Welcome to Atambua, the regency seat of Belu Regency in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Nestled in the northern part of the western half of Timor Island, Atambua offers a unique blend of cultural diversity, scenic landscapes, and warm hospitality. From its multi-ethnic population to its fascinating history, there’s something for every traveler to discover in this vibrant town.

Atambua stretches across 8.5 kilometers from north to south and 5 kilometers from east to west. Situated at an altitude of about 350 meters above sea level, the town enjoys a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 23 to 35 degrees Celsius. Expect warm and pleasant weather throughout your visit.

The town of Atambua saw a significant increase in population following an influx of citizens fleeing from East Timor in 1999. Today, it stands as the second-largest town in West Timor, surpassing Kupang. Atambua’s population comprises mainly Tetun and Dawan speakers, with people from Timor, Rote, Sabu, and Flores, as well as immigrants from East Timor and China.

Despite its diverse population, Atambua is known for its harmonious coexistence. The town’s residents, regardless of their backgrounds, live together in peace and unity. This spirit of harmony extends to the religious landscape of Atambua, where Roman Catholicism dominates with over 90% of the population identifying as Catholic. The town is home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Atambua, boasting one of the highest percentages of Catholics in Indonesia.

History enthusiasts will find Atambua captivating. The town was founded by the Dutch in October 1916 and was later occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army from 1942 to 1943. Today, remnants of the past can be explored at Hutan Jati Nenuk, where the Japanese planted numerous trees during their occupation. A visit to Lapangan Umum is a must to witness the banyan tree planted by Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno.

For those interested in media, Atambua offers limited television options such as TVRI and Belu TV. The radio stations in town, including Saluran Citra Budaya Timor (Timor Culture Channel), provide a glimpse into local culture and entertainment.

Getting around Atambua is convenient with minibuses, known as bemo or mikrolet, and motorcycle taxis (Ojek) as the primary modes of transportation. Mikrolets serve four routes, connecting the central area of Atambua with outlying zones. Ojeks, on the other hand, offer flexible routes based on passengers’ needs.

If you’re planning to explore beyond Atambua, intercity buses are available to connect you to other towns in West Timor, including Kupang, Soe, and Kefamenanu. Atambua also serves as a major gateway to East Timor by land, with regular bus and car routes to Motaain, where Indonesia-East Timor Immigration checks are conducted.

Traveling by air? A. A. Bere Tallo Airport, located around 5 kilometers from the town center, offers daily flights to and from Kupang. Airlines such as Susi Air, Wings Air, and Trans Nusa operate flights primarily on the Atambua – Kupang route.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the waterways of Atambua. The town is home to two sea ports, Atapupu for cargo and oil, and Teluk Gurita for passenger ferry services. Experience the scenic beauty of the region with a weekly Atambua-Kalabahi (Alor) ferry service.

Atambua’s climate is characterized by a tropical savanna climate with moderate rainfall from April to October and heavier rainfall from November to March. Pack accordingly and be prepared to enjoy the beauty of Atambua in any season.

As you embark on your journey through Atambua, immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality that this town has to offer. Discover the hidden gems of East Nusa Tenggara and create memories that will last a lifetime in Atambua, Indonesia.

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