Paramaribo as seen from the Suriname River http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paramaribo,_view_from_Suriname_river.JPG Mark Ahsmann
Suriname is the smallest country in South America. It covers only 163,821 sq km (63,251 sq mi) and has a population of slightly over half a million people. Suriname is bordered by bordered by Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south and French Guiana to the east. It has a coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean to the north.
Suriname is the only country in South America to adopt Dutch as the official language. Its capital and largest city is Paramaribo. Most of the population live in the lowland coastal areas, whereas the southern hinterland remain densely forested. The Bakhuys Mountains and Van Asch Van Wijck Mountains are the two main mountain ranges in the country. The tallest mountain is Julianatop, at 1,286 m (4,219 ft).
Suriname is three hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-3). Traffic is driven on the left, the same as in the United Kingdom. The official currency is the Surinamese dollar (SRD. The phone IDD code is +597.
The Ministry of Finance and Court of Justice Building in Paramaribo http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Financi%C3%ABn_and_Hof_van_Justitie.JPG Mark Ahsmann
Combe Bazaar grocery store, Paramaribo http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Combe_Bazaar.JPG Mark Ahsmann
In 2009, Suriname had a nominal GDP of $2.962 billion, and a per capita nominal GDP of $5,675. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity was $8,642.
Suriname was originally settled by the English, which established the first colony there at Marshall's Creek by the Suriname River. It was administered by the Dutch and was known in English as Dutch Guiana. The English spelling of the country is Surinam (pronounced su-ri-nam) and opposed to the Dutch form Suriname (syri-na-meh). The English form still appears occasionally, as in Surinam Airways.
Surinamese house in Coronie, Suriname http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wooden_house_Coronie.jpg Bart van Poll
Planning your visit to Suriname
Visitors who do not need a visa to enter Suriname include the nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Gambia, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Israel, Jamaica, Malaysia, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
Surinam Airways flies to different destinations in the Caribbean such as Trinidad. KLM also has a service between Amsterdam and Paramaribo.
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