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When was the last time you walked down a stretch of unpaved road lined with bright red flowers and listened to birds, laughing children, and waves in the distance—without a single car driving by? Simply walking through the village of Vila, home to some 1,800 people, is like being transported back through time. Vila is the capital of Ataúro, and the main center for government and NGO offices, as well as a multitude of incredible women-run cooperatives you cannot miss visiting during your time on the island. Boneca, Manukoko Rek, and Biojoia de Ataúro are the three most famous and successful cooperatives on the island, all just meters from each other in Vila. Started by an Italian priest several years ago, these cooperatives empower local women—many of whom have escaped domestic abuse—to earn a living and run a business. In one day in Vila, you can hike to an amazing viewpoint, see the administrative capital of the island, attend a vibrant church service, visit an ex-Portuguese prison, buy unique dolls from Boneca or jewelry from Biojoia, and enjoy an authentic Italian pizza or handmade gnocchi from Manukoko Rek. From Beloi, it takes a 10 minute Tuk-Tuk ride or a 45-minute walk to reach Vila.

If you are interested in learning more about this point of interest use the form below to contact the Atkoma Tourism Office

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