East Timor

East Timor

With many unexplored natural treasure and magnificent views this country is a “must visit” to every nature lover and off track adventurer. East Timor is not the most popular tourist destination in the region. However, the country, which by will of the history happened to be the place of collision of different cultures and religions, is a rather interesting place. There are practically no unique historical monuments or natural objects, but there are many unexplored places, there are no crowds of tourists and recreational infrastructure, but there is an abundance of relict beaches and rich marine life. Due to the lack of tourists, Timor-Leste is full of empty beaches and every time you reach them you think you are the first in the world to step on that perfect sand. If you don’t mind the slow roads, get out of Díili and drive along the coast looking for your own corner in the country. Rest assured, you’ll find plenty to choose from!

Dili, the capital of East Timor, lies on the northern coast of the island, in the small open bay. It is a nice city with strong Portuguese features, such as villas, surrounded by the old road along the beach, the old palace Palacio-du-Governador or massive old buildings of the garrison built in the 17th century. The long coastal boulevard is quite a pleasant place for trade and leisure, evening strolls or picnics on weekends. This truly Catholic city has many churches, and a massive statue of Christ crowns the top of Cape Fatukama, like the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro. The magnificent coast around the monument is replete with fascinating caves, different beach areas, restaurants, and bars. From the top of the viewing platform, there opens a magnificent panorama. With 46% per cent of Timor-Leste relying on coffee for their income, the country has achieved a prime quality product. With its unique brighter flavor atypical for Asian produced coffee, this organic coffee exhibits a low-toned yet vibrant acidity.

The place of worship of the local inhabitants is Santa Cruz cemetery in the southeast of the city. This quiet old cemetery was the site of the massacre by the Indonesian security forces in 1991, and thus became a real monument to the struggle for independence. One can also see a lot of large decorative tombstones in Portuguese style and lots of old crypts. Another attraction of the city is the State Museum of East Timor with a collection of religious art, traditional handicrafts, musical instruments, and historical documents. The library of Hanan is also noteworthy, since it contains an extensive collection of photos and video, as well as the collection of documents on the history of Timor. The traditional market on Avenida Americo-Almrante Thomas can be used as a place of purchase of local crafts products and a good place to observe local customs and traditions. With a huge variety of coral reefs and away from the crowds of tourists running after each other to enjoy it, you’ll find yourself with a Timorese, going just a couple of minutes in a traditional boat and enjoying first class snorkeling and diving.

The area of ​​Dili also has several good beach locations and a popular area for diving at Cape Fatukama. It is also worth visiting a small fishing village of Kam with a small beach and excellent facilities for fishing. On the nearby cliffs one can see petroglyphs and observe splendid landscapes. On the way to Tutualu, one can get acquainted with the traditional life of local residents, visiting Iralfai village, where many old houses are preserved, and archaeological excavations at the site of one of the earliest human settlements on the island are conducted. To the west of the capital town, one can visit Maubara fort of the 17th century with a strong coastal wall and old guns.

To the south of the capital, in the mountainous central part of the island, there lie the old towns Mobissa, Ermera, and Aileu. This region is the center of growing Timorese coffee. Mountains and deep valleys, stunning alpine scenery with traditional farms, wet rainforests and magnificent panoramas – this is the main decoration of this part of the island.

Atauro Island is the best place for a holiday by the sea. Atauro has a very pleasant atmosphere and the unspoiled environment, and in the waters around it one can watch the dolphins, which makes it a popular spot for snorkeling. There is also a small Tua-Coin eco-resort, which is located on the eponymous beach, the best place for snorkeling on the coast.

Other attractions include the second largest city in East Timor, Baucau; the Area of ​​Los Palos as the most untouched by human activities place on the entire Timor; Oecussi, known as the first permanent settlement of the Portuguese on the island. The once popular with tourists old Portuguese fort, known as Fatusuba, lies to the south of the city. It is a quiet place with nice panoramas and magnificent views of the sunset.

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