Suriname is ranked as high-risk country for cervical cancer, but recent national data of HPV prevalence and distribution in cervical cancer is scarce. In a retrospective cross-sectional study, cervical cancer incidence, HPV prevalence and HPV-type-specific distribution were investigated in all cervical cancer cases (n = 111), diagnosed in two consecutive years. HPV presence and type-specific prevalence were determined in paraffin-embedded biopsies utilizing master-nested multiplex PCR assays, targeting 14 HPV types. The age-standardized incidence rate of cervical cancer was 22·4/100 000 women, justifying revision of the current international ranking of Suriname. Eleven HPV types were detected, with the most common types in descending order of frequency: 16, 18, 45, 66, 58/52/35. HPV16 was predominant, although with markedly low presence (25%). HPV16 or 18 infections were detected in 43% of the cases, while 28% were untyped, implicating a divergent HPV-type distribution in Suriname with significant variation in the prevalence of less common high-risk virus types and/or presence of HPV16 variants. HPV-type distribution differed between ethnic groups. A vaccination efficacy of just 28–30% was anticipated, next to an uneven vaccination impact in different ethnic groups, cautioning Suriname and other multi-ethnic countries to tailor the information presented to different ethnic communities.