Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
- Albert Einstein -
Within South-East Asia lies this natural wonder, East Timor. It comprises the eastern half of Timor Island, the separate enclave of Oecusse (situated in West Timor) and the small offshore islands of Atauro and Jaco. Formed by continental uplift along a major fault line (and in the case of Atauro, submarine volcanic activity), Timor-Leste is rugged with a mountainous backbone rising to over 2000 meters. Almost half of Timor-Leste’s land area has a slope of 40 degrees or more making the scenery magical.
Explore the wonderful city exuding Portuguese flavours, Baucau, through its picturesque colonial buildings, limestone outcrops and swaying banyan trees. Soak up the magnificent coastline stretching both east and west and observe remarkable mountain ranges which dominate the skyline.
Head inland with your specialist to an abandoned 18th-century Dutch fort whose walls still stand, overgrown with trees and shrubs. Climb the stone steps to find an iron cannon embossed with Dutch colonial marks. Travel by helicopter deep into the mountainous depths of East Timor. Enveloped in eucalyptus forests, commence your hike to the Mount Ramelau summit where a striking statue of the Virgin Mary looms. Take a moment to savour the surreal experience of viewing the entire nation from this single vantage point.
The coral reefs in Timor are pristine and have an extraordinary diversity. They lie within the Coral Triangle, which is recognized as the global epicentre of marine biodiversity as it has the highest coral diversity in the world, with 76% of the world’s 805 coral species found there. Tauro, a small island lying to the north of Dili (the capital), has recently been found to have the most bio-diverse waters in the world in terms of reef fish. With excellent visibility, expect a myriad of mesmerising fish species amongst the impressive coral it’s truly mesmerizing.
Timor is also regarded as a global hotspot for whales and dolphins due to their abundance, diversity and sheer density of numbers, they can be spotted year-round. Due to Timor’s deep waters, it became a major route between the Pacific and Indian Oceans for many different species. Join our specialist, assist the local marine conservation and learn about the ongoing efforts to save and protect these majestic coral reefs.