Gain a True Understanding of the Island
Beaches, Mountains, & Rainforests
Culture & History
An In-Depth Exploration of Timor Island’s History, Landscapes, & Culture
This Timor tour is two weeks of adventure, whether that’s spending time with the traditional communities of West Timor’s mountains, exploring the wildlife and white sand of Jaco Island, or hiking up to sites that were key to the resistance movement during the Indonesian Occupation. Your local guide will act as a translator and get you access to isolated communities in order to provide an authentic experience on this unspoiled island.
Learn about the culture and history through traditional art, land cultivation, & historic buildings such as the Prisão do Ai Pelo
Visit Jaco Island and its famous beaches
Visit the highlands and valleys and learn about rural life and coffee production
Hike up and see the sunrise from the summit of Mt Ramelau
Explore caves, markets, traditional communities, and villages in West Timor
Visit both sides of the island and understand their complex relationship
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US $2,500 Per PAX+ tax
The minimum required to run the tours – 3 Pax
A hotel in Dili (the name will be confirmed before arrival)
Every day from April to October (dry season)
Minimum 3 people – maximum 10
- 14-day tour & transfers (fully guided)
- 4WD vehicle
- Vehicle backup service
- English speaking tour guide
- Local guides
- All entrance fees
- All meals
- 13 nights accommodation
- Personal and miscellaneous spending
- Travel insurance
What to bring
- Lighter clothing for the day and warmer options at night
- A hat to protect you from the sun
- Waterproof jacket and/or trousers
- Comfortable walking shoes/boots
- Cash is recommended as ATM machines don’t always work
- Credit/debit cards are not widely accepted
- The local currency in East Timor is the US dollar and in West Timor, the Indonesian rupiah
About your guide
1 x tour leader
1 x local guide & driver
Good to know
- There will be basic sanitation at guesthouses, cold mandi showers, and occasions when guests will need to use a bush toilet
- We advise guests to carry sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and antiseptic gel/wipes
- Always have sufficient drinking water at all times as dehydration is a risk in the tropics
- Be sure to carry small change 50c – $1 coins, US $5 – $10 notes in Timor-Leste
- We advise all guests to arrange travel and health insurance
Day by Day in Detail
Once you have met your guide and the group and have settled into the hotel, we’ll embark on an introductory tour of Dili. Get to know the capital of Timor-Leste by visiting museums such as the Resistance Museum which details the country’s struggle against the Indonesian occupation. We’ll also climb up to the city’s famous Cristo Rei statue for spectacular views across the city and the bay as the sun sets.
Today we’ll head along the northern coast heading east. Driving past mangroves in Hera and through steep, rugged mountains in Metinaro, we’ll arrive at the town of Manatuto. After exploring this small coastal town, we’ll make our way to Baucau for lunch at Amalia’s restaurant. Baucau is home to interesting colonial architecture and an inviting aquamarine public pool. After lunch, we continue driving south through the beautiful countryside and the town of Venilale to our final destination of the day, Loihuno. Tonight we’ll stay at Wailakurini Guesthouse.
This morning, there are two hiking options to choose from. The first is a 2.5 round hike up Wassadiga hideout or up to the old command posts of the Labalou Resistance both from the times of the Indonesian Occupation. We’ll then get back on the road to have lunch in Baucau before continuing the drive east along the coast, passing through fishing villages and communities such as Laivai and Lautem. Lautem has some of the most beautiful beaches on the island with soft white sand and crystalline water. Its charm is partly due to its unspoiled wilderness as the craggy mountains reach the Caribbean-like coastline. This area is known for its caves whose walls are engraved with cave drawings. On the way to Com, we’ll pass the rice fields and livestock which are a vital part of daily life. In Com, we’ll stay at the Kati Guesthouse.
We’ll be up early today to make our way to one of Timor-Leste’s must-visit spots, the idyllic Jaco Island. We’ll pass through Umunira fossilized lagoon, Pitileti village and stop to visit Assalaino traditional graves. Then we’ll continue through the towns of Mehara and Tutuala as we head towards the coast. We’ll arrive at Valu Beach to board a local boat to Jaco Island (leaving at around 10:30 am).
We’ll spend a few hours on Jaco Island where you’ll find some of the best beaches in the world. This tropical paradise is uninhabited as it is considered sacred. We highly recommend taking a snorkel to fully appreciate the vibrant coral reefs just offshore, then stroll along the white sand beaches and disconnect from the stress of everyday life. We’ll head back to Valu Beach for lunch with views of the Pacific Ocean and Jaco Island.
This afternoon we’ll hike to the Rockwall at Ilikerekere to burn off our lunch before heading to our accommodation for the night, Pousada Tutuala.
On day 5, we’ll be heading back to Dili. We’ll return via the same route, this time visiting the traditional village of Laga before stopping for lunch in Baucau. Next, should time and tides allow, we will stop at Dollar Beach, a stretch blessed with transparent waters. After a dip, we’ll carry on the journey, arriving in Dili late afternoon.
On day 6, we’ll leave at 8 am to start our journey by car to Hatubuilico. We’ll weave up the winding road towards our first stop, Aileu. Expect spectacular landscapes such as rice paddies scratched into the expansive river valleys, ridged mountain valley walls, and views of the tropical island of Atauro. Aileu is a historic market town that played an important role in the resistance movement. These days the traditional markets draw in locals and tourists alike, with local produce such as coffee (this is Timor-Leste’s coffee-growing region), fresh fruit and vegetables, and tobacco.
Next, we’re back on the road heading towards the next stop, Maubisse. The rustic roads will show you how unspoiled Timor-Leste is, as will the thatched-roof houses that make up small mountain villages. Many people live without the amenities of modern-day life and as a consequence have carefully preserved their cultures. In the heart of the coffee-growing region lies Maubisse, the perfect place to take in the views of the mountains. In this town, we’ll visit the Pousada, a former government rest house and a prime example of Portuguese colonial architecture.
Once we’ve had lunch, we’ll visit a local community in one of the hilltop villages and learn about rural life and Timorese traditions. After that, we’ll continue our journey to our destination Hatubuilico, where we’ll arrive at approximately 16:00 and stay the night in Alecrin’s Guesthouse.
Today we’ll be climbing the highest mountain of Timor-Leste, Mt Ramelau sits 2963 meters above sea level. As well as being magical for its misty morning sunrises, the peak is also the site of an important Christian pilgrimage. We will be hiking in the dark and cold temperatures (wear warm clothes) but the sunrise spectacle is well worth the effort.
03:30 Transfer to the starting point in the sanctuary car park
04:00 Start the climb up Mt Ramelau
06:15 Expected arrival at the summit
06:30 Expected sunrise (subject to weather conditions)
07:30 Start descending back to the base
09:00 Expected arrival at the base and transfer back to the guesthouse for breakfast
After breakfast, we’ll head back to Dili via Maubisse or Suco Liurai. We’ll stop for lunch in Aileu and then continue to Liquiçá through Seloi and Tocoluli enjoying spectacular views along the way. Our final destination of the day is the coastal city of Liquiça, where most of the inhabitants speak Tocodede. The city has a rich history and was the site of the Liquiça Church Massacre. Most of the city’s buildings were destroyed in the period before the independence referendum. Tonight you’ll spend the night at Lauhata Beach Resort.
Today we are heading over the border into West Timor. Leaving Liquiça behind, we’ll head up to Mota’ain on the border. Its position means it has seen terrible atrocities throughout the island’s past, your guide will recount some of that history.
We’ll head straight to Atambua city, the second-largest in East Nusa Tenggara due to its history of being a popular destination for Chinese and East Timorese immigrants. We’ll check into the Kingstar Hotel and sit down for lunch. After a comfortable break, we will do a tour of Atambua and explore the city’s variety of trees (there’s a story behind it) and the cathedral.
We’ll start our day with a trip to the market at Oenopu to check out local products and get a feeling for mountain village life. We then continue onto Oelolok village, the center of the kingdom of Insana, the village is home to Taolin Palace, where the Insana king once lived. The palace resembles a Dutch country house and is surrounded by lush vegetation and a network of streams. Lunch will be eaten in Kiupakan and then we’ll drive to the rocky village of Tamkessi, the home of the Biboki tribe, to learn more about their way of life and visit the natural cave of Bituani. We’ll check out artisan products in the local art shop in Kiupasan and then continue through Maubesi to reach Kefamenanu. We’ll spend the night at Livero Hotel.
Today is an immersion into the different village communities of this area. First, we’ll visit the Maslete community to learn about elements of animism in their beliefs. Then we’ll head to Niki-Niki and visit the royal palace and graves of King Nope. Finally, we’ll head to Boti village where we’ll be staying overnight in a homestay. Boti is the best-known traditional village in the South Central Timor regency because its people are guided by their village king or raja, they reject modernization and the Christian religion and are entirely self-sufficient.
We’ll start by visiting None village, this community is often named one of the most interesting tribes in West Timor. It is a headhunting tribe that has its own shaman and conducts rituals based on their spiritual and magical beliefs. We’ll then make our way to the Oehala waterfalls, the seven-tiered natural feature that lends a magical atmosphere to the surrounding area. After enjoying the waterfalls and surrounding views, the next destination is Fatumnasi village and the botanical garden which has Mt. Mutis as a backdrop. Lunch will be served in Soe or Fatumnasi village. We’ll then check in at Hotel Bahagia Dua in Soe where we will spend the night.
Today we will be heading to the city of Kupang. We’ll head through forested countryside and roads flanked by rice paddies passing through the towns of Noelmina and Camplong to Oebelo. In Oebelo, we will stop to see how local people produce and play the most popular traditional music in the region, Sasando. After the demonstration, we will drive to Oesao for lunch and then continue on to Kupang. We’ll do a short tour of the city in the afternoon and spend the night at the Neo Eltari Hotel.
Today we’ll explore all that’s great about Kupang. We’ll visit any landmarks that we missed on the previous afternoon’s tour and then explore the natural beauty of Oenesu Waterfall — this tiered waterfall is a great place to cool off from the heat! We’ll continue exploring nature and wildlife with a visit to Monkey Forest, where these charming creatures will interact with you and take snacks from your hands, so watch out! In the afternoon, we’ll head to the palm tree-fringed beaches near Kupang for another swim and time to relax on the sand. In the evening, we’ll eat at Kampung Solor, known for its seafood specialties. Finally, we’ll make our way to the hotel to rest after a day full of adventure!
After 14 days of adventure, it’s time to part ways. We’ll take you to the International Airport of Eltari 3 hours before your flight. We hope you will return to your home countries with a new perspective on life.