Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is located in the eastern half of the island of Timor and includes the small islands of Ataúro and Jaco as well as Oecussi – a small enclave on the north-western side of the island.
There is a feeling of untouched wilderness and natural beauty to Timor-Leste, with its coffee plantations, rice paddies, rugged mountain ranges, tropical rainforest and hundreds of kilometres of coastline.
The fringing reefs of Timor-Leste lie within the Coral Triangle. This area is the vital hub of coral and fish diversity, and the reefs are immaculate, teeming with a vast array of marine creatures. It has recently been discovered that the most bio-diverse waters in the world in terms of reef fish are in Ataúro.
Timor-Leste has two distinct seasons: the dry season is from May to November and wet season runs from December to April. Along the coast, the temperature sits comfortably between 25-35ºC. If you are making your way into the mountains take a jacket with you, the temperature can drop quite dramatically the higher you go.
Wearing modest dress is recommended especially in the districts.
Timor-Leste is a paradise for divers and snorkelers alike. Feast your eyes on a breathtaking assortment of hard corals and soft corals featuring nudibranchs, seahorses, reef fish and turtles among the reef inhabitants. Get lost in the incredible world of whales and dolphins, which can be spotted year-round, but are particularly abundant between October and December. If you are going to Timor-Leste for the whales, keep an eye out for blues, killers, humpbacks, short-finned pilots, beaked, melon-headed and pygmy killers. While you’re there, see if you can spot the various types of dolphins that grace the waters.
Experience phenomenal drop-offs, intricate coral walls, spectacular coral ‘bommies’ and more in one of the most biodiverse marine hotspots on earth.
26 – 30°C 3mm
If you are going to Timor-Leste specifically for the whales and dolphins, October to December is the best time to spot these majestic animals. For the best diving of any kind, May to November is the time to visit.
Little explored thriving reefs
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