Timor Leste is an exciting new tourism destination and now is a special time to visit. Timorese with beautiful smiles will welcome you to their country and all it has to offer. This tiny nation after its recent turbulent past has become a peaceful democracy.
Timorese are justly proud of both gaining independence as a country and their cultural heritage, a fascinating blend of traditional Timorese, Portuguese, Chinese and Indonesian influences, which they are keen to share. You will arrive in Dili a modern city rapidly developing with accommodation, shopping and other amenities. In contrast most Timorese in the surrounding districts live in a small towns and traditional villages and have retained a simple, subsistence fishing and farming lifestyle.
Timor Leste richly rewards those who visit. Its rugged landscape offers jagged mountain ranges, dense forests, green cultivated valleys and raging rivers. Roads can reach isolated villages with their distinctive thatched houses and walking tracks. On a clear day from mount Ramelau, the nation’s highest peak, you can see range upon range of hills stretching into the distance.
Timor Leste has caves, waterfalls and hot springs. White sand beaches, most of which are almost deserted, can be found on the northern coast and Atauro Island. These offer wonderful swimming, snorkeling and diving. Natural beauty is everywhere you look. Jaco Island on the western tip with crystal clear turquoise waters is nothing less than a tropical paradise.
Off-shore you’ll discover Timor Leste’s greatest treasure-pristine reefs which are among the most ecologically diverse on the planet plus whale and dolphin viewing in the Wetar Strait. That said you don’t have to stray far from Dili to get views that will make you pull up a chair on a local beach and reach for your camera. Enjoy the sunset.
Timor Leste has a strong, unique cultural heritage reflecting many influences: traditional beliefs inherited from ancient times; being a former Portuguese colony; the impact of WW2, the more recent Indonesian invasion and Timorese resistance; the role of the Catholic Church; and, the effect other minority groups such us the Chinese traders. There is much of interest for those visiting this very special country.