About East Timor

A fascinating country with
a complex and challenging history...

Fast facts

East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste, is a small country in South East Asia, located about 640 km northwest of Darwin, Australia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the enclave of Oecussi-Ambeno in the northwestern part of the island, and Atauro and Jaco islands.


15,000 km2


US Dollar

Tétum and Portuguese are the official languages, Indonesian and English are also widely spoken.

Roman Catholic 98%, Muslim 1%, Protestant 1% (2005)

Health risks
Malaria, Dengue and Japanese Encephalitis. It is strongly recommended that you go to a travel health appointment at least a month before departure and that you take travel insurance.

East Timor has two seasons: wet (December to April) and dry (May to November). Day temperatures are around 30°C to 35°C year-round in the lowland areas, dropping to the low 20s overnight. In the mountain areas, warm-to-hot daytime temperatures drop to 15°C at night, less at altitude. At the end of the dry season in parts of the north coast temperatures hover over 35°C. A good time to visit is after the wet season, from late April to July.

Time zone
GMT + 9 (no daylight savings)

Dialling code

Coffee, rice, corn, cassava, sweet potatoes, soybeans, cabbage, mangoes, bananas and vanilla

Coffee, sandalwood, marble, potential for oil and vanilla exports

Travel budget
US$20 to US$50 a day

Approximate costs
1.5L bottle of water US$0.50
Beer US$2.50
Noodle dish from a local eatery US$1 to US$2
Shore dive US$40

Reproduced with permission from the Lonely Planet website www.lonelyplanet.com © 2009 Lonely Planet

Additional information sourced from CIA World Factbook

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