The island of Atauro is the perfect place to go Robinson Crusoe: accessible by traditional outriggers (for the brave and early rising), once a week ferry (the Nakroma) or the daily water taxi (Tiger Fuel/Compass Charters) from the harbour area, Atauro is only a short trip from Dili. Along the way youd be unlucky not to see at least one of the resident pods of spinner dolphins and maybe even a whale (especially round the migration period of September through December) or two.
There are several places to stay in Atauro island: Barrys eco-resort is the most well-known and it is conveniently located near the Beloi pier. Just 15mins away by tuk-tuk, in the village heart of Vila Maumeta, you can find the Manukoko Rek Restaurant and Guesthouse, a clean, cheap and cheerful accommodation for the budget conscious traveller. The restaurant has been rated by the Lonely Planet as “The Best Italian food in Timor”. Across the road from the restaurant you can find the famous Boneca de Atauro, a women cooperative producing the famous Atauro dolls, as well as handbags, and the best embroidery design products in the country. “Top choice for shopping” and a “Must-see on Atauro island”. If you want to trek up to Mt Manukoko, the highest peak in the island, Vila is your basecamp and it will take around 5-6h, although some prefer to enjoy the beauty of Atauro relaxing by the beach.