Place and People

Hatobuilico, at almost 2,000 metres, is a village at the base of Mt Ramelau which, at 2,963 metres, is the highest peak in Timor-Leste.

Hatobuilico is also the name of the sub-district (Sub-Distritu Hatobuilico) and is part of the Ainaro Municipality. There are 13 municipalities in Timor-Leste.

With a population of about 12,000 and made up of three sucos (Nuno-mogue, Mulo and Mau-Chiga), Hatobuilico is famous for its mountains, superb walking and views, friendly people and its vegetable gardening. Most of the population in Hatobuilico are subsistence farmers, their livelihood dependent on the vagaries of the weather and mastering the steep inclines.


Surprising to those visiting from the heat of Dili, Hatobuilico has a cool climate. There are summer and winter seasons (summer from October to March and winter April to September). Temperatures can range from a beautiful daytime temperature in the low 20s to a nighttime temperature of 10 degrees or less.

At all times of the year, you need a warm jumper or jacket as mists and cloud can mean drops in temperature. In winter months, you will need a very warm jacket and even thermals and a hat would be a welcome addition.

It can also be hot during the day and a hat will be needed as well as sunscreen or long sleeved tops.

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