Timor-Leste is a unique and diverse destination with an abundance of natural beauty including rugged mountains and a spectacular coastline, still untouched by international mass tourism. From spectacular landscapes to friendly people and historical heritage, there is plenty to discover.
The more urban feeling of the capital contrasts with the remote and unspoiled beaches located to the east and south of the country. The best way to appreciate Timor-Leste's natural beauty is to rent a car and take a scenic drive along the spectacular coastline to Manatutu, Baukau and Kom in Lospalos.
Timor-Leste has kilometre after kilometre of pristine coral reefs, offering some of the best diving in the world. There are several diving companies running scuba safaris to sites in Dili, Ataúro Island, Manatuto District, Tutuala and Jaco Island in Lospalos. Timor-Leste's reefs are home to a vast diversity of marine creatures, from turtles to whales, sharks and dazzling shoals of colourful tropical fish.
Dili is the capital of Timor-Leste and its commercial and administrative centre, with a few Portuguese touches such as villa-lined beach roads and the ruins of an old fort built in 1627.
The long stretch of waterfront with the nearby Palácio do Governador, remains a place of commerce and leisure and a focal point for evening walks and weekends. A massive statue of Jesus Christ [Christo Rei] dominates the headland hilltop at Cape Fatucama.
The best-known beaches in Dili are in a sheltered cove known as Areia Branca. Ataúru Island, which is visible from the waterfront, is becoming increasingly popular as a sightseeing excursion site.
Dili boasts a number of international restaurants, from the traditional Timorese dishes to Portuguese, Italian, Western, Chinese, Thai or Japanese cuisine.
Proudly supporting sport, tourism, peace and development in Timor-Leste
The biggest event on the Timor-Leste sporting calendar is the international Tour de Timor mountain bike race. With the enormous success of the event since it's inception in 2009, the Tour de Timor has become a must-do event on the calendar for both professional cyclists and holiday makers. As the most participated event of the year, thousands of Timorese locals in the cities, towns and most remote villages turn out to welcome and cheer on the riders.
More information can be obtained on the Tour de Timor website.
Images courtesy of UNWTO and Ethan Daniels