Suriname

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Flag of Suriname Suriname
Information
Language: Dutch
Capital: Paramaribo
Population: 470,784
Currency: Surinamese dollar (SRD)
Hitchability: <rating country='sr' />
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<map lat='4' lng='-56' zoom='6' view='3'/>

Suriname is a country in South America. Since it's a former colony of the Netherlands, Dutch is the official language.

Access

From Europe you will have to fly from Schiphol airport (Amsterdam); there is also flight coming from Miami. By land you can come from French Guiana (part of France) or Guyana. In both cases there is a river to cross, the French side has a bridge, the British side doesn't and to cross you have to chose between the big boat (the official, legal ferry, this is for people with passports) or the little boats (home-owned, illegal boats that take locals back and forth across the border; only use this option if you don't have the correct paperwork and remember you will be a legal alien once on the other side...)

Visas

As of 2011 Suriname is the only country in South America that requires a Visa for Europeans to enter the country. The cost in 2011 was 45 US$ or 40 euros, and it involves at least 3 days' paperwork in Paramaribo if you don't have the visa prepared before you arrive in the country.

Road network

The road network is concentrated on the coast. Thus most hitchhiking happens East to West, although the dirt tracks in the interior of the country can also be hiked on. In that case you will travel with miners and loggers going down into the forest for the job.

Boat and Plane Hitchhiking

Suriname is organized largely around its waterways, some villages just a few kilometers away from the capital are only accessible by boat, and the taxi-like motorized boats are everywhere on the rivers. It may be possible to get a lift in a boat, perhaps by offering to help with the landing procedure (although you would have to know how to line-handle at least a little), or by making friends with a boat owner. Otherwise be aware most people do pay to travel by boat.

Not many sailing boats come to Suriname, although it is technically the landing point if you want to make the shortest crossing possible of the atlantic from the Cape Verde islands. There is a place called Domburg, on the west coast of the Suriname river, just a half hour down south of Paramaribo, where a private owner lets out a few moorings and some yachts have even had their owners living permanently for about 3 or 4 years (in 2011). The people who do own yachts and come to Suriname will most probably come to Domburg at some point in their visit, and they will almost always be Dutch-speakers (it's the number one reason that people come to Suriname because it is the sole Dutch-speaking country on the continent!). If you are lucky enough and have patience, you may find somebody there who would take you on their boat, and their destination from there in 99% of the cases will be Trinidad.

If also seems possible to travel inland by hitchhiking a small propeller plane like a small Cesna or Piper machine, which go to bumpy airfields somewhere in the jungle.