Timor-Leste Travel Tips


  • Time Difference
    GMT+9 hours

  • Population
    1.1 million

  • Language
    Tetun, Portuguese, Bahasa and English
    The Tetun Translator can provide simple translation from English to Tetun. Learn Tetun at Lorosa’e English Language Institute

  • Climate
    Tropical humid, 25-35C lowlands and cooler inland

  • Rainfall
    Dry season May-November; wet season December- April


  • Tele-communications
    Good mobile phone coverage (main centres).  To get set up bring an unlocked handset and buy a SIM card and credit on arrival.  Internet is readily available but speed is relatively slow

  • Electricity
    Limited duration in some outlying areas and outages can occur (so torch is useful).  Electricity plugs vary so it’s wise to being an adapter

  • Driving
    Valid driving licence required when hiring vehicles/motorcycles; Note: must be carried while driving

  • Health
    Comprehensive travel insurance highly recommended


  • Travel Agencies
    Available in Dili for international flight arrangements

  • Tipping
    Not expected, but appreciated

  • Cultural
    Do ask before taking photos of people, seek permission before visiting sacred sites or communities and wearing modest dress is appreciated especially in the districts

  • Environmental
    Please do not litter, light fires, purchase souvenirs made from endangered species e.g. turtles and touch or take other marine species e.g. coral and shells

  • Freshwater
    In some locations, fresh water is limited so please use sparingly in this case

Best time of year

  • Best Diving

  • Best Trekking

  • Best Fishing


  • Passport Validity
    Minimum 6 months from arrival

  • Visa
    Obtained on arrival at airport (USD30 -Tourist and Business Class); Note: no money changing facilities at airport

  • Currency
    USD; banks will change foreign currencies if needed

  • Credit Cards
    MasterCard will not work anywhere. In Dili ATMs available but only accept VISA, limited EFPOS facilities and only larger hotels, tour and dive companies accept credit cards.  In districts limited ATMs, banks or credit cards/EFPOS facilities. When travelling in districts bring small notes as larger denominations hard to change

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