti Koti)
Jungle creek

Suriname, formerly the colony of Netherlands Guyana or Dutch Guyana, is a country in Northern South America. It has a North Atlantic Ocean coastline in the north and is surrounded by French Guiana to the east, Brazil to the south and Guyana to the west. It is the smallest independent country on the South American continent. The relatively small population lives mostly along the coast. Suriname has appr. 500.000 inhabitants of whom 10% are Carib-Indians (the indigenous), 20% Javanese, 30% Creole, 50% Indians and the rest are Chinese, Lebanese, Ghanese, Haitians, Guyanese... and some Dutch. All these ethnic groups live peacefully together and the impressive mosque in Paramaribo is located next to the synagogue. Every ethnic group has its own religious festive days, but they are shared by everyone. It is a matter of understanding and respect. Respect is important in Surinam. People are educated to be very polite, among each other and perhaps even more to guests. So act like a good guest, show courtesy too and dress accordingly. Don't wear swimwear (bikini tops etc.) into town and dress up when you go somewhere. Remember that many people are religious so don't use bold language. The Surinamese will appreciate you showing respect.


British Admiralty
BA517 - Trinidad to Cayenne
BA99 - Entrances to Rivers in Guyana and Suriname
Netherlands Charts
2017 - Suriname: Cayenne tot Demerara
2014 - Suriname: Corantijn tot Surinamerivier


Suriname is situated well below the hurricane belt. The climate is tropical but moderated by trade winds. At 06 N you would expect a hot and humid climate, but the easterlies keep Suriname relatively cool. Temperatures on average: 31°C. Wind (on land, in general) E 5-10 knots. Suriname has two rainy seasons and two dry seasons, but in the dry seasons, you can still expect some rain. Very welcome for most yachties!

  • Short rainy season: December and January
  • Short dry season: February until mid-April
  • Long rainy season: mid-April until mid-July
  • Long dry season: mid-July until November

Weather links


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Start your approach into the Suriname River at the outer marker at LW. The trip to Domburg is, calculated from the outer marker, approximately 35 miles. You can do this on one tide if you start at LW. 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).

  • Notify M.A.S. (Maritime Authority Suriname) on VHF12.
  • Suriname is a good place to stay over during the hurricane season and sailing there from the Caribbean is do-able. You have a current of 1 or 2 knots against you, and your apparent wind angle will generally be 50°. Most people reach Suriname (from Trinidad/Tobago) in 5 or 6 days.



Whenever you move your boat, inform M.A.S. on VHF channel 12.

Customs and Immigration

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. Dress code: 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
    • 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, crew list and photocopies of your passport (personal page, in colour). The office is open from 7.30AM to noon. If you get there before 11 AM 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 crew list, 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 at the weekend? Visit them on Friday. Don't forget to sign off on VHF12 when sailing (or send an email). Email

Health & Security

Healthcare is fully available in Suriname, and good. There are at least three excellent hospitals in Paramaribo and in many villages are medical clinics. Medical specialists from The Netherlands, Cuba, Colombia and the U.S. visit regularly to educate and assist in medical treatments in the various hospitals. Many well-stocked pharmacies.

There is no malaria in the coastal region. Only for the deep south, it is sometimes advised to take precautions. Malaria prophylaxis is available if needed. Especially during the rainy season, there are cases of dengue and chikungunya and recently zika. There is no vaccination nor treatment. Take precautions and use repellent (readily available). Vaccinations (not obligatory): hepatitis-A, typhus, yellow fever.

Suriname is very safe, probably the safest country in South-America. But the golden rule remains: don't invite criminality. Be sensible and don't overdo things, like wearing conspicuous golden necklaces or your Breitling with Epirb. As everywhere, lock your dinghy and outboard.

Public Holidays & Events

The Surinamese love to party. Every ethnic group has its own festive days, shared by all the other ethnic groups so don't be surprised to see for example a Javanese lady all dressed up in a traditional Creole dress.

  • Keti Koti (Emancipation Day), 1 July
  • Independence Day, 25 November (1975)


  • Paramaribo Paramaribo/wiki/Paramaribo Port of entry icon – port of entry |Anchorage icon – anchorage |

Braamspunt/wiki/Suriname#BraamspuntAnchorage icon Braamspunt [[Suriname#Braamspunt|Braamspunt]] 06°01.708'N, 055°07.355'W

A beach at the entrance of the Surinam river (to port) where you can anchor to wait for the tide or just for fun. Nice place to explore and watch the fishermen sundry their shrimp and small fish.

Ornamibo/wiki/Suriname#OrnamiboAnchorage icon Ornamibo [[Suriname#Ornamibo|Ornamibo]] 05°44.323'N, 055°07.112'W

The Sailing Club Suriname owns a basic marina with 10 pile moorings for yachts. Since 2016 they have a very good jetty with a dinghy slip attached, moving up and down on the tide. Even electricity is available! The SCS is a non-commercial club but if you are lucky they may have a spot (max 40 foot). It is a very safe haven; ideal for cruisers who want to fly out and leave their boat for a longer period. Furthermore, the SCS is always ready to serve with information and help. Contact: Petra Versol (SCS secretary); [email protected]
Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data ||



There is a lot to explore in Suriname. Nature is abundant as at least 80% of the country is covered with tropical rainforest. The flora is immensurable diverse with 9100 species in the three Guyana's. Suriname's wildlife is also interesting, but the number of animals is not so great - the Surinamese are born hunters! Best chances for sightings in the West part, where the population is lowest. Jaguars, puma's, ocelots, monkeys, sloths, nose bears, giant ant-eaters, birds (harpy eagles!), reptiles such as caiman and boa constrictor, and much more. A type of hunting is fishing, very popular with the Surinamese. Anjoemara is sought-after, and so is piranha. But be careful, they will try to eat you rather than be eaten.

If you have time, don't miss the opportunity and take a tour inland. Paramaribo is crowded with tour operators and the destinations vary from primitive eco-resorts to quite luxurious places.


  • Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport
    • From Amsterdam you can get the daily KLM flight. Surinam Airways also offers flights from Amsterdam and various parts of the Caribbean destinations.
    • From the United States, airline service is available via Surinam Airways and Caribbean Airlines, with a stopover in Trinidad. Besides the daily connection to the Netherlands, there are weekly direct flights to Suriname from Trinidad, Brazil (Belem), and Curacao.
    • From Johan Adolf Pengel International you can take the taxi or bus into town. A taxi (if private one) will cost around SRD80. However, prices will vary between drivers. Make sure to arrange and set a price with the driver before going anywhere.
  • For around SRD30 or €10 you can take the bus from Albina (bordering French Guiana) to Paramaribo
  • In the west there's a regular river ferry between Guyana and Suriname.


  • sy Witte Raaf, Petra & Jan Willem Versol, Email


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



Touristical guides, in Dutch:

  • Buitenkansjes (Parbode magazine)
  • Suriname (ANWB-Extra)


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).

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Suriname 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.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Witteraaf

Personal tools
Friends of Cruisers Wiki