Foreign travel advice

Suriname

Summary

There’s no British Embassy in Suriname. If you need emergency consular assistance you should call the British Honorary Consul on (00) (597) 402 558 or (00) (597) 402 870, or contact the British High Commission in Georgetown, Guyana.

If you’re visiting Suriname as a tourist and arriving at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport in Paramaribo you don’t need a visa before travel. See Visas

Most visits are trouble-free, but burglary, armed robbery and violent crime occur in Paramaribo and in outlying areas. See Crime

UK health authorities have classified Suriname as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Suriname, attacks can’t be ruled out.

Safety and security

Crime

Burglary, armed robbery and violent crime occur in Paramaribo and surrounding areas. Pick pocketing and robbery are increasingly common in the major business and shopping districts in the capital. You should avoid wearing expensive jewellery or displaying large amounts of money in public. Keep valuables like your passport, tickets, driving licence and travellers’ cheques secure and keep photocopies of these documents in a separate place.

Avoid remote and secluded areas, quiet streets and quiet parks. Avoid the Palm Garden (Palmentium) area in Paramaribo at night. Apart from the entertainment centre around the Torarica Hotel, you should avoid walking at night anywhere in the city.

Travel in the interior of the country is generally trouble-free, although there have been reports of tourists being robbed. Use a well-established tour company if you intend to travel to these parts of Suriname

Local travel

Small aircraft operate to a number of interior and regional destinations. If using these services you should be aware of the potential risks, especially from bad weather. 

Although the UN’s International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea in 2007 ruled on the maritime border dispute between Suriname and Guyana, Suriname still claims an area of land (the New River Triangle) in the south-east of Guyana. Suriname also has a border dispute with French Guiana. Keep this in mind and take care in these border areas.

Air travel

In 2012 the International Civil Aviation Organisation carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Suriname.

You can find a list of recent incidents and accidents on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

The FCO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe.

Blue Wing Airlines have been refused permission to operate services to the EU because the airline does not meet international safety standards. A full list of airlines banned from operating within the EU is available on the European Commission website. Refusal of permission to operate is often based on inspections of aircraft at EU airports. The fact that an airline is not included in the list doesn’t automatically mean that it meets the applicable safety standards.

Safety concerns have been raised about INSEL Air. The US and Netherlands authorities have prohibited their staff from using the airline while safety checks are being carried out. UK government officials have been told to do the same as a precaution.

Sea travel

There have been reports of attacks against fishing boats in and around the waters of Suriname. Be vigilant and take suitable precautions.

Terrorism

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Suriname, attacks can’t be ruled out.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

Possession and trafficking in drugs leads to lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines. Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry any items that do not belong to you.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

British passport holders visiting Suriname as tourists and arriving at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport in Paramaribo are no longer required to obtain a visa before travel. You can now get a single entry tourist card on arrival. If you are travelling to Suriname for other purposes, arriving at another port of entry, or need a multiple entry visa, you should apply for a visa before travel at a Surinamese Consulate. Visa information can be obtained from the Suriname Consulate in Amsterdam. Telephone: (00) (31) 206 426 137; Fax: (00) (31) 206 465 311; email: info@consulaatsuriname.nl
You can also contact the Suriname Honorary Consul in the UK:

Dr.Amwedhkar Jethu
127 Pier House
31 Cheyne Walk
London SW3 5HN
United Kingdom
Mobile: (44) (0)7768-196 326
Email: ajethu@honoraryconsul.info

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are valid for entry into and exit from Suriname, but they must carry the appropriate Surinamese visa. Suriname requires travel documents to have at least a six months’ validity.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Suriname.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Departure tax

All passengers leaving Suriname must pay a departure tax. The current fee is $66 or €52. It cannot be paid in Surinamese dollars; only US dollars or Euros are accepted.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

UK health authorities have classified Suriname as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Suriname. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Medical facilities are severely limited in Suriname. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

In the 2013 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 3,700 adults aged 15 or over in Suriname were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 1% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.3%. Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 115 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Natural disasters

Much of the north and centre of Suriname is prone to flooding.

Money

Credit cards are not widely accepted outside the major hotels. You should check with your hotel to confirm that credit cards are accepted. In Paramaribo some of the ATMs will accept international credit and debit cards and dispense Surinamese Dollars. If you are bringing currency with you, bring US dollars or Euros; Sterling can’t be exchanged.

Travel advice help and support

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.