It was a cloudy day driving to Peperpot Nature Park in Commewijne. I was thinking that they should definitely be open on a Wednesday morning. We tried calling the office first (before venturing out on another 15 minute drive), but once again, no one picked up. Still, we took the chance that maybe they are open this time.
We reached the entrance to Peperpot Nature Park and no one was in the ticketing office. We even circled around the building, but there’s nobody. We almost gave up when we met a bunch of hikers and bikers coming out of the forest trail. We asked them how they get in, they said that they just went inside the park and checked the site on their own.
One of the hikers told us that the trail going to the old plantage (plantation) is around 3 to 4 km. There, you can see different kinds of birds and other animals along the way. If you want a nice walk and enjoy bird watching or feel the nature around you then it’s the place to be…
You could drive around the Weg Naar Peperpot road and go directly to the plantation without walking for hours. And that’s what we did. It was a 6 to 8-minute drive because of the bumpy road.
Plantage Peperpot is one of the oldest coffee and cocoa plantations in Suriname. It also has a rich history about slavery. In 1863, when slavery was abolished, they started hiring contract workers such as Chinese, Javanese, Hindus and Creoles. Some workers were promised land after their contract, at present you can see lots of Javanese living in the area.
The Director’s House and the old coffee shops were renovated throughout the years. We were not able to look inside the Director’s House because it was closed. On their website, it was stated that you can actually stay overnight in the place with a maximum of 8 people for 27 euro per night.
The dryer was totally deserted. The only thing maintained in the place is the grass field, thanks to the tribe of goats that visit the area once in awhile.
These are some of the original pieces of machineries left since the plantation opened around 1651-1660.
The old factory was also neglected. Some parts of the building sounded like it was gonna fall apart from the wind. I think these are all the remaining historical structures that you can see in Peperpot.
One of the locals told us that the Peperpot Nature Park is currently out of order due to lack of staff. It was such a loss since we met a lot of tourists on the way, I mean a lot.
If you are an avid fan of history, this could have been a perfect place for learning more about the plantation and its backstory. The main office is filled with reading materials and pictures about Peperpot.
Location: Nieuw Meerzorg, Commewijne, Suriname.
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