Timor-Leste Useful Information
There are two daily international flights from Bali and twice weekly from Kupang. You can also fly direct daily from Australia – Dili is just over one hour away from Darwin by plane.
There are various methods of exploring Timor-Leste. If you go for a rental vehicle, it is wise to also hire an experienced driver, who will know the roads and also be able to act as a guide.
On the main routes you can take an ornate, vividly painted bus, for trips to more isolated regions, you will be in mini-buses or vans.
There are taxis available, mostly during the day (though evenings can be organised in advance). With yellow taxis, fares need to be negotiated prior to travel, while blue taxis provide a more-consistent quality service and use taxi meters.
Oecusse and Atauro are linked by regular passenger boat services from Dili, while there are also daily scheduled flights (Thursday excluded) between Dili and Pante Macassar, Oecusse.
The dry season runs from May to November, and the wet season from December to April. The best diving and hiking is between May and November (though with Atauro being an island, you can dive all-year round – the east coast between October and April, and the west coast from May to September), and the optimum whale and dolphin watching falls between October and December.
Visa requirements may vary depending on visitor nationality and point of entry. We advise checking with your respective tour operator prior to locking in flight dates in order to ensure a smooth arrival process.
US dollars is the official currency of Timor-Leste (and notes need to be ‘younger’ than 2009, otherwise they will not be accepted). In Dili, there are ATMs, but they only accept VISA, and only larger hotels, tour and dive companies tend to accept credit cards – contact your operators directly for more about accepted payment methods. NB: Mastercard will not work anywhere.
Food and Water
Take normal travel precautions when eating food and drinking. Timor-Leste tap water is not safe to drink unless boiled or chemically treated. Bottled water is readily available.