East Timor Discovery

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.


Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


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.

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)

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)

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)

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)

A full day to relax and enjoy the island. Spend your time on the beach or snorkelling among the pristine coral. (B)

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)

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)

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)

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)

A full day to relax and enjoy the laid back atmosphere and serenity at Jaco Island. Overnight at Pousada Tutuala or similar (B)

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)

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)

Tour ends. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

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.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • 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

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips
  • Visas
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature

I loved Cambodia! Thank you to all involed in making this such a special trip. The group were all great and we are all keeping in touch.


Linda Heart, UK