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  • Overview

    Charming, beautiful and off the beaten track, East Timor is the perfect setting for unforgettable adventures. Its beaches, forests, coral reefs and colonial towns are beyond enchanting.

    Colonised by Portugal in the 18th century, East Timor declared independence in 1975, only to be invaded and occupied by Indonesia nine days later. The country's road to sovereignty has indeed been a bumpy ride.

    Today, its tourism infrastructure is not highly developed. That said, East Timor is maturing as a destination, and visitors can look forward to hiking through jungles, diving hardly touched reefs, and exploring misty mountain villages.

    The Cristo Rei is one of East Timor's more famous landmarks. Standing at 89-feet (27m), the creation is one of the world's tallest statues of Christ. Beyond the capital, Dili, visitors will find a mysterious and intensely beautiful land, where empty beaches become tropical forests, and mountains reach down to the water's edge.

    Regarding when to visit, East Timor is at its best just after the wet season (late April to July). Warm weather and exquisite diving conditions are its top drawcards.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    East Timor has a tropical climate and is hot and humid year-round, with distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season, between December and April, experiences average temperatures between 84°F (29°C) and 95°F (35°C); and the dry season, between May and November, experiences average temperatures between 68°F (20°C) and 91°F (33°C). The best time to visit East Timor is between May and July, when the weather is at its most pleasant and the conditions are excellent for scuba diving.

    Money:

    The US Dollar (USD) is the official currency of East Timor. Banks and ATMs can be found in the capital, Dili.

    Language:

    The two official languages of East Timor are Portuguese and Tetum.

    Electricity:

    Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Plugs are generally of the twin round-pin or twin flat-prong variety.

    Entry Requirements:

    US nationals: US citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in East Timor, and must obtain a tourist visa on arrival (if not arriving at the airport visas must be arranged in advance).

    UK nationals: British citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in East Timor, and must obtain a tourist visa on arrival (if not arriving at the airport visas must be arranged in advance). Visa's are valid for 30 days and cost 30 USD. Tourist visa's can be extended up to a total of 90 days for a fee.

    CA nationals: Canadian citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in East Timor, and must obtain a tourist visa on arrival (if not arriving at the airport visas must be arranged in advance). Visa's are valid for up to 30 days and cost 35 USD.

    AU nationals: Australian citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in East Timor, and must obtain a tourist visa on arrival (if not arriving at the airport visas must be arranged in advance). Visa's are valid for up to 30 days, and there is a charge of 30 USD on arrival.

    ZA nationals: South African citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in East Timor, and must obtain a tourist visa on arrival (if not arriving at the airport visas must be arranged in advance). Tourist visa's valid for up to 30 days are available for a fee.

    IR nationals: Irish citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in East Timor, and must obtain a tourist visa on arrival (if not arriving at the airport visas must be arranged in advance). Tourist visa's valid for up to 30 days are available for a fee.

    NZ nationals: New Zealand citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in East Timor, and must obtain a tourist visa on arrival (if not arriving at the airport visas must be arranged in advance). Tourist visa's valid for up to 30 days are available for a fee.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    All visitors to East Timor require a passport valid for six months beyond the date of entry, and a visa. Travellers arriving by air can apply for a 30-day tourist visa on arrival for a fee of 30 USD. Travellers arriving by land should apply in advance for a Visa Application Authorisation. Visa's on arrival at the land border with Indonesia are no longer available.

    Travel Health:

    Visitors to this exotic country should arm themselves with mosquito prophylaxis and plenty of mosquito repellent, no matter which region they are visiting, as malaria is a problem. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid. A yellow fever vaccination is required for all travellers arriving from yellow-fever-infected areas.

    Safety Information:

    Most visits to East Timor are trouble-free. However, travellers should note that crime remains a problem in the country, with gang-related violence and robbery common. Foreigners have been the victims of crime in the capital, Dili. East Timor also has a poor road-safety record and travellers should be cautious on the roads, which tend to be poorly maintained. There is no particular threat from terrorism and the country is currently fairly politically stable, but large demonstrations and protests should still be avoided.

    East Timor