Does the thought of turquoise crystal clear waters and the world’s best coral reefs have you reaching for your passport? A new cultural travel experience that lets you do good and be good gets your heart going? You love equal amounts of active fun and chilling out in a hammock? You’re over resorts and crowds – Active Travel + Simple Luxury is your style?
I’m taking you to a small island in Timor-Leste. It’s a short hop from Bali but a world away.
Move into your beachside bamboo cabin. This is pared back Simple Luxury. Fill your days with sunrise walks and high vibe hikes. Snorkeling amongst world class reefs is just a 3 min boat ride away. Join the Fusion Fitness sessions on the beach. Think Pilates + Yoga + Core.
Enjoy local style food. The dining tables are communal, made for sharing, talking. Lunch at the market is at simple stalls with sand under our feet.
Chillax in the hammock, take a massage, read a book, chat with new friends. Take time to remember what life’s all about.
This is a mixed retreat for both women and men.
Book with your BFF or come solo and make new friends.
You’ll go home feeling energised, more in love with life. Sharing Timor-Leste is an unforgettable trip.
Think: Morning walks to catch the sunrise, hiking, snorkeling, swimming, boating, exploring local villages & community co-ops, along with time out to relax in your beachside hut. Jo will create just the right blend of Pilates/Yoga/Core sessions for us. We’ll be on the beach or under the trees. Expect the staff and locals to join in.
Day 1: Meet at Dili hotel (any time after 12 noon). Relax. Have some pool time. We chat about the program over dinner.
Day 2: Early morning boat to the island. We stop along the way if we see some whales. Settle into our bamboo bungalows on the beach. It’s a day of snorkeling, hammock time and a session with Jo. Get on island time.
Day 3: Early start to hike across the island. Swim. Eat. Relax. Jump on board an outrigger boat home. The afternoon is for hammock time and massages before a late afternoon session with Jo.
Day 4: Tuk Tuk ride to start point of mountain climb. Take in the views, be inspired by the day, descend. Afternoon naps, massages and refreshing dips are on! Stretch out and release your muscles in a session with Jo. It’s a big day, we celebrate with a cocktail at sunset.
Day 5: Start the day with a sunrise walk. There’s time for a final workout after breakfast. Its market day – free time to explore and have lunch local style. Late afternoon local ferry to Dili. Time to chill and reflect on our island time over drinks and dinner at the hotel.
Day 6: Climb the 500 steps to catch the sunrise at the famous Christo Rei statue. We say goodbye over breakfast. The day is yours to explore Dili or move on to the airport or your next destination.
* Breakfast, lunch and dinner is worked into the daily program!
** The mountain climb is a challenge. We can assess if it’s for you. Don’t worry, you can do a sunrise walk, snorkel, or if we have enough people do a session with Jo as an alternative.
*** We work in visits to local women’s co-ops to see local arts and crafts in between activities. It’s easy to plan day by day.
**** We stay flexible and take local advice as weather and sea conditions change daily. Leave the details to us to worry about… you get to let each day unfold.
See you later Timor-Leste.. It has been a huge fun time! Traveling in Timor-Leste is a trail blazing experience, it is off the tourist radar. A tiny fiercely beautiful country, which feels like Asia but with a weird Pacific and Portuguese mix. It’s so close to Australia but another world away ! Jo.
What an adventure! Thanks Karen for such an amazing experience and your special insights into how to live and inhale the wonders of each day. I so enjoyed meeting everyone too. Until the next one! Fi.
We spend most of our time in an eco-lodge located on a small island 36kms from Dili, capital of Timor-Leste. The last night is in a hotel in Dili overlooking the bay.
Karen Willis (that’s me) is the co-founder of Sharing Bali and has been running healthy retreats in a small village in Bali for nearly 10 years. An ex-fashion industry player and wanna-be writer, Karen calls Bali home. Sharing Bali & Beyond is Karen’s newest venture and it’s captured her heart.
Jo Sharp our resident fitness wellness guru will be on hand to rejuvenate your body and mind with pilates, yoga and some awesome core strengthening adapted to our beach location. Jo is also available for private wellness coaching sessions. Read the story of how Jo and Karen met in Bali. It was fate!
Our hosts have created an eco-lodge with individual, simple bamboo bungalows surrounded by permaculture gardens. Crystal clear turquoise waters are just metres away. The local village and market easy walking distance. Sustainable practices are at work – solar power, water recycling, minimal use of energy. There’s no need for AC. The use of grass roofs, latticed windows and ceiling fans create breezy well ventilated spaces. Your hammock beckons you to take a rest. Bathrooms are shared, bathing “mandi style” with cool fresh water is perfect. The toilets are self-composting. Worried? Don’t be. They are beautifully clean and you will adapt in no time.
There are limited cabins. They all have different configurations. Only a couple of singles. The share cabins are spacious, sometimes with a wall between beds or an upstairs loft making it very easy to share. We ask friends/family to share, occasionally we ask singles to share. We often share the lodge with marine biologists and dive volunteers working on marine and community projects for the island.
This Is Simple Luxury, your chance to get off the grid, meet wonderful people, experience the wonder of nature, learn so much and have time for YOU.
Get yourself to Dili, the capital of Timor Leste, and everything else is done for you. The airport is more shed than terminal, but the fragrant flowers and tropical air as you walk across the tarmac make up for it. Take a taxi to our Dili hotel Check the AIRNORTH schedule for direct Dili flights.
When I tell friends and family I’m going to Timor-Leste, the reaction is the same…. “is it safe?”
With good reason. Timor-Leste has emerged from troubled times, infrastructure is not what we’re used to and tourism is new. I travelled solo on my research trip and felt very safe. Once on the island, same as my Bali village, I left my door unlocked and was greeted with big smiles wherever I went.
I exercised caution in Dili and felt very OK. Head to the FAQ page for my personal safety tips. I have a belief that you can find trouble anywhere in the world if you go looking for it, so make your choice.
Sharing Bali & Beyond is all about making connections with local people who care enough to share their world with us. Our hosts, guides and drivers are trusted, friendly and all round good people who deserve to be treated well.
3 x nights accomm in a simple bamboo bungalow on the beach plus all meals, coffee, tea and drinking water
2 night accomm in Dili hotel plus breakfast (ac, pool, restaurant and bar)
1 x lunch at local market on day 5
1 x group transfer to island on fast(ish) boat (2 hours)
1 x group transfer to Dili on local boat (up to 3 hours)
1 x boat trip to reef with snorkel hire
1 x guided hike and beautiful boat trip home*
1 x guided mountain hike plus transport and use of walking stick
1 x tuk tuk ride to local community workshops
3 x Pilates/Yoga/Core sessions with Jo
1 x sunrise trip to Christo Rei statue
1 x celebratory cocktail
$25 donation to community projects managed by our hosts
*subject to weather/ocean conditions
**all activities are based on group participation
PS. I like to have a couple of surprises… not giving it all away here. You need to be there!
Airfares, visas and travel insurance
Dinner at Dili hotel on Day 1 & 5. (The hotel restaurant/bar is fun and affordable)
Any extra activities in Dili on Day 6
Alcohol, laundry, personal shopping, extra snorkelling trips and any activities outside the program