Dili, East Timor
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Approximately 7½ Hours
East Timor's pleasant capital of Dili welcomes you. The surrounding hills are lush and green, and the town features many historical buildings, monuments and religious places. Watch for the Government Palace, Casa Europa (which was the original Portuguese military garrison built in 1769), and the Prince Henry the Navigator Monument.
Further south, you will arrive at the Santa Cruz Cemetery -- one the most important worship sites in East Timor and best known for the massacre that took the lives of approximately 250 youths in 1991.
Travel up through the foothills surrounding Dili and stop at the Dare War Museum.
A morning snack of Timor coffee and home-baked cakes is served at the Australian World War II Memorial & Museum located in Dare. The memorial was built in 1969 by the Australian Diggers -- veterans of World War II. It was dedicated to the Timorese people for their support for the Australian soldiers against the occupying Japanese forces from 1942-1945.
Back in town, your guide will point out the National Parliament building and the Timorese Resistance Archive & Museum. The latter was built in 2005 and is dedicated to the Timorese Resistance's 24-year struggle for Independence from Indonesia.
Visit the Xanana Cultural Center -- originally the Xanana Reading Room. It is home to a public library, bookshop and exhibition spaces showcasing a permanent collection of photographs and paintings, awards and presentations made to Xanana Gusmao, tais and cultural artifacts. Xanana was a resistance fighter whose trenches were the rugged jungles and mountains of East Timor. He was imprisoned in Indonesia during the 1990s and is a national hero.
Don't miss the arts and crafts market at the Lecidere East Market -- individual items are sold here and it's a great place to pick up souvenirs.
A BBQ lunch is served under the shady trees on the beautiful white-sand Cristo Rei Beach on Areia Branca Bay. The afternoon is now yours to enjoy in this tropical paradise. Relax on the beach, swim or kayak in the bay, join a guided walking tour up to the top of the Jesus statue, or explore underwater. East Timor sits in the heart of the Indo-Pacific coral triangle, so a guided snorkel tour is a brilliant introduction to the sub-marine world here.
Notes: Wear your swimsuit under your clothing; bring a towel, reef-safe/biodegradable sunscreen and a hat. Wear your swimsuit under your clothing; bring a towel, reef-safe/biodegradable sunscreen and a hat. The road to the beach is quite bumpy and not suitable for guests with back / neck problems. There are no chairs, tables, sunbeds or changing facilities at any of the beaches visited.
Due to the fact that Dili is in full development, there are no tour buses yet. Instead, the best possible vehicles in town are being sourced. Due to the lack of professional guides in Dili, your tour guides will be university students that are in training to become professional guides.