No view of Ataúro is as breathtaking as the one at the highest point of the island. At 995 meters above sea level, Manukoko 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 the highest point of the island—Manukoko Peak. This sacred mountain represents much for the sucos of Ataúro, from the primary freshwater source on the island to the location of many legends and ancient traditions. Visitors are welcome to visit the peak anytime, but must hike with a guide as the area is protected for its ecological and cultural value to Timorese people.
As you wind your way up the path, take note of the vegetation change, from dry and grassy to lush and tropical. Keep an eye out for a wide variety of colorful birds, some known only to the island or larger Timor-Leste—14 restricted-range bird species have been identified in this area by BirdLife International, including the endangered Timor Green Pigeon.
As Manukoko is both a protected and sacred area, this hike must be done with a guide. Contact ATKOMA to help you arrange this must-see experience during your visit.