East Timor is located in the eastern part of the island of Timor, which lies in the easternmost part of the Indonesian archipelago. Its geographic coordinates are approximately 8.8742° S latitude and 125.7275° E longitude.



East Timor experiences a tropical climate, characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season typically occurs from November to April, bringing heavy rainfall and humid conditions, while the dry season spans from May to October, with cooler temperatures and less precipitation. Coastal areas tend to be hotter and more humid, while higher elevations enjoy cooler temperatures.


East Timor’s diverse ecosystems support a variety of flora and fauna, including tropical rainforest species such as monkeys, deer, and birds of prey. The island’s coastal waters are home to an array of marine life, including coral reefs, dolphins, and sea turtles.

Longest Rivers:

The longest river in East Timor is the Caraulun River, which flows approximately 217 kilometers (135 miles) from its source in the central highlands to the Timor Sea in the north. Other notable rivers include the Belulik River and the Comoro River.

Highest Mountains:

The highest peak in East Timor is Mount Ramelau, also known as Tatamailau, standing at an elevation of 2,963 meters (9,721 feet) above sea level. Located in the central part of the island, Mount Ramelau offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and is a popular destination for hiking and trekking enthusiasts.



The island of Timor has been inhabited by humans for tens of thousands of years, with evidence of early settlement dating back to the Pleistocene era. The indigenous peoples of Timor, including the Atoni and Tetum tribes, developed distinct cultures and societies based on agriculture, fishing, and animistic beliefs.

European Colonization:

European contact with Timor began in the early 16th century when Portuguese explorers arrived on the island in search of spices and trade opportunities. The Portuguese established settlements along the coast and exerted control over Timor for over 400 years, influencing the island’s culture, language, and religion.

Indonesian Occupation:

Following the withdrawal of the Portuguese in 1975, East Timor declared its independence, only to be invaded and occupied by Indonesia later that year. The Indonesian occupation, marked by widespread human rights abuses and violence, lasted for over two decades and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of East Timorese.

Independence and Modern Era:

In 1999, following a referendum on independence, East Timor voted overwhelmingly for sovereignty, leading to a period of transition and eventual independence in 2002. Since gaining independence, East Timor has faced numerous challenges, including political instability, economic development, and social reconciliation, as it strives to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.


East Timor has a population of approximately 1.4 million people, with a diverse ethnic makeup reflecting its complex history and cultural heritage. The majority of the population belongs to the Tetum and Atoni ethnic groups, with significant numbers of people of Chinese, Indonesian, and Portuguese descent. Tetum and Portuguese are the official languages, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, with indigenous animistic beliefs also practiced.

Administrative Divisions

East Timor is divided into 13 administrative districts, each with its own local government. The districts, along with their respective populations, are as follows:

  1. Aileu District – Population: 48,737
  2. Ainaro District – Population: 56,846
  3. Baucau District – Population: 112,874
  4. Bobonaro District – Population: 106,409
  5. Cova Lima District – Population: 67,257
  6. Dili District (Capital) – Population: 269,958
  7. Ermera District – Population: 116,896
  8. Lautém District – Population: 65,978
  9. Liquiçá District – Population: 69,221
  10. Manatuto District – Population: 64,846
  11. Manufahi District – Population: 39,198
  12. Oecusse District – Population: 72,364
  13. Viqueque District – Population: 123,774

10 Largest Cities by Population

The largest cities in East Timor by population include:

  1. Dili – Population: 269,958
  2. Baucau – Population: 106,000
  3. Same – Population: 25,000
  4. Maliana – Population: 22,000
  5. Suai – Population: 18,000
  6. Liquiçá – Population: 17,000
  7. Aileu – Population: 15,000
  8. Ainaro – Population: 12,000
  9. Viqueque – Population: 10,000
  10. Gleno – Population: 8,000

Education Systems

Education in East Timor is provided by both public and private institutions, with primary education being compulsory and free for children aged six to 14. The government has made efforts to improve access to education and literacy rates since independence, although challenges such as limited resources and infrastructure remain. There are several universities and higher education institutions in East Timor, including the National University of East Timor (Universidade Nacional de Timor Lorosa’e), which offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs.



East Timor is served by several airports, with Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport (DIL) in Dili being the main gateway to the country. Other airports include Baucau Airport (BCH), Suai Airport (UAI), and Oecusse Airport (OEC).


East Timor has a network of roads connecting its major towns and districts, although many are unpaved and in varying conditions. The government has invested in road infrastructure projects to improve accessibility and connectivity across the country.


The major ports in East Timor include:

  • Dili Port
  • Baucau Port
  • Oecusse Port
  • Suai Port
  • Betano Port

Country Facts

  • Population: 1.4 million
  • Capital: Dili
  • Languages: Tetum, Portuguese
  • Religion: Roman Catholicism
  • Ethnic Groups: Tetum, Atoni, Chinese, Indonesian, Portuguese
  • Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
  • ISO Country Codes: TL
  • International Calling Code: +670
  • Top-Level Domain: .tl