Scuba Diving in Timor-Leste

East Timor (indon. Timor Timur), or Timor-Leste is a country in Southeast Asia, located in the eastern and western part of the island of Timor. It also occupies the islands of Atauro and Jaco. In the south and east, East Timor is washed by the waters of the Timor Sea, which separates it from Australia, and in the north — by the Ombay and the Banda Sea.
Timor is the heart of the famous “coral triangle”.
Sandy reef and coral gardens are great locations for diving. They are popular because of bubbles that rise from the bottom of the sea due to volcanic activity in the region.
There are barracudas and octopuses, seahorses and black scorpionfish, smooth lumpfish and dugongs. And also — nudibranchs and great folds, shoals of tuna and jack mackerel, silvertip sharks and stingrays.

Reasons to Visit

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Where to go
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The K57 dive site is located in the small town of Manatuo, east of the capital. It is a wall on which live sea fans of impressive sizes. They attract a large number of turtles, butterfly fish, triggerfish, and marine angelfish. And in the cracks and crevices of the wall, of which there are many, harlequins found their habitat.
K41 is considered the most popular dive site in East Timor. It received its name due to the fact that it is located 41 km from Dili. When diving you will find many live corals. If you are a professional diver, then you just need to dive to a depth of 40 m, where graceful long-winged sharks and pygmy seahorses can be found. You can also observe the movement of large whales.
The waters of East Timor hold many interesting experiences for beginners and professionals. The local variety of fauna will especially please fans of underwater photography. You will find clownfish, angelfish and pygmy seahorses in the depths. Dolphins and octopuses could also be found. Coral gardens will inspire many unique vibrant shots.
Thanks to the clear water, you can arrange a relaxing walk to study the unique beauty of the seabed. At a depth of 30 m, grow branched corals, catching the eye with the game of shadows and light. If you dive to 40 m, you will come across grey reef sharks and toothed barracudas. You can also bump into unhurried mantas eating plankton.
Bubble Beach is a shallow reef made up of sand and coral gardens with a rich ecosystem. This place is also famous for bubbles that rise from the bottom to the surface of the water. An unusual phenomenon is caused by the volcanic activity of the region. Here the fauna is extremely diverse, so it is easy to encounter, for example, mimic octopuses. These amazing animals are able to replicate the colour and habits of more than 15 species of marine inhabitants.

Diving Destinations in Timor-Leste

Many travellers call East Timor the "edge of the earth" because of the many places that have not yet been mastered by man.
Dili — the departure point to those desiring a sea walk, who arrived in Timor-Leste. One of the most popular destinations is the island of Atauro (port. Ataúro) with an underwater wall extending to a considerable depth. Exotic fish live here and you can come across dolphins.
The unspoiled nature of the island of Jaco resembles a piece of the lost world.

Memo Notes
Currency USD - United States dollar
Languages Portuguese
Timezone UTC +9
Phone code 670
Emergency Help 723-06-86
Electricity

Type C - 220 V, 50 Hz

Type E - 220 V, 50 Hz

Type F - 220 V, 50 Hz

Type I - 220 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Timor-Leste

Dive Timor, the most renowned dive shop in East Timor. Nearby there is a guesthouse where you can stay. There are organized dives nearby Dili and in more remote areas.
Aquatica Dive Resort Timor, a new dive shop. Located on the outskirts, but there is a transfer that takes you from the hotel and back.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

The air and water warm up to +29 ˚С. The rain season continues, but in April the amount of precipitation decreases. The air temperature is +30 ˚С. In May, the rainy spring ends and the hot summer begins, marking the start of the high season.

Summer

Dry season is the ideal season for diving. The air warms up to +29 ˚С, and the water to +27 ˚С. It rains periodically. August is typically the driest month of the year. Precipitation only accrues for 3-4 days. The air temperature at night is +18 ˚С.

Autumn

In September, the air warms up to +29 ˚С, and water to +28 С. In October, this weather continues to be the same, and in November, rainfall increases, foreshadowing the onset of the rainy season.

Winter

In December, the air warms up to +30 ˚С, and water to +29 ˚С. The rainy season starts. In January and February, these figures are maintained. The light of day lasts for 6 hours. At night, the air cools down to +20- 21 ˚С.

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The Best Dive Sites

Despite poor visibility, Pertamina Pier attracts tourists with interesting sea inhabitants: octopuses, barracudas and smooth lumpfish.
Night dive to Gravel Pit — a shallow coral garden — will present you with berry cuttlefish and tentacle acetonours.

Health & Safety

The level of medical services in East Timor is low. There is a shortage of specialists and medication in the country. Vaccines, as well as insurance, are mandatory for visiting the state there.
Timor-Leste is not the safest place for tourists. There are often thefts and attacks on visitors. The situation is better in the provinces, but you should not let your guard down still. Especially be careful in the border regions, where there are armed smugglers. We recommend avoiding rallies and other mass processions.

Dangerous Marine Life

Corals represent a certain danger, it is easy to get hurt around them. Remember that not in all places you can swim because of crocodiles in the coastal waters. It is also worth being careful with the currents, they are quite strong.

Eat & Drinks

Island cuisine is a blend of Filipino, Chinese and Portuguese cooking traditions with the additions of the Malay people. Almost all dishes are based on local rice with the addition of coconut milk, spices, corn, potatoes, and bananas. Popular delicacies among travellers include akar: pickled vegetables with palm bark, caldeirada: stewed with spices and tomatoes, beef and lamb, tapai (rice noodles).
The black coffee is quite tasty, and lovers of strong drinks should try local beer. Since tap water here may be unsafe to drink, it is advised to consume only bottled water.