East Timor holiday
Description of East Timor holiday
This two week East Timor (Timor-Leste) holiday is a tailor made trip, travelling with a local expert guide through this wonderful country, still very much unknown to most tourists. We suggest the itinerary below to ensure that you get to visit the country’s cultural and natural highlights but it is, of course, a flexible itinerary, which we can tweak to accommodate your interests and time frame.
East Timor is thankfully at peace and proud to be so after a long struggle for independence from Indonesia which they gained in 2002. It boasts a long list of highlights, both cultural and natural, and from the start of this holiday in Dili, the capital, you will instantly garner a sense of East Timor’s colonial heritage and new identity as well.
We spend a couple of days in the foothills of Mt Ramelau, the country’s highest peak and also the island’s, at 2,986 m. Camping in the foothills and then taking the moderate trek to the summit at sunrise is a highlight of the tour for many. Spend time exploring many of the country’s former Portuguese colonial towns such as Venilale. There is also plenty of blissful beach time built into the itinerary at islands such as Atauro, a coral island perfect for reef swimming and snorkelling and also home to a stunning eco resort.
This is not only one of the newest countries in the world, but is still almost tourist free. Enjoy before the word gets out too much. It really is still a charming, undiscovered destination.
PlanetWe are proud of our involvement in East Timor. Tourism in the country is virtually unknown, but we believe it is crucial to the country’s development. With high levels of unemployment and little in the way of foreign trade we want you to know that your trip will make a difference.
We stay at Atauro Island Eco lodge which is managed and operated an Atauro Island community organization, and through which all profits from your visit go into community projects which are developing ecologically appropriate community managed tourism on the island. Guided walks educate visitors (including school groups) in identifying local produce and medicinal herbs and their uses. The Tua Koin Eco-Village project on the island includes education and awareness-raising for tourists and the local community. Your visit will contribute to the awareness raising and rehabilitation program.
In order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit. Our tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects.
Finally, to emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.
PeopleOur small client numbers in East Timor means that our impact – both cultural and environmental – on the areas that we visit is small and truly sustainable. We are investing in the future, in the belief that along with our local colleagues we can create sustainable social benefits. All of the guides we use are local, and most have been working with our local team in a full time role for a number of years, rather than just as seasonal jobs.
Our suppliers are based in Dili and are small and locally owned, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within our local team means that your experience will be enhanced.
All of our trips include visits to local markets, craft shops and fairs. For example, our visit to the Quinta de Portugal, agriculture farm and Maubisse, located in the main coffee growing region of East Timor. Its market is an important meeting place for villagers from miles around.
As well as being good for the local economy this gives travellers to the country a real feel for the life and culture.