Check out Peperpot Nature Park and Plantation for a taste of wild nature near the city. And head back to colonial times at the Plantation. It’s the nearest old plantation to the city (about 5km away). With the Peperpot nature park just next to the site. Companies run tours here but if you want more freedom and to save some money, you can easily go by yourself on bike. It takes about 5-6 hours altogether, so it makes a nice day trip from the city.
Peperpot is a former colonial coffee and cocoa plantation, now abandoned and a place tourists visit. Just down the road is the Peperpot nature park. It’s a 3.2 km rough single stretch of wild jungle, you can spot monkeys, sloths, tortoises, snakes, lizards, birds. The area is protected by WWF, with spots along the way to stop and sit, though you might wanna avoid that with all the mosquitoes.
Here is how you can get to Peperpot Nature Park and Plantation by bike yourself.
Hire a bike
There’s a few bike hire places in the city, Fietsen in Suriname, which is next to Zus and Zo guesthouse. Also Cardy Adventures offer bike rental. Though maybe where you’re staying can offer you a bike to rent. I rented mine from my Airbnb host for 8000 Suriname Dollar (like £8) it had gears.
The bikes at Fietsen were 10,000Sr$ for a bike with gears and 5000Sr$ without. Quite expensive but it’s the price you pay in this country, very similar to European cities. Wherever you stop with your bike make sure you lock it up, as you don’t want to pay the fee for losing a bike, it’s so much money! If it’s been raining recently don’t wear nice clothes as you’re going to get muddy on the road between the nature park and plantation, it’s basically a dirt track.
Crossing the river
Cycle to the boat crossing port, which is on the main waterfront between Fort Zeelandia and the bus station. You won’t miss it as lots of people are hanging around the wooden dock.
Make sure you wait for a whole boat to fill up and are not paying for a whole boat to yourself. The guys definitely want to get as much money as they can. Me and my host we went to ask the day before how much it would cost for me and the bike to cross it was supposed to be 5 Suriname dollar each way. In the morning I go and they tell me it’s 50! For one way which is £5… I was like no I asked yesterday, they wouldn’t listen and I don’t speak Dutch. So I end up saying yes as I didn’t want to turn back. My whole day plan would be over If I didn’t cross. There’s also a bridge but it seems unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists to cross.
When you get off the boat you should cycle straight along the main road. Until you see the road called Meerzorg which is a calm residential area perfect for cycling.
Peperpot Nature park
At the end you will reach the main road again turn right and carry on. Eventually you will see the entrance and building for the nature park on your right side. I cycled the other way around and entered the park at the exit as I was unsure of where to go. At the entrance you need to pay a fee to enter the park of 20 Suriname dollar.
Then you can cycle/ walk the path. Be warned there are a lot of mosquitoes so wear repellent. I’m glad I cycled as I managed to avoid the mosquitoes, only when I got off to take pictures they tried to get me.
Enjoy the path! I only saw about 4 other people. Lots of monkeys, lizards and luckily I didn’t see the poisonous snakes that they have here. So far here has been the closest I’ve got to wild monkeys, I literally just bumped into them having a snack together. Check out this blog post for some beautiful photos which were taken on the trail.
Then once you reach the end of the trail turn left and carry on down the road. You will reach the old coffee and cocoa plantations. The only thing you miss out on here is having a guide to tell you facts and about the history of the plantation.
There’s a newly renovated building there, which is a hotel and restaurant. I stopped for a well needed drink after the cycle there in the heat and the owner kindly told me some facts about the plantations. The hotel looked amazing and they was just building a pool when I was there. It would be very pricey to stay there at 75usd a night..
Once you’re finished wondering around the plantations it’s time to head back to Paramaribo. Cycle straight along the path shown in the map. The area around here felt very safe. So it’s fine if you go off track somewhere or want to wander around. Just be warned of riding the opposite way on a one way road, as there’s many of them here.
When you reach the main road again turn right and you will head back to the boat crossing. Try not to get ripped off again. Wait for the taxi boat to fill up with people. Then your self guide tour is done! You just need to return your bike to wherever you hired it from. If you have the bike for a whole day explore the city by bike and get full use.
If you do visit Suriname and go to Paramaribo, visiting Peperpot Nature Park and Plantation is a great day trip! And you might even get to see some monkeys!
Check out some of my other posts!