- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions.
- Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security threats.
- You should avoid demonstrations and large gatherings as they may become violent.
- Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Suriname. The Australian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago provides consular assistance to Australians in Suriname.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Suriname for the most up-to-date information.
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists Suriname as endemic for yellow fever. If you are travelling to Suriname from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you are required to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate on arrival. Some airlines may require passengers to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate before being allowed to board flights out of the country. If in doubt, check with your airline.
If you have visited Suriname in the last six days prior to your date of return to Australia, Australian Customs officials will ask you to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate upon entry into Australia.
If you are travelling to Suriname through the United States of America, or if you are transiting in Honolulu or other US points of entry, you are required to meet US entry/transit requirements. Make sure you check with your nearest US Embassy or Consulate your visa requirements well in advance of your travel. You should also read our travel advice for the United States of America.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.
Civil unrest/political tension
You should avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may become violent.
We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions. Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security threats.
Crime, including violent crime, occurs frequently in Suriname, especially in the capital of Paramaribo. Crime levels are particularly high in the Palm Garden ('Palmentuin') area of Paramaribo, where there is limited police presence. Crime levels increase after dusk and travellers walking alone have been targeted.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing is increasingly common, particularly in the business and shopping districts of the capital.
Banditry and lawlessness occurs in the cities of Albina and Moengo and along the East-West Highway between Paramaribo and Albina.
Travellers have been robbed while using unofficial taxis.
Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.
Money and valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work in Suriname.
Credit cards are not widely accepted outside of major hotels in Suriname.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You should be careful to avoid the loss or theft of your passport. Travellers are likely to experience significant delays and expense arranging the replacement of travel documents in Suriname where there is no resident Australian Embassy or High Commission.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
If you are considering travel to the interior, the use of an experienced local tour guide may reduce the risk of attack from bandits.
There is an ongoing border dispute with neighbouring Guyana. You should only use official border crossing points when travelling between the countries.
Driving in Suriname may be dangerous as vehicles and roads are often poorly maintained. The majority of roads in the interior are dirt roads lacking street lighting and basic roadside services. For further advice, see our bulletin on Overseas Road Safety.
Local buses are often overcrowded and there is poor security around bus stops.
Please refer to our Travelling by air page for information on air travel.
When you are in Suriname, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.
Penalties for drug offences, including possession, are severe and include lengthy imprisonment in local jails.
Serious crimes, such as murder, may attract the death penalty.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money, laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australian overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations (including booster doses of childhood vaccinations) and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our 'Travelling Well' brochure also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas.
Medical facilities in Suriname are very limited. Doctors and hospitals usually require cash payment prior to providing services, including for emergency care. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to a location with suitable facilities, usually the United States, would be necessary. Costs for a medical evacuation are considerable.
The rate of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in Suriname is high. You should exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Malaria is a high risk throughout the year in the interior of the country beyond the coastal savannah area, with the highest risk along the eastern border and in gold mining areas. Chloroquine-resistant strains of malaria are prevalent. Other insect-borne diseases (including dengue fever, yellow fever, filariasis and leishmaniasis) are also a risk to travellers. We recommend you take prophylaxis against malaria where necessary and take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.
Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, typhoid, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, tuberculosis and rabies) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We encourage you to discuss your vaccination requirements with your doctor before travelling. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website. For information on our advice to Australians on how to reduce the risk of infection and on Australian Government precautions see our travel bulletin on avian influenza.
Where to get help
Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Suriname. You can obtain consular assistance from the nearest Australian High Commission which is in Trinidad and Tobago:
Australian High Commission, Port of Spain
18 Herbert Street, St Clair
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone: (1 868) 822 5450
Facsimile: (1 868) 822 5490
If you are travelling to Suriname, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency-whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the High Commission, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
The rainy season extends from May to August and from November to February when flooding may occur in low lying areas in the north and centre of Suriname. Heavy rains may cause damage to roads and other infrastructure.
Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with Children brochure.
If you are planning on placing your children in schools or childcare facilities overseas we encourage you to research the standards of security, care and staff training within those establishments. You should exercise the same precautions you would take before placing children into schools or childcare facilities in Australia.