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Marowijne Home > Places To Go > Marowijne

Marowijne is a district of 4,672 sq. km and its 17,000 inhabitants comprise mainly Marrons, along with Aucaners, Paramacaners and Alukus (also known as Boni). For a century mining was the main industry here. The bauxite that is made into alum earth and then aluminium was the main pillar of the economy.

During the Second World War Suriname produced 60% of the world’s supply. Many planes of the US air force were built with the end product of Surinamese bauxite. Unfortunately, the Billiton company and Suralco (Alcoa) decided to discontinue their activities here.

Marowijne is a district of 4,672 sq. km and its 17,000 inhabitants comprise mainly Marrons, along with Aucaners, Paramacaners and Alukus (also known as Boni). For a century mining was the main industry here. The bauxite that is made into alum earth and then aluminium was the main pillar of the economy.

During the Second World War Suriname produced 60% of the world’s supply. Many planes of the US air force were built with the end product of Surinamese bauxite. Unfortunately, the Billiton company and Suralco (Alcoa) decided to discontinue their activities here.

Moengo, by the Cottica river, was “bauxite town”. Now it is a small community that strives ceaselessly to make the best of what it has. 

The artist Marcel Pinas, a local man who has made a name for himself outside Suriname, created a museum here and from that grew his “art town”. His determination and energy have made this the art capital of our country. As you drive through the district you will see works of art all over the place. From Moengo you can take a variety of trips on the river. On this narrow but deep stretch of water (20m down in places) sit Marron villages which you can visit and get to know their culture. 

The trip on dry land from Moengo to Albina, beside the Marowijne river, takes you through hilly country. You get a magnificent view of the bauxite mines and the vast jungle.

With the abundant flora and fauna, this will have the camera-toting nature lover in ecstasy. 

Back on the main road, Albina comes into view, but before you arrive there’s one last hill from where you can get a stunning view. Albina is on the wide and fast-flowing river which also acts as a border. On the other side is French Guiana and the town of Saint Laurent du Maroni. For centuries there has been lively interaction between the two towns. You can just pop across and pick up some good-value wine and champagne and whatever takes your fancy from France’s famous cuisine. 

Modern Albina was founded in 1846 by August Kappler, a retired military man, who named it after his wife, Alwina. For many years the town has been a popular destination for both  tourists and  residents of Paramaribo. 

The civil war 1986-92 brought trouble and destruction but the town has been rebuilt and tourism is gradually getting back on track. French-Guianese visitors come over the water but usually pass straight through, heading for Paramaribo. People from the interior also often come through on the way to the city, although they may also go by air.

The Marowijne river and its tributaries extend over 400km to the border with Brazil.

A trip south in a canoe on this great river is a unique and breath-taking event, a  five-star adventure. The many sulas (waterfalls and rapids) are natural obstacles which the skilled boatmen handle with almost playful ease. 

If you leave Albina in the other direction you will find a couple of Carib villages: Langaman Kondre and Cornelis Kondre, known collectively as Galibi. This is a lovely place by the sea with beautiful beaches where at high tide you can take a dip in the cool water. It is a peaceful community where the residents rise at dawn. The fishermen, for instance, are already out on the water, casting their nets, often in the mouth of the Manna river.

With a bit of luck, you’ll see a wonderful sunrise. Towards midday they lift the nets again and invariably they will have a boatload of fish. A cool breeze from the north-east soothes everyone as the fishermen quickly take their catch back to the village. They clean their bounty and then, while they take care of the nets, the fish are roasting over a fire. It’s a great aroma! 

During the giant turtles’ laying season during the evening if you watch the beach there is a good chance you will see a turtle digging a hole to lay her eggs in. It is vital that we don’t disturb the process. Happily, these innocent sea creatures are a protected species.

It is a unique experience. 

Back in the villages, the women produce the most beautiful handmade pottery.

Marowijne district, known in these parts as Marwina, is fast becoming a very popular destination. Faith in the future and a modern way of thinking are bringing it to life.

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