If you tried you could probably name half a dozen countries that use one form or another of the dollar. Would Suriname be one of them? It’s doubtful, but after you learn more about it here – and more about the country itself – you’ll have a much greater understanding of this particular country and its currency.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
As you’d expect, the Suriname dollar is split into 100 cents, as is the case with other dollar currencies. Here though some of the coins might be in unfamiliar denominations. There are coins denominated as 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents, but there is also a 100 cent coin and more unusually a 250 cent coin too.
You’ll also notice some peculiarities with the banknotes as well, at least in some cases. There is a one dollar note but there is also a 2½ dollar note which is rather unusual! Aside from these you can also get notes denominated as 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar notes.
From past to present – the history of the Surinamese dollar
As far as currencies in general are concerned, this is surely one of the newest ones around. It came into being on New Year’s Day 2004 and was a replacement for the previous currency, which was the Surinamese guilder. They did not replace each other at par though – far from it. Anyone swapping their old guilders for the new dollars found that for every 1,000 guilders they had, they received just one new dollar in return.
How to get hold of the Surinamese dollar
As is the case with many less-common currencies, you’ll probably find it easier to go into the country with another currency altogether and change it there. The best place to do this is at a bank. Any major currency should be fine to accept and exchange, such as the US dollar, the British pound and the euro. Steer clear of any less-common ones and you should be fine.
One thing you should be aware of is the lack of facilities to take credit cards. Suriname is not a modern country that welcomes these cards so be prepared to work with cash alone. You might get lucky if you pay for things at hotels (obviously accommodation is the main thing here) but the best bet is not to expect to be able to use your cards in Suriname.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Surinamese dollar
You’ll know how to do this because you just need access to a good quality currency converter. Be aware that not all of them update their data all the time, so if you want a truly accurate rate, find a converter that updates every minute or so. You should be aware that if you exchange money anywhere you’ll be charged for the privilege, but at least a currency converter does provide you with some basic information to go on.
Finding out information on Suriname isn’t really very difficult. If you are thinking about paying a trip to the country it might be worth visiting their official website. The Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Suriname is located in London and you can see their website at http://www.honoraryconsul.info/.
Travelling safely with the Surinamese dollar
This is one country that might be less well-known to you than some others. Fortunately it is safe to visit for the most part, although of course there are risks with visiting any country you can think of.
You do however have to be aware of crime levels when you go there. Petty crime is rather common unfortunately, but perhaps more worrying is the rise in more violent crime. There are ways you can minimise the risk however, such as keeping expensive possessions to a minimum, particularly those that are visible such as jewellery. It pays to carry less cash too, or at least to divide it up into different pockets so it’s more secure. This is one way of minimising the losses if you were unlucky enough to be picked on by a pickpocket.
It’s also best not to go out at night and to avoid quiet areas where you might become a target. Finally make sure you have a safe in your hotel room so you can use it for stashing all your valuables away – including your passport.
Where to spend your dollars in Surinamese – and what to spend them on
Suriname is a country located in South America. Its northern border faces the Atlantic Ocean, and its other borders face three other countries. To the west you will find Guyana, to the east French Guyana and to the south there’s Brazil.
The capital of Suriname is Paramaribo, and this is as good a place as any to start your exploration of the country. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, settled on the Suriname River and there is much to explore here. Perhaps most notably there is the inner city region, which although it doesn’t sound appealing is actually the historic centre of the city. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site as its historical value has been recognised. Also in Paramaribo there is a fortress known as Fort Zeelandia. It is some 350 years old and is quite charming in its own way.
Another major sight not too far from the city is the Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge. This is also sometimes known quite simply as the Suriname Bridge. If you get the chance to travel across it (as a passenger ideally) you can get some superb views across the river. The approach road in particular makes the bridge look rather impressive as it rises up ahead of you. It’s only a two-lane bridge too so you can see quite well over either side.
There are other buildings in the city that are quite well-known too. The Neveh Shalom Synagogue is one, a quite majestic-looking building that looks more like a large imposing gated house than a synagogue. Elsewhere the Arya Dewaker is far more majestic, a Hindu temple that is easy to spot via its red roof and white exterior.
But what of the rest of the country? Well, there is the Central Suriname Nature Reserve for starters, which is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are numerous animals here including sloths, primates and even the giant armadillo. This is actually quite a new reserve as it was only created back in 1998. The reserve is also home to several mountains, which gives you some idea of how big it is. The tallest of these mountains is called Julianatop and it reaches over 1,200 metres into the sky.
You may also want to take a trip out to the Brownsberg National Park. This is best done as part of an organised tour and there are plenty of sightseeing trips you can go on in the country. This particular park has a lot to offer, but one of the reasons why an organised tour is a good idea is because they often take you up to the top of the main mountain. As you might imagine there are lots of superb views and photo opportunities to be enjoyed here.
The park is also well-known for its variety of species that make a home here. Among hundreds of birds and more than a thousand different plants, you’ll also have an opportunity to watch out for monkeys and toucans among others. Who knows what you might find here?
The great thing about this park is there are many trails throughout it that are good to follow if you are prepared for the occasion. Don’t be too surprised if you come across a variety of waterfalls either, since there are several hidden in various parts of the park. One such waterfall is the Leo waterfall, and there are paths that lead through to this and several others as well. Unfortunately illegal mining for gold sometimes takes place in the park. Attempts have been made to prevent this and to take action against the perpetrators. However this is ongoing and there is always a danger that gold mining will jeopardise the state of the nature park and all the species that reside in it.
As you can see, Suriname is a surprising country in many ways. While you may not have known too much about it when you started reading this, by now you may realise how many sights and attractions it has to offer eager tourists. We have provided just a few insights to the nature of the country here. You can be sure there are many other areas that can be explored if you should ever decide to go there. There are certainly many ways to spend your Surinamese dollars, and while they aren’t the easiest of currencies to get hold of you should find you get used to being in this cash-based society in the end.
It’s certainly worth giving it a try and seeing just how many sights you can tick off your ‘to do’ list, isn’t it?