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Three Months in Suriname

By Sue Richards last modified Jan 24, 2014 01:56 PM

Published: 2009-06-20 18:05:00
Countries: Suriname

Received From: Tom Hildebrandt
SV Juno

Juno and I spent three months in Suriname, January - March 09, most internatioal boats stay one month or less.

Paramaribo

The main city Paramaribo is intersting to visit and is quite busy, with good provisions, but there are no large modern supermarkets within walking distance. The hotel at the anchorage asks $50USD per day (one boat up to four people)for use of their dock for dingies, the fee includes the use of all the hotel facilities, sauna, tennis courts, gymn, showers etc. the price is negotiable, I paid nothing but only used the dock for tying up the dingy and to get water from the tennis courts. Only once was I asked was I paying for the services by a security person. Other yachts have negotiated with the manager a much more reasonable daily/weekly rate to use showers.

Domberg

Most yachts go up to Domberg after clearing in, the authorities have encouraged this by putting in several moorings off this small village. There are no large markets here but several small shops and vegetable stands provide all the basics. You may find it cheaper to eat at one of the small restaurants here than cook, meals are very good and much less expensive than in Paramaribo. Fuel is available at the gas station about 200 meters from the dingy landing, the station provides a trolley for moving the jugs. Water can be obtained from the local fishing boats.

There is a group of several dutch boats who have been here for several years, they are very helpful, and when they see a new boat arriving, they often will come out to help with picking up the mooring. They also know who to contact for repairs!

Customs & Immigration

Customs and immigration requirements seem to vary depending on your nationality. There apparently used to be temporary visas issued by the police, but that is no longer an authorized procedure. I was told that every one needed a visa, but a Brazilian boat was told they did not need one, customs says they must visit every boat, both on arrival and departure, but they seldom make the scheduled appointments.

Typically visas cost $30USD for a month pass, but as US citizen I was told I could only get a 5 year visa, multiple entry for $100USD. I actually got a 2 year visa, you must visit immigration every thirty days to get the visa renewed for the next month. The entire process took me three days as the offices close at 2 in the afternoon. Since getting to customs and immigration is difficult and expensive, several yachts just did not bother with any of the clearance formalities and left after a week or so with no apparent problems.

Repair Facilities

One yard has a travel lift, reported to take 25 tons, but the manager really isnot interested in hauling yachts, they prefer to handle the local tour boats and fishing boats. The pricing reflects this policy! There is apparently no method for bringing in parts duty free either, so at this time, Suriname is not a good option for yachts to have a scheduled haulout. All major trades are available as there are many fishing boats so repairs can be made if necessary.

Editor's Note: Whilst it is interesting for those planning to visit Suriname to read older reports, such as this one, it should be noted that much of the information will have changed, new facilities and services for cruisers been established etc. The site information (rather than the reports) is the most up to date and accurate with regards to procedures, facilities and services.

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