TIMOR-LESTE TRAVEL GUIDE
Timor-Leste, or East Timor, a Southeast Asian nation occupying half the island of Timor, is ringed by coral reefs teeming with marine life. Landmarks in the capital, Dili, speak to the country's struggles for independence from Portugal in 1975 and then Indonesia in 2002. The iconic 27m-tall Cristo Rei de Dili statue sits on a hilltop high over the city, with sweeping views of the surrounding bay.
Timor-Leste has some of the best scuba diving in the world, and this is a major draw for tourists with East Timor shore diving becoming known worldwide amongst the diving community. Pristine beaches and coral reefs stand in stark contrast to one of the poorest populations on Earth.
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TIMOR-LESTE QUICK FACTS
Currency: US dollar (USD) East Timor Centavo coins(U.S. coins are not used)
Area: 15,007 km2
Population: 1,268 million (2018)
Language: Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Indonesian, English, 37 indigenous languages
Religion: Roman Catholic 90%, Muslim 4%, Protestant 3%, Hindu 0.5%, Buddhist, Animist (1992 est.)
Electricity: 220V/50Hz (Shuko Euro plug)
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TIMOR-LESTE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 May, Labor Day
- 20 May, Independence Restoration Day
- 30 August, Popular Consultation Day
- 1 November, All Saints Day
- 2 November, All Souls Day
- 12 November, National Youth Day
- 28 November, Proclamation of Independence
- 7 December, National Heroes’ Day
- 8 December, Immaculate Conception Day
Also, Good Friday, Corpus Christi, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
TIMOR-LESTE WEATHER SYNOPSIS
The climate of Timor-Leste is characterised by extreme conditions. The country has a monsoon climate, which is typical for the Asian tropics. In the north of the country, there is little or no rain for almost eight months of the year. From December to March, northwest to southwest winds prevail, bringing the principal wet season for the year to most parts of the country. From May to October, southeast to northeast winds prevail, bringing mostly dry conditions, except on the south coast and the southern slopes where the wet season persists until July. There is little temperature variation on either a diurnal or a seasonal basis. Temperature variations mainly occur with altitude. Average annual temperatures decrease from 27°C at sea level to 24°C at 500 m; 21°C at 1000 m; 18°C at 1500 m and 14°C at 2000 m. Relative humidity varies between 70 and 80%, which makes the climate humid. Timor-Leste is influenced by El Nino and La Nina rainfalls. The average annual rainfall is around 1500 mm, varying from 565 mm at Manatuto along the northern coast to 2837 mm at Lolotai in the central-western mountains. Extremely heavy rainfall occasionally occurs in Timor-Leste during relatively short time intervals.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN TIMOR-LESTE
The best time to enjoy outdoor activities in Timor-Leste is during the dry season from April to November.
BEACH OPTIONS IN TIMOR-LESTE
The best time for relaxing on the beaches of Timor-Leste is during the dry season from April to November. However, during the rainy season the temperatures slightly higher, and the waters warm for diving and snorkelling.
SURFING IN TIMOR-LESTE
If you are looking for surf in Timor-Leste, you will need to go at the peak of the swell season during the months of June, July and August.
KITESURF IN TIMOR-LESTE
Timor-Leste has suitable conditions for kitesurfing from May to September, but it remains a rather adventurous destination for the brave traveller.
HEALTH RISKS IN TIMOR-LESTE
Be aware of possible health risks in
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.