Suriname Transport, rental cars, taxis, buses

Car Rental and Taxis

To rent a small car costs about US$ 20 a day, including insurance. These prices are a result of high import tax and difficulty in obtaining spare parts.

If you get into an accident and it is your fault then the own risk payment will be high. Before starting your journey checks to see that you have tools and spare tires. Don't go with a rented car into the interior as it is expensive and besides, you run the risk that an unguarded stranded car, left for a few days, will be totally stripped.

During the day, in Paramaribo, cheap pirate taxis wait at fixed but unmarked places. These are: the service station on the Heiligenweg, opposite Telesur/phone company, next to the jetty on the Waterkant, on the corner of the Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat and the Waaldijkstraat and in front of the Hotels Krasnapolsky and Torarica. Choose a car that looks in good condition and agree a price before you start your journey.

Bad times to call a taxi
On Sundays, holidays and especially early in the morning it is difficult to find a taxi. Reserve one the day before making your journey to be sure. Also after ten in the evening is a problem outside Paramaribo. Ask people living in the neighbourhood, they will surely have a telephone number of a taxistand that you can call.

Wilde Busses (Wild Buses)

By far the greatest contributors to public transport are the Wilde busses, minibuses where small time entrepreneurs (bus operators) service regular routes. A bus, usually a Japanese model, offers seats for 16 to 22 passengers. They are usually brilliantly painted on the outside although sometimes the interior has long since passed its best. Owners frequently keep their buses riding by using all kinds of trickery. A journey with a wild bus is a fun and cheap way to see something of the town, but it is usually quite an effort to find a seat even outside rush hour, besides that the seating is very narrow. Some men see this apparently as an invitation to get quite intimate with females passengers and nestle up very closely and just sit their with an innocent look on their face. Keep such a person away from you by using your elbow or your bag.

Many drivers entertain their passengers with loud thumping music out of super loudspeakers, everybody has to suffer this. The most comfortable seat is in the front next to the driver, the most uncomfortable seats are the folding chairs that are situated in the aisle. If somebody sitting behind wants to get out, the person sitting in one of these seats has to move. Pay when you enter the bus with the exact fare. Ask another passenger what the fare is, at the most NFL. 0.25 for in the town and NFL. 0.50 to one of the districts.

The buses do not have a bell so when you want to get out you have to shout 'halt Chef'! Along the route there are bus stops but they are not placed everywhere. If you want to return with the bus, see where there is a group waiting or ask a passer-by where you have to step in the bus. Even when you are not at the bus stop, if you raise your hand, most bus drivers will stop, except when you are standing in a dangerous place or the bus is full. There are few buses in the off peak hours and evenings, so expect about a half an hour waiting time.