Surinam measures approximately 164,000 square kilometers ( 63,000 square miles) That is four times bigger than former colonizer the Netherlands, but as the country has only 400,000 inhabitants, it is very scarcely populated. Half the population lives in the Paramaribo area. There are hardly any cities and villages of significance in the rest of the country. Four fifths of Surinam are covered with tropical forest. Tourists never seem to get bored with the ecological variation and the small settlements of indians, ‘bosnegers’ (maroons, descendants of runaway slaves) and other ethnical groups.
Surinam is a peaceful country with many different population groups and religions that live in relative harmony with each other.
The official language is Dutch, many people speak Sranantongo (a pidgin language) or the original languages of their ancestors. English is widely spoken.
Paramaribo has an obvious colonial past with many wooden buildings and shadowy avenues that are mixed with some modern office buildings. Paramaribo is a pleasant city to be, because of the relatively quiet traffic, the colourful markets, the many tourist attractions, the nice climate, the attractive nightlife and the enormous variety in restaurants and foodstalls.
Ecotourism is strongly on the rise in Surinam, which means you can find almost anywhere possibilities for trekking, rafting, fishing, safaris, boattrips, butterflyspotting and camping. On many nice spots in full nature you find ecolodges where guests can enjoy the enormous biological diversity of this impressive country.
As Surinam is in the tropics, there are no clear differences between summer and winter. There is however, a greater and a smaller rainy season.The greater rainy season is from the middle of april until the middle of august and the smaller rainy season is from the beginning of december till the beginning of february. It can rain every day and sometimes heavily, but these downpours are mostly for just a short while. During showers it doesn’t cool off very much. The temperatures stay between 23 and 32 degrees centigrade (73 to 89 fahrenheit) and a downpour is more often refreshing than unpleasant.