East Timor — Transportation
East Timor Taxis and Car Rental
Taxis are the best form of transportation within and around the main city in East Timor, especially if it’s your first time visiting. Most drivers are willing to take you to far off coastal areas and attractions as long as you’re willing to pay extra.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous trip and don’t mind driving in rough conditions, renting a car is an option. The lack of road signs may take you off the beaten path, but the scenery and hidden marvels of the small towns will more than make up for getting lost. Renting a four-wheel drive vehicle for off-road excursions is affordable, but make sure to always carry a valid driver’s license or permit issued in East Timor or from your home country. A speed limit of 25 mph (40 kph) is imposed within Dili, though open roads allow you to go to 37 mph (60 kph). Rentlo Car Hire (+670-741-6982) is the rental provider in East Timor, specializing in recreational vehicles and passenger cars.
East Timor Water Taxis
In the past, Dili served as a main port for Pelni ships from Indonesia. However, this is no longer the case, and ferries are now only used to get to and from Atauro Island and the Oecussi Enclave. Jaco Island can also be reached by boat from Dili.
East Timor Trains and Buses
Land travel between towns and cities, as well as the main border to West Timor is mainly done by bus as there isn’t any established rail system in the country. Cross-border buses offer direct services between Kupang (West Timor) and Dili. The Kupang-Dili route takes 12 hours and many minibus companies offer group or individual tickets. Check out Leste Oeste Travel, Timor Travel and Paradise Travel for prices and schedules.
Non-direct buses also operate from Dili to Atambua. The lines that run to the Batugade and Mota’ain border are cheap and the journey typically only takes three hours. You’ll find buses that leave for Baucau from Rua Quinze de Outubro, near the roundabout in the municipal market.
Mikrolets are also a popular form of transportation from Dili to other parts of East Timor. These are vans that have been converted into shared passenger vehicles. They travel to Becora, Comoro, nearby suburbs, and beyond. Fares are cheaper than either bus or taxi.