Best time to visit Timor-Leste

May to October enjoy drier weather and greater visibility, before the wet season rains sweep in to wash away roads and cloud your views.
Timor-Leste is typically tropical with steamy days, balmy nights and temperatures hovering between 20-30°C. It’s cooler up in the mountains, however, where you’ll need a few warmer layers for the mornings and evenings, especially if you’re making the hike up to the top of Mount Ramelau. During the May to October dry season, it’s warm and sunny, with only an occasional light shower. The rainy season runs from November to April, when the landscape is beautifully green, the temperatures slightly higher, and the waters warm for diving and snorkelling. Many of the rural and mountain roads become impassable though, and there’s a risk of tropical cyclones.

Timor-Leste Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
21
29
187
FEB
21
29
174
MAR
20
29
173
APR
20
29
99
MAY
18
29
111
JUN
18
29
69
JUL
18
28
52
AUG
17
28
27
SEP
18
29
33
OCT
19
29
52
NOV
20
30
94
DEC
20
29
176

Things to do in Timor-Leste

Things to do in Timor-Leste…

Timor-Leste is part of the Coral Triangle, so good scuba diving is plentiful, including offshore from the capital, Dili, and around remote Jaco Island. The cream of the crop is Ataúro Island, which has incredible coral walls and rich marine life, and can be explored on small group diving or marine conservation expeditions. En route from Dili you might see schools of dolphins racing alongside your boat, while from September to December humpbacks and other whale species surface off the coast. For divers and snorkellers, visibility peaks at the tail end of the dry season, in September and October. Unreliable public transport and some crazy driving conditions can make Timor-Leste difficult to travel around. While people do travel independently here, we recommend that you join a small group or tailor made tour. You’ll travel in a private vehicle and enjoy the services of tour leader or an expert local guide, reducing the chances of anything going wrong and ensuring that if it does, help is close at hand. Remnants of and monuments to Timor-Leste’s rich history are strewn throughout the country, from millennia-old cave paintings, to faded architecture from the country’s time as a Portuguese colony. You should also take time to get to grips with the country’s recent troubled past while you’re here. Learn about the 24-year fight for independence from Indonesia at the Resistance Museum in Dili, visit the Santa Cruz Cemetery, where over 250 civilians were massacred by Indonesian soldiers in 2001, or visit the city’s Chega! Museum, set in old Portuguese prison cells where resistance leaders were once locked up.

Things not  to do in Timor-Leste…

Timor-Leste is barely a blip on the international tourism scene. That’s part of its appeal, so you shouldn’t forget your spirit of adventure when you visit. Road conditions and infrastructure can be poor and hotels, especially outside of Dili, tend to be simple. However, accommodation will be clean and comfortable and a valuable part of the cultural experience. Miss out meeting local people. Several different ethnic groups call Timor-Leste home, and spending time with them will make a visit here all the richer. You could watch traditional weavers at work in the seaside village of Com, visit remote, coffee-producing mountain communities, or spend time in Lospalos, a leafy gem that’s home to the Fataluku people, whose sacred totem houses represent a link between past and present. Homestays are possible throughout the country and offer a valuable window onto Timorese life. Spend all your time on the coast. Timor-Leste’s forested peaks make it excellent hiking territory, and getting about on foot is one of the best ways to get to know the people and the landscape. The country’s premier hiking trail is the route up to Mt Ramelau, which looms large at 2,986m. To make the most of the experience, camp in the foothills and set off in the early hours to make sure you reach the summit for the most spectacular of sunrises, with mountains unfurling in every direction and a vast sweep of coastline visible in the distance.

Our top Timor-Leste Holiday

East Timor holiday

East Timor holiday

Asia’s newest nation starts to reveal its secrets

From £3799 14 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Timor-Leste or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Timor-Leste travel advice

Why go to Timor-Leste?

Tips from Aled Evans, from our supplier Undiscovered Destinations:
“Despite having a tragic history in the recent past, as a young nation the country has moved and is looking forward. There is a lot of development on infrastructure, health, education and employment which has been prioritised by consecutive governments. Timor-Leste may seem a bit of a ‘wild west’ or ‘wild east’ rather. Traditional dwellings and culture stretch back through the eons of time, and it’s engaging to be somewhere relatively untouched by modern trappings. This is changing, though, and highways are being built and the modern world is beginning to encroach on village life everywhere. If you want to see Timor-Leste while it’s still young and at the beginning of a transformation, now is the time to visit.”

The benefits of organised holidays

Aled Evans, from our supplier Undiscovered Destinations:
“Organised tours work better in terms of planning and logistics as things often do not run to plan in Timor-Leste. Having a backup and good local expertise offering support makes the tour a lot more convenient and comfortable. If your time is limited then it is the only way to get to properly see the country.”

Highlights

Aled Evans: “Timor-Leste ‘must dos’ include Mount Ramelau for its incredible scenery and great hiking trails; Jaco Island for brilliant swimming and snorkelling as well as rich traditional culture; and Marobo Hot Springs, a natural geothermal hot water spring with beautiful views out over a valley.”
Written by Nana Luckham
Photo credits: [Page banner: yeowatzup] [Topbox: yeowatzup] [Happy women laughing: Jaya Ramchandani] [Hilly landscape: yeowatzup]
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