East Timor Discovery – a 14 day Small Group Tour.
East Timor is a proud nation now at peace after many years of an independence struggle, a land of amazing variety with many fine examples of its Portuguese colonial past awaiting discovery by the intrepid traveller.
Still a lesser-visited part of South East Asia, East Timor maintains an authenticity elsewhere eroded by commercialism, a place that allows thoughtful travellers to appreciate its uniqueness without overpackaging its essence. Go now.
On this 14 day tour, we take in the best of East Timor, starting in the relaxed capital Dili, a lovely place to wander around and soak up the East Timorese atmosphere.
We explore delightful old colonial towns and spend time on idyllic Jaco Island.
Heading inland, we climb up the imposing Mt Ramelau, with its superb views over the surrounding area, before heading back to Dili. This trip shows the curious and intrepid traveller the very best that this enchanting and mysterious nation has to offer.
Day 1: Dili
Arrive in Dili. The rest of the time is free for you to relax or explore one of the world’s newest capital cities. Overnight Hotel Timor or similar.
Day 2: Dili
After a relaxing morning, we embark on a tour of the capital city. Dili still sports a few Portuguese reminders like the villa-lined beach roads, the former colonial garrison built in 1627 and the church built on the waterfront. But new shops, restaurants and bars are opening all the time, bringing a new energy and style to this once sleepy city. Overnight Hotel Timor or similar. (B)
Day 3: Aileu - Maubisse – Hato Builico
After breakfast, drive southwards to Dare and Aileu. We continue to Maubisse, where we will visit the Traditional Village of Hatufahe and reach Hato Builico in the afternoon. We then take a moderate hike to Mt Ramelau, where we camp. Enjoy a leisurely evening BBQ in a wonderfully tranquil setting, at the foot of Mount Ramelau (2,963m), the summit of which is our destination for tomorrow. Overnight camping. (BD)
Day 4: Mt Ramelau - Dili
Our climb (moderate trek) starts at 6am to ensure we reach the summit, weather permitting, for the most spectacular of sunrises. We spend time enjoying the magnificent views before starting our journey back down. After our descent we head back to Dili. Overnight Hotel Timor or similar. (B)
Day 5: Atauro Island
We travel by local ferry or water taxi to Atauro, a coral island, 30km across the Wetar strait. During the crossing we hope to see schools of dolphins and pilot whales (it is said locally that sightings occur on nine out of ten 10 crossings). There will be time to snorkel and to see some fine coral and marine life before staying overnight at the island’s eco-resort. (B)
Day 6: Atauro Island
A full day to relax and enjoy the island. Spend your time on the beach or snorkelling among the pristine coral. (B)
Day 7: Dili – Baucau
We return to Dili by local ferry and join our 4WD vehicles to follow the stunning coastal road to Baucau. Depending on our group size we plan to stay at the colonial Pousada de Baucau. Alternatively, we stay at a comfortable and very welcoming local guesthouse. (B)
Day 8: Venilale
We head inland through some wonderful mountain scenery, passing rice paddies on terraced hillsides before reaching Venilale. The town is known for its Portuguese architecture, particularly the ‘Escola do Reino de Venilale’ that we visit. On our return to Baucau, time permitting; we visit the Fatumaca Catholic School (school visits subject to local confirmation). Overnight at either the Pousada de Baucau or a good quality guesthouse. (B)
Day 9: Laga - Lauteem - Lospalos
We continue our tour, first heading east to Lospalos, home of the Fataluku people.We will visit Nunira Traditional Village in Laga and the the ruins of the old Fort in Lauten. Overnight at ADM Guesthouse in Lospalos or similar (B)
Day 10: Lospalos - Tutuala - Jaco Island
After breakfast we travel to Tutuala, and the IIi Kere Kere caves, East Timor’s most important archaeological site. The walk from the road to the caves can be hot and difficult but it is worthwhile to see the fascinating cave paintings, which have been dated at more than 13,000 years. From the cliff top position of Tutuala we have superb views of the uninhabited Jaco Island. Local fisherman will take us the short distance across to the island. Overnight at Pousada Tutuala or similar. (B)
Day 11: Jaco Island
A full day to relax and enjoy the laid back atmosphere and serenity at Jaco Island. Overnight at Pousada Tutuala or similar (B)
Day 12: Jaco Island - Tutuala – Com
Morning departure to Com past traditional Graveyards and Pitileti Rocky Village on the way down to Com where we also visit the Fossilized Lagoon before lunch. After lunch will be a free afternoon to stroll around the village visiting traditional weavers. Overnight at Kati Guesthouse (B)
Day 13: Dili
A morning departure by road to Dili, with a stop en-route at Canossian Training Instituite and Development in Baucau or St Anthony’s Statue on the hill with a view of Manatuto. We have the afternoon in Dili to relax, before you are invited to a typical Timorese dinner at a local Dili restaurant. Your last evening in East Timor will be a memorable one and a fitting end to your adventure. Overnight Hotel Timor or similar. (BD)
Day 14: Departure from Dili
Tour ends. (B)
Dates & Price.
Minimum Group Size
This tour will operate with a minimum of 2 travellers.
Single Supplement £545.
Flights possibilities to Dili will be advised in due course but from London possible routes are either via Singapore, Bali or Darwin. When the flight routes become clear, we will be happy to provide a quotation.
Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?
Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.
For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA
- Arrival and departure transfers
- All accommodation
- Services of an English speaking guide
- Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
- Transport throughout the tour
- Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
- International flights
- Any airport taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature