Timor is an island country in the maritime Southeast Asia. The island is politically divided into the sovereign state of East Timor on the eastern part and West Timor on the western area. Diving is centred on East Timor sporting world class diving with majestic walls, drop offs, acres of untouched reefs and teeming with prolific marine life.
The dive sites in the island are unspoiled since it is a fresh diving destination.
Popularly known as Timor-Leste and gifted with the waters and reefs of the southwest corner of the coral triangle, it boasts of nearly 600 different species of reef-building corals, six species of marine turtles and over 2000 species of reef fish. For the beginner to advanced divers, Timor-Leste simply represents a diving paradise.
One of the most popular dive sites is the Pertimener Pier which is a 400 meter long pier and supported only by wooden beams. The drop reaches over 15 metres sporting excellent macro marine life including octopus and schooling Barracuda.
Another popular site is the Pinnacle – a small reef outcrop in the Wetar Strait off Dili. This is suited only for advanced divers due to the presence of strong currents which could be very challenging. The drop is more than 22 metres. Marine life includes turtles, sharks, eagle rays, napoleons and a school of barracudas. The visibility is excellent and could be dived at night as reef sharks and turtles are attracted to the site.
The most pristine diving area in Timor-Leste mostly drift diving is found in Pulau Atauro Island sporting unspoiled coral reefs filled with hundreds of fishes and huge pelagics such as dolphins and whales. The water visibility is excellent reaching as far as 25 metres.
The government of Timor-Leste is an active participant in marine conservation efforts.
Recently, it just announced the establishment of seven no-take zones in its coastal waters. There are about 600 unspoiled reef-building coral species in the waters of Timor-Leste which is comparable to Australia’s enormous Great Barrier Reef hosting various marine life and most are endemic animals.
Timor has two seasons only: wet and dry.
Dry season starts from May to November with temperatures averaging 20°–33°C (68–91°F).
The wet season starts from December to April with temperatures averaging 29°–35°C (84–95°F).
The diving season is year round and the waters are naturally warm with excellent visibility.
Natural hazards include earthquakes, tsunamis, and tropical cyclones.
The main point of entry to Timor-Leste is the international airport outside Dili with flights coming from Bali, Singapore and Darwin.
It is also possible to arrive in Timor-Leste by bus from Indonesia's West Timor via Kupang.
Note that the security situation in Timor-Leste is fragile so it is a must to contact your travel agent.
There are available boat rides to the islands.
Taxis are available in Dili but be cautious with the fare as drivers tend to extort money from visitors.
The easiest mode of transportation is via airplane or ferry but always check with your travel agents first.