With Dili as your base, East Timor can be host to some of the most spectacular diving in South East Asia: coral reefs, ship wrecks - perfect for a dive holiday “off the beaten track!”
Beach/Shore Diving: East Timor
East of Dili features some great shore dives such as the Back Side of Jesus, Secret Garden & The Cavern:
Back Side of Jesus: A long bay with sloping wall showcasing a variety of soft and hard coral often frequented by turtles.
Secret Garden: A 50m swim will get you to a great wall dive that can be done only on a high tide.
The Cavern: One of Timor's great Cave dives with an entry point forming into an expensive 30m wide cave with 4 arms boasting air pockets.
Boat Diving: East Timor
1 Hour from Dili, the nearby Atauro Island is a beautiful location for wall diving: Manta Ray Cove is the premiere location with other great Atauro experiences to be had at some of the following dive spots: Dirt Track, Big Fish Rock, Bar Stool and The Church.
Dirt Track: a favourite coastal dive in Manatuto district, offers a 17 metres smorgasboard of dramatic snappers, parrotfish, butterfly fish, fusiliers and batfish.
Big Fish Rock: off the western point of Atauro is renowned for strong currents, big pelagics including barracuda, trevally and tuna: But beware, hammerhead sharks have also been sighted in the area!
Bar Stool: a great wall dive: 8m down to over 80m deep
The Church: A wall dive known for good quantities of fish and critters. Fantastic visibility with mild to strong currents.
Atauro Island: Eco Lodge
The bamboo cabins of Tua Koin, an eco-lodge on Atauro Island is for those who crave to to unwind in an environment unspoilt by modern development & commerce. Profits from visitor stays go into local community projects enabling the expansion of tourism in an ecologically appropriate way. Cultural/study tours can also be arranged for those wanting to immerse themselves more thoroughly in the hospitality of the local community.
Scuba Diving Travel Insurance
Diving is an exhilarating experience. The easily accessible & abundant variety of dives available in East Timor is temptation enough to go on a tour or take your own equipment.
However the safety and insurance angle is not something to be overlooked when planning an underwater adventure. Are you a licensed diver? Is your instructor qualified? If taking a diving tour, please check your tour provider's credentials and always ask for your dive leader's certification. If personally injured or suffer damage to your equipment, most travel insurance providers will cover only if you hold an open water diving licence and/or you were diving under licensed instruction.
East Timor Scuba Diving Tips & Safety
1. Never try a dive you're not comfortable with. During descent, you should gently equalize your ears and mask. At depth, never dive outside the parameters of the dive tables or your dive computer (information that helps you avoid decompression sickness).
2. Never hold your breath while ascending. You should always ascend slowly while breathing normally.
3. Become familiar with the underwater area and its dangers. Learn which fish, coral and other hazards to avoid so injuries do not occur. Be aware of local tides and currents.
4. Never panic under water. If you become confused or afraid during a dive, stop, try to relax and think the problem through. You can also get help from your dive buddy or dive master.
5. Do not dive alone.
6. Plan your dive. Preferably with your dive partner.
7. Check your diving equipment pre-dive.
8. Do not imbibe alcohol before a dive.
9. If taking medication, check with your doctor regarding any possible complications related to diving.
10. Do not dive if injured
11. Cave diving is dangerous and should only be attempted by divers with proper training and equipment.
12. If following a dive you feel unwell or sick, please seek out medical aid where possible.
13. Don't fly for 12 hours after a no-decompression dive, even in a pressurized airplane. If your dive required decompression stops, don't fly for at least 24 hours.