Timor Leste Travel Guide


East Timor (aka Timor-Leste) is one of the world's youngest countries, becoming a separate state from Indonesia in just 2002. It has some similarities to Indonesia in terms of the tropical climate and geography (it's part of the island of Timor), but the people here have a different ethnic and cultural background.

The islands near the coast of East Timor are becoming increasingly popular for diving and snorkeling trips, with white sand beaches, turquoise water and amazing coral reefs. The biodiversity is pretty similar to nearby Indonesia, but part of the novelty in visiting East Timor is that you get to check another country off of your 'to do list.'

Dili, the capital city of East Timor, also makes a decent place for a visa run if you're wanting to extend your stay in Indonesia. I found the visa and arrival process to be pretty straightforward. Read through this complete Timor Leste travel guide for more info on what to expect!

Quick Facts






US Dollar; centavos are given for change




Visa on arrival available to all nationalities


Tropical; hot & humid year round. Dry season is May-Nov

Power Plugs




The main airport in East Timor is in Dili (code: DIL), which has direct flights from international places like Bali, Darwin, and Singapore. You can shop for flights to East Timor on Skyscanner.


Timor Leste is generally a safe travel destination, although you should take extra precautions and try to avoid being out at night. Harassment of women is a problem here, and I'm not sure I would recommend visiting the country as a solo female traveler.

Still, the UN reports that the violent crime rate is a fairly typical 4 per 100k inhabitants (36% lower than the global average), so it's not a very dangerous place to travel. The biggest safety risks are probably motorbike accidents and natural threats, like dengue fever. Be sure to wear mosquito spray during the rainy season.


Despite the general state of poverty in East Timor, it is oddly not a very budget friendly travel destination compared to other countries in SE Asia. The country doesn't get a lot of tourists, so infrastructure is pretty limited and this is partly why the prices are higher than they should be.

Hostels are available from $10 USD and private hotels from $25. Meals are pretty cheap, costing about $4 to $8 depending on location. Transportation is generally by car or bus, and taxi fares are paid for in US Dollars.


My latest blog posts about Timor Leste

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