Timor Leste was one of the world’s newest countries at the time of my visit. This tiny nation earned its independence in 2003 from Indonesia which sadly was followed civil war and instability. I was a bit nervous to visit because of all the travel warnings I had read about the country, b luckily I had nothing but great experiences. From my perspective the country seemed to be relatively stable and showing excellent signs of recovery. The locals are very proud of their struggle and independence, and hopefully will continue to progress towards peace and stability.
Becoming the country’s capital in 2002, Dili has made a remarkable recovery from both the fighting with Indonesia and the civil war that followed. The recent stability and enormous gains in security make the country safe enough for visitors. Dili has some excellent museums that cover their recent wars, such as the resistance museum. Next after the museums, the multiple beaches within the capital are the most popular attractions, but you’ll also find several unique cultural experiences just exploring the city.
East Timor’s mini Rio De Janerio, or Cape Fatucama, was inspired by Christ the Redeemer. Cape Fatucama is formed by large steep tropical mountains descending into the sea and is surrounded by beautiful beaches on both sides. Every Friday night, festivals take place here with dancing, music, and traditional food.
Dare is a small village located in the mountains that is a short trip from Dili. Dare is known for its small village atmosphere complimented with one of the largest cathedrals in the country. This was also the site of some heavy fighting between Australians and Japanese, and has Timor Leste’s modern World War II memorial and museum that is free to the public.
Timor Leste is one of the best diving places in the world, with so many options such as com, Atauro island and even shore dives. Timor Leste is also home to several five star diving resorts that are usually Australian owned and operated. The prices are relatively cheap, and the experiences extremely rewarding with an abundance of wildlife.