How to travel to Timor Leste?

By plane:
Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport formerly known as Comoro Airport, is the main international airport of Dili – The capittal city of Timor Leste

Major international airlines that serve Dili directly include:

– Airnorth from Darwin, Australia. Flight Time: approx 1 hour
– Air Timor from Singapore. Chartered ‘Silkair: Singapore’ flights.

– Sriwijaya Air from Bali (Denpasar), Indonesia.
– Merpati Nusantara Airlines from Bali (Denpasar), Indonesia.

Flying out of Dili, you are subject to the airport departure tax of US$10- which must be paid in cash at the airport counter beside passport control.

By land
The main land border crossing with Indonesia is at Mota’ain (or Motain), 115km west of Dili city. The nearest town of Timor Leste is Batugade, about 4km away. The nearest Indonesian town of consequence is the West Timorese town of Atambua. There are also land border crossings at Salele (near Suai) on the south coast, and into Oecussi at Bobometo (north of Kefamenanu on the Indonesian side) and Wini on the north-east coast of Oecussi.

As mentioned above, visa on arrival is not available at the land border for most visitors apart from Indonesian and Portuguese Citizens.

There is an East Timorese Consulate in both Bali and Kupang where you should be able to purchase visas.

Consulate General Denpasar, Tel: +62 8133 855 8950.
Consulate Kupang, Office Address: Jl. Eltari II,  Kupang, NTT, Indonesia, Tel:+ 62 8133 9367 558, +62 8133 9137 755.
People of many nationalities can get Indonesian visas-on-arrival when flying into Bali or other Indonesian airports, but they cannot get them when traveling from Timor Leste to West Timor by land, and are required to have visas in advance.

However, for those going the other direction, Indonesian visa must be obtained beforehand as they are not issued at the border. Getting a visa at the Indonesian Embassy in Dili is possible; it takes one week to issue a 60 day tourist visa (return flight not needed!).

By bus
Cross-border buses
There is a direct bus service daily between Dili and Kupang (West Timor, Indonesia). Journey takes 12 hours. There are many land travel minibus services to cater for individuals or groups travel from Dili to Kupang and return. Timor Travel, Leste Oeste Travel, Paradise Travel, are few of the minibus companies that provide travel services to several different destinations along the Dili- Kupang route at a very affordable prices.

Non-direct buses
From Dili, catch a bus to the border (about US$3.00 , journey takes three hours). Once you get off the bus, go through Timorese customs and immigration, walk across the border into Indonesia, go through Indonesian immigration and catch another bus for your onward journey to Atambua or Kupang.

From Atambua, regular mikrolets (vans) or ojeks (motorcycle taxis) run to the border at Mota’ain.

Note that you cannot get an Indonesian visa on arrival at the border and the Indonesian embassy only processes a small amount of visa applications each day, on a first-come, first-served basis. You may need to queue at the embassy in Dili at 3:00 am to have a chance of getting a visa.

By boat
There are no regular international passenger ferries servicing Timor Leste.

There are regular barge services from Darwin – Australia, Bali and Surabaya for vehicles and goods.

Recreational vessels often stop into Dili harbour.

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