Country Page: Suriname
A 45 minute flight take you to this former Dutch colony. A total changeover from Guayana – infrastructure is good, roads are smooth (too many speed bumps though). Everyone speaks Dutch, the signs are in Dutch, the radio and TV commercials are all blasting Dutch dance music, and the connection to Holland is omnipresent and is felt everywhere and in everything. Suriname is however a completely independent state, it has oil and gold, a lot of gold. So much in fact that it’s per capita income is one of the highest in the world (of course it’s not really distributed per capita). The jungle is being slowly and systematically destroyed by gold prospecting – trees are cut, land is flooded with mercury and then sieved, mercury attracts gold like a magnet. At the end, the land is polluted and destroyed and not much if anything can grow in the mercury graveyard. Oil is easily accessible and a massive refinery was built on a shore of a man-made lake (man-made specifically for the refinery). Oh, and there is a massive aluminum production. Overall the country is fairly developed and modern but no doubt with plenty of corruption. Still good restaurants or even good coffee are hard to find. Natural attractions are either subpar or require a flight and long hike deep into the jungle in the west.