10 reasons why you should travel to Timor-Leste right now

Kamran Abbasov18 October 20203776 views8 min. read
10 reasons why you should travel to Timor-Leste right now
Timor-Leste. Also known as East Timor, Timor Leste is a place full of natural treats. Travelling to East Timor will not only make you feel cool among friends but also relax spectacularly. I know that you now wonder, where is Timor-Leste? It occupies almost half of the island of Timor in Southeast Asia. The only country bordering East Timor is Indonesia, which owns another half of Timor Island. The Banda Sea borders Timor-Leste to the north and northeast, while the Timor Sea washes the shores of the country on its south and east ends.  The Timor-Leste population is about 1.3 million. More than 60% of its population lives in rural areas. When you go there and witness its natural beauties, you will understand their choice fully. Its citizens use Timor-Leste official languages Tetun, in every aspect of their lives. Tetun (Tetum) is an Austronesian language. Alongside the Timor-Leste population, some people in neighbouring Indonesia also speak Timor-Leste official languages Tetun. How to travel to Timor Leste? The best and cheapest way is via airplane. You can fly from Bali or Singapore to Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. The best time to travel to Timor Leste is through April and July. It is when you will get the best weather to enjoy all kinds of water activities. In this blog, you will read about 10 reasons why you should travel to Timor-Leste, as well as Timor Leste safety to travel.  

1. Amazing diving experience

diving experience Most places in Southeast Asia and Australia are already over-dived. So, if you are looking for diving spots that are explored by a few people, you need to visit East Timor without hesitation. During your 40-minute dive, you will see harmless whale sharks (don’t worry, they are very friendly), tuna, barracuda, and other different sorts of fish. The diving spots of the country is located within the famous coral triangle, making the waters surrounding Timor-Leste rich with diverse sea species. You will dive in the least explored waters with professional guides, who will make sure that your experience is within the most cautious safety arrangements. You may choose to dive close to the shores of Dili, or you can opt for boat diving. 

2. Snorkelling, unforgettable experience

snorkelling Another must-do activity that will give you an unforgettable experience is snorkelling. Whether you are a first-time or veteran snorkeler, you will get the best relaxing snorkelling experience of your life in these warm tropical waters. There are excellent places in close proximity to Dili, where you will only need to swim a bit from the beach to witness the awesome underwater dance of fish. The blue water around is so rich that you can find a great variety of coral and fish species. In the Coral Triangle, located at the southwestern corner of the country, you will see more than 2500 various fish and coral reef species.   

3. Beautiful beaches

beautiful beach in timor-leste Are you looking for pristine beaches? Then what are you waiting for? Just pack your bag and travel to Timor-Leste. Your photographs from Timor-Leste’s stunning beaches will decorate your social media accounts. As I said, the best time to travel to Timor Leste is from April till the end of July, when the weather is excellently hot for getting a tan lying on the beach and swimming in a satisfyingly warm sea. Very picturesque sunrise and sunset at the beaches will definitely brighten your days in Timor-Leste. Famous tropical beaches include Hera Beach, a beach near Baucau, as well as Atauro Island. Those beaches are also well endowed with amazing accommodation options, restaurants, and cafes. 

4. Atauro Island, favourite place in Timor-Leste

atauro island Atauro Island will, by far, be your most favourite place in Timor-Leste. How to travel to Timor Leste Atauro Island? The island is located across the Wetar Strait from the capital, Dili. It is an amazing place for those who love eco-tourism and low-impact tours. It is full of comfy and affordable restaurants and accommodation. Atauro Island will amaze you with its idyllic beaches, rugged mountains, and pristine forests. As per the visitors’ feedback, Atauro is the best place in Timor-Leste for diving, snorkelling, swimming, enjoying the scenic beach, and trekking. Together with Jaco Island, Atauro is the paradise for snorkelers. Atauro reefs are happy hunting grounds for diverse marine life. You may also enjoy fishing, whale, and dolphin watching. There are hidden caves, amazing cliffs, and springs to explore on the island. 

5. Best Bird watching Spot

bird watching Fans of nature and wildlife should not miss the opportunity of going to Timor-Leste. While trying to get thrilling captures of different birds with a camera, you will feel like a photographer of National Geographic. The bird species in Timor Leste have a geographic mixture of Asian and Australian features. There are more than 230 bird species in the country; 23 out of them are endemic and can be found nowhere else in the world. Unique and endangered bird species on the island include Timor green pigeon, the salty cuckoo-dove, and Timor imperial pigeon. Various types of birds in the area are a sign of rich natural habitats and the environment in Timor Leste.  

6. Instagrammable Jaco Island

jaco island Who would not love to see a pristine unclaimed land?! Jaco (also spelt as Jako) is an uninhabited island, which you would call a paradise. It is located just across East Timor’s Valu Beach, so you can basically go there by swimming (if you are fit enough). It has crystal clear water, which will make your swimming experience unforgettable. Local people consider Jaco Island as a sacred place. The main tourist activities around the island are swimming, diving, and snorkelling. With regard to accommodation, you can stay at guesthouses at Valu Beach while enjoying an amazing view of Jaco Island. You can also have reputable professional guides to visit inside of the island.  

7. Beautiful arts and crafts

beautiful crafts The Timor Leste population is very talented when it comes to creating and making various handicrafts. The most famous hand-made items from East Timor are tais, which are traditional fabrics. Local people produce tais in different designs and colours, and a lot of collectors are looking for buying this type of local beauties. You will also find various jewellery, intricately made bags, woven baskets, beautiful paintings, wood carvings, as well as musical instruments. You will find craftsmen’s shops and markets in the capital and other villages of the country. While strolling through the streets in Dili, seeing these handicraft shops and stalls will help you understand local traditions and culture better.

8. Nino Konis Santana National Park

dili Timor Leste’s government announced the opening of its first national park, Nino Konis Santana National Park, in 2007. Covering approximately 1,236 square kilometres, the national park is situated on the eastern tip of East Timor. It includes not only nature on land but also the waters offshore. Apart from protecting nature, the park also includes cultural and sacred sites, such as ancient rock and limestone caverns. Nino Konis Santana National Park encompasses mountains, coral reefs, Jaco Island, a part of the famous Coral Triangle, beautiful Lake Ira Lalaro, etc. 

9. Various events and festivals

amazing festival Where is Timor Leste? It was a place ruled by the first Spaniards and then Indonesians. But since 2002, it is an independent country neighbouring Indonesia. There are various events and festivals in the country, with the latest adopted one commemorating its independence. Main Timor Leste festivals include Easter (Pascha), Independence day on May 20 and November 28, Timor-Leste Coffee Festival, Tatamailau pilgrimage, and Dili International Film Festival.

10. Excellent Hiking trails

backpacker This paradise-like country is renowned not only for its beaches and water activities but also for its nature and hiking trails. The pictures while you will take exploring the country will carve this amazing country in your memory forever. Timor-Leste offers various options, such as mountain hikes, multi-day village trips, coastal hikes, as well as mountain biking. One of the excellent hiking tracks is the one to Tatamailau, the highest mountain with a height of 2,963 meters in the country. The summit is a very sacred and culturally important place for the East Timorese since there is a three-meter tall statue of the Virgin Mary. It is a very cool place to get a photograph for yourself. Other famous hiking trails include Matebian mountains, Horta Loop, etc.   

Timor Leste safety for travel

timor-leste sunset In general, it is safe to visit Timor-Leste, but you should still be very careful. There can be political tensions in the country. Violent gang-related attacks, robbery, and petty crime can still happen in Dili and other regions. Poor road conditions reduce the safety of tourists who are driving. Solo female travellers can be a target of verbal and sexual abuse.

A quick recap

Timor-Leste, this paradise-like off the beaten track country, will give you unforgettable sweet memories. When you visit Timor-Leste, don’t forget to take a camera because you don’t want to miss the beauties surrounding the country. In this article, I have written about the Timor-Leste population, Timor-Leste official languages Tetun, and Timor Leste safety to travel. Where is Timor-Leste? What is the best time to travel to Timor Leste? How to travel to Timor Leste? – these are the questions I have tried to answer. Ten reasons why you should visit East Timor are the following: amazing diving experience, snorkelling, beautiful beaches, Atauro Island, Birding, Jaco Island, arts and crafts, Nino Konis Santana National Park, various events and festivals, and hiking trails.

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