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Motto: Husar Binan Tetuk No Nesan Diak No Kmanek
Atambua is located in Indonesia Timor
Coordinates: 9°6′22″S 124°53′33″E / 9.10611°S 124.89250°E / -9.10611; 124.89250Coordinates: 9°6′22″S 124°53′33″E / 9.10611°S 124.89250°E / -9.10611; 124.89250
Country Indonesia
Province Nusa Tenggara Timur
Regency Belu
 • Total 32.8 km2 (12.7 sq mi)
 • Total 42,888
Time zone WITA (UTC+8)

Atambua is a town in the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia and it is the seat (capital) of Belu Regency. The town stretches as far as 8.5 km from North to South and 5 km from East to West, and is located in the north of the western half of Timor Island. The town is located at an altitude of about 300 m above sea level with temperatures ranging between 27-35 degrees Celsius making this area feel quite warm. In September 1999, 250,000 refugees arrived here from East Timor, after their vote for independence and the following violence. As late as 2002 there was an estimated 60,000 refugees left in camps.[1]

The town is home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Atambua. The Diocese's population is over 95% Catholic, among the highest percentages of Catholics in all of Indonesia.


The town's transport system relies mainly on minibuses, usually called bemo or mikrolet, and motorcycles provide an alternative. The motorcycles are usually called ojek. There are only four routes in the town served by the Mikrolets that connect Atambua's main points. The ojeks do not have a fixed route.

Inter-city buses connect Atambua with other towns in West Timor. The city and towns that can be connected are Kupang, Soe and Kefamenanu; the distance between Atambua and Kefamenanu is 87 km, between Atambua and Soe is 179 km, and between Atambua and Kupang is 289 km. Atambua is a major gateway to East Timor by land. To go to East Timor /(Timor-Leste), the vehicles usually used by road to Indonesia-East Timor (Timor-Leste) Immigration checks in Motaain (Indonesia) near Batugada are mostly with Bus, Car (such as SUVs and MPVs and Motorcycles. The distance between Atambua and Motaain (Indonesia-Timor Leste borders) is about 30 km.

There is an airport in Atambua, Haliwen Airport, about 5 kilometers from the town centre. The airport's runway is 1200m long and can therefore be used by small aircraft. Daily flights to the airport are operated by Susi Air and sometimes by Merpati Nusantara Airlines. All these flights are on the Atambua - Kupang route. In addition, Atambua also has two sea ports, Atapupu for cargo and oil, and Teluk Gurita for passengers (ferry port). Ferry routes are Atambua-Kalabahi (Alor), once a week.


  1. ^ East Timor's refugees head home, BBC April 11, 2002