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Explore Timor-Leste, a less frequented corner of Asia
Travel into a land relatively untouched by tourism, and one of the world's newest democracies, Timor-Leste. We climb mountains, explore villages, enjoy some holiday time on secluded beaches and cross into the Wetar Strait for a privileged view of the sights and sounds hidden in this emerging nation. With an emphasis on local communities, there will be ample opportunities to share in the lives of the locals and contribute to rebuilding efforts.
What's included in this trip
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Though retaining the feel of a Portuguese outpost, Dili is beginning to forge its own identity. Take in the sights of Timor-Leste's capital city on a half-day tour, leaving plenty of time to visit the local weaving markets and enjoy an evening stroll along Dili's scenic waterfront.
Head out of the city by 4x4, winding through hillside coffee plantations and cornfields. Stop for a night in a Portuguese-style pousada in Maubisse before continuing on our way to the market village of Hato Builiko, located in the heart of Timor-Leste.
Travel through lush rainforest and farmland to Suai, renowned for its traditional weaving and soccer-mad locals. Rise early to hike up Mt Ramelau - Timor-Leste's highest mountain - where fresh, mountain air, scenic vistas and a statue of the Virgin Mary on the summit await.
Make tracks back to busy Dili via the town of Balibo.
Board a boat for the journey across the Wetar Strait. Be on the lookout for whales and dolphins. Stay in simple beach huts while enjoying the tranquillity of Atauro Island, part of an ecotourism project that supports the local community.
Experience traditional life of the Timorese as we head east into a lush area of rice paddies, peanut farms and vegetable fields. From a base in Baucau, drive to Venilale along a winding road flanked by huge old trees and take a trek through the forest to Mt Ariana.
Learn how soap-making and basketry are contributing to community development on a visit to Los Palos. Then head east, looking out for traditional spirit houses along the way. Arrive in the village of Tutuala, which is the perfect base for explorations of nearby Jaco Island.
Relish the taste of local coffee while admiring the artistry of signature hand-woven tais in Dili's colourful markets.
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