Walks Around The Area

Download this book for a description of the many walks that you can take in the area surrounding Hatobuilico.

When you visit Hatobuilico, we suggest that you do take the famous Mt Ramelau walk but that you stay longer and sample some of the fabulous walks that are described below.  If you stay in Hatobuilico for three days you could take a number of shorter and longer walks.

A couple of suggested itineraries are below for shorter and longer stays.

You will need a guide for most of the walks described below and in the booklet. There are a couple of walks that can be taken without a guide but you will find that taking a guide has multiple benefits and is well worth the small outlay.

Some walks to sample

Longer walks

  • Taurema and Numomogue(guide needed) – 4 hours return from Hatobuilico to Taurema and 8 hours return Hatobuilico to Nunomogue. 

This very beautiful walk to Taurema takes you along the “walk road” towards Ainaro. You begin by walking through the old village of Hatobuilico Lau, past an umalulik and an old cemetery on the left. The path is well marked at this point and you will see that much work has gone into making the road passable in the past.

The road passes up a steep incline and from the top you can enjoy wonderful views back over the Hatobuilico village and valley. Notice the pits on the right from which sand is extracted. The path traverses hills, passing small farms and many traditional houses, through forests and crosses a small creek.

Having passed another small crest, you look down into the valley with magnificent views to Ainaro and beyond, Ainaro nestling far below on the valley floor.  The village of Taurema is much as it was centuries ago, untouched by western influence.

This walk is highly recommended, for the changing landscape and wide, magnificent views and for the beauty of the small community of Taurema.

From Taurema, you can drop down the hill to Nunomogue. This is a relatively difficult walk with a very steep return journey and should only be taken if the weather is favourable and you are fit.

From Nunomogue, it is short walk along the road to Ainaro.

Please note – as you pass through communities and will need to be invited in, you must take a guide.

  • Usluli (guide needed) – See Walks Booklet

From Hatobuilico village, it is about 3 hours walk to the peak of Usluli and the same to return. You can shorten the walk by driving your car to the path that veers off the main road between Hatobuilico and Queorema or by driving along the road to Letefoho and taking the walk path from there.

The peaks of Usluli are of great local religious significance. There are two peaks, each with separate and distinct religious edifices. One has an altar made from black stones and the second has a white cross upon an altar of very different style.

Religious festivals are still held there. While the peaks of Usluli are extraordinary and worth the walk alone, the trek is also extremely beautiful and rewarding, with extensive views across pastoral land towards Letefoho and Emera.

At one point there is a pass with sweeping views in either direction.

The terrain changes dramatically – from pastures devoid of trees due to clearing during the Indonesian occupation to low cropped shrubs.

  • Bleheto and Leilori (Guide needed) – See Walks Booklet,  Pages 8 and 9

This is a wonderful walk that takes you through the hills directly opposite the village, through various and different fields and woodland. Your guide will be able to advise you about the best route to choose and if you have a car you might reduce your walking time by driving to the turn off just before Queorema and walking from there.

Walking from Hatobuilico, this very beautiful walk which begins on small paths winding down from the village and across the river. After skirting farms, the track climbs steeply up the ridges through farmed forest on the east side of the valley. Trails here are at times very steep, or worn and narrow.

After nearly 2 hours of climbing the track contours around the side of the valley through a still forest of hanging moss. On emerging into open pasture a final steep climb brings you to the traditional houses of Nunurlau and Aimeta.

Alternatively, on a different route and having walked up the hill from the Hatobuilico valley you will come to a recently graded road which soon gives way to a shaded foot and pony trail to Leilori, site of a ceremonial house over-looking Mt. Saboria and the Dare River valley. Continuing on to Old Bleheto (Bleheto Tuan) the trail winds high above the Belulic River with magnificent views of the Kablaki Range, and to the southern ocean.

A silent walk through the ancient sacred forest of Nador (no photographs permitted) brings you back to the pony trail.

Shorter walks

  • Round circuit to Queorema (See Walks Booklet, Walk 8 )

This round circuit following paths through the hills to the road from Queorema  then returning along the road itself is a very beautiful walk that will introduce you to the pleasure of walking around Hatobuilico.

From HatoBuilico, the trail drops below the road in a cluster of houses north of the large guest house (Alecrim), and passes vegetable plots down to the river. After crossing the bridge a trail diverts left from the road, and heads more steeply up the hill, with the dirt road crossing a few times. Keep heading up the trail, through alternating open grassland and coppiced forest. There are a few trails to the left and the right, but keep heading up and a little left and you will meet the main road out to Maubisse after about 2 hours. Turning left will take you back to HatoBuilico via the road, a quiet and scenic walk past farms, streams and Portuguese-planted pine trees.

  • Round circuit to Mometakeo, Mt. Sisdio and Haturabi (See Walks Booklet, Walk 9)

This is a very fine walk that will take you about 3 hours.  The trail circuits the side of a hill on the way to Ainaro and returns over the top of the same hill. There are wonderful views towards the Kablaki Range and you pass many fascinating farms and homes.

From HatoBuilico, head south past the police station and market place, following the road down, across the creek. As you begin to climb towards the old village there is a ruined house on the right. Directly opposite is a break in the hedge, with a small path visible – join this path. After winding behind the houses and fields the track becomes wider and clearer, and having passed some farms is evident as an old road contouring the valley wall. A sharp corner at the end of the valley brings stunning views of the Kablaki Range and over the plains to the southern sea.

Continue on the path through grazing meadows and past farms to a picturesque valley, where you meet the main path from Hatobuilico to Ainaro. Turning left will take you through mature forest to the saddle behind Mt. Sisdio with views to the thatched village beyond. Turning right takes you up a short steep climb to the ridge overlooking Hatobuilico, and then back down to the village.

Suggested itineraries

2 night stay
Day 1:    Arrive in Hatobuilico; Take the short walk through Hatobuilico village (Download pdf)
Day 2:    Rise early and walk to the summit of Mt Ramelau (start at 3.30 am; return at 9 or 10 am)
Afternoon – Round circuit to Mometakeo, Mt. Sisdio and Haturabi( 3 hours)
Day 3:    Walk to Taurema OR Bleheto

3 night stay
Day 1:    Arrive in Hatobuilico; Take the short walk through Hatobuilico village (Download pdf)
Day 2:    Rise early and walk to the summit of Mt Ramelau (start at 3.30 am; return at 9 or 10 am)
Afternoon – Round circuit to Queorema( 3 hours)
Day 3:    Walk to Usluli
Day 4:    Walk to Taurema in the morning and then return to Dili in the afternoon

Download the Walks Booklet
This booklet was researched and written in 2010 when two volunteers from Australia, Anne McKenzie and Fiona Christian, lived for 3 months in Hatobuilico. Two local men, Antonio Soares de Deua  and Manuel Ussa de Silva, walked with Fiona and Anne, sharing information about the wonderful walks around Hatobuilico and their culture.

Download Walking Guide

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