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Timor-Leste (East Timor)

Main attractions

Prehistoric paintings at Ile Kére Kére, East Timor
Prehistoric paintings at Ile Kére Kére / Hans-Peter Grumpe, Wikimedia Commons, GNU FDL

The island country of Timor-Lest has magnificent scenery, interesting geological attractions, rich biodiversity and promising archaeological finds. This country is rather little known and in the future there are expected more discoveries.

Natural landmarks

  • Mainina Ponor - Lautém. A ponor, where disappears water from the largest freshwater lake of Timor-Leste - whole Irasiquero River flows in it. Water continues to flow underground and discharges in the sea. Sacred place. Endemic fish Craterocephalus laisapi has been discovered in this short stream.
  • Mare Naun Nura Springs - Aileu. Group of hot springs with water temperature 55 - 62 °C. Water is bubbling, has slight odour.
  • Marobo hot water spring - Bobonaro. Hot water spring in beautiful mountain setting. In the past there have been built pools for collection of the water. Temperature of water - 46 - 47 °C.
  • Mota Bandeira Falls - Ermera. Impressive waterfall - a stream falls down a vertical cliff.
  • Noi Noi Kuru Cave - Lautém. Approximately 320 m long limestone cave with beautiful cave formations. Cave contains gours and also sherd of pottery and stone wall - a sign of human habitation. People have used the cave as shelter in 1975.
  • Oesilo mud volcanoes - Oecusse. Group of several active mud volcanoes.

Man-made landmarks

  • Christo Dei of Dili - Dili. 27 m tall statue of Jesus atop globe.
  • Jaco Island - Lautém. This island is covered with primeval forest and is considered to be sacred by local people - a place where the souls of deceased people go. Access to this island is forbidden.
  • Prehistoric paintings at Ile Kére Kére near Tutuala - Lautém. Exquisite, well preserved paintings up to 30,000 years old. Contains Lene Hara Cave - limestone cave, where people have lived in several periods since 30,000 - 35,000 BP. Walls of cave are adorned with prehistoric polychrome paintings, depicting geometric shapes, boats, animals, birds and stylised humans. Here have been found petroglyphs as well. In this area are known at least six other caves with cave art (including O Hi and Ile Kére Kére).

List of described attractions by regions

Timor-Leste is divided into 13 districts:

Cova Lima
ArrowMainina PonorSinkholes

Map of AnguTimor-Lesteilla

Featured: Mainina Ponor

The Irasiquero River leaves the largest freshwater lake of Timor-Leste - Irasiquero Lake - and flows towards the nearby sea. This would be geographic triviality if... the river would not disappear underground in the impressive Mainina Ponor after making half of the distance to the sea...

Recommended books:

Timor-Leste Land of Discovery

Timor-Leste Land of Discovery is the first ever coffee table book created depicting East Timor s landscape, cultural and underwater wonders, with text by President Bill Clinton, UN Secretary General & Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan, President Xanana Gusmão and Minister & Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta.

East Timor: Island in Turmoil

Book examines the history of the ethnic conflict in East Timor and its continuing effect on the people.

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