Silva Coffee Origin Tour

Take the road less travelled and delve into the world of coffee on a curated 9-day tour to Timor-Leste from 18th - 26th July 2024.


Dili, Timor-Leste

Meeting Point

Dili International Airport


9 days



Group Size


Great adventures start with coffee!

Journey from the rugged coastline into the rolling coffee highlands and discover a new way of travelling across the land of the sleeping crocodile.* Sip on expertly crafted coffee…lots of coffee, and uncover more about the humble green bean, forge connections with local farmers, become inspired by young Timorese entrepreneurs and witness the growth of a flourishing industry.

Our Silva Coffee Origin Tour is brought to you by Maddog Adventures working in partnership with Silva Coffee Roasters, two family owned businesses based in the lush Warburton valley. The genesis of the idea has its roots in a shared love of coffee, adventure and a desire to see Timor prosper as a sustainable coffee and tourism industry.

*The tale of the boy and his cold-blooded friend is told often in Timor to explain the island’s crocodile-like shape and why the Timorese have a special affinity with the large reptile.

Located within South-East Asia, Timor-Leste lies 400km north of Australia across the Timor Sea, a short 90 minute flight from Darwin. It is little known to both caffeine enthusiasts and travellers alike, but the history of coffee dates way back to the 1800s, when it was introduced by the Portuguese.

Coffee quickly became responsible for half of the country’s exports, until Indonesia gained control of Timor in the 1970s. During this tumultuous period coffee was largely abandoned by farmers until the nation gained full independence in 2002. Over the past few decades Timor has gotten to work securing its status as a coveted coffee destination.


Coffee is Timor’s most historic and important crop and has been the country’s largest non-oil export for the past 150 years. It is grown by around one-third of households in Timor and 37% of households rely on the crop for cash income. Although Timor’s coffee exports make up less than 1% of the worlds coffee, it still accounts for about 80% of the nation’s overall exports.

The Timor Hybrid (Hibrido de Timor) began growing on the island in the 1920s as a hybrid of arabica and robusta coffee, it is extremely disease resistant and high yielding and serves as the backbone of much of the coffee we drink today. The Timorese people are long-time coffee drinkers and genuinely appreciate the beverage. This strong coffee culture has worked as a bridge for younger generations to advance 150-year-old farming practices and join modern specialty markets.

Come and journey with us as we delve into the world of coffee on a uniquely curated tour of Timor-Leste.

Tour Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Dili and settle into Hotel Timor before heading out for a sunset walk to the summit of Cristo Rei, accessible by a 590-step staircase, with 360 degree panoramic views. Take in the sights and sounds of the city over dinner.

  • Day 2

    Kick start your morning with a coffee cupping experience at Cafe Atsabe with Ameta who produces ‘Mota Bandeira’ coffee. Afterwards we’ll head to Cafe Ahi Matan to explore traditional foods through preparing and cooking your own lunch. This afternoon we’ll head out of Dili and make our way to the 300-year old Balibo Fort and spend the evening relaxing on the veranda, enjoying the cool mountain breeze and a dip in the hotel pool.

  • Day 3

    Spend your morning exploring the Cultural & Heritage Centre at the Balibo Fort and visit the ‘Australian House’. A memorial to the Five Australian journalists killed in Balibo by the Indonesian army in 1975. Today we’ll head down the mountain to explore the village markets in Maliana before continuing our journey to the coffee region of Atsabe.

  • Day 4

    Explore the village of Atsabe and the regions coffee plantations, learn about the difference between natural and washed processes and how it impacts consistency and flavour. Stay in the local guesthouse or experience homestay accommodation, offering an authentic Timorese cultural experience. Visit the village weaving center and enjoy a walk to Mota Bandiera waterfall.

  • Day 5

    Leave the misty mountains behind and journey to Letefoho. Tour Timor Global, a coffee processing plant that is bringing industry stakeholders together. Spend your evening relaxing at Lauhata Beach Escape, a beautiful beachfront resort. Walk on the beach, watch the sunset and enjoy a dinner of delicious fresh local fish.


  • Day 6

    Journey to the coffee region of Aileu, a 2 hour drive from Lauhata. Visit Project Montanha a vocational training centre for artists and Projecto Quinta Portugal an agroforestry centre. Drive 1 – 1.5 hours’ back to Dili for your flight to Atauro Island.


  • Day 7

    Bring on the chill island vibes and spend the day resting and relaxing at Barry’s Place. The snorkelling here is world class. If you feel like venturing further afield take a tuk tuk ride  into town and visit the handicraft centre.


  • Day 8

    Head out for an early morning swim or snorkel. After lunch we’ll catch the Dragon boat back to Dili and head out for our farewell dinner.

  • Day 9

    On your final morning visit the Tais Market, a small daily market which sells mainly traditional cloth and souvenirs. After lunch we’ll head to the Dili International Airport for your return flight home.

Discover the origin, taste the coffee, enjoy the adventure.

Offering in-country tour packages

  • Inclusions

    • All in-country accommodation
      • Single Rooms
      • Twin Rooms 
    • Homestay accommodation & meals
    • All in-country breakfasts
    • All meals in Atsabe
    • All meals on Atauro Island
    • All in-country travel & logistics
    • All coffee workshops 
    • All attraction entrance fees
    • National Park entrance fees
    • Experienced Australian & local guides
    • On call driver
    • Safety equipment & satellite communication
    • Wilderness first aid kit
    • Information booklet
    • Detailed itinerary
    • Clothing & equipment pack list
  • Exclusions

    • Flights (USD $1,000 – $1,350 return)
    • Airline taxes
    • Entry Visa (USD$30)
    • Travel / Medical insurance
    • AuPassport
    • Excess baggage
    • Personal spending money
    • Lunches & dinners (except where specified)
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Medical expenses
    • Doctor on call service – tele health
    • Immunisation requirements / special needs
    • Optional activities
    • Bank fees for payments and transfers
    • Credit card fees
    • Laundry
  • Know Before You Go

    • Payment is required in full prior to your tour.
    • All of your personal administration – medical, flights, travel insurance, and visa application, along with the finalisation of your account – are required no less than 60 days prior to the date of travel.
    • You will receive a comprehensive Tour Booklet containing clothing & equipment pack list, travel itinerary, and country specific information prior to departure.
    • Please be aware failure to pay in full may result in your removal from the tour.
  • Pack List

    • First tip – pack light! A hand-luggage sized bag is ideal. A bag is much better than a hard-shell suitcase as we have to fit a lot of people and luggage into the 4WD vehicles, and bags take less space and can be more easily stowed away.
    • Clothes! We will be travelling during the peak summer / dry season so prominently bring light summery clothes, with a few warmer items such as a jumper and long pants for the hill region. There is the occational ‘summer shower’, so a raincoat always comes in handy.
    • Foot wear! Origin trips involve a lot of walking, sometimes around muddy, hilly farms or washing stations. Bring a good pair of (already worn in) boots or sneakers that can handle mud. Bring some good hiking socks in natural material like wool. These will keep your feet warm or cool as required, and help prevent blisters. Bring a pair of flip flops or sandals for the coastal region and for wearing to a restaurant for dinner.
    • Noise cancelling headphones are a must! Not just for the plane journey, but also to disconnect and get a breather during the trip.
    • Travel pharmacy and toiletries! The most important things are sunscreen (SPF 50) and Imodium (don’t let some dodgy food ruin your whole trip!). Although there are few mosquitos during the dry season and we’re visiting farms above the mosquito line in altitude, some bug spray could come in handy, plus some hydrocortisone for those itchy bites if you do get a few bites. Remember to bring lip balm, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrush and dental floss – whatever you’d normally bring, basically. Travel sickness pills for long car journeys and earplugs are also a very good idea.
    • Coffee! High quality coffee is readily available everywhere, but you may want to bring scales, a hand grinder, and a brewing method (like aeropress or v60) for when we head to the hills. Luckily, our friends at Silva Coffee Roasters have your back. They’ve created a co-branded speciality coffee kit, which you can purchase direct through their website.
    • A camera! You’ll be seeing and experiencing a lot, so bring a camera to document it all. This is also a good opportunity to get some insta shots and selfies with the farmers you buy coffee from.
    • Notepad! Bring a small notebook to write everything down at the end of each day. You’ll experience so much in such a small amount of time, recording it will help you remember.
    • A reusable bottle! Always carry water with you (we mentioned walking, right?!). The weather can be hot and humid. Just remember don’t drink the tap water, stick to sealed bottled water which is readily available.
    • Electronics! Adapters, chargers, and USB power bank always comes in handy. Solar powered is ideal.
  • Support Timor-Leste

    • Visit Silva Coffee Roasters Bar and sample a coffee tasting flight featuring Mota Bandiera coffee
    • Experience a Silva Coffee Roastery tour and learn more about the processes of procurment, roasting, packaging and selling
    • Purchase a limited edition co-branded ‘Great adventures start with coffee’ t-shirt. A percentage of profits from the sale of every t-shirt will go directly to supporting female farmers in Timor-Leste.
    • Make a direct donation and support coffee farmers in Timor-Leste.

“I invite you to come and learn about coffee in Timor.”

— Ameta | Coffee Farmer & Entrepreneur

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use credit cards?

    Limited credit card and ATM facilities are avilable in Dili. Outside of Dili you will need to carry small value cash and coins (maximum USD $20 notes). Please note only Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. No Mastercards are accept at this stage in Timor-Leste.

  • Do I need a visa?

    Yes, you will need to purchase a 30-day visa on arrival. Visa’s cost USD $30 per person. This must be paid in cash.

  • Do I need travel insurance?

    Yes, all participants will require travel insurance. It is highly recommended that this cover is taken out at the time of booking. A copy of your travel insurance policy will need to be supplied to Maddog Adventures prior to your trip.

  • Is it safe to drink water from the taps?

    We do not recommend drinking tap water in Timor-Leste, so avoid it and stick to sealed bottled water which is readily available. This includes steering clear of ice in drinks and brushing your teeth with tap water.

  • What if I get sick or hurt while on tour?

    All our lead staff are Wilderness First Aid trained and we carry a comprehensive First Aid Kit with us at all times and can offer first response care. For more serious ailgments we will take you to Stamford Medical, which is an international standard private healthcare provider based in Dili. We also use Doctors On Call, telehealth services and Care Flight Darwin in case of an evac emergency.
    **Please note as per our T&Cs any medical care or evacuation organised by Maddog Adventures is at the personal cost of the participant or their travel insurance.

  • What immunisations will I need?

    To travel to Timor-Leste you will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid 19 (proof of minimum 2 doses) and make sure all your routine vaccinations are up to date. We recommend visiting your doctor prior to travel to discuss any additional vaccines or medications you may need.

  • What in-country transportation do you use?

    We use a variety of in-country transportation methods depending on which district we are traveling too. We use 4 Wheel Drives for in-land travel and a combination of Dragon boat, catamaran, and local charter boats for sea travel. Sometimes, we even take a MAF charter flight.

  • What is the local currency?

    USD is the main currency in Timor-Leste. Limited ATMs (Visa only) are available in Dili, but it’s always advisiable to bring cash with you. Smaller notes (maximum USD $20) and coins should be carried for travel outside of Dili, as is can be difficult to get change for larger notes.

  • What is the weather like?

    Timor-Leste has a hot tropical climate, with a dry season from May – November and a wet season from December – April. Coastal temperatures range from 25 – 35 C. It’s cooler in the mountains and can be damp and misty, a perfect retreat from the heat.

  • What is your risk management process?

    We take participant health and wellbeing very seriously. Risk is an inherent part of all tours, but we do our best to mitigate, manage and reduce the risk of these hazards causing harm. We work with our staff and suppliers to ensure that all of our products and experiences meet our high standards. 

  • How do I book flights to Timor?

    We work closely with Lisa Malnar from Travel Managers and highly recommend contacting her to book domestic transfers and international connections to Dili, Timor-Leste. Lisa is based in Darwin and is an all round Timor-Leste travel expert. She can assist with transiting accommodation in Darwin, group bookings, travel insurance and most importantly she will ensure your international connections fit our travel itineraries.