Overland Timor Leste Travel

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Visiting Timor Leste[edit]

Give a brief overview of what it's like to visit. How easy is the border, how safe is the country, are there great things to see and do, etc.

Entering Timor Leste with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: (date last confirmed correct)

Required Paperwork[edit]

(To check if you need a travel Visa for Timor Leste, application instructions and fees see: Timor Leste Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)
List the paperwork required to enter with a vehicle, including number of copies

Process at border[edit]

A bit strange, because first you do customs and then immigration, but by using your Carnet its a straight forward (and fast) process.

Cost of entry[edit]

There are no fees to pay at the border

Permitted length of stay[edit]

State the permitted length of entry for the vehicle

Extension of stay[edit]

Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]

Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.

Exiting with a vehicle[edit]

Exiting on Land Border[edit]

Describe the paperwork requirements and process at the border to exit.

Exiting by container (to Australia)[edit]

Describe the paperwork requirements and process at the border to exit.

Driving in Timor Leste[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Timor Leste[edit]

Lonely Planet East Timor Phrasebook & Dictionary (lone...
Lonely Planet East Timor Phrasebook & Dictionary (lone...
by Lonely Planet
From $4.17 on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.49 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $click on Amazon

Travel insurance for Timor Leste[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

Yes or No if insurance is mandatory, and what kind is acceptable.

Cost of vehicle insurance[edit]

State the price of insurance and a time period.

Where to purchase vehicle insurance[edit]

Describe where insurance can be purchased.

Driving license[edit]

State the kind of driving licenses required. i.e. International Driving Permit.

Driving side of road[edit]

LHD vehicles can be driven in Timor Leste without any problems.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

State any mandatory items that must be carried in the vehicle. (i.e. safety triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.)


General Road quality[edit]

Huge parts of the west-east "Highway" are currently under construction, which results in incredible dust in the dry season. Especially the 40km part east of Dili is worth to mention. On all other mayor roads the conditions vary between bad tarmac with the occasional pothole to medium quality gravel roads. Constructions can and do occur everywhere. There is a huge 4lane Highway under construction in the south west, but currently no information is available, which parts or cities will get connected with that mega project. If you have a 4WD or a decent motorbike and know how to drive, even all the minor roads should be possible within the dry season. Despite other reports all bridges are fully functioning (or if collapsed, a dry detour is possible). The only part, where you have to ford (up to 40 cm deep) is on the (challenging) road south of Laclubar.

Road signs[edit]

Dili and on the "highway" from west to east huge parts are of western standard. Huge brown Signs indicate tourist attractions. Yellow road marks are indicating traffic in the opposite direction, white road marks are for the same direction (one way to indicate, that you are in a one way road). Briefly describe the overall quality & existence of road signs for directions and hazards.

Toll roads[edit]

Currently there are no toll roads in Timor Leste. This might change, when the mega highway will be finished

Bribery in Timor Leste[edit]

Briefly describe how common bribery is and whether it should be expected, and the best way to deal with it.


There is one non permanent staffed checkpoint just before Dili when coming from the west. If it is active, you need to get out of the car and show your international driver license and your international car documents (not the Carnet!) to the police. Expect this process to be done in 2-3 minutes.

Traveling with pets[edit]

List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.

Gas price in Timor Leste and Diesel price in Timor Leste[edit]

Last updated: (last updated date)

Currency and unit to display:

Modify the table below as required.

Gasoline Grade Price
Regular (87) $0.00 USD per Gallon (US)
Super (88) $0.00 USD per Gallon (US)
Premium (90) $0.00 USD per Gallon (US)
Ultra (95) $0.00 USD per Gallon (US)
Diesel $0.85 USD per Gallon (US)

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

Shortages of fuel are not common. Beside the usual private sellers for Regular (or worse), outside Dili there are only a hand full of fuel stations. But those are surprisingly cheap and the fuel is good quality. Here is a list of them: [to be added soon]

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Prices for fuel and quality differ dramatically. For example you can have Diesel in Dili for 0.80$ up to 1.05$. Unfortunately the price does not indicate the quality, as well as the look of the fuel station (a nice blingbling one can sell you crap while an old one with rusty machines and non working displays sells supreme quality). Tiger Fuel (on Avenida Nicolau Lobato, open 24h) had good reviews in the past, but ask around, because they are quite expensive.

State the sulfur content of diesel, if known.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

Driving in Dili is no problem. Everywhere else you should drive only if you have been on that road at daytime before (to know the surprises).

Vehicle parking[edit]

Discuss if vehicles can be parked on the street, if they are considered "safe" at night. If vehicles can not be parked on the street, list the other options that exist.

Special driving considerations[edit]

Be careful when turning. Even an indicator does not prevent the locals (especially motorbikes) to overtake you at the side you want to make the turn to. You will find the usual chicken or goat on the road as well...

List any roads that are not recommended to drive for safety or other security reasons.

Drive with windows open as much as possible and limit your speed even if the road is perfect to 30 within residential areas. You will be rewarded by smiles and waves from super friendly locals.

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Timor Leste[edit]

Describe if organized "pay" camping is common. List the facilities commonly found at these campsites.
List the approximate average price range of camping in organized campgrounds.
Also discuss the possibility of "wild" or "roadside" camping. How common is it? Is it considered safe, or a bad idea.

Camping guide books[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

Describe if the regular tap water is safe to drink. If not, describe where safe water can be purchased and the approximate average price range.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Timor Leste

Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles, And Secrets From Tim...
Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles, And Secrets From Tim...
by Gordon Peake
From $21.60 on Amazon
Lonely Planet Southeast Asia Planning Map
Lonely Planet Southeast Asia Planning Map
by Lonely Planet
From $7.99 on Amazon

GPS Maps of Timor Leste[edit]

Very good results with OSM in all parts of Timor Leste. Review different GPS companies, quality and coverage (Tomtom, Garmin, OSM, Tracks4Africa). (with links to each).

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Timor Leste[edit]

  • iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.

Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

There are a lot of workshops on the road when entering Dili from the west. Good experience was made with the one on the corner Rua dos Direitos / Avenida Nicolau Lobato, which does 4x4 in general. If you have a Toyota, a huge service center is just right beside the Timor Plaza. If you have a LandRover, the only qualified help you can get is at the A1 workshop at the crossing Avenida Bispo de Medeiros / Avenida de Balide. Use the entrance on Avenida Bispo de Medeiros 50m before the traffic light (coming from North). Caution: the place indicated in OSM is wrong! Officially specialized in Maritime and 4x4, but those guys have been worked on Landrovers in Australia for over 30 years.

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Timor Leste[edit]

Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.

Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'


Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.

Helpful External links[edit]

Add any helpful external links here.