About Baucau

Baucau Mercado

The newly renovated Baucau Market is the centrepiece of Baucau city. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

The district of Baucau is situated 129 kilometres east of Dili, and is the second largest district in Timor-Leste with a population of 111, 694. The District is divided into six Sub-Districts: Baucau, Laga and Vemasse on the coast and Venilale, Quelicai and Baguia inland. Formerly an administrative and trading centre under the Portuguese, Baucau town is the second largest city after Dili, with a population of approximately 16,000. Baucau is also a major religious centre and the home of the Bishop Basilio Nascimento, a legendary Timorese regional and national leader. The town of Baucau has the country’s largest airport as well as a port facility. The architecture in Baucau reflects the colonial period of the Portuguese as well as the era of the Indonesian occupation. Sadly, during reprisals following the 1999 referendum for independence, much of Baucau’s basic infrastructure and assets were destroyed as many buildings and schools were looted, damaged and burnt.

Sub-District of Baucau

Our Friendship Relationship is with the Sub-district of Baucau. In the Sub-district of Baucau there are 11 Sucos. They are: Bahu, Bucoli, Buibao, Buruma, Caibada,  Gariwae, Samalari, Seical, Tirilolo, Triloka , Ualili.


The main economic activity of the district is agriculture including the production of corn/maize, rice, peanuts, coconuts and vegetables. Small businesses have grown in the time since independence with shops, restaurants, internet cafes and the main produce market operating. However, efforts are being hampered by a lack of power, transport and supply. Unemployment, especially for young people, is very high. Yet, some basic industries are emerging. The iron-roofing rolling mill, established by Doncaster Rotary and now the East Timor Roofing Company, is in production and is also used as a training facility for ex-FALINTIL fighters. There are also many proposals to develop local handcraft production as well as a range of micro-economic activities in areas such as health and hygiene, food production and processing, transportation, small retail businesses and small-scale tourism.


Mr. Antonio Guterres is the District Administrator of Baucau. Mr. Guterres and his staff administer political and developmental initiatives in Baucau and the sub-districts. However, there are various other institutions in Baucau. The Catholic Church contributes significantly to Baucau’s education and youth development as well as provides social leadership. In addition, village leaders, both traditional and elected, play a role in organisational and social structures. Furthermore, several local and international non-governmental organisations are assisting with development in Baucau.


Discover the world’s newest nation, Timor-Leste! After 450 years of foreign occupation, Timor-Leste is a new and exciting country to discover. With its stunning mountainous landscape, untouched beaches and beautiful coral reefs as well as its rich and diverse cultural and historical influences, Timor-Leste is an intriguing place to explore. Timor-Leste is so diverse there is something for everyone including scuba diving and snorkeling, trekking and mountain climbing, whale and dolphin watching as well as traditional village stays and demonstrations of local crafts and customs. Baucau is a popular tourist spot for travelers. The locals refer to it as the honeymoon point as it has been such a popular location for newly-weds over the years. The three-hour drive along the coast from Dili to Baucau is magnificent and when you arrive you can enjoy Baucau’s cool climate, spring water swimming pools and stunning beaches. The beach at Baucau has fresh ocean breezes, enjoyable camping under the shade of palm trees and spectacular sunsets. In Baucau you will find the recently opened, Pousada de Baucau, which is a hospitality training facility promoting a high standard of service in food and accommodation.

What’s in a name?

You might have heard the name Timor-Leste  before – this is simply the name East Timor in the Portugese language.  The government of Timor-Leste has asked that people use this name when referring to East Timor in all languages. It is also the official name of the country at the UN no mater what language is used.

Facts about Timor-Leste

  • Area of 18, 989 sq km (Victoria 227 000 sq km)
  • Population of just over 1 million
  • Dili and Baucau are the only significant urban areas
  • Official languages Tetum and Portuguese
  • Other spoken languages are Indonesian, English and 32 local languages
  • About three quarters of the population are employed in agriculture
  • Rugged east-west mountains, Mt. Ramelau peaking at 2963metres

Food for Thought

  • Unemployment is at 8.9% with youth being 23.1%
  • 41% of Timorese citizens live below the poverty line
  • 48% of Timorese population are under the age of 17
  • 50% of the population are illiterate
  • Life expectancy is 50-58 years
  • Infant mortality is 78-149 per 1000 live births
  • There are only five hospitals in all of Timor Leste

Ref. United Nation Human Development Report