Formerly a Dutch colony, Suriname, is in the north of South America and is bordered by Guyana, Brazil and French Guiana, with a North Atlantic coastline to the north. It’s South America’s smallest independent nation, with a mainly coastal population. Dutch remains the official language.

With a tropical climate, Suriname is a land of rolling hills, a narrow coastal plain, mangrove swamps and rain forest. You’ll find an incredible diversity of flora and fauna in excellent condition here.

Nearly a third of the country is given over to nature reserves, and the Amazon rain forest covers much of the nation’s surface area. The country also offers a great chance to watch the breeding process of leatherback sea turtles, which you can do from the beaches of Albina and Galibi, or maybe one of the remoter beaches, accessible by helicopter.

Suriname is also a great place to travel through mangrove forests and go dolphin watching. You may also glimpse monkeys, jaguars and reptiles!

Although it’s still relatively undeveloped and little visited, travel in Suriname is gathering pace. The 1.3m hectare Central Suriname Nature Reserve is highly popular, and here you can visit the spectacular Raleigh Waterfalls. A great place to swim is Cola Creek, a park around 50km from the capital Paramaribo, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Meanwhile, Brownsberg Nature Park houses one of the world’s biggest man-made lakes, the Brokopondo Reservoir. Deep in the rainforest, and on riverbanks, are Amerindian and Maroon villages.

Finally, there are plantations offering a glimpseinto colonial times.