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Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A passport and visa are required for travel to Suriname. There is a $45 processing fee for business and tourist visas. A business visa requires a letter from the sponsoring company. There is an airport departure charge of $10 and a terminal fee of $5 per person. For further information travelers can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Suriname, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 460, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-7488 or the Consulate in Miami.
Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: There is insufficient police authority in the interior of Suriname to offer assistance in an emergency. Travelers to remote areas of the interior should be aware that they may encounter difficulties due to lack of government authority and inadequate medical facilities. The ability of the U.S. Embassy to assist in an emergency situation may be hampered by limited transportation and communications.
Medical Facilities: Medical care is limited and does not meet U.S. standards. Americans visiting Suriname who are injured or become ill during their visit will not be admitted to the only hospital with emergency and intensive care facilities unless they pay an advance deposit equal to ten days stay (payable only in U.S. dollars) or provide proof of adequate insurance coverage in a form acceptable to the hospital. Daily room charges currently range from $340 to $715 U.S. Comparable fees are imposed by all other hospitals in Suriname. Some health insurance policies limit or exclude reimbursement for medical expenses incurred outside of the U.S. Travelers can consult their health insurance company for information about reimbursement for medical expenses incurred outside the U.S. In some cases, supplementary medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including provision for medical evacuation, has proved useful. For additional health information, travelers can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline at 1-888-232-3228, or their autofax service at 1-888- 232-3299 or via the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov/.
Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: As in any capital city, burglary, armed robbery and violent crime exist in Paramaribo and in some outlying areas. Police protection in the interior is inadequate. Visitors may wish to exercise caution when traveling to the interior and secure their belongings while staying in Paramaribo. Visitors may find it useful to make photocopies of their important documents such as passport, drivers license and credit cards, and leave the originals in a safe place when they are not in use.
The loss or theft of a U.S. passport overseas should be reported to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens should be aware that birth certificates and/or drivers licenses generally cannot be replaced outside of the U.S. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, 3A Safe Trip Abroad2 which provides useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad. Both this pamphlet and 3Tips for Travelers to the Central and South America2 are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
Traffic Safety/Road Conditions: In Suriname traffic moves on the left. The roads are paved. Within city limits the roads are good. Roads in the interior are poorly maintained and often impassable. There is an increasing number of vehicles on the roads, so drivers have to reduce speed for safety.
Civil Aviation Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Suriname's civil aviation authority as Category 3 -- not in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Suriname's air carrier operations. Flights to the U.S. by Suriname's air carriers are not permitted unless they arrange to have the flights conducted by a carrier from a country meeting international aviation safety standards. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873 or visit the FAA Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.htm. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) does not permit its personnel to use air carriers from Category 3 countries for official business. Information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the Pentagon at (703) 697-7288.
Other Information: Travelers to Suriname may experience disruptions in travel plans because of the unreliability of scheduled airline service to and from that country. There is no non-stop air service between the U.S. and Suriname. Suriname Airways (SLM) provides connecting service with Antillean Airlines (ALM) through intermediate Caribbean points. Limited flight schedules and ongoing technical problems commonly result in delays. Additionally, transportation to the interior is unreliable. Interior flights are often delayed, sometimes for days, because of mechanical difficulties, fuel shortages, and runway conditions. Dutch is the official language of Suriname; however, English is widely used, and most tourist arrangements can be made in English.
Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Criminal penalties for possession, use and dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and fines.
Embassy Location/Registration: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy, located at Dr. Sophie Redmondstraat 129 in Paramaribo, telephone 011 (597) 477-881 and obtain updated information on travel and security in Suriname. Routine hours of operation for American Citizen Services and inquiries are Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00 am-10:00 am. U.S. citizens requiring emergency assistance outside these hours can contact the U.S. Embassy by telephone (during normal weekdays) at 011 (597) 477- 881 or evenings/weekends/holidays at 011 (597) 080-7657. This Embassy is also responsible for U.S. interests in French Guiana.
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