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Suriname Information for Cruisers

By Sue Richards last modified Oct 16, 2017 04:46 PM

Published: 2017-10-15 00:00:00
Countries: Suriname

For more info. on Suriname visit: www.visitsurinameonline.com

Blackie says:
Oct 05, 2017 10:00 PM

The sail across from Ascension Island to the Suriname River mouth took us 25 days – about 2652nm. Crossing in the path of the Amazon River, we were affected by cross currents, even 260nm out. Coming in closer to Suriname, there were a lot of fishing boats with nets extended all over the place and it was very difficult to pick your way though it all, especially at night, so take great care on the approaches or come around at higher latitudes and then turn South heading straight for the entry markers. 

We anchored just off the river mouth to wait for a full days light. MAS (Maritime Authority Suriname) would not allow us to anchor closer in, we had to either proceed up to Domburg or wait outside, and so we waited. The current was hectic at 2am so you have to very careful as where to anchor and keep watch. 

We arranged docking at Marina Resort Waterland which is about 27nm up the river. GPS – 05deg39’.503N and 055deg03’.833W (see their website www.waterlandsuriname.com and they have a facebook page). Fees were €27 + 8% tax per day with water and electricity. Very nice, relaxing place to recuperate after the long sail. 

The owner, Noel, arranged a taxi for us to go into Paramaribo to check in. This took about 6 hours as we needed a visa from Immigration. Visa fee was $45 each and had to be paid at the Central Bank which was a short walk away. Everyone was friendly. 

We stayed on dock for 2 weeks then moved 6.7nm back towards Domburg and went on a mooring ball at Harbour Resort Domburg GPS – 05deg42’.222N and 055deg04’.899W. Also very nice with a restaurant (River Breeze Restaurant & Bar), swimming pool, showers and small laundry machine. Fees were €8.75 for the mooring ball. Although while we were there, there was construction working in progress along the bank retaining wall so there was no floating dingy dock and difficult access to land. There was no “water supply” to your boat as part of the facilities/services and the “cooking gas service” entails hiring a car or taxi and going to town yourself. 

The Tourism Foundation has a fairly comprehensive tourist destination guide and there is also the Suriname Travel magazine and a variety of smaller brochures/booklets that will assist any visitor to Suriname. These are available at the immigration visa office and Marina Resort Waterland.

 

Update on Suriname: March 2016
(See a response by Marina Resort Waterland (in Domburg) to the below report in the comments section at the bottom of the page).

As much as I was happy to inform noonsite about Suriname over the past few years, I am now sad with the lack of good news.

Suriname has gone quickly downhill over the last 1-2 years, too sad to be true. The change of Government did not replace the old, but instead there has been a continuation of mismanagement and corruption of this beautiful country.

What was once a wonderful stop for cruising yachts, has now become a short stop and go.

The inner city of good touristic views, the old plantation heritage, is given little to no attention anymore!
The former government had promised to reshape Domburg to become more of a tourist resort, but nothing was done, and the Domburg population were left very sad. A 10 mtr dam was installed, and the newly installed Government has not shown interest in Domburg anymore.

Still it's a good place to rest a while when moving upwards to the blue Caribbean waters, but be informed that much is run down in the town. The inland trips are still ok as they are run by private businesses!

I much prefer that yachts leave happy when visiting. Therefore I feel it is wrong to inform you otherwise. Please take note to the new situation in Suriname.

So far all is still safe to visit and the population is as ever the nicest in the whole of the  Caribbean. Provisioning is still ok but there is less choice than before.

Checking in has now become shorter by visiting MAS (Marine Authorithy Suriname), than getting a tourist card and a follow up at the military police.

I certainly hope that all changes for the better some time again in the future, as Suriname has proven in the past to have a wonderfully strong population who can press the re-set button!.

Mieke Koenraadt (author of the report below)

Report on Suriname: March 2015

Suriname is a great and safe country to visit, by yacht or otherwise. Suriname is part of the Caricom (Caribbean group of countries), and one of the three Guyana's in the Northern part of South America.

Coming from Europe, Africa or Brazil, Suriname is a good choice to stop before going further to other parts of the Caribbean. It is also a perfect alternative during the hurricane season in the Caribbean being  5.20 N and 55 W.

The people of Suriname are very friendly and make you feel at home instantly. With some 10 nationalities living together, it is a special country to visit. They were multicultural before the term got invented. The population consists of Amerindians (the only original inhabitants), Maroons, Indians, Creoles, Indonesians,

Dutch, Libanese, a Jewish community, and Chinese (google or wikipedia up, how this came together!). Dutch and Sranang-Tongo, (a mixed language of all) is mostly spoken next to  their own respective native languages. English is well understood everywhere. Every child grows up speaking 3-4 languages! Dutch, Sranang-Tongo, own native language and English.

Their cuisine is an outstanding unique one. Local produce is very good with lots of fruit and vegetables and exellent butcher shops. Do purchase a good Surinamese cookbook in bookshop, to understand the variety of dishes which can be made with the supply of local produce.

In Paramaribo the capital city you find : several large supermarkets with very good supply. Choi and Tulip for instance. And a Central Market tops it up to see and buy all the local produce of the country.

Not being spoilt by mass tourism and embracing eco tourism makes Suriname so special to visit. One is safe and free to go anywhere. Paramaribo's centre of town and the old plantation houses are considered a jewel of architecture. And were placed on the Unesco World Heritage list in 2002, and much is renovated since then. The unspoiled nature in the interior is spectacular and overwhelming in diversity and in a balanced eco system. Trips can be made to visit up country for several days, with organised tours, to meet the Maroons and Amerindians in their respective villages. A exellent experience. Do go with certified tour operators. (see: www.visitsurinameonline.com). It might look cheaper to go with non certified operators, but lack of service and quality will not make your trip complete.

A few of the rivers are deep enough to visit the interior by yacht. Birds in many varieties are seen and heard everywhere. Dolphins greet you at the rivermouth. And there is plenty of fish, to eat as well.

* Enter Suriname through the Suriname river preferably by day when the tide comes in, as at night several colours of light might confuse you. You can anchor OUT of the shipping lane at 5 mtr. of water and wait for the tide to come in. NEVER come in sailing as other ships entering need their way too. All is well buoyed according to the best depth of the river. Approx. 8 miles in you pass Paramaribo.

* Call MAS (Maritime Authority Suriname) on ch. 12 or 16 to let know of your arrival. If nothing heard, just proceed, pass the bridge over the river, and 8 miles further to Domburg moorings, or few miles further to Waterland Resort Marina.

* Governemental rule makes it impossible to anchor next to Torarica Hotel or near town anymore as anchoring there has proven not to hold! All yachts are now to proceed to Domburg or Waterland. You are most welcome to stay at both (see noonsite's Domburg / Waterland profile for clearing in and tourist pass info.). Settle in first, you can take 3 days before clearing in!

* Domburg and Waterland,  both former coffee/citrus plantations, are surrounded by nature. Despite the promise by the Suriname Government to upraise the Domburg village and its surroundings, nothing has been done so far in 2015. A river wall was to be built to a large extend along the village and restoration and upraise of the village square was to follow. Many meetings and explanations were held to make great expectations by the villagers in 2014, but to all their sadness nothing started, and with new elections coming up in May 2015 all is at a long waiting list now.

* A yacht entrance, Domburg resort marina, has been built beside Domburg village in 2013. See their website for more info.

* 14 moorings are placed and  available along the river front. (EU 9.50/p/day). Before signing the mooring contract, be sure to check the rope, shackle and cable are in good condition, as you would anywhere.

* Fresh Water can not be delivered to your boat. The water used in the resort is treated water which gets pumped up from the river.

* Brochures on Domburg are no more available.

* Waterland does provide fresh water to your boat when tied up at their marina.

A wonderful friendly marina annex /restaurant, set up in beautiful surrounding. EU 1.50 per/mtr

See their website for more info.

* Available in Domburg itself is:  a bus to Paramaribo (20-30 min.), taxi, car hire, police station, medical clinic,  barber, petrol station, internet/postoffice for all your printing jobs and good help with internet problems. Further an ATM bank machine, 3 grocery stores, at the back of Domburg 3 vegetable/fruit stalls with daily fresh supply, several little restaurants.

* Please read further info about clearing in at the noonsite clearance page on entering Suriname, as that is now a simple procedure. Remember do NOT get send to  Militairy police by mistake, but to Foreign Police.

A tourist pass is to be obtained, and a stamp in your passport. NO  need to obtain a visa  before arrival.

If Waterland or Domburg becomes your choice of destination by yacht in Suriname sooner or later, be assured you will have a good time.

Mieke Koenraadt
MV Southern Cross
Any questions? Contact me at mcakoenraadt@planet.nl

Related content
Domburg
Paramaribo
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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 16, 2016 02:08 PM

Posted on behalf of Marina Resort Waterland:

Waterland has to its dismay read the updated version of March 2016 regarding Suriname. The riverside at the village Domburg is under construction and construction has halted, this is true. But this village has always offered only moorings for yachts and it does not offer any of the amenities of Marina Resort Waterland. MRW continues to serve its clients and is steadily growing its client base. MRW continues to excel at service, offering a wide range of services to its yachting customers at very reasonable prices.
Even though it is factual that the limited mooring facilities at the small village of Domburg at this time remain under construction, this is in no way true for the other parts of the hospitality industry in Suriname. This country offers much more to its visitors than the village of Domburg, and among others its capital city Paramaribo is famous for its wooden houses and Colonial architecture. All in all a visit to Suriname (still the greenest country in the world) and to Marina Resort Waterland remains highly recommended.

tscott
tscott says:
Jun 24, 2015 11:11 AM

We spent one week in Domburg and found it very nice here. All the moorings were taken upon our arrival, but can anchor easily in 10m with good holding of hard sand and mud. Be sure to anchor downriver (closer towards the bridge) as there is one nasty local who lives on the upriver side of the moorings who will come out on his porch and yell at you to go away! Otherwise, every local we met was very nice. The owner and staff of the little marina here were all friendly and helpful, and the bar makes for a nice hang out for happy hour, a mixing of locals, cruisers and local Dutch boaters that have settled here. The marina just recently built a swimming pool, which is popular with boats with kids. Care hire is available locally for around 10 euros/day, and the drive into Paramaribo is easy enough. The local bus only departs when full, so catching it on a schedule is difficult, especially if coming back from the city. We got our Tourist Pass while in St Laurent, French Guiana (at the Suriname office) which eliminates having to do it here. That made things easier with just one stop at MAS, and one stop at the Military Police.

flyingfish
flyingfish says:
May 16, 2015 05:04 PM

Just returned from Suriname having left our yacht at Waterland Marina. Wonderful resort in the forest with very well built pontoons (room for around 12 yachts), secure gated site, and reasonable cost (300 euros/month for 6 month stay 12.5m length). Helpful resort manager organised car hire for us. The registration process has changed again recently. We went to MAS (maritime police) 1st for thorough check of boat papers and filling of several forms, then on to Immigration for Tourist pass ($25 or 20 euro fee- no SUD allowed), and finally military police for passport stamp. All offices are within easy walking distance in central Pramaribo.

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