In East Timor, a small country located just south of the Equator, the climate is tropical, hot all year round, with a rainy season from December to March and a dry season from June to September. In the rainy season, the sun shines for a few hours a day, in fact, it usually rains a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon.
The country includes the eastern part of the island of Timor, plus the smaller islands of Atauro to the north, and Jaco to the east. There is also the exclave of Oecusse, in the western part of Timor, which, for the rest, belongs to Indonesia.
Temperatures are high and uniform throughout the year. They are slightly higher from October to May and a bit lower from June to September, when highs are around 30 °C (86 °F). From September to November, and sometimes from mid-August, the hottest period of the year occurs. In the rainy season, high humidity makes the heat muggy.
Here are the average temperatures of the airport, located near the capital, Dili.
Dili - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)242424232322222122242424
Max (°C)313031313130303030313231
Min (°F)757575737372727072757575
Max (°F)888688888886868686889088

Rains is not very abundant, and generally amounts to 1,200/1,400 millimeters (47/55 inches) per year, but there are also some areas where it drops below 1,000 mm (40 in), such as that of Dili, located on the north coast. Given that the rains are abundant only from December to March, and that the dry season is quite long, the landscape is not particularly verdant; actually, in some areas, it is almost arid. Here is the average rainfall in Dili.
Dili - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)14014013510575602010101560145910
Prec.(in)5.55.55.34.132.40.80.40.40.62.45.735.8
Days131311964311261180

The amount of sunshine in East Timor is good in the dry season, while in the rainy season, the sun shines for a few hours a day, between one rain shower and another. On the contrary, the sky is more easily cloudy in the interior, especially on the mountain peaks.
Dili - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours66889899101097

From November to mid-May, but more often from January to mid-April, East Timor can be affected by tropical cyclones, which usually affect this area in the early stages of their development, and therefore at a moderate intensity; however, they can bring an increase in wind and rainfall.
In the interior of East Timor, there is a mountain range. The highest peak is Mount Ramelau (or Tatamailau), 2,963 meters (9,721 feet) high. If you are planning some hiking at high altitudes, keep in mind that above 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), it's cool in the evening and at night, especially in the dry season, while above 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), it can get quite cold. In addition, at noon and in the afternoon, the chance of thunderstorms in the highlands is higher than along the coasts.

Atauro Island

The sea in East Timor is warm enough to swim in throughout the year: the water temperature ranges from 27 °C (81 °F) in July and August to 29 °C (84 °F) between October and May.
Dili - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)292929292928272728293030
Temp (°F)848484848482818182848686

Best Time



The best time to travel to East Timor and enjoy its beaches is from June to August: the sun shines, the heat is not too intense, and in any case, it's tempered by the breeze; there are just some short downpours or thunderstorms every now and then. In September, it is often very hot. At the end of September or in October, the rains begin to increase in inland and mountainous areas.

What to pack



All year round, bring light clothes of natural fibers, a sun hat, a scarf for the breeze, and a light sweatshirt for the evening. From November to March, you can add light raincoat or umbrella.
When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes.
When going mountain climbing, bring hiking shoes, a sweatshirt or sweater, a jacket, and a raincoat.