Places to Go

Places to Go

Where to Go: Beaches, Diving, Markets & Mountains on Ataúro Island

While Ataúro may seem like a small place at first glance, the island is full of activities to do and places to go, from the highest peak to the deepest reefs. With more than a dozen distinct villages across the island, you will find a rich variety of local cultural sites and historical objects to visit. Each village differs in both its natural landscapes and offerings, and you can often purchase wood carvings, woven baskets, or other souvenirs to take with you. Enjoy a fresh coconut on the white sand beach of Beloi, and enjoy one or two more when you make the three hour trek over to the beach of Adara! Explore sacred caves, attend Sunday church service with the local people, dip your toe in natural hot springs, or eat fresh fish at the Beloi Market on Saturday. Wherever you choose to explore in Ataúro, ATKOMA can be your guide, organizing tours or helping find a local guide to make your experience truly unforgettable.

Sukos & Villages

There are five distinct areas, or sukos, of Ataúro: Makili, Makadade, Vila-Maumeta, Beloi, and Bikeli,—home to around 10,000 people all together. Each suko has at least one school, health clinic, and church. It also has a local government system with the Chefe Suko as the leader. There are a number of other villages across the island, each with […]

Historic Sites

Timor-Leste is a fascinating and historically rich country, holding a heritage fraught with colonialism, conflict, and unending perseverance by the Timorese people. After hundreds of years of Portuguese occupation, Timor-Leste declared itself independent from Portugal on November 28th, 1975. Nine days later, Timor-Leste was invaded by Indonesia and brutally occupied for more than two decades. […]

Manucoco Peak 

No view of Ataúro is as breathtaking as the one at the highest point of the island. At 995 meters above sea level, Manucoco towers distinctively over the white-sand beaches below, representing an almost different universe on the island. According to local tradition, a person has not truly visited Ataúro until they have climbed to […]


Ataúro contains some of the best beaches in all of Timor-Leste. You can enjoy the beaches just steps from your accommodation or explore through the hills and cliffs to find the most remote ones. If palm-fringed sands and clear seas strike your fancy, you have struck gold here. At first glance Ataúro’s beaches may seem […]

Diving and Snorkeling Sites

Ataúro offers the world’s most biodiverse diving and snorkeling sites! This is due to its location in the famed Indonesian Throughflow, a warm current that carries a rich assortment of nutrients south from the Banda Sea. This diversity in nutrients bestows Ataúro with rich and diverse marine life. In 2016, a Conservation International team analyzed […]

Scenic Overlooks

As Ataúro is filled with a variety of stunning landscapes, it is worth the time to venture to one of its many vantage points where you can take in the natural beauty of the whole island! Climb up to any of the viewpoints on a peak or hill and take in the sweeping views of […]

Beloi Market

The Thursday and the larger Saturday Beloi market days coincide with the midday ferry arrival from Dili. Visiting this market is the perfect welcome to Ataúro: see the smiling faces of artisans, farmers, and entrepreneurs from all over the island. Whether it be freshly caught and barbequed octopus, pomegranates grown in Akrema, baskets woven in […]


Religion is very important in Timorese culture and our churches hold some of the country’s most vibrant celebrations. To our people, churches represent community gathering, respect, personal betterment, and of course a devotion to God. We have Protestant and Catholic churches and inhabitants of our island primarily belong to one of these two groups. Visitors […]


Ataúro is geologically diverse with overhanging cliffs, stepped terrace formations, limestone caves, rock fossils, and even freshwater and small hot water springs. The island is very rugged with a high mountain spine stretching from the south and gradually diminishing in the north. Ataúro is incredibly dry with little water run-off and this contributes to the […]

Hot Springs 

Hot springs offer a calming experience that can be an important component of wellness tourism. While most people think of them as bubbling waters nestled among mountain peaks, Ataúro has a distinctly different experience in store. The hot springs on Ataúro rest directly on the coastline, bubbling up where the ocean meets the land. It […]

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