East Timor — Things to Do
Things to do in East Timor usually involve the outdoors. At 2,986 m, Mount Ramelau attracts recreational climbers. Around the mountain are challenging treks and bike trails. Nino Konis National Park is also worth visiting. This eco park can be found in the east of the country and is a one-stop shop for bird-watching, trekking, diving and pre-historic archeological sites.
From the depths off the coast of Tibar to the islands of Atauro and Jaco, East Timor is known for its fabulous dive sites, especially and the ever-popular Dili Rock. Marvel at the beauty of the region’s marine life or laze around the breathtaking Areia Branca Beach or the sunny Cape Fatucama. Other sites to check out are East from Dili, Dili and West, and Lospalos.
The longest running dive operator in the center in the country is FreeFlow Diving. It is also the first PADI resort in East Timor, teaching and training beginners and professionals. It is one of two major dive companies, the other being Dive Timor-Lorosae, which specializes in boat charters, whale watching, diving, and fishing tours.
Sightseeing and adventure packages around East Timor are available through Grand Touring, an established travel company offering one- to five-day tours. Hiking to the top of Ramelau or climbing the equally breathtaking Mount Matebian is one of the itinerary highlights. Those who want a more relaxed day can join a coffee tour of the beautifully landscaped coffee growing fields. The town of Aileu is also worth checking out for its historic buildings, including the church and the iconic Falintil training camp.
Eco Discovery offers some of the best tour packages around the country, ranging from guided tours of the capital city of Dili to trekking expeditions, safaris, bird watching, and scenic drives to some of the most remote locations in the region. Those looking for culture can gain insight into the history and local customs of the Timorese via Timor Sparrow Force Tours.
Timor Leste is home to one of the most arduous bike races in the world (Tour de Timor), but for non-athletes, there are many scenic and relaxing cycling trails to discover too, especially around the rugged Oecussi. However, beginners should beware of the steep and often tricky, mostly unpaved bike paths. Compass Charters & Ocean Adventures offers adventure packages that including mountain biking and guide-led dives.
Week-long trips around Timor-Leste are best organized by Intrepid, who specializes in sightseeing and shopping tours around the markets of Dili, cross-island trips and even historic tours of Venilale’s war hideouts. Volunteer projects are continuously underway around the country, and visitors are more than welcome to participate in enriching and rewarding community building.