The first ground-based remote sensing measurements of the column averaged volume mixing ratio of CO2 (XCO2) in tropical South America have been obtained at Paramaribo, Suriname (5.8 N, 55.2 W). The remote sensing observations are complemented by surface air-samples collected at the site, analyzed for CO2 and 13CO2. The surface in-situ measurements are strongly influenced by local sources. From the isotopic composition of the air samples the local source component is suggested to be dominated by the terrestrial biosphere. Using 13C from the NOAA/ESRL stations Ascension Is. (ASC), 7.9 S, 14.4W, and Ragged Point (RPB), 13.2 N, 59.4W, the data has been corrected for the local source component. Due to the migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) over the measurement site the sampled air masses belong to the Northern or Southern Hemisphere depending on the time of the year. Comparison to analyzed CO2 fields based on TM3 model simulations using optimized fluxes indicate agreement for the seasonality in XCO2 as well as for the corrected CO2 mixing ratios at the surface for the long dry season, when Paramaribo belongs to the Southern Hemisphere. A slightly worse agreement during the short dry season is attributed to a larger representation error during this time of the year. Overall the comparison indicates that the TM3 model is capable to simulate the seasonal variation of surface concentrations as well as column densities of CO2 correctly at Paramaribo. It has been also shown that the column measurements currently performed at Paramaribo have a limited precision and lack the link to the in situ measurements. Solutions for future improvements have been suggested.