The first time I heard about Atauro Island was when Charles Darwin University had their art exhibition called ‘The Sculpture of Atauro Island’ in July 2018. Never thought that 8 months later we are visiting the island for 2 weeks.
Its located north of Dili, Timor-Leste 1.2hr flight from Darwin Australia/Bali, and about 3 hours public ferries that run every Thursday and Saturday when the Beloi Markets are happening. The Saturday Market is the main market and heaps more people and variety of products on offer. The ferry ride has a big chance of seeing dolphins or whales as this island has a big variety of these water mammals. We saw one closer to the island from Dili.
I would describe Atauro is a very peaceful and happy island. The water and corals are beautiful and just meters away from the coast. We stayed at Atauro Dive Resort in Beloi, a beachfront dive resorts with friendly people and great food served. I was a bit skeptical about the choice of food on the island and we were prepared to have some 2 instant noodles in case there are no options or expensive food around the island. But I was pleasantly surprised that this resort provides $6-12 meals with a huge variety from local-Indonesian-Portuguese influenced food. One night we have Australian lamb shanks and that was great!
All we did there was, relaxing at our sea view bungalow reading a book or just muckin around with my photo/videos I took during the stay, jump into the water, snorkel, eat, sleep, went for a walk around the village and felt great! The local people were so friendly. All we see are just people smiling at us and say bondia, botarde and bonoite to greet us. Most of the locals are fishermen/women and seaweed farmers. I quite enjoy walking along the coast looking at them spear fishing or spread the net on a tiny boat with all of the family members on board. You can see their catches on Saturday market where big boat from Dili visit, The Berlin Nakroma.