We really got to know the locals in Suriname

Esther and Albert Flonk always want to get to know the locals while travelling. They also like to travel to countries a little off the beaten track. This year, they chose for Suriname, and together with their daughter Eline (18) they spent just under 3 weeks travelling around this beautiful, green country.

Holiday Suriname

Esther and Albert usually organize their travels themselves. They found this difficult to do for Suriname as there is relatively little information available online. “We found Better Places online and I decided to send an email,” Esther says. “I explained who we are and what kind of trip we were after. We already had a rough idea of the route we wanted to take and explained that we wanted to come in contact with local people as much as possible. Lizet, the local travel agent at Better Places, immediately created an itinerary for us. She responded quickly to our questions and gave us great practical advice. Even when we had to change the itinerary due to a change in flights, she was very flexible. ”

holiday suriname

Car rental in Suriname

Esther and Albert created a 17 day itinerary together with Lizet. They covered most of the route in a rental car. “This gave us a lot of freedom,” says Albert. “In Suriname, the norm seems to be to do several excursions from Paramaribo, and to return to the city after each one. Because we had our own means of transport, we could travel to the next destination without having to go back to Paramaribo. Driving yourself is great in Suriname. You do need a GPS, but we were also fortunate enough to receive good driving directions and an information booklet about Suriname. The directions and booklet included a number of sights we could visit along the way, which were clearly marked and easy to find.”

holiday suriname

Back to basics

The trip had several highlights for the family. Albert: “We did a lot of memorable things, like a city walk in Paramaribo. We had a great guide there, who told us a lot about Suriname. But our stays at the Palulu Jungle Camping and at the Danpaati River Lodge were the absolute highlights of our trip.”

“At the campsite we went back to basics,” says Esther. “We slept in a dome on a wooden floor, with only a mattress. There was no electricity after nine o’clock in the evening. We slept there in the middle of nature, so relaxing. We found a natural creek nearby, which was an idyllic spot for an afternoon swim. That was an amazing experience.”

holiday suriname

Ecolodge on the river

The Danpaati River Lodge is located on an island in the Upper Suriname River, and it’s a two-hour boat ride through a beautiful green jungle. “The ecolodge is run sustainably, and part of the proceeds go to healthcare projects in the surrounding area,” says Albert. “This way, the community benefits from tourism. We were allowed to join a home care project, which was very special.”

Esther:” We really did unwind during our stay at the lodge. The locals are so relaxed, you tend to take on their attitude. That is one of our favourite memories of Suriname: the hospitality and kindness of the people. I left the B & B Plantation Linde’s Lust with a lump in my throat. The owners were very sweet and we had such nice conversations. They had arranged a trip to the indigenous village of Kaleba Creek especially for us. Tourism is still in its infancy here, and that made it so special.”

holiday suriname

Suriname: Melting pot of cultures

Esther and Albert set out on their trip to get to know the locals of Suriname, and they feel they succeeded. “We learned a lot, including the history of the country,” says Albert. “It’s beautiful to see that Suriname is truly a melting pot of peoples, cultures and beliefs, and that they all live together peacefully. We really enjoyed our trip and we are very happy with Better Places. Together with the local travel expert, you really put together the exact trip we were looking for. ”

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