The former Dutch colony of Suriname is famous for its sugar cane plantations although today, it’s sadly its a thing of the past. The glory days of sugar cane plantations may have gone in Suriname, but you can still do a Sugar Trail Tour and I’d recommend it.
Base yourself in Paramaribo to get the tour booked, which is the capital city and where all the main tour companies are based. One tour operator is Waterproof Suriname who are experts in organising tours around Suriname and the Sugar Cane Trail.
The tour starts with “Hammock” street, the sunken German war ship in the Suriname River and lots of details about Surinamese history. In our minibus, we cross the bridge over to New Amsterdam and on route to the plantations at Concordia. Upon arrival at the village on the other side of a bridge, it’s morning coffee and biscuits time.
Coffee time before heading to Concordia Plantations.
We all board a speedboat to take us along the Commewijne River, which is a really relaxing journey. Njoek our guide gives us more anecdotes and stories along the way as we arrive in a custom made jetty in the middle of the jungle….the Concordia Plantations.
We take a fascinating walk through the jungle at the Concordia Plantations. After the sugar cane industry died in Suriname, this place is no longer in use, the glory days were from the late 1880s to the latter part of the 20th Century. My first quick tip is to make sure you bring your insect repellent – we sprayed a lot on but still picked up some bites – spiders, mosquitoes and ants are quite common in this part of the jungle.
First of all we are shown some trees which bear fruit. Then we hear some howler monkeys, but we do not see them. There are lots of unusual plants and trees as well as some remains of old mills and engines that were used in the harvesting and refining process for sugar cane.
An abandoned engine.
A frog at Concordia.
A spider at Concordia.
We board the boat back from Concordia and are given some of the local snack Borrell Chips to share on the journey. We see some odd looking animals at the base before getting the minibus to Tamanredjo, where there was also a baby jaguar.
Then, we drove to Tamanredjo where we stop on the main road for lunch. The restaurant for lunch is a typical Javanese style cuisine – roots from Indonesia of course. We have a choice of lunch and we choose a tofu, chicken and vegetable meal plus a chicken and rice meal.
Lunch at Warung Toucha restaurant in Tamanredjo.
We have a short drive through the countryside to arrive at the village of Marienburg. On route again Njoek gives us lots of information about the area, the sugar plantations and the housing style and current vegetation and agriculture. Most houses along the way grow their own vegetables and fruit.
Marienburg is almost like a custom built village just for the sugar cane plantations. In front of the train which once transported sugar on Suriname’s only railway.
We have a quick stop in New Amsterdam and see a war memorial by the river before it’s time for the grand finale – a boat trip back to Paramaribo.
Then, you board a boat back across the Suriname River to Paramaribo.
Boarding the party boat back to Paramaribo!