Bemvindo ba Timor Leste

Experience the bustling capital of Dili and the tranquil mountains of Balibo as you are guided through remnants of Portuguese colonisation, sites of resistance against Indonesian invasion, and dedicated organisations working to combat challenges following independence.

Throughout your journey, you will visit Palms Australia’s local partners and see the work they are doing in their communities. You will have the opportunity to learn about the role Australians can play in reducing global poverty by supporting local initiatives.

What’s included?*

  • Expert guide
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Internal transport with local driver
  • Tourist visa (issued on arrival)
  • Travel insurance for the duration of the tour
  • Entry to museums and activities

At the end of each day, guided activities will help you gain a deeper understanding of the new sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures and experiences you’ll encounter, and perhaps challenge some of your own ideas.

This itinerary is subject to change depending on transport, weather and the needs of our host organisations. Below is an itinerary enjoyed by previous guests, including the places you are likely to visit and experiences you are likely to have on our exclusive Timor-Leste group tour.

Day 1

Arrive in bustling Dili and spend the evening getting to know your group, being briefed for the trip and reflecting on your arrival in a new culture.

Day 2

Travel by water taxi from Dili to serene Atauro Island. Walk, swim, snorkel and explore the natural wonders of the island and retire at Barry’s Eco-Lodge, opened and run by a Palms Australia program participant.

Day 3

Get acquainted with the people and environment of Atauro with a geographic and cultural orientation. Visit a mountain village where you’ll encounter community enterprises creating opportunities for locals. Enjoy a relaxed, locally sourced dinner back at Barry’s Eco-Lodge.

Day 4

Gain an insight into Timor-Leste’s tumultuous history back in Dili. Visit iconic historical sites like the Resistance Museum, which commemorates Timor-Leste’s 24-year struggle against Indonesian occupation.

Day 5

Travel to the remote city of Maliana to visit Palms Australia participants working to reduce poverty and improve quality of life. Browse the local markets and explore the town centre before an evening of reflection and discussion.

Day 6

Meet with Mana Rince, the Director and Founder of local NGO Organisasaun Haburas Moras (OHM). Visit local farms and learn about local sustainable agriculture initiatives and their impact on the community.

Day 7

Depart Maliana for Balibo, a peaceful town heavily damaged during the militia violence that occurred during Timorese independence. Meet with Palms Australia participants working at the Balibo Community Learning Centre and visit the Balibo 5 memorial. Gain insight into Timorese life and make some new friends with a homestay in nearby Atabae.

Day 8

Experience authentic Timorese culture with a trip to mass with your host family in Atabae. Travel back to Dili for an afternoon of relaxation and reflection.

Day 9

Experience colonial Portuguese architecture and take in the refreshing coastal air in Baucau, Timor-Leste’s second biggest city.

Day 10

Visit Palms Australia participants working in education and medicine in the remote town of Venilale. Travel back to Dili for the evening.

Day 11

Travel to the outer-Dili suburb of Bedois, where Palms Australia participants are working to improve education outcomes for children and young adults. Meet with Father Adriano of Ahisaun Foundation, a social enterprise that builds the capacity of young people with disability.

Day 12

In your last full day in Timor-Leste, experience more of Dili’s cultural heritage. Visit some of Dili’s important memorials like the Chega! Exhibition and the Santa Cruz Cemetery.

Find a good book in the Xanana Reading Room, shop for traditional textiles at the Tais Market and grab some souvenirs and a bite to eat at the bustling Timor Plaza.

Exchange stories and celebrate your last night in Timor-Leste with a final dinner with your group and Palms Australia participants before flying home the next morning.

* Travellers will be required to complete the following at their own expense:

  • Medical approval for travel to Timor Leste, including to remote areas
  • Police Check
  • Working with Children Check

Our Timor Leste Encounter begins and ends in Dili. Return flights to Timor Leste are not included in your tour. We can offer advice on booking flights through Darwin where you will meet up with fellow travellers and your guide before arriving in Dili. For those joining us from flights through Bali, let us know your flight details and we can connect you with fellow travellers when you arrive.

Read our complete Terms and Conditions for more information and get in touch with Palms if you have any questions.