|09 Oct - 21 Oct|
Timor-Leste, “the Land of the Sleeping Crocodile”, sits tucked away in a quiet corner of southeast Asia and comprises one half of the island of Timor. A small nation with a turbulent past, Timor Leste is a haven of rugged jungle landscapes, unique cultural identities, pristine beaches and colourful marine environments. Join us on our new small group tour to discover the wonders of this quiet paradise.
Land Dili and transfer to the hotel. This afternoon head out to discover the city. Visit the Resistance Archive Museum, an informative centre dedicated to showcasing the country's fight for independence. Continue to the Tais market to shop for traditional tais produced by local women and see the Portuguese Motael Church. Stroll through the Santa Cruz Cemetery with its dark history before driving to Cape Fatucama for the climb to the Statue of Cristo Rei to enjoy panoramic views of the city and as far afield as Atauro Island. Enjoy refreshments on picturesque Areia Branca beach.
Depart Dili and commence the drive towards Baucau. Travel is via the north coast road passed rugged mountains, villages and white sand beaches. During the months of September and October these waters become very busy as a passage for the world’s largest mammal species including gigantic sperm whales and pelagic fish as they migrate to cooler waters. The whales swim very close to shore as these waters are very deep. Stop at Manatuto to see the independence murals before ending the day in Baucau. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)
This morning drive to Tutuala. Along the way stop at Com village and visit monkey lagoon where families of monkeys can often be found playing. After a local lunch continue the drive passing rocky Pitelete village, the Portuguese fort at Fuiloro and along the northern shore of Lake Ira Lalaro, said to be home to crocodiles and numerous bird species. Along the way watch out for traditional fataluku houses, tall, elongated stilt houses with a tapered thatched roof. (B/D)
Head to Valu Beach and take an outrigger to idyllic Jaco Island, a small, uninhabited and sacred island located within Nino Konis Santana National Park. Enjoy the day on the island to swim, snorkel or simply relax. A BBQ lunch is included before a return to Tutuala at the end of the day. (B/L/D)
This morning visit the Ili Kere Kere caves, also referred to locally as 'written mountain' and is regarded as the most important archaeological site in the country. Discovered in the 1960's the site sits hidden in the hills and features rock paintings thought to date back around 30,000 years. More recently the caves were used as a secret haven for local guerrilla fighters. End the day at Baucau. (B)
An early start to the day with the drive towards Dili. En route a stop will be made at the sleepy town of Venilale which was a popular retreat during the Portuguese occupation due to its cooler climate. Explore the WWII Japanese bunkers and enjoy a hike to Ariana Mountain before a stop in Baucau for lunch. Resume the journey to Dili and stop in Laleia and the northern coastal town of Manatuto. Arrive Dili early evening. (B)
This morning depart Dili and take the back roads towards Maubisse, a journey on a winding, ascending road offering a birds eye view of Dili and the island of Atauro. The journey stops at the Dare Australian WWII Memorial before continuing to the historic town of Aileu. Stop for a coffee break and the chance to see another WWII Memorial to victims of the Japanese Imperial Army. End the day in Maubisse and visit the local market and traditional village of Tartehi. (B)
This morning drive to the Ersalibuti waterfall before visiting the Green School and the Women's Organic Farming Cooperative. This is a social development and environmental educational centre established to help empower the community and generate economic opportunities and encourage a spirit of self sufficiency. Lunch will also be taken here with produce grown in the on site gardens before a return to Dili. (B)
Jump aboard a water taxi today for the journey across to pretty Ataruo Island which sits nestled on the edge of the Coral Triangle. The journey itself can be exciting with the boat often attracting a tumbling dolphin escort. Enjoy the remainder of the day to relax on the island’s white sand beaches. (B/L/D)
Enjoy your final day on the island to relax or explore further. There are opportunities to trek, dive, snorkel and fish with the diving and snorkelling here said to be some of the best in the world. Alternatively take a tuk tuk ride to a nearby village where many villagers specialise in local traditions such as tais weaving, wood carving and basket weaving. There is also the option to hike to the top of Mt Manucoco for panoramic views of the island and surrounding seas. (B/L/D)
Today there is the opportunity to visit Boneca de Atauro, a local co-operative run by local women who create a now iconic East Timor souvenir, the Boneca doll. See how the dolls are made and why this small project helps educate and empower local women and children. Meet the workers and select a Boneca doll of your own to take home. (B/L/D)
Return to Dili by water taxi. The remainder of the day is free to maybe enjoy a spot of last minute shopping for coffee, spices and other souvenirs before a final farewell dinner. (B/D)
Today return to the airport for your departure flight. (B)
Important Notes: As our first foray into the country we are running this tour as a recce tour: we have researched as hard as we can and we know and trust our partner in Timor Leste but it is new ground for us. Not all may go to plan (although we hope any on the ground changes will be for the better) and we ask that you bear this in mind before confirming your place on the tour (we have of course adjusted the price accordingly).
Flights to Dili are not included. They will route through Singapore, Bali or Darwin. When schedules become available we will be able to provide a quotation and book services.
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
09 Oct 2022
21 Oct 2022
|£3075||£680||Last few places remain|