If your usual jungle is urban, you will be stunned by the contrast of Suriname, which offers some of the most beautiful natural habitats in the world.
This compact nation nestled on the north-west coast of the South American Caribbean has a population of fewer than 500,000 persons. They are an amalgamation of peoples of European, African, Indian and Far Eastern descent who joined the Amerindians who came to Suriname more than 5,000 years ago.
Most Surinamers live in the strip of land next to the Atlantic coast, half of them in Paramaribo, the capital. The capital has buildings dating from the British and Dutch colonial periods, and cuisine that reflects the backgrounds of the many peoples who brought their cultures to Suriname. The official language is Dutch, but many people speak English.
Venture deeper south from the capital and you will find untouched nature in 16 reserves and parks that include the swamp land leading to the mountainous rainforest. Suriname has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 70F (21C) to 90F (32C) and plenty of rainfall, most of it occurring between December and April.
On a typical morning in the jungle you will be awakened by the sound of the howler monkey calling piercingly from his sleeping perch in the trees, and a dawn chorus drawn from some of the 700 species of birds that thrive here.
You can take a walk in the jungle or be taken by water in a traditional korjaal, with the opportunity to spot some of Suriname`s 400 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
There are spider monkeys, tarantulas, toucans, boa constrictors, frogs, jaguars, macaws, bats and ocelots. In the water you can find alligators, piranhas, and electric eels. There is so much plant life that scientists are still struggling to classify it.
Experience Suriname, and you experience nature in its original splendor - an abundance of plant life and wildlife in a dense, unspoiled Amazonian basin rainforest.