• Journey of Discovery in Timor-Leste

    Be one of the first to travel in this captivating new country—an MTS exclusive!

    Come explore, meet the people and experience the culture on the tropical island of Timor Leste. Be amongst the first to visit this incredible and unique country, where tourism remains innocent and unsophisticated.

    best times to go: July - September

    departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.

    pricing: from $3,495 see detailed pricing

    The Pacific

    Moderate to Strenuous
Also great as a private trip. Call for details

Be one of the first to travel in this captivating new country—an MTS exclusive!

Mountain Travel Sobek was the first adventure company to organize tours in Nepal, the Galápagos Islands, Bhutan, Slovenia and Libya—and our pioneering spirit continues with this exciting multi-sport journey to Timor-Leste, one of the world’s newest countries. We are the only U. S. company to offer trips here, which means a rare opportunity to see this pristine and culturally diverse nation while it’s still unchanged by tourism.

Also known as East Timor, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste has had a turbulent history. A Portuguese colony up until 1975, Timor was occupied by the Japanese during WWII (though technically neutral), and its mountains were the scene of a guerrilla campaign by Allied forces and Timorese volunteers against the Japanese. Decolonized in 1975, East Timor had just announced its independence when it was occupied by Indonesia. East Timorese resistance forces fought the often brutal occupation for nearly 20 years—after the 1991 Dili Massacre, in which over 250 East Timorese protestors were killed, international support for the resistance grew, and Indonesia relinquished control in 1999. Timor-Leste became the first sovereign state of the 21st century in 2002, and with stability restored, the country has been busy building its infrastructure and economy (with ecotourism as a part of the plan).

On our journey of discovery, you’ll visit monuments to Timor-Leste’s history and the valiance of its people, including the Chega!Exhibition (at the former Balide prison), the Resistance Museum, the site of the Dili massacre, and the WWII Australian War Memorial. You’ll mingle with the local culture as you meet the local Timorese in traditional villages, shop in the markets, learn about their handicrafts, and join in their feasts. You’ll climb to the 9,721-foot summit of Mt. Ramelau, the country’s highest mountain, and enjoy a spectacular sunset and sunrise as you camp at its peak. You’ll trek through ancient tropical forests and past waterfalls on your way to resistance-leader hideouts and caves decorated with prehistoric rock paintings. You’ll spot unique bird and animal life at Nino Konis Santana National Park and Iralalaro Lake (including rare birds like the yellow-crested cockatoo and the endemic Timor green pigeon) and take an outrigger canoe to remote Jaco Island, sacred to the Fataluku tribe, where you can kayak, snorkel, and swim in the azure waters or just relax on the sugar-white sand. Along the way, you’ll stay at the very best of Timor-Leste’s newly built lodges and guesthouses, and you’ll have the exceptional and increasingly uncommon experience of being one of the first visitors to see this little-known country. Come be a true explorer on this new and very special MTS adventure.

Activities

6 Days of moderate hiking on uneven terrain.

3 Days easy cultural touring.

2 Days of swimming, snorkeling and fishing on remote islands

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Join MTS—the only U.S. company to offer tours in Timor-Leste—and discover the diverse cultures of this new nation, only recently open to tourism
  • Trek through primeval forests on your way to sacred gardens, waterfalls, hot springs and caves, and kayak and snorkel on pristine, remote islands
  • Learn about Timor-Leste’s turbulent history with our local guides, as you visit the moving Resistance Museum, National WWII Museum and Chega! Exhibition
  • Climb imposing Mt. Ramelau, the country’s tallest peak, and camp at its summit
  • Share in the friendly Timor culture as you join in feasts and watch traditional dances

Duration: 12 days Start Location: Dili End Location: Dili

Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary
  • Timor-leste-article2-420x0
    Day 1 : Welcome to Dili

    Arrive in Dili, Timor Leste.  Spend the afternoon on an introductory tour of Dili, visiting historic sites and landmark monuments. Welcome dinner in the evening with your group.

  • 2004121903
    Day 2 : From traditional farmland villages to Mt Ramelau

    A scenic drive up the back hills of Dili towards the central ranges of Timor Leste. Passing through many traditional farmland villages on our way to Mount Ramelau. Trek to the base camp of Mount Ramelau arriving in time to watch the spectacular sunset.

  • 2_top_of_mt_ramelau
    Day 3 : Summit of Mt Ramelau

    An early start this morning to watch the sunrise from the summit of Mount Ramelau. Return to the town of Maubisse where we will spend the afternoon walking around the village and chatting to the friendly local people. Spend the night in an old Portuguese guesthouseoverlooking the town of Maubisse.

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    Day 4 : Historic town of Aileu

    We start to make our way back to Dili, stopping at the historic town of Aileu. Aileu which is surrounded by rice paddies and garden plots has a plethora of historical structures that are scattered throughout the town.

    We'll also visit the  WWII Australian War Memorial at Fatunaba where you can learn about the war history and the impact on the lives of the Timorese on this then colony of Portugal and neutral to the war. Return to the laid-back city, Dili for the evening.

  • Coastal_rice_paddies
    Day 5 : Along the North Coast

    Early start as we make our way to Loihuno, a town situated at the central eastern part of Timor Leste. This is a drive along the North Coast passing the cities of Manatuto and Baucau. Baucau is the second largest city of Timor Leste, set up on the limestone hills on the North coast.

  • Caves-loihuno
    Day 6 : Waterfalls and Caves

    Light trekking around the grounds, which will have us visiting waterfalls and caves.  One of the more famous caves was a hideout for one of the leaders of the resistance fighters during the Indonesian invasion (1975 to 1999). Return to lunch at the lodge then in the afternoon transfer to the town of Baucau and free time to explore the towns local markets.

  • 20041101_jac_island31_1_
    Day 7 : Nino Konis Santana National Park

    Today we make our way to idilic Valu Beach in Tutuala. Stopping along the way at Com Beach, Lake Ira Lalaro which is the largest lake in Timor Leste, and a favorite spot for many of the island's birds.We will have plenty of time to swim, snorkel and hike throughout this area.

  • 3_jaco_island_beach
    Day 8 : Jaco Island

    Today we will trek to the Ile Kére Kére and Leneara caves featuring ancient rock paintings dating back as far as 35,000-40,000 years. The afternoon will be spent on Jaco Island, a part of the protected Nino Konis Santana National Park. Here you will have the option to  bush walking, swim and snorkel in the most pristine azure waters.

  • Maubisse-2
    Day 9 : Village of Maupitine

    Today we take a light safari drive around Iralalaro lake to the village of Maupitine. Maupitine is a small farming village set on the fringe of lake Iralalaro. During the safari we travel through grassy lowlands and many other small villages. Drive to the fishing village of Com where traditional weavers sell their “Tais”, the colourful locally weaved traditional cloth. Learn how weaving and basketry are contributing to community development.

  • Day 10 : Monkey's Lagoon

    This morning we start our slow transfer back to Dili. Our first stop on the way back is a visit to fossilized monkey’s lagoon for a chance to see the giant clam fossils and the monkey community. There will be plenty of stops along the way to stretch the legs and take photos.

  • Dili-1
    Day 11 : Dili Day

    After several days of adventurous hiking and touring you’ll relish the opportunity to relax and take in many options in and around Dili.
    Your guides will help you plan some optional activities or point out the best local hikes. But don’t worry, if you simply want to
    relax and soak up the atmosphere, you’ll enjoy stretching your legs in Dili.

    At the end of the day, we’ll celebrate our last night together at the local restaurant .

  • Day 12 : Depart Timor-Leste

    We'll have a relaxed breakfast in Dili before heading to the airport to connect with your homeward-bound flights.

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: July - September Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.

PRICING:

2013 Prices

$3,495 (4-14 members)
$600 single supplement

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Emeryville, California 94608

Toll Free:1-888-831-7526