- The Online Guide to Travel Visiting East Timor - A Journey Beyond the Tourist Trail

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Manatuto, East Timor
Manatuto, East Timor by Trevar Skillicorn-Chilver on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Oceania - East Timor Travel Notes.

East Timor

Flag of Independent East Timor

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East Timor Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Escape the crowds and discover the captivating landscapes, rich culture, and resilient spirit of East Timor, a South-east Asian gem waiting to be explored.

About East Timor

A former Portuguese colony, East Timor's attractions and activities for tourists include hiking Mt. Ramelau, and exploring the historic city of Dili.

Travel Map Mapping East Timor

Map of Timor-Leste

Map of East Timor

Dili is the capital city of Timor Loro Sa'e (Timor-Leste).

East Timor Overview

East Timor, officially known as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is a small country located in Southeast Asia.

It shares its borders with Indonesia to the west and north and the Timor Sea to the east.

Cultural Heritage

The rich cultural heritage of East Timor has an interesting blend of Portuguese, Indonesian, and indigenous influences.

The country has a strong tradition of music, dance, and storytelling, and its festivals and celebrations are colourful and vibrant.


The economy of East Timor is primarily based on agriculture, with coffee and rice being the main crops.

Oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea are also an important source of revenue for the country.

The government has taken steps to diversify the economy and promote private sector development, but progress has been slow due to limited resources and a lack of skilled labor.


The country has a population of around 1.3 million people, and its official languages are Tetum and Portuguese.


East Timor has a rich history, having been colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later occupied by Indonesia in 1975.

East Timor gained nationhood on 20th May, 2002; as the United Nations flag was lowered and replaced with the flag of an independent East Timor.

Since its independence from Indonesia, after a long struggle that was marked by violence and bloodshed, East Timor has made significant progress towards stability and development, but it still faces many challenges, including poverty, high unemployment, and limited infrastructure.

Visiting East Timor

Visitors to East Timor will find it's both a recovering war zone and a beautiful country.

Despite the destruction, this former Portuguese territory has some fine beaches, colonial towns, rugged mountains and a lush interior.

Old Portuguese forts dot the countryside and former colonial hill stations provide a cooling break from the heat of the coast.

There are several attractions in East Timor that are worth visiting.

When planning your visit to East Timor, it's important to keep in mind that the country is still developing its tourism industry, and infrastructure may not be as well-developed as in other South-east Asian countries.

However, the natural beauty and rich culture of the country make it well worth a visit.

Atauro Island

This small island is located north of Dili and is known for its stunning beaches, clear waters, and diverse marine life.

It's a popular spot for diving and snorkeling.


The second-largest city in East Timor, Baucau, is known for its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and natural attractions.

It's a great place to explore the local culture and traditions.

Cristo Rei

This statue of Christ overlooks the capital city of Dili and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

It's one of the most iconic landmarks in East Timor.

Cultural Experiences

Immerse yourself in Timor-Leste's diverse culture by attending traditional ceremonies, exploring local markets, and sampling authentic Timorese cuisine.

Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties such as ikan sabuko (grilled fish), batar daan (corn porridge), and Timorese coffee.

Experience Timor-Leste's vibrant cultural scene by attending festivals and events that celebrate music, dance, and traditional customs.

The Timor-Leste Carnival, the Baucau Cultural Festival, and the Celebrations of the Restoration of Independence are just a few examples of annual events worth experiencing.

Historical and Cultural Sites

Discover Timor-Leste's rich history and cultural heritage by visiting ancient sites such as the Lautém Fort, the Balibo Fort, and the ruins of the Portuguese colonial-era town of Lifau.

These sites provide insight into the country's colonial past and indigenous traditions.

Jaco Island

Surrounded by crystal-clear waters and coral reefs, this uninhabited island is located off the eastern coast of East Timor and is a popular destination for snorkeling and diving.

Jungle Adventures and Breathtaking Landscapes

Inland, East Timor's rugged terrain is a playground for adventure seekers.

Explore the dense rainforests and rugged mountains of the interior, home to an array of exotic wildlife and bird species.

Hike to the summit of Mount Ramelau, the highest peak in East Timor, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the island and a sense of awe-inspiring accomplishment.

The lush landscapes and cascading waterfalls of East Timor offer a glimpse into nature's untouched beauty.


Located in the eastern part of East Timor, Lospalos is known for its beautiful beaches, traditional villages, and historical sites.

It's a great place to experience the local way of life.

Tais Market

Located in Dili, this market is a great place to buy traditional Timorese textiles, crafts, and souvenirs.

It's also a great place to sample local food and drink.

Air North:
Flights to Dili from Darwin, Australia.

Timor Aid

Tulun Rai Timor (Timor Aid), is a registered East Timorese non-profit charitable and non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1998 by East Timorese and long-term East Timor supporters who worked closely with Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta.

Dili - Capital of East Timor

Map of Dili

Map of Dili

Start your journey in the capital city of Dili, where you can visit historical sites such as the Cristo Rei of Dili statue, the Resistance Museum, and the Santa Cruz Cemetery; which holds significant historical importance from the struggle for independence.

Central Maritime Hotel - Dili Harbour

Originally a cruise liner, the Central Maritime Hotel at Dili Harbour was refurbished and transformed into a 110-room deluxe hotel.

Dili Beach Hotel

With its beachfront location on Embassy road, the hotel is popular with locals and tourists alike. If you're looking for information about Timor Leste expat locals are willing to share their tips. Internet access.

Timor Lodge.

Three-star hotel on Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato, west of Dili's Timor Plaza. Opened in 2000, the hotel features one of the biggest swimming pools in Dili.

Hotels in Dili.

East Timor Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Timor-Leste (East Timor) (Travel Guide) Lonely Planet East Timor Phrasebook and Dictionary

East Timor Travel Guides - Indonesia Maps.

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