Geography of East Timor

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Map of East Timor indicating cities and principal roads.

This article describes the geography of East Timor.

Southeast Asia (or Oceania depending on definitions),[lower-alpha 1] northwest of Australia in the Lesser Sunda Islands at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago; note - East Timor includes the eastern half of the island of Timor, the Ocussi-Ambeno region on the northwest portion of the island of Timor, and the islands of Atauro and Jaco
Geographic coordinates
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Map references
Southeast Asia, Wallacea
  • Total: 14,874 km²
  • Land: 14,874 km²
  • Water: 0 km²
Land boundaries
  • Total: 2,538 km (1,577 mi)
  • Border countries: Indonesia (253 km or 157 mi)
706 km (439 mi)
Maritime claims
  • Territorial sea: 12 nmi
  • Contiguous zone: 24 nmo
  • Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nmi


Tropical; hot, humid; distinct rainy and dry seasons
Elevation extremes
Natural resources
Gold, petroleum, natural gas, manganese, marble
Land use
  • Arable land: 10.1%
  • Permanent crops: 4.9%
  • Permanent pasture: 10.1%
  • Forest: 49.1%
  • Other: 25.8% (2011)
Irrigated land
346.5 km2 (134 sq mi) (2003)
Natural hazards
Floods and landslides are common; earthquakes; tsunamis; tropical cyclones
Environment - current issues
Widespread use of slash and burn agriculture has led to deforestation and soil erosion
Environment - international agreements
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification
Geography - note
'Timor' is a Portuguese derivation of 'Timur' Malay word for "Orient"; the island of Timor is part of the Malay Archipelago and is the largest and easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands.
East Timor is the only Asian nation to lie entirely within the Southern Hemisphere.


  • Much of the material in this article is adapted from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and 2012.