• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Suriname


Surinamese Geography - Lake Afobaka
Lake Afobaka

The northern coast of Suriname was fairly swampy, but due to Dutch engineering, this land is no longer swampy so much as it is now fertile lowlands. Rivers pass through this stretch of land and the soil is very fertile as well, allowing plant life and animals to flourish in the region. Due to this, the coast is the most densely populated region of Suriname.

Further inland, to the south, the lands aren't as fertile as the flatlands are somewhat sandy. Beyond this sandy stretch, further south, the land slowly rises in elevation and is almost completely covered with forests, in fact most of the country is covered in forests and very few people live in these areas. The country's small population and the large percentage of forests in the country complement each other well as settlement hasn't expanded much over time.

In the far south of Suriname the highlands rise up to elevations of about 4,000 (1,200 meters), which is the highest point in the country. Like the forests to the north, this region is also forested and very sparsely populated.


Suriname understands the rains as they tend to be fairly regular in the country. However, standing near the equator, the country doesn't have temperature extremes like many other countries do. The greatest variations in weather come in the rainy and the dry seasons, although it tends to rain year round in Suriname. These rains have led to a heavily forested country and have encouraged people to settle and remain on the Caribbean Sea coast. This coast gets a great deal of rain, is home to lakes and rivers, and has numerous plants and animals, making the coast an ideal home for the people that can handle the heat, rain, and humidity.

The drier of the two dry seasons is August to November, but February to April also tends to be relatively dry in Suriname. Relatively dry is the key as it rains regularly throughout the year in Suriname, even in these dry months, during which time getting up to 4 inches (100 mm) of rain per month is not uncommon. Temperatures during the dry month, and year round, are about 72-85° F (22-30° C) from average daily lows to average daily highs in the capital of Paramaribo.

In the wet seasons, which run from December to January then again from April to July, the temperatures are nearly identical to the temperatures during the dry season. The rains tend to be heavier as getting 10 inches (250 mm) of rain per month during this time is not uncommon. In most years the months of May to July get the heaviest rains.


Surinamese Wildlife - Jaguar

Suriname is a very heavily forested country, much of which is rain forest; due to this the wildlife is very impressive. Most of the animals and plants in the country are woodland in nature as this tropical country is home to dense rain forests and all the animals that live in these forests.

There are hundreds of mammals in the forests of Suriname, with some of the most common being deer, wolves, opossums, rabbits, squirrels, mice, rats, bats, tapirs, and sloths. There are also a large number of monkeys and cat species, although they tend to be much less common. Ocelots, tamarins, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, marmosets, jaguars, and cougars (puma) can all be found in the dense forests. Numerous other mammals can also be found in smaller numbers, such as the porcupine, armadillo, and anteater.

Surinamese Wildlife - Armadillo

The sea life in Suriname itself is fairly limited as the country boasts many rivers and a few large lakes, but the small country size still limits the freshwater fish life to catfish, pike, and a few others. Off the coast the animal life is much more impressive. While the waters have some mammals like whales, dolphins, and manatees, these waters are also home to thousands of fish and shellfish. Sharks, marlins, barracudas, grouper, snapper, mackerel, eels, rays, jellyfish, shrimp, crab, seahorses, starfish, and sea urchins all call these waters home.

The forests and coastline also attract hundreds of bird species every year. These range from woodland birds and rain forest birds to water fowls and others. Among these birds are sparrows, cardinals, parakeets, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, parrots, toucans, macaws, eagles, egrets, condors, frigate birds, pelicans, and pigeons among many more.

Surinamese Wildlife - Anteater

The reptilian, amphibian, and insect life in Suriname are also diverse. Many of these animals are spiders, including the tarantula and black widow, snakes, including the rattlesnake, and frogs. In or near some of the rivers the amphibian population spikes a bit as the number of frogs and lizards increase. The number of insects is quite substantial, including flies, mosquitos, butterflies, beetles, moths, ants, and more.

When it comes to native plant life, South America is home to many famous edible plants and these plants quickly spread throughout Suriname, South America, and beyond. The pineapple is from the region where Brazil and Uruguay meet while potatoes and tobacco originated in the Andes Mountains. A few others, including cacao trees (used to make chocolate), peanuts, and tomatoes are also from South America, although their actual origin is unknown. Peppers, both sweet and hot peppers are from Central America or northern South America while vanilla, avocado, papaya, and corn (maize) are likely from Central America itself. No matter each food's origin, what is known is that these foods spread throughout the continent and to the country of Suriname with the help of pre-historic people, animals, and winds. These people have had these foods for nearly as long as people have inhabited the region and each makes an important part of the people's diet and culture now and for thousands of years into the past.

More than just the edible plants, Suriname hosts numerous other trees and plants. Lilies, orchids, hibiscus, oleander, pine trees, eucalyptus trees, cedar trees, mahogany trees, and cypress trees are all common.

This page was last updated: November, 2013