When to go:
June to October is the dry season and visibility is fantastic. November through May is usually wetter but diving can be great all year.
When to Get the Best Deals:
Some hotels have accommodations promotions from December through May.
What to Pack:
Aim to pack light because some connecting flights from Indonesia and Australia have weight limits. In addition, some dive equipment may be hard to come by, so check with your PADI Dive Shop regarding equipment before you depart and bring spare straps, masks, etc. As with most travel, it's a good idea to travel with any essential or recommended medications.
Average water temperature is about 28° C/82° F.
The air temperature ranges from 30 - 35°C/8 - 95° F all year. The temperature can drop to 15° C/60° F at night in the mountains at night.
United States Dollar (USD).
A valid passport is required and you should check with the local immigration office for visa requirements. Citizens from some countries may be able to obtain a visa on arrival for vacation or holiday use.
Usually $10 US paid at the airport, but it may be included in your airfare. Check with your airline for variations.
None are required but Malaria and Dengue Fever can be a concern. Check with local officials before travel as this information can change.
What to Eat:
The taste of East Timor is inspired by an assortment of international cuisines but most locals enjoy rice, taro, cassava, sweet potatoes and maize, which is often boiled into delightful curries and served with fresh, native spices. Fried fish is the national dish and, if you’re lucky, you'll also taste some prawns - a delicacy here. Along the Dili waterfront you'll also find an assortment of freshly picked fruit for sale by friendly locals.
What to Drink:
Organically grown coffee is a popular daytime beverage choice with fruit juice, smoothies and cold beers also available. Castaway Bar and Restaurant in Dili is a popular option for travelers and due to its great variety and immaculate ocean view.
Immerse yourself in the culture by visiting the local markets. Here you'll see Tais (a beautiful, traditionally woven cloth) for sale. You can also hike through the mountains on the mainland or on the eco-friendly Atauro Island. Last, visit Cristo Rei of Dili, the “Jesus Statue” overlooking the ocean, with breathtaking views and surroundings.
Customs and Culture:
As a relatively new tourist destination, East Timor locals normally welcome visitors with a wave and a friendly chat. There is a unique blend of cultures here and you'll be amazed by the diversity of traditions to experience.
The annual Carnival de Timor - normally in late April - celebrates music, fun and multiculturalism. The Dili “City of Peace” Marathon is held in May.
Electricity and Internet:
220V, 50 Hz. Australian three-pronged plugs (Type I) are fairly standard. The power supply throughout the country can be unreliable and public internet is only available in Dili.
Drink the water?
Drinking bottled water is recommended.
Portuguese and Tetum are the official languages but English is also spoken in popular tourist areas.