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East Timor, locally known as Timor-Leste, is an island nation in Southeast Asia. The country occupies half the island of Timor and is famed for its coral reefs teeming with aquatic life. East Timor is a popular destination for snorkelling, whale watching, and scuba diving. The country offers an array of natural features and boasts diverse picturesque landscapes. The Nino Konis Santana National Park here is home to Neolithic cave paintings and a few indigenous villages. Other top natural wonders in the country are Mainina Ponor, Mare Naun Nura Spring, Mount Ramelau, Marobo hot water spring, Noi Noi Kuru Cave, Mota Bandeira Falls, and Oesilo mud volcanoes. Areia Branca and Dollar Beach are the top beaches in East Timor. Formerly under Portuguese and Indoneasian rule, East Timor has a tumultuous history. The country’s colonial heritage is reflected in the architecture and culture, which is an interesting blend of local, Portuguese, and Indonesian. East Timor hosts the annual Tour de Timor, which has earned the reputation of being the world's most arduous bike races.
Popular Destinations in East Timor

Dili

Capital of East-Timor, Dili is located on the country's northern coast. The city is lined with landmarks which are testament to East Timor’s struggles for independence from Portugal and Indonesia. The iconic Cristo Rei de Dili statue is emblematic of the city. The statue, similar to the one in Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro, is the perfect example of Portuguese heritage. The 27-meter statue is situated on a hilltop offering sweeping views of the surrounding bay. While here, visitors can head to the Xanana Reading Room, which is a cultural center, museum, and library. The Reading Room houses many exhibits dedicated to former president and resistance leader, Xanana Gusmao. To learn more about East Timor’s history, visitors can explore the Timorese Resistance Museum which showcases exhibits on the multiple conflicts and the Chega! Exhibition. Dili’s waterfront strip is lined with beachside bars and anchored by the stately Palacio do Governo building. The capital is connected by ferries to the mountainous Atauro Island.

Atauro Island

A small island 25 km north of Dili, Atauro Island is located between Indonesian islands Wetar and Alor. Also known as Kambing Island, the island has a laid-back and friendly vibe. Atauro Island is a haven for birdwatchers and has been identified by BirdLife International. The island is home to a range of bird species such as black cuckoo-doves, bar-necked cuckoo-doves, Timor green pigeons, olive-headed lorikeets, pink-headed imperial pigeons, fawn-breasted whistlers, and plain gerygones. According to recent research, the island has the highest diversity of coral species and reef fish in the world. Atauro Island offers world class snorkelling and diving on its fantastic reefs. The island is home to secluded beaches and is the ideal destination for those who prefer remote beaches where they can relax, sunbathe, and swim in peace.

Baucau

Baucau is the second-largest city in East Timor. The city is the capital of the Baucau Municipality and lies 122 kms east of the capital, Dili. The charming old town is lined with several colonial buildings. During the Portuguese era, Baucau was an overgrown village which was also known as Vila Salazar, after the Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. Home to St. Anthony Cathedral, Baucau serves as the seat of Roman Catholic Diocese of Baucau. Baucau’s major landmarks are an old swimming pool which is fed from a clear natural spring and the vibrant pink Pousada de Baucau which overlooks the town centre. Lined with huge banyan trees, Baucau offers a wide range of accommodation choices and restaurants.

Best Time to Visit East Timor
The best time to take East Timor flights is from April to July when the weather is warm. For those who wish to avoid crowds and get economical flights, late-September to January is the ideal time to take cheap flights to East Timor.
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