Fifteen years after their independence, Timor-Leste maintains the flavour of a destination not yet discovered by international tourism, offering unparalleled opportunities for the adventurous and curious traveller. You can begin your exploration by learning about the country’s chaotic history in the capital, Dili, visiting museums and finding evidence of the international influence in the architecture. Appreciate the colonial Portuguese heritage buildings in the cities, the colourful churches and houses along the roads, and pass by longhouses and sacred sites symbolic of the strong tribal culture.
Abundant biodiversity can be felt and seen both on land and at sea, but watch out for the crocodiles that populate the south coast. Majestic mountains characterise the landscape, and a myriad of winding trails make Timor-Leste a great destination for advanced bikers and hikers. Drive along coffee crops and enjoy a coffee at a typical pousada. The panoramic road on the way to Mount Ramelau is a beautiful drive, while you could also visit the historic hill town of Maubisse, where the Portuguese presence can still be seen. The scenery continues along the coast where white-sanded beaches are the gateway to remarkable diving sites.
Head to Atauro for whale-watching where you may also cross some pods of dolphins. Here you can also dive with hammer sharks and discover colourful critters amongst the untouched reefs. Areia Branca is the beach to go to if you fancy a drink or a nice meal, but it may be crowded over the weekends. For an exclusive yet rustic experience, head to Jaco Island where you will be entertained by the beautiful reef and enjoy the laid-back island lifestyle.
Indonesia Holiday Ideas:
Hidden Gems of Java and Bali
A fresh perspective on the magical islands of Java and Bali. Discover volcanoes, remote beaches and exotic culture.
Explore Java's scenery, temples and a tropical island whilst staying in some of Indonesia's very best accommodation.
Essential Bali and Lombok
Combine the cultural and natural wonders of Bali with the idyllic white-sand beaches of Lombok.
Journey East Across Java & Bali
Travel overland through Java to Bali taking in the contrasting cultures and scenery of the exotic neighbouring islands.