Marvel at the pristine reefs of Atauro island in Timor-Leste, a wonder of the Coral Triangle and home to more species of coral and fish than anywhere else on earth. In this 2 week trip, you’ll discover the natural and cultural highlights of Timor-Leste while making a meaningful contribution to ongoing conservation efforts in the country.
Blue Ventures has been working with coastal communities since 2003, developing locally-led approaches to marine management that benefit people and nature alike. Blue Ventures began working alongside communities in Timor-Leste in 2016, developing new approaches to marine conservation and starting to build the island’s capacity for effective marine management.
For experienced divers (PADI Advanced Open Water level or equivalent). If not an Advanced level yet, you can complete a course before joining the trip.
The program starts and finishes in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste.
You will meet expert field staff and community members working to protect Timor-Leste’s spectacular waters, and enjoy exclusive conservation and wildlife talks.
Arrival to Dili and Atauro Island:
- Introduction to the trip and meet the team
- Locally guided day tour through Dili visiting some of the capital’s highlights such as the iconic Christo Rei
- Departure to Beloi on Atauro Island incorporating a full day whale and dolphin survey tour
- Site tour of Barry’s Place - home for the next two
Lectures on coral reefs and cetaceans, diving and snorkelling:
- Presentations on data collection methods, coral bleaching, coral, fish and cetacean ID and more
- Diving and/or snorkelling on some of Atauro’s incredible coral reef and seagrass habitats
Immerse in Atauro’s local culture:
- Homestay experience
- Trip to Vila to visit the local Bonecas de Atauro and Jewelry cooperatives
Discover more of the island:
- Attend Beloi market - a weekly highlight on the island!
- Hike across the island to Adara on the west coast and stay in beach side huts
Dive in Atauro’s first marine protected area:
- Dive and/or snorkel in the Adara tara bandu - the
islands first locally managed marine area
- Take the boat back to Beloi circumnavigating the north end of Atauro island - pass incredible scenery and keep your eyes open for resident whales and dolphins!
Transfer back to Dili and last whale and dolphin survey:
- Depart Beloi and return to Dili incorporating a full day whale and dolphin survey tour
- Overnight in Dili before your flights home
- Accommodation in eco-lodges, hotels and community homestays as mentioned in the Programme description
- Three prepared meals per day, including tea and coffee at breakfast and lunch
- Transfers between Dili and the dive camp on Atauro
- Training with our team of field scientists and researchers
- PADI tune-up course with dive instructor on arrival
- Diving, boat surveys and all other scheduled activities
- Use of scuba diving equipment, including: buoyancy control devices (BCDs), regulators, weights and cylinders
- Comprehensive logistical support from the expedition medics and dive managers
- Pre-departure support from Blue Ventures UK-based headquarters
What’s not included?
- International flights to Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste
- Entry visa for Timor-Leste
- Any medication or vaccinations that you require
- Travel and dive insurance
- Personal diving equipment and personal kit: wetsuit, mask, snorkel, fins, watch or dive computer, dive torch and underwater slate – Blue Ventures will provide detailed guidance on what you need to buy for your expedition
- Spending money for drinks, snacks and souvenirs
- Hotel accommodation in Timor-Leste before or after your expedition dates