After declaring independence in 1975, Timor-Leste endured a brutal 24-year occupation by Indonesian troops, fearful of a declared communist state in the archipelago. Independence was regained under UN supervision in 2002. Tourists remain rare, security is fragile and crime is a problem. There is some fantastic trekking to be had in the high mountains of the interior. Its coffee is sold across the world. Diving is also possible and the government is investing in the development of sustainable ecotourism.

Portuguese fortresses and monuments are prevalent, and some of the most notable sites associated with the resistance, can be visited. In Dili a massacre was filmed and disseminated to international media, which proved to be a turning point in international opinion.


Timor Leste flag

Why you should go:

It's one of the world's youngest countries.

Why you shouldn't:

It's a long way from anywhere popular.

Map of Timor Leste