Palmentuin, Presidential Palace in Paramaribo © David Stanley
Boasting some impressive natural attractions, Suriname's green savannah is interrupted by verdant rainforests teeming with wildlife, while at least five mountain ranges tower above this mysterious land.
Suriname is commonly overlooked when it comes to top travel-destination lists, which is rather strange because, armed just with a little mosquito repellent and a handy Dutch dictionary, visitors can experience a veritable smorgasbord of extraordinary adventures in this exotic and largely unexplored land at the northern edge of the South American continent.
Suriname is popular with eco-tourists who come to marvel at the biodiversity of the pristine Amazonian rainforests along the Brazilian border. Two of the country's most impressive protected wilderness areas are the UNESCO-listed Central Suriname Nature Reserve and the beautiful Brownsberg Nature Park.
The historic inner city of Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Paramaribo contains beautiful colonial-era architecture and makes a great travel base. Take a walk in the Maagdenstraat and buy some handcrafted jewellery, or head to the Sunday flea market to pick up some souvenirs before enjoying a picture-perfect sunset with an ice-cold beer at the Waterkant (waterfront).
Having endured a torrid political history, Suriname has been ruled largely peacefully by a democratically-elected government since 1991. The Dutch heritage sets the country apart in South America and gives it a unique cultural flavour.
Travel to Suriname is usually trouble-free, but the usual precautions against urban crime should be taken in Paramaribo.
All in all, Suriname is delightfully unspoilt and a great off-the-beaten-track destination for adventurous travellers.
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