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Is Suriname Safe?

Suriname is generally safe for travelers, though petty crime like pickpocketing is common in cities. Avoid isolated areas and disputes, as violent crime occasionally occurs. Insect-borne diseases like malaria and dengue are risks, so take preventative measures. During the rainy season, flooding can disrupt transportation. Respecting local customs and exercising caution will ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

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Safety & Security

Suriname is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, but it's important to exercise caution and be aware of potential risks.

  • Petty Crime: Petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas like markets and bus terminals. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secure.

  • Violent Crime: While violent crime rates are relatively low, incidents involving armed robbery and assault do occur, particularly in remote areas and at night. Avoid isolated areas when possible and exercise caution after dark.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging for goods or services, fake tour guides, and taxi scams. Only use reputable tour operators and negotiate prices upfront.

  • Civil Unrest: Suriname has experienced occasional civil unrest and protests, which can sometimes turn violent. Monitor local news and avoid large gatherings or demonstrations.

  • Disputes: Disputes between locals and foreigners can escalate quickly. Remain respectful of local customs and laws, and avoid confrontations.

  • Terrorism: The risk of terrorism in Suriname is generally low, but travelers should remain vigilant, especially in crowded public areas.

It's advisable to register with your embassy or consulate, purchase comprehensive travel insurance, and familiarize yourself with local laws and customs before traveling to Suriname.

Health & Medical

Suriname is generally considered a safe travel destination, but there are some health risks that travelers should be aware of. Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus are present, so insect repellent and protective clothing are recommended, especially in rural areas. Yellow fever vaccination is also required for entry into the country.

  • Medical Facilities: While medical facilities in Paramaribo are generally adequate, those in rural areas may be limited. Travel insurance that covers medical evacuation is advisable.

  • Water and Food Safety: Tap water is not safe to drink, so bottled or purified water is recommended. Avoid raw or undercooked food, especially from street vendors.

  • Air Pollution: Air pollution levels in Paramaribo can be high due to vehicle emissions and industrial activities. Those with respiratory issues should take precautions.

  • Animal Diseases: Rabies is present in Suriname. Avoid contact with stray animals and consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination if planning outdoor activities.

  • Vaccinations: In addition to routine vaccines, hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies vaccines may be recommended based on travel plans.

Natural Disasters

Suriname is a country located on the northeastern coast of South America, known for its diverse landscapes, including tropical rainforests, savannas, and coastal areas. While natural disasters are not a major concern, travelers should be aware of the following potential risks:

  • Flooding: Suriname experiences heavy rainfall during the rainy season, which can lead to flooding in low-lying areas, particularly in the coastal regions and along major rivers. Travelers should exercise caution and follow local advisories during periods of heavy rain.

  • Hurricanes: Although Suriname is not located in the main hurricane belt, it can be affected by the outer bands of hurricanes and tropical storms, which can bring heavy rains, strong winds, and potential flooding.

  • Earthquakes: Suriname is located in a relatively stable tectonic region, but minor earthquakes can occur occasionally. However, the risk of a major earthquake is considered low.

  • Wildfires: During the dry season, wildfires can occur in the savannas and forested areas, particularly in areas with human activity or drought conditions. Travelers should exercise caution and follow local advisories if wildfires are reported in the areas they plan to visit.

It's important to note that the overall risk of natural disasters in Suriname is relatively low compared to other regions. However, travelers should stay informed about weather conditions, follow local advisories, and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety during their visit.


Transportation in Suriname can be challenging for travelers. While public transportation options like buses and taxis are available in major cities, their reliability and safety standards may vary. Road conditions, especially in rural areas, can be poor and poorly maintained, posing risks for self-driving.

  • Public Transportation: Buses and shared taxis (called "zouridzjes") operate in Paramaribo and other cities, but services may be infrequent and unreliable. Exercise caution when using these modes, as safety standards and driver behavior can be concerning.

  • Rental Cars: Renting a car can provide more flexibility, but be prepared for poor road conditions, especially outside urban areas. Roads may be unpaved, potholed, and lack proper signage or lighting.

  • Road Safety: Aggressive driving, disregard for traffic laws, and drunk driving are common hazards on Surinamese roads. Pedestrian safety is also a concern, as sidewalks and crosswalks are often lacking or poorly maintained.

  • Travel Advisories: Check for any travel advisories or warnings related to specific regions or routes before embarking on long journeys, as some areas may be prone to criminal activity or other risks.

While transportation challenges exist, exercising caution, planning ahead, and considering guided tours or private transportation services can help mitigate risks and ensure a smoother travel experience in Suriname.

Cultural Norms

Suriname is a culturally diverse nation with influences from indigenous Amerindian, African, Asian, and European traditions. As a traveler, it's essential to respect local customs and practices to ensure a smooth and enriching experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Dress Modestly: While casual attire is generally acceptable, it's advisable to dress conservatively, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas. Avoid revealing clothing that may be considered disrespectful.

  • Greetings: Greet people with a handshake, and be mindful of personal space. It's polite to address elders with respect and use formal titles when appropriate.

  • Religious Observances: Suriname has a mix of religious communities, including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and indigenous beliefs. Be respectful of religious practices and seek permission before entering places of worship or taking photographs.

  • Local Customs: Familiarize yourself with local customs, such as removing shoes before entering homes or avoiding public displays of affection. Observe local etiquette and be mindful of your behavior.

  • Language: While Dutch and English are widely spoken, learning a few basic phrases in Sranan Tongo (the local creole language) can go a long way in showing respect and appreciation for the local culture.

  • Festivals and Events: Suriname celebrates various cultural festivals and events throughout the year. Participate respectfully and seek guidance from locals or tour guides to ensure you don't inadvertently offend or disrupt any traditions.

By embracing cultural sensitivity and respecting local customs, you can enhance your travel experience and foster a deeper appreciation for Suriname's rich cultural heritage.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Suriname are limited, especially outside the capital city of Paramaribo. While police and ambulance services are available, their response times can be slow and their capabilities may be limited, particularly in remote areas.

  • Medical Facilities: Suriname has a few private clinics and hospitals in Paramaribo that provide adequate medical care, but facilities in other parts of the country are often lacking in resources and staff. Many travelers opt for medical evacuation to neighboring countries or their home countries for serious medical issues.

  • Police Services: The police force in Suriname is understaffed and underfunded. While they do respond to emergencies, their response times can be slow, especially in rural areas. Petty crime and robberies are common, so travelers should exercise caution.

  • Fire Services: Fire departments exist in major cities, but their resources and response times may be limited, especially in remote areas.

  • Tourist Police: There is a dedicated tourist police unit in Paramaribo that can assist travelers with emergencies and provide information. However, their resources are limited, and they may not be available outside the capital.

It's advisable for travelers to have comprehensive travel insurance, including emergency medical evacuation coverage, and to research the nearest adequate medical facilities before embarking on their trip to Suriname.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is Suriname safe for tourists?

Suriname is generally safe for tourists. However, it's advisable to exercise caution, especially in remote areas and at night. Petty crimes like bag snatching and pickpocketing occur in cities. Avoid isolated areas, keep valuables secured, and be aware of your surroundings.

Is Suriname safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers should exercise caution in Suriname. While not overly dangerous, it's best to avoid walking alone at night, especially in remote areas. Dress modestly and be aware of cultural norms. Consider joining group tours or staying in well-populated areas.

Is Suriname safe for families?

Suriname is generally safe for families with children. However, take precautions against petty crimes, especially in crowded areas. Ensure children are supervised at all times and avoid remote areas. Mosquito-borne illnesses are a concern, so use repellent and seek medical advice.

Is Suriname LGBTQ+ friendly?

Same-sex relationships are legal in Suriname, but the LGBTQ+ community faces social stigma and discrimination. Public displays of affection should be avoided. Same-sex marriage is not recognized, and there are no legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community.

Do you need a visa to go to Suriname?

Visitors from most Western countries do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days. However, a valid passport is mandatory. It's advisable to check the specific visa requirements for your nationality and intended length of stay before traveling to Suriname.

Can you drink tap water in Suriname?

Tap water in Suriname is not safe to drink. It's recommended to drink bottled or purified water to avoid waterborne illnesses. Avoid ice cubes made from tap water and be cautious when brushing teeth or consuming food and beverages prepared with tap water.

What is the currency in Suriname?

The official currency in Suriname is the Surinamese dollar (SRD). However, the US dollar is widely accepted, especially in tourist areas. Credit cards are accepted at major hotels, restaurants, and shops, but cash is preferred for smaller transactions.

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