- Hike to Manukoko Peak
Manukoko is the highest and most sacred mountain 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. 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. 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 of Timor—14 restricted-range bird species have been identified in this area by BirdLife International, including the endangered Timor Green Pigeon.
The full climb to Manukoko Ridge is approximately 963m above sea level. Hiking this mountain is a must for Ataúro’s visitors who love trekking. Guided by locals, this hike features a number of memorable experiences, including enjoying the sunrise and the scenic view of the hills, bird watching, better understanding of the history of Ataúro’s ancestry and villages, as well as rest stops to enjoy coconuts and yam. Due to the sacred nature of the site, hiking with a guide is required.
Trail Description: From Vila, visitors will initially head up a steep road past the Cave of our Lady Mary. Near Maulaco, the trek will turn off on to a track climbing steeply upwards towards Manukoko. Eventually vegetation changes to forest. Towards the top, join the track from Anartutu and then head south-west, where you will still be in the forest until a narrow scrub-covered rocky ridge that you will climb in order to summit. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery and view of the island, snap plenty of photos, and then head back down.
Tour Stops & Highlights
- Tour will begin in the village of Vila. If located elsewhere on the island, transport is available via Tuk Tuk to meet at the tour starting point
- First Rest Stop at Fatuk Batas (border rock), a rock that marks the old border or ancestor’s border between Suco Makili and Macadade. Visitors will be shown the rock with the directions where the two Sucos are located
- Picnic Lunch at Manucoco Peak
- Decent Rest Stop at Aldeia Antiga (old village) to allow visitors to enjoy a fresh coconut, yam and take in the scenic views
- Round trip transport via Tuk-Tuk to Vila and back to Beloi ($4 extra for transport costs, if required)
- Local guide
- Packed picnic lunch
What to Bring:
- Sunscreen & hat
- Bottle of water
- Hiking boots or athletic shoes (no flip flops!)
- Long pants and shirt
$25 per person