There is very little information available online about getting from Georgetown in Guyana to Paramaribo, Suriname. The border is relatively easy, however, transport options between these two countries are not very regular so you need to arrange your transport in advance. This is a part of the world that still receives little tourism, so your options are limited. We did this overland journey and this is the most affordable and direct way of crossing the border from Guyana to Suriname.
The ferry to get across the border only leaves once per day (scheduled for 10.00 am). In order to get from Georgetown to the ferry in time for the crossing, it’s an early start from the capital, Georgetown.
How to get from Georgetown to Paramaribo
Arrange a pick-up with a local transport company called ‘Dugla’ at least 24 hours in advance. The phone number is +592 612 8047.
The pick up will be around 04:00 am as the minivan will pick up passengers from around town and also from some residential addresses before heading for the border.
Our twin room at Rima Guesthouse.
We checked out of our room at Rima Guesthouse and waited quietly in the living room. The minivan turned up at 04:15 am. It’s a new van with A/C and comfortable seats. By the time we had picked up all passengers, we left Georgetown and crossed the bridge at around 06:15 am.
We arrived at the ferry terminal at 09:00 and the ferry is scheduled to cross to Suriname at 10.00 am.
How much does in cost?
The fare is 6000 GYD (Guyanese Dollars) which is close to USD $28 each. This price includes the transport in the minivan from Georgetown to the ferry and again from the border in Suriname to your accommodation in Paramaribo, Suriname.
Pay the driver the total amount listed above once you reach the ferry. He gives you a ticket that you show to the guy on the other side with the transport to take you to Paramaribo. It’s all very well organised.
NOTE: The price does not include the ferry ride.
The ferry will cost you an additional USD $15 each and you will pay this directly to the ferry company to purchase your ticket. You can pay in GYD or USD. Make sure you have cash. The crossing takes 30-45 min. It’s a small ferry loaded with foot passengers and vehicles too.
Ferry crossing Guyana to Suriname
Entering Suriname – Do you need a visa?
Once you disembark the ferry, it’s a very short walk to line up at the customs building.
Most travellers do not require a visa to enter Suriname, but a tourist card is required for many nationalities. You can buy a tourist card on arrival. Whether you get it on arrival or beforehand from the embassy, the tourist card costs US $35 or EUR 30.
I’m travelling on an Australian passport and we are one of the very few nations that require a visa to be issued in advance. My visa was issued the same day at the embassy in Georgetown, Guyana. I lodged this in the morning and picked up in the afternoon. Marty also decided to get her tourist card from the embassy at the same time as I did (she is travelling on an EU passport) and it was immediate for her.
UPDATE Oct 2019 – Australian passport holders can now apply for an E-Visa for Suriname.
NOTE: Ensure you have your yellow fever certificate available here, this will be checked.
Transport from Suriname border to the capital, Paramaribo
Once you’ve cleared the small customs hall, walk past the taxi drivers and into the small carpark. Just look around for another van who will take care of you on this side. We found our driver straight away.
If you have some Surinamese currency, there is a small food shack here that does some very good packed lunches of nasi goreng (fried rice) and marinated chicken. The cost is about $3 and it’s so good.
The drive to Paramaribo is about 3.5 hours in a comfortable minivan and they will take you directly to your address in Paramaribo.
NOTE: This company also does transport in reverse (from Suriname to Guyana).
Where to stay in Paramaribo
Paramaribo is a great city which almost felt to me like one big country town. You’ll notice lots of Dutch colonial architecture and some great places to eat too.
Getting around is quite easy if you use the small public bus network, however, a hotel which is well-located is best if you want to be close to the action. Here are the most affordable hotels I’d recommend.
Budget hotel: Guesthouse De Kleine Historie – This place is located right in the centre of the city, has glowing reviews and rates from $20 per night include a continental breakfast.
Mid-range hotel: Pleasant Stay Paramaribo – Comfortable apartments in great, yet quiet location starting from $45 per night. Each apartment comes with a small kitchenette, including microwave, fridge, cable TV and wifi.
Top-rated hotel: Courtyard by Marriott – All the amenities you need for a very comfortable stay in Paramaribo. Only 10 minutes walk from the Palm Gardens.
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