Be enriched with the culture and history of Timor-Leste
The island of Timor has a long, proud history and a rich culture built over centuries. It has been referred to by some as the "cultural funnel of the East", for the many different ethnic influences which have contributed to the island's development.
The most easterly district of Timor-Leste, Lautem has a wealth of natural and cultural attractions within the Nino Konis Santana Marine and Terrestrial National Park. Whilst there are no large scale touurism facilities in Lautem, there are number of charming local guest houses, and the "Ethical Tourism" beach bungalows at Tutuala, which are administered by the Timorese environmental NGO Haburas Foundation. Independent travelers can make arrangements here to have local guides show them the many attractions this fascinating district has to offer.
The diving is good and the beaches are exquisite: the eastern most pint of Timor-Leste's territory, Jako Island, can be reached by hiring a local fisherman to make the brief trip by canoe. There are traditional "spirit houses"- a cultural icon of Timor-Leste - set on stilts, with sacred relics of the animist spiritual belief at Ili Kere-Kere and numerous stone sarcophagi and animistic shrines throughout the district. The mountain landscape is wild, unspoilt and rugged-great terrain for trekking. Many of Timor-Leste's endemic birds-200 non migratory species - area to be found in Lautem, especially around Lake Iralalaro.