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Suriname Traveler Information - Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Suriname Traveler Information guide.

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Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

Suriname Map

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY: 6 months.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: 1 page per stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Yes.

VACCINATIONS: Yellow fever (in some cases).

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: $10,000.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: $10,000.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Paramaribo

Kristalstaat 165
Paramaribo, Suriname
Telephone:(597) 556-700
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (597) 710-1112
Fax: 597-551-524
caparamar@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Suriname for information on U.S. – Suriname relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Embassy of Suriname website for the most current visa information.

  • Tourism: Visitors must obtain an e-tourist visa or e-tourist card online prior to traveling via the Suriname E-Visa website.
  • Business: You must obtain a business visa in advance of your trip via the Suriname E-Visa website.
  • Stays longer than three months: Before traveling to Suriname, you must apply for an Authorization for Temporary Stay (Machtiging tot Kort Verblijf, MKV).

The government of Suriname requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (this does not include the United States). See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information about vaccines before traveling to Suriname.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Suriname.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our website.

Safety and Security

Crime:  There is limited police presence outside of Paramaribo.  Pickpocketing and robbery are common in Paramaribo’s business and shopping districts. Principal concerns include burglary, armed robbery, and home invasions.

  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and don’t display large amounts of money in public.
  • Don’t walk alone at night, particularly in the immediate vicinity of major tourist hotels.
  • Avoid the Palm Garden area (“Palmentuin” in Dutch) after dark.
  • Drive with your windows closed and doors locked.
  • Avoid leaving bags, luggage, and valuables in vehicles in plain sight.
  • Avoid travel at night or during periods of potential civil unrest.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution when using ATMs.
  • If you plan to travel outside Paramaribo, use a well-established tour company. Robberies are of concern in:
    • The cities of Albina and Moengo
    •  Brokopondo district
    • Along the East-West Highway between Paramaribo and Albina
    • Along the Afobakka Highway in the district of Para

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by dialing 115. Some operators may not speak English. U.S. citizens may also contact the U.S. Embassy at (+597) 556-700 during business hours or (+597) 710-1112 during evenings and weekends. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance. Victims of domestic violence or sexual assault can also contact Suriname’s Victim’s Assistance Office (Bureau Slachtofferzorg) at the Ministry of Justice and Police at (+597) 888-7477. The office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy in Suriname immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are not widely accepted outside major hotels and upscale restaurants. While several banks accept U.S. ATM cards, the use of debit and credit cards is discouraged because of identity theft concerns. Keep your debit or credit card in your sight at all times while it is being processed. Consider using prepaid credit cards with limited funds when traveling. You can exchange currency at banks, hotels, and official exchange houses (“cambios”). Exchanging money outside of these locations is illegal and can be dangerous.

Communications: Areas outside of major cities may not have reliable cell phone reception.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Suriname. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Where sidewalks exist, they may not be adequately built to accommodate persons with disabilities. Taxis and other public transportation may not provide proper assistance to individuals with disabilities.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical care is limited in many areas of the country and does not meet U.S. standards.

  • There is one public emergency room in Paramaribo.
  • Medical specialists may not always be available.
  • In general, hospital facilities are not air conditioned.
  • Emergency medical care outside Paramaribo is limited and is virtually non-existent in the interior of the country.
  • Hospitals and doctors require payment prior to service or admission. Most hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment.
  • You can find prescription and over-the-counter medicines in pharmacies in Paramaribo, but the quality cannot be assured. There are frequent prescription medication shortages.
  • Over-the-counter medications are generally available, but U.S. brands may not be available.
  • The Government of Suriname requires that travelers arriving from or transiting through countries with risk of yellow fever transmission show proof of a yellow fever vaccination. Note that you may also be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination upon departure from Suriname if traveling to or transiting through another country that requires it.

For emergency services in Suriname, dial 115.

Ambulance services are:

  • Not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas except Paramaribo and Nickerie.
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on the type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal in Suriname.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further Health Information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Pharmaceuticals:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States.  Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Water Quality: In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Adventure Travel: Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  The major roads in Paramaribo are usually paved but are not always well maintained.

  • Cars drive on the left side of the road. 
  • Large potholes are common, especially during the rainy season.
  • Roads often are not marked with traffic lines.
  • Many main roads do not have sidewalks, forcing pedestrians, motorcycles, and bicycles to share the same space.
  • Many roads flood, and cars with low clearance may have problems.
  • The East-West Highway stretches from Nieuw Nickerie in the west to Albina in the east. Parts of the road are not well maintained, and during the rainy season, sinkholes develop along the road.
  • Watch for slow-moving traffic or animals.
  • Exercise caution at night due to poor lighting and sharp road turns without adequate warning signs.
  • There are few service stations along the road, and western-style rest stops are non-existent.
  • Roads in the interior are dirt roads passing through sparsely populated rain forest. Bridges are in poor condition. Conditions deteriorate rapidly during the rainy season.
  • There are no lights, service stations, or emergency call boxes along the roads.
  • Consult with your hotel or tour provider regarding road conditions.

Traffic Laws: Seat belts are required. Driving while talking on a cell phone is illegal; you must use a hands-free device. You need an international driver’s license to rent a car. 

Excessive speed, unpredictable driving habits, unusual right of way patterns, poorly maintained roads, relatively few traffic lights, and a lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles are daily hazards. If you are in a significant accident, leave your car where the accident occurred, call the police, and wait until police arrive.

If you are in an accident and suspected of driving under the influence, the police might take you to the nearest medical center to measure your alcohol level. They will hold you for up to six hours until the results of your blood alcohol content are available.

Public Transportation: Avoid using public minibuses due to unsafe driving habits and poor maintenance. Avoid using motorcycles or scooters.

Not all taxis are clearly marked, and some may not have a meter.

  • Verify the price or meter before entering the taxi.
  • Use hotel concierge taxis.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Suriname’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Suriname’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

The U.S. Embassy prohibits its employees from using Fly All Ways for official travel due to safety concerns.

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to Suriname should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings

Fact Sheet

Please see Fact Sheet for this country/area. 

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction 

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Suriname. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

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