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Paramaribo is the capital and the largest city in Suriname. It is located at the central coastal area in the north, on the banks of the Suriname River. The city has a population of roughly 250,000 people, which is over half of the total Suriname population. The historic inner city of Paramaribo became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. The city is blessed with a rich ethnic diversity and synagoges, mosques, churches and temples are all to be found within a short distance from eachother. It is also the economical, political and industrial centre of the country and the transportation hub as well, with mostly goods roads along the coast towards Guyana and French Guiana and a few less maintained roads inland.
Starting off the festival year in February is the Brazilian Carnival. While the tradition of Carnival is not one brought about by the people of Suriname, it has come to be an annual event. This is greatly due to the large Brazilian population that has migrated to Suriname but is intent on keeping its own culture alive. The festival is similar to the one which takes place in Brazil around the same time, only smaller in scale. Travelers can expect parades in the streets, great displays of Brazilian music and dance, and many food stalls serving delicious treats.
Held annually in April in the capital city, the International Film Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. Organized by the Black Lot Foundation, the festival brings together film makers from around the world, showcasing over 40 films from more than 12 different countries. While the screenings are the main event, there are also several workshops and even competitions for children to keep everyone entertained.
July marks the arrival of the annual Staatsolie Swim marathon, an 18-kilometre open water, long distance race down the great Suriname River. The race starts in Domburg and ends in Paramaribo. The race draws together competitors from both Suriname and the international community and, after so many years, has become quite competitive. Not only is this a challenging marathon, but it is also one of the most beautiful as competitors swim alongside a gorgeous rainforest.
Celebrated by French-speaking countries around the globe, Fête de la Musique or World Music Day, is held every year on June 21st. Started in France in 1982, the festival’s main purpose is to celebrate what organizers call ‘the magical gift of music’. Free concerts are organized around the capital city, boasting music from a range of different genres. The festival is also characterized by impromptu street performances by both professional and amateur artists, something that can be really entertaining for festival-goers.
Lovers of jazz definitely need to be in the country during October when the annual Suriname Jazz Festival takes place. Bringing together renowned jazz musicians from Suriname and abroad, the festival is a feast of the genre. Different kinds of Jazz can be enjoyed including American, African and Asian interpretations. This festival is usually a hit with all who attend and is well worth sticking around for.
The National Art Exhibition in Paramaribo highlights the amazing talents of local artists who slip under the cultural radar for most of the year. Held at the end of October in galleries and showrooms around the city, the festival focuses mainly on the work of visual artists in the country. More than simply exhibitions, however, there are also several art workshops and interactive discussions with the artists themselves.
Weather is hot and humid throughout the year with fairly even rainfall as well. May and June are somewhat wetter, whereas September and October are the hottest months of the year with temperatures hitting 35 degrees Celcius almost on a daily basis.
Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport (PBM) receives all international flights and Suriname Airways is the national airline of Suriname. International destinations include Amsterdam, Aruba, Curacao, Belém, Miami and Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. KLM has flights as well to Amsterdam for about €600 including taxes.
Several other airlines serve a number of regional destinations, mainly in the Caribbean and northern part of South America.
There are dozens of small airports serving the isolated places further inland, but most flights are chartered for tourists making a multiple day trip inland.
|Guesthouse Amice||Gravenberchstraat 5||GUESTHOUSE||-|
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Eco resort and several guesthouses
Torarica Hotel and Krasnapolsky Hotel
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