DATES: 2-10 July 2016 

TRAIL TYPE: loop and point to point / mixed

TERRAIN: undulating, challenging, mountain

TOTAL DISTANCE: 90-120km +, 20km on average a day.


DIFFICULTY: Medium to hard


ACCOMMODATION ON TRAIL: Timor’s version of “Luxury” hotels while in Dili.  A mix of local Pousadas (guest houses) and/or Canvas Safari-style tents while out of Dili. All accomodation is twin-share unless otherwise stated.

HIGHLIGHTS: big mountain ridge runs, highest point in Timor Leste, cultural and historical exposure, island mountain ridges, the rawness of a country finding itself again.



Day 1. Saturday, 2nd July

Arriving in Dili, we’ll meet the team at the airport and then head to the hotel.  Flights arrive both morning and afternoon so there’re no firm plans for today.  You’ll have time to go through your kit, kick back, have a G&T or go for an easy run.  If everyone is due to arrive in the morning there are a few historic sites around Dili that are well worth a look and we’ll provide guides and transport to these for those that are interested.

Dinner is in one of East Timor’s nicest restaurants, a gorgeous spot out of town that looks over the Savu Sea towards Atauro and Pulao Alor.  The cuisine is fresh and delicious and the sunset incredible.  We’ll enjoy a nice meal in style and get to know each other before heading out into the hills tomorrow.

Day 2.  Sunday, 3rd July

Up bright and early, we’ll head out for an easy paved run along the Dili esplanade. This is an optional run but you’d be crazy to miss it!  Sunrise while heading toward to giant Cristo Rei statue is an important part of Dili life and the best way to escape some of the day’s heat and humidity.  A vehicle will be provided for those that don’t want to run back and breakfast will be served after we return to the hotel.

After breakfast and check out we’ll hit the Troop Carriers and leave Dili.  Our first stop is the infamous Santa Cruz cemetery (unless we saw it the day before) followed by the Dare war memorial.  Set high in the hills overlooking Dili, this small and intimate memorial/open-air museum tells the history of Timorese involvement and sacrifice during World War 2.  In particular it tells of the Australia Sparrow Force and the Timorese “Kriados” who were right there beside the Aussies every step of the way.

After Dare we’ll hop back in the Troopies and head toward Maubisse, a former Portuguese Colonial Hill Station set high in the central mountains of the Ainaro district.  This area will be our base for the next 4 nights and while this is an exploratory expedition and things wont be quite as luxe as they are in Dili, we’ll go out of our way to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible.   After all, who said long days on the trail have to be followed by long and horrible nights on the hard ground?

Day 3-5. Monday 4th to Wednesday 6th July.

Setting out from basecamp each day, we’ll bag the highest points in Timor Leste, following rugged ridgelines and exploring coffee plantations before returning to the cosy fire and incredibly warm hospitality of the Timorese by night.  

A quick look at a map of this area, never mind the overwhelming view that greets you as you drive into the valley, and you’ll soon realise there is an almost impossible array of trails to choose.  We’ve got some ideas in mind and will provide a conservative framework to operate within for the sake of safety, but with the exception of Thursday the 7th of July (Day 6), nothing is set in stone.  We’ll supply the guides, the support and the maps but between us all we’ll have the freedom to decide the route we take each day.  A Choose Your Own adventure, exploratory trip of Peak traverses, long ridgelines, lush valleys, quaint villages and incredible vistas.  We’ll be among, if not the first, non-Timorese to run these trails in peacetime and we can’t wait for the privilege. 

After spending three nights in Maubisse, we’ll travel (either by vehicle or on foot, depending on our explorations!) to Hatobulico.

Day 6. Thursday 7th July

Hatobulico, a small village nestled at the base of Mt Tatamailu (aka Ramelau), which, at 2996m, is the highest point in East Timor and the jump-off point for summit attempts.  We’ll get up nice and early to ensure we make it time to have a fresh cup of coffee in our frosty hands as we watch the sun rise over Timor.  From here, surrounded by spectacular mountains and deep valleys, we can see the sun light up the ocean on both sides of the island.  After a light, packed breakfast, we’ll descend via a different route and get to know another side of Tatamailau.   

Back in Hatobulico for lunch, we’ll say goodbye to our hosts and the highlands and make the return trip to Dili.  Checking into our hotel in the early evening we’ll enjoy the relative luxury of Timor’s only city while no doubt wishing we were back in the hills.  

Hold up! It’s not over yet!

Day 7 / Day 8. Friday 8th and Saturday 9th of July

Tired of the pampered life already?  Of course you are! You’re a trail runner, after all!  So how about we spend our last few days together on a tropical island. where the hardest decision will be whether to laze about on the beach or explore the jungle clad peaks.  Your call!

Just off the coast of Timor, to the North of Dili, lies Atauro, an idyllic paradise that feels more like 3000km than the 30km that separates it from the “Mainland”.  At about 11km at its widest and double that in length, Atauro rises dramatically to almost 1000m above sea level.  Snorkelling, Diving, Fishing and, of course, heading straight to the top of the nearest mountain, are all easily arranged.  But then so are a beach towel, a good book and a margarita.  We’re not qualified to make these important decisions for you but you can be confident that we’ll have your back every step of the way. 

We’d hate for the weather to cause us to miss our flights on the 10th, so on the afternoon of the 8th we’ll head back to Dili for one final night.  If you’d prefer to stay on Atauro permanently then we’ll happily send goodbye letters to your loved ones, but otherwise we’ll head out for a final, celebratory dinner and say our goodbyes to each other.

Day 9, Sunday the 10th of July

Sorry folks, it’s time to say goodbye.  We’ll make sure you make your flights and get away safe and sound, loaded up with memories, photos and a bag of Timor’s finest coffee to keep you pumped up.  It’s been our pleasure!

COST: $US3300 


• TRANSFERS – to and from all trail heads
• TRANSFERS – to and from any extra runs, other regional attractions

• MEALS – inclusive Dinner on the first night and last nights. 8 x breakfasts, 7 x lunches, 8 x dinners.

• NUTRITION/HYDRATION – supplied by VFuel and SOS Rehydrate

• ACCOMMODATION – 3 nights in hand-picked, luxury regional hotels, 5 nights in local Pousadas (hotels) or Safari Style Canvas tents.

• DUFFEL BAG – a highly quality, durable duffel bag of about 40-50litres will be supplied for use during the trip.  You will need to fit all personal belongings into this for the on-trail section as it will be transferred between accommodation by horseback.  The remainder of your belongings will be left at the hotel and collected on our last trail day.

• GUIDES – 2-3 trail-guides (pending final numbers)


• SENSE OF HUMOUR (although to whose taste we cannot confirm at this early stage!).

• FIRST AID – 2-3 on trail guides qualified to Wilderness First Aid level (pending final numbers)

• COMMUNICATIONS – the trail guides will carry satellite phones and UHF radios.




• RUNNING GEAR – (see suggested run kit next page)

• PRE-RUN GEAR – and small kit bag (for travelling to and from trailhead, good to have a small towel, plus

warm clothing should it be cold)

• DAILY POST-RUN – clothing, shoes (for non running activities, hanging at the accommodation etc).  This will be packed into a supplied Duffel bag for carriage on horseback.

• PERSONAL ITEMS – (toiletries)

• PERSONAL MEDICATION – please advise your hosts if there is anything we need to know about your medication (e.g. location of epipen, keeping insulin cool etc.)


• ANY PERSONAL HYDRATION – or energy food that you prefer over and above what we supply.

• ANY EXTRA ACCOMMODATION – or transport over and above as per above (e.g. flights to/from Dili)


*NOTE: Tour will only green light if minimum numbers (6) reached.



  • 1 pair rail running shoes
  • 2-3 running tees
  • 1-2 running shorts
  • compression shorts / tights (** to your preference, but leg coverings for running are highly recommended)
  • trailrunning gaiters (** optional but highly recommended)
  • 1-2 mid layer long sleeve running top
  • 1 windbreaker running top
  • 2 set thermals (top and bottom)
  • 1 seam-sealed wet weather rainjacket w/ hood
  • 1 seam-sealed wet weather pants w/ hood
  • 6 x running socks (1 spare)
  • Hydration system with min 2-litre capacity total (e.g bladder + bottles for fuel)
  • Beanie
  • 2 pairs Running gloves
  • ‘THIR’ head/neck wear
  • Running cap with shade peak
  • Any personally preferred hydration/energy food (i.e. salt capsules, favourite bar, lollies).
  • Pertinent personal medication
  • Small first aid (basics for blisters, cuts etc – we have full kit)
  • Headlamp suitable for running
  • Book/Journal
  • CAMERA CAMERA CAMERA – with ample spare batteries.  Colder weather kill batteries quick smart.
  • Optional – poles (this is not a mountainous course and poles not really needed, however as per personal preference.)

    *this is suggested only. Experienced runners should take the kit they are used to using, although some items will be mandatory according to weather conditions (i.e. wet and warm weather gear, beanie etc for cold and wet forecasts).*