Commewijne can be reached by driving over the highest bridge in Suriname, the Jules Albert Wijdenbosch Bridge. The bridge crosses the Suriname River and connects downtown Paramaribo with Commewijne. There are also several small boats that make this short crossing at various points along the river, and for those who prefer a bike ride rather than driving a car, this is a great option.
Commewijne exudes history through its many old locks and many (renovated) plantation houses.
Attractions such as dolphin spotting on the river and boating in the swamps abound. But what you absolutely must have seen is Fort Nieuw Amsterdam, a five-pointed defensive structure located in the eponymous capital of Commewijne. The district borders the Atlantic Ocean to the north, and Nieuw Amsterdam was an important lookout post for early detection of possible warships.
The only walled part of the fort is the former prison, which has since been transformed into an exhibition space. Fort Nieuw Amsterdam is now an open-air museum that will take visitors on a special journey through the history of Suriname. The museum shows what the role of the district was during the colonial period but also during the Second World War.
Although the sunken German ship, the Goslar, lies in the Suriname River and is actually a bit of Paramaribo and a bit of Commewijne, the overturned wreck can still be easily seen from the bridge or during a boat trip. The Goslar is a silent witness to the battle between the Netherlands and Germany in World War II; after the German attack on the Netherlands in 1940, the commanders of the Dutch colonies were ordered to intern all Germans.
However, when the Dutch wanted to apprehend the German crew members of the Goslar, they sank the ship so that it would not fall into the hands of another country.
Many descendants of the Asian contract workers live in Commewijne which brings with it a variety of cultural expressions. Javanese sarongs, Teloh, Gamelan music, Roti, Barras as well as phulawri of the Hindus but also the Jaran Kepang; a traditional dance where practitioners go into a trance and act like strong animals like the tiger. You’ll find it all in Commewijne.
Once in Commewijne, a visit to the Peperpot Nature Park is an absolute must. The forested area of more than 800 hectares is home to an array of exotic animals such as birds, monkeys, tapirs as well as frogs. The park was established to protect and preserve the natural biodiversity and parts of the former plantation as cultural heritage.