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Notes for Suriname following a recent visit

By Iain and Meg Buchanan — last modified Dec 04, 2013 01:54 PM

Published: 2013-12-04 00:00:00
Countries: Suriname

Suriname River
Approach from landfall buoy is straightforward, but beware fishing stakes which come very close to the channel and would be very hard to spot at night. On exit at springs we had 4-5 knots ebb, fastest near the confluence of the Suriname and Commewijni Rivers.

Formalities
Immigration formalities for arrival, renewal and exit are straightforward.

Money
Cash is king in Suriname and it is very difficult to use a non-local credit card. The ATMs dispense Suriname dollars (SRDs) and euros can be obtained against debit/credit cards, certainly in RBC Royal Bank in Kerkplein. Suriname courtesy can be bought in the Vaco bookshop on Domineestraat.

Domburg Facilities
At Domburg, the new moorings are quite busy and the shoreside facilities nearing completion. A bus from Domburg to Paramaribo (about one hour) costs SRD2.50 – about 50 GB pence! Local car hire can be had for 12.50 euros per day, with discounts for longer hire periods. At Domburg we had our UK propane cylinders filled with butane.

There is no substantial chandlery specifically for yachts in Suriname, but apart from those mentioned in the new pilot, Propeller NV, at the Paramaribo end of the Domburg road and marked by a large Jotun sign, has some Jabsco and Rule kit, and they are very helpful.

Waterland Marina - 36 miles upriver
We spent a long spell at Waterland Marina, further up the river, since we wanted extensive access to shore power and fresh water. This stylish  resort is in the final stages of landscaping and road building. It is a very helpful, friendly place with reliable power, water and wifi. There are plans for showers, a pool and laundry, but it is remote and a car is highly desirable.

There are reports – not checked by us – of boats lifting near Paramaribo. I believe the Waterland Facebook pages may have material on this. Certainly Waterland is a good, perhaps the only, place to leave a boat for long spells. Being 36 miles upriver, the water is fresh and hull growth is not an issue.

Ashore
For western-style shopping, Tulip, Choi's and Best Markt (in Josef Isrealstraat) are best, but are easiest done by car. In Paramaribo, good eating places include Zus and Zo, Spaanhoek Hotel and the Roopman roti chain. Zus and Zo also take tour bookings and we had a long weekend trip with METS, flying into the rain forest and staying in lodges next to an Amerindian village. The tour guides were excellent and without them we would have seen much less of the flora, fauna and birdlife than we did. There is a book shop in the Kerkplein, with some second hand material in several languages.

Iain and Meg Buchanan
SY Ariadne
Home port Glasgow, UK

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