South west of Paramaribo is the small district of Wanica, with its capital, Lelydorp (formerly known as Kofidjompo but renamed in honour of a famous Dutch architect and former governor of Suriname).
While most people who work in Paramaribo understandably choose to live there, there are those who prefer the more provincial atmosphere of Wanica, and it is within easy travelling distance, just half an hour or so on the highway.
Known for its authentic warungs (informal restaurants serving home-cooked food), you can get a lovely bowl of saoto soup (noodles, egg, vegetables and chicken in a tasty stock – brought to Suriname by Javanese immigrants) or fresh bakabana (fried plantain often accompanied by peanut sauce).
Here you will also find the beautiful Neotropical Butterfly Park. For water-based fun or relaxation, visit the Houttuijn Wellness River Resort, where the country’s abundant wet stuff is put to therapeutic use.
For a cosy stay just outside Paramaribo, there is Waterland Marina and Resort, which is close to White Beach, where a safe swimming area has been created along the river and imported white sand adds to the beach ambience.
In this area you will find a large part of the population are Hindustani, descended from workers who came here from India. To sample some Indo-Surinamese culture, try Weg naar Zee.