Timor-Leste has a wild, untamed natural beauty, and as a result of differing micro-climates, things change as you travel around, from dry, open savannah vegetation to dense forest cover into the mountains. One of the best ways to get out and about is to hike on some of the many trails that criss-cross the country. Go with a guide, and you can embark on epic, multi-day treks into the interior.
The mountainous nature of Timor-Leste means that the territory is perfect for some high-energy mountain biking, and in fact it is host to one of the world’s toughest mountain bike races every year – the Tour de Timor. If you relish a challenge, head into the hills.
It is not just underwater where Timor-Leste has scored highly in terms of species counts. For those who like their creatures airborne, more than 240 species of bird have been recorded, including some globally threatened species such as yellow-crested cockatoos, black cuckoo doves and several pigeon species.
If you just can’t get enough of Timor-Leste’s underwater realm, you can explore many of the sites by snorkelling. The crystal-clear waters and pristine fringing reefs are perfect for all ages to explore with a mask, snorkel and fins.
Timor-Leste is regarded as a global hotspot for whales and dolphins, which can be spotted year-round, but especially during the migration season, which runs from October to December. Whale species sighted include blue, orca, sperm, short-finned pilot, beaked, melon-headed and pygmy killer, while dolphins seen include common, bottle-nosed, spinners, spotted, Risso’s, rough-toothed and striped.