Blue Whales of Timor Leste

The Trip:

This expedition adventure to Timor Leste is focused on a particular spot — the Strait of Ombai, which is located in East Timor between Dili (the capital) and the island of Atauro. The Strait is some 17mi (30km) wide and right in the path of the famous Indonesian throughflow current as it streams between the main islands of Alor and Wetar, carrying a rich cargo of nutrients from the deep basins of the Banda Sea to the north. This is essentially an ocean superhighway were 170 million cubic feet (5 million cubic meters ) of sea water per second pass between the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. With so much water, current and nutrients moving through this area, it is a magnet for many pelagic and cetacean animal species.

The waters between Dili and Atauro are clear year round due to the absence of large rivers on the island — which means no sediment runoff into the ocean during the rainy season that runs from December to April. The deep channel between the mainland and Atauro is also home to one of the largest seasonal migrations of whales anywhere on Earth.

The diversity of these whales is similar to the reefs, with large populations of blue whales, beaked whales, melon headed whales, short finned pilot whales, and multiple dolphin species migrating between the Indian and Pacific Oceans each year between October and December.

Itinerary in brief:

Day 1: Depart for Bali

Day 2: Day lost crossing the international dateline

Day 3: Group assembles in Bali and stays overnight – (hotel recommendations will be provided later)

Day 4: Fly from Blie to Dili (Flight and accommodations will be made through us and the local operator), settle in at the Aquatica Dive Lodge

Days 5–10: 6 days searching for blue and sperm whales and swimming with many other types of whales, dolphins and porpoises

Day 11: Depart Dili to Bali


It’s peak season for Blue whale and Sperm Whale migration – and with only four guests we are looking forward to a phenomenal time. 


Nov 2-9, 2023
Nov 9-16, 2023

Rate: $5400

Group size: 6

Expedition Leader: Vanessa
Leader Bio: Vanessa is no stranger to the fascinating world beneath the waves. Her passion for marine life and nearly 15 years of experience leading expeditions around the globe make her the ideal companion for our journey, which will be 5 days of snorkeling in the warm, azure waters of East Timor, marveling at the grandeur of blue whales as Vanessa guides you to a magical encounter with these gentle giants.