Photos of Ataúro, Timor-Leste

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Atauro is a small island situated 25 kilometres north of Dili, about 25 kilometres long and 9 kilometres wide. The island has between 9,000 and 10,000 inhabitants, living in small villages, of which Vila (Vila Maumeta) in the south-east is the largest. The village of Beloi, halfway along the east coast, is where the ferry from Dili docks.

View to Makili
View to Vila
View to Vila coast
Arrival in Beloi
Atauro Dive Resort
Ferry in Beloi
Market in Beloi
Dried squid for sale
Dried fish for sale
Balancing on the mooring cable
Canoes on the beach
Fishing canoes
Bamboo raft on the beach
Fisherman's house
View to Beloi village
View near Ilicnamo
Estrada de Ilicnamo
Sunrise, Atauro Dive Resort
View from bungalow, Atauro Dive Resort
Bungalow, Atauro Dive Resort
Houses in Vila
Fretilin monument
Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosario
Clinic, Vila de Maumeta
School, Vila de Maumeta
Underground prison, Vila de Maumeta
Beach near Vila
Houses on the beach
Growing seaweed
Berach, growing seaweed
Fishing canoes and boats
Beach at Barry's Place
Fishing canoes and ferry
Fishing canoes, Beloi
Dried fish for sale
Atauro Dive Resort

Atauro was used as a prison island by the Portuguese. It was dry and remote; there are still the remains of an underground prison in the village of Vila de Maumeta. Here inmates virtually starved, sometimes just given maize as not much could be grown on the island. During the Indonesian occupation, between 1980 and 1987, as many as 3,000 Fretilin fighters were kept prisoners on the island.

Atauro is becoming popular as a destination for eco-tourism, and it has several low-key diving resorts around Beloi, offering diving expeditions to its pristine coral reefs. Mount Manucoco, at 999 metres above sea level, is the highest point on the island. There are various hiking trails in addition to the only road, a 12-kilometre gravel road along the east coast between Vila and Pala.