Suriname, the self-proclaimed ‘beating heart of the Amazon,’ is just that: a warm, dense convergence of rivers that thumps with the lively rhythm of ethnic diversity. From Paramaribo, the country’s effervescent Dutch-colonial capital, to the fathomless jungles of the interior, smiling descendants of escaped African slaves, Dutch and British colonialists, Indian, Indonesian and Chinese indentured laborers and Amerindians offer a genuine welcome to their tiny country. You get the best of both worlds here: a city that’s chock-full of restaurants, shopping venues and night spots and an untamed jungle utterly away from the things of man. It’s not easy to get around this river-heavy, forest-dense country and the mix of languages can make it hard to communicate, sometimes even for Dutch speakers. Don’t forget that a meeting of culinary traditions means the food here is as spicy and lush as the country itself.