Introducing Atauro Island
After busy Dili, Atauro Island seems positively deserted. Its sandy beaches are gateways to broad fringing reefs and there’s great snorkelling to be found all around the island. Walking trails lead through savannah and remnants of tropical forest.
Atauro Island’s location, 30km from Dili over a section of sea 3km deep in parts, made it perfect for use as a jail by both the Portuguese and Indonesian governments. Dili’s dive shops arrange underwater tours; you can arrange snorkelling trips with local fishing boats from US$15, or swim out. Ask the locals about the many hiking possibilities.