East Timor

Least known country in Asia

East Timor is a country in Southeast Asia. Remarkably, it belongs to the continent of Oceania. It has been an independent country since 2002. The country is hardly visited by tourists, although interest is increasing. These are the must-see highlights of East Timor.

Little is known about the country of East Timor. You also rarely hear someone say that he or she has been there. The country belonged to Indonesia for a long time, but after 450 years of foreign occupation, East Timor was declared independent in 2002. The island is ideal for tough hikes on the Ramelau mountain.


When East Timor became independent in 2002, the country chose its Portuguese name Timor-Leste. The name actually literally means Eastern East as Timor is a derivative of the Malay word for East.

Timor-Leste has rugged nature and ancient traditions and for the adventurers among us a great destination to get off the beaten track.

Fisherman at East Timor.

Special mix of Portuguese and Asian culture

The country is extremely photogenic, the combination of Asian and Portuguese characteristics provide surprising pictures. Although the situation in East Timor has been stable for some time, you still have to take into account tensions between different population groups that can lead to unrest. Travel wisely and check with the government for the latest information before you go. There is no Dutch Embassy in East Timor, so arrange everything well in advance.

Climb the Ramelau Mountain

The famous Ramelau mountain is 2,986 meters high. This striking green lends itself well for tough hikes, leave early to be on the top at sunrise. It's best to go with a local guide. These can be found in the mountain village of Hatobuilico at an altitude of 1,917 meters.

At the top you will find a statue of the Virgin Mary, which is one of the reasons why it is a popular pilgrimage route for Christians.

Atauro island

Atauro island in East Timor.

The island of Atauro is small, but it is worth a visit. It is remarkably rocky with small beautiful beaches and blue water. Atauro is about 20 kilometers long and up to 12 kilometers wide. The highest point is at 995 meters.

Atauro is popular with bird watchers, as many special birds can be seen. You can easily take a hike on the island. Many residents of Atauro are Protestant, unlike the rest of East Timor. The reason is a Dutch Calvinist who used to live on the island.