Top 5 off-the-beaten-track activities in Ataúro

–Tetum bellow–

Countless tourists have enjoyed the stunning coral reefs in Beloi or the handicrafts and local art makers of Vila. But did you know that few visitors to Ataúro rarely venture outside of these villages? ATKOMA, the Atauro Island Destination Management Organization, has been working hard for the past two years to develop itineraries and train tour guides to ensure a safe and fun adventure to less explored areas around the island.

Take a look below and see how you can contribute to sustainable tourism development on the island! Instead of promoting the same old popular activities, ATKOMA wants to go beyond. Making sure that tourism reaches less popular areas is one of our goals and it’s important for sustainable tourism development. For that, we have consulted locals and tourists to put together the Top 5 off-the-beaten-track activities of this off-the-beaten-track destination. From where to stay to treks and cultural tours, check out these Top 5 off-the-beaten-track activities in Ataúro.

The hidden gems of Ataúro according to previous visitors and locals

1 – Bikeli hot springs

Top 5 off-the-beaten-track activities in Ataúro

Bikeli is most definitely one of Ataúro’s hidden gems. With its biggest attraction being the hot springs. It is a lovely place to spend the afternoon. Once in Bikeli, you can mingle with locals and try traditional timorese dishes and fresh seafood. It is a traditional custom for local women to fish in the low tide and cook in the hot springs. At the hot springs, tourists are not allowed to bathe, but you can feel the incredible heat coming from the water. If you opt for a bit of adventure, it is also recommended for tourists to hike from Bikeli to Uaroana to buy some local crafts.

Getting to Bikeli from Beloi is simple. You can take a quick ride, or for the most adventurous, you can hike for approximately 2-3 hours. Stay tuned for upcoming itineraries to the hot springs of Bikeli.

Extra tip: Another interesting hike from Bikeli is walking towards the sand beach of Akrema. The journey takes around 2 hours. A tour guide is recommended as this hike difficulty depends on the ocean tide. 


2 – Explore the island by foot from Vila to Makili

Another tip for the hike lovers is following the trail from Vila to Makili. We recommend you to get a local guide that will accompany you during the hike. It is possible to hike alone, however, the difficulty will depend on the tides. If the tides are high an extra half an hour will be necessary to complete the hike safely. When arriving in Makili, you can arrange to visit a workshop and learn how to make hand weaved baskets. The fisherman village is also famous for wood carved boats that you can spot from the trail when arriving at Makili. If you are tired, your tour guide can arrange a boat to take you back to Vila. Bear in mind that the boat has to be arranged in advance.


ATKOMA can easily arrange a tour guide for you. Check out our itinerary and contact us if you have any doubt.


Extra tip: Another interesting hike from Bikeli is walking towards the sand beach of Akrema. The journey takes around 2 hours. A tour guide is recommended as this hike difficulty depends on the ocean tide. 

3 – Choose a homestay

If you are tired of the standardized hotel service try booking a homestay. You’ll be surprised how the simplicity of a bed and breakfast can make your trip even more special. At a homestay you can hear the tips from locals, make new friends and find more affordable accommodation. Besides, you’ll benefit locals and small businesses that have been affected by the current crisis. By choosing homestay you are also choosing sustainability! 

Take a look at some homestays that contribute with ATKOMA in this link.


4 – take a break from the beach with a Tuk Tuk tour of Vila

Observe the simplicity of the streets at Vila. There, unpaved roads meet the sea and you can observe artisans, eat fresh food and collaborate with conservation NGOs. Vila is the administrative capital of Ataúro and each corner of this village has a story ready to be heard. Some of the most famous artisans in the area are Biojoia and Boneca de Ataúro. Both organizations empower women in vulnerable situations and support the livelihoods of dozens of families. One of the hidden gems of Vila is the Hole in the Ground Prison. This prison tells the story of a colonial Ataúro, when Portuguese and Indonesians used Ataúro as a prison and an exile to Timorese rebels. 


Discover these and other hidden secrets of Vila on our Tuk Tuk Tour.

Top 5 off-the-beaten-track activities in Ataúro

5 – Visit in July and participate on the Betel Nut Festival

Hidden in the mountains of Ataúro, the Suko of Anartutu is the highest inhabited point of the island. If you visit the island in July you will have the opportunity to join the Betel Nut Festival in Anartutu. During this period, people from all over Ataúro come to the village to  reaffirm their union and to sample the betel nut. The head of the village of Anartutu is very welcoming to visitors and usually opens his house to them. To experience Anartutu is more than just watching the festival. You can also observe how the only non-coastal village in Ataúro has survived and thrived over the centuries.


Become a sustainable tourist

What are you waiting for to turn your next vacation into a sustainable trip? Now you have some tips and tricks on how to become a sustainable tourist. If you still feel unsure about how to take the first step, what about booking a tour with us? Come see all these hidden gems of Ataúro and let us show you the path to sustainability. Inquire today at [email protected] or by WhatsApp on +670 7563 3502 / +670 7682 5789. We work with local guides and businesses, bringing together sustainable tourism specialists and taking you to the most exclusive spots.



Turista sira la sura númeru, mak desfruta ona furak ahu-ruin Beloi nian ka artesanatu no artezaun local sira iha Vila. Maibe ita-bo’ot hatene katak vizitantes ituan deit ba Ataúro mak raru iha aventuras laos iha suko hirak ne’e? ATKOMA, Organizasaun Jestaun Destinasaun husi Illa Ataúro, serbisu maka’as ona iha tinan rua ikus atu dezenvolve itineráriu no treina guias turístikus atu garante Aventura ida seguru no lori ksolok iha área sira ladun explora iha illa. Haré iha kraik oinsa ita-bo’ot bele kontribui dezenvolvimentu sustentável turizmu iha illa Ataúro! Em vez de promove deit nafatin atividades popular tuan sira, ATKOMA hakarak halo liu ida ne’e. Garante katak turizmu to’o iha área sira ladun popular, ne’e mak ami nian objetivu ida no importante ba dezenvolvimentu turizmu sustentável. Ba ida ne’e, ami konsulta ona ho komunidade local no turista sira atu tau hamutuk Atividade 5 diak-liu husi destinasaun ne’e. Husi fatin atu hela, Lao (Trek) no passeiu kultural sira, haré atividade 5 nebe laos komum ne’e iha Ataúro 


Murak-rai Ataúro nian nebe haksumik, tuir vizitante sira uluk no ema local sira

1 – Be’e Manas Bikeli

Bikeli mak konserteza murak-rai Ataúro nian nebe haksumik. Ho ninia atrasaun bo’ot liu mak iha be’e matan manas. Fatin furak ida atu passa iha tempu lorokraik. Bainhira iha ona Bikeli, ita-bo’ot bele hasoru ema local no koko hahan tradicional Timor nian no hahan husi tasi nebe fresku. Sai kostume tradicional ema feto sira mak kaer produtu (hanesan ikan no kurita) husi ahu-ruin bainhira tasi maran no tein iha be’e matan manas. Iha be’e manas, turista sira labele harís, maibe ita-bo’ot bele sente manas inkrível husi be’e. Se ita-bo’ot hili Aventura ituan, rekomenda ba ita-bo’ot atu lao husi Bikeli ba Uaroana atu sosa artesanatu local balun.

Husi Beloi ba Bikeli ne’e simples los. Ita-bo’ot bele sa’e kareta ka atu aventureiru liu,  ita-bo’ot bele lao aproximadamente horas 2-3. Hein itineraiu sira tuir mai ba iha be’e manas Bikeli.


Konsellu Estra: Lao ain interessante seluk husi Bikeli mak lao ba iha tasi ibun rai-hanek mutin   Akrema nian. Jornada ne’e lori horas 2. Rekomenda guia turístika ida tamba difikuldade lao depende ba tasi bo’ot ka kiik. 

2 – Explora illa ho ain husi Vila ba Makili

Konsellu seluk ba sira nebe gosta lao mak liu dalan husi Vila ba Makili. Ami rekomenda ita-bo’ot foti guia local nebe sei akompaña ita-bo’ot durante lao. Possível bele lao mesak, maibe ninia difikuldade depende ba tasi bo’ot ka kiik. Karik tasi bo’ot preciza meia hora tan atu kompleta lao ain ne’e. Bainhira to’o iha Makili, ita-bo’ot bele ba fatin homan no aprende oinsa bele halo nafatik sira ho liman. Knua peskador sira ne’e mos koñesidu ho ko’a ro-ahi husi ai nebe ita-bo’ot bele hare iha dalan bainhira to’o iha Makili. Karik ita-bo’ot kolen, guia turístika bele arranja ro-ahi ida fila ba Vila. Keta haluha katak, ro-ahi ne’e tenki hamenu kedas.

ATKOMA bele arranja guia turístika ho fásil ba ita-bo’ot. Hare ami nian itinerariu no kontaktu ami karik ita-bo’ot iha dúvida ruma.


Konsellu Extra: ba trilla/lao ida nebe emocionante liu ita-bo’ot bele hili liu lao husi tasi no fila liu-husi foho. Dalan ida-idak lori horas ida ka horas ida ho balun atu to’o. Ita-bo’ot bele hili dalan ida nebe adekuadu liu, tamba sira hotu sei lori ba to’o iha fatin ida hanesan ho paisajem sira lahanesan. Karik hili dalan liu-husi foho, keta-haluha hare gruta Nain Feto nian  iha dalan.

3 – Hili Uma familia/homestay ida

Karik ita-bo’ot baruk ona ho servisu padraun hotel nian, koko atu rezerva homestay ida. Ita-bo’ot sei hetan surpreza oinsa kuartu no matabisu ida simples bele halo ita-bo’ot ninia viajem sai special liu. Iha homestay ida ita-bo’ot bele rona konsellu sira husi ema local, halo maluk foun  no hetan akomodasaun nebe acessível liu. Alem ne’e, ita-bo’ot sei benefisia ema local no negosiu kiik sira nebe hetan afeta husi krize aktual. Hodi hili homestay ita-bo’ot mos hili sustentabilidade! 


Hare to’ok homestay sira balun nebe mak kontribui ba AKTOMA iha ligasaun ida ne’e


4 – Deskansa ituan husi tasi-ibun hodi passiar ba Vila ho Tuk Tuk

Observa simplisidade Estrada sira ba Vila. Iha neba, dalan sira  seidauk alkatroada, hasoru tasi, ita-bo’ot bele observa artisan sira, han hahan fresku no kolabora ho NGO sira konservasaun sira. Vila mak kapital administrativu Ataúro nian no kada kantu husi suco ne’e iha história ida atu rona. Artisan sira famozu liu balun iha area ne’e mak  Biojoia no Boneca de Ataúro. Organizasaun rua ne’e mak empodera feto iha situasaun sira  vulnerável no apoia meius subsistensia ba uma-kain barak. Murak-rai ida nebe haksumik iha Vila mak Rai-kuak iha  Prizaun. Prizaun ne’e konta história Kolonial Ataúro nian, bainhira Portugues no Indonesia sira uza Ataúro nudar prizaun ida no fatin desterra ema Timor nebe revolta. 


Deskobre fatin sira ne’e no fatin segredu sira seluk iha ami nian Passeiu ho Tuk Tuk


5 – Vizita iha fulan Jullu no partisipa iha Festival Sa’e Bua

Haksumik iha foho sira Ataúro nian, Suko Macadadi/Anartutu mak pontu as liu ho populasaun iha illa ne’e. Karik ita-bo’ot vizita iha fulan Jullu, ita-bo’ot sei iha oportunidade atu halibur hamutuk iha Festival Sa’e Bua iha Anartutu. Durante periudu ne’e, ema sira husi Ataúro tomak mai iha suko ne’e atu reafirma sira ninia unidade no koko bua. Chefe Suko Macadade akolledor tebes ba visitante sira no kostuma loke ninia uma ba sira. Atu iha experiensia Anartutu nian mak laos deit hare festival. Ita-bo’ot mos bele observa oinsa aldeia únika laos  kosteira iha Ataúro sobrevive no prospera durante tinan atus ba atus.


Sai turista ida sustentável

Saida mak ita-bo’ot hein atu muda ita-bo’ot ninia ferias tuir mai ba iha viajem sustentável ida? Agora ita-bo’ot iha konsellu no trik balun oinsa sai turista sustentável ida. Karik ita-bo’ot sei sente inserteza oinsa hola primeiru passu, Rezerva passeiu ida ho ami? Mai hare buat hotu nebe hasukmik iha Ataúro no husik ami hatudu ba ita-bo’ot dalan ba sustentabilidade. Kontaktu ami ohin iha [email protected] ka liu-husi Whatsapp iha +670 7563 3502 / +670 7682 5789. Ami serbisu hamutuk ho guia local no negosiu, hamutuk ho spesialistas turizmu sustentável nian no lori ita-bo’ot ba fatin sira ekskluzivu liu.

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