Blue Whales in Timor Leste
Blue whale and two divers II copy

Blue Whales in Timor Leste

Welcome to the sun-dappled waters of Timor-Leste, a hidden gem of marine biodiversity. Here, the cobalt sea pulsates with life, its surface broken by the majestic breach of a blue whale, the largest animal to have ever lived. Our expedition, expertly guided by award-winning wildlife photographer Vanessa Mignon, offers a thrilling, immersive experience into the world of these gentle behemoths. In the pristine waters of Timor-Leste, you’ll experience the grandeur of nature as blue whales glide through the waters with a grace that belies their immense size. Whether it’s your first encounter or your hundredth, the sight of these magnificent creatures is always awe-inspiring, and the chance to swim alongside them, a truly transformative experience.

Under Vanessa’s guidance, you’ll learn to read the waters, anticipate the whales’ movements, and find yourself in the right place at the right time for that perfect shot. With her extensive knowledge of cetaceans and passion for their preservation, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of these marine titans and their crucial role in our planet’s health. While the blue whales are the undisputed stars of our journey, Timor-Leste’s vibrant marine environment teems with an abundance of life. Be prepared for unexpected encounters with other marine species, such as playful dolphins and sleek manta rays, each interaction a testament to the remarkable biodiversity of the region.

This expedition goes beyond the thrill of the encounter, it’s about forging a connection with nature that lasts long after you’ve returned home. It’s about understanding our place in the intricate web of life, and the importance of preserving these amazing ecosystems for future generations. Together, we’ll explore the richness of Timor-Leste’s culture, its warm-hearted people, and its breathtaking landscapes. Each day ends with the setting sun coloring the sky in hues of orange, and the feeling of anticipation for the underwater wonders that the new day will bring.

Join us on this unforgettable journey and come face-to-face with the titans of the deep, as you swim in harmony with nature and create lifelong memories. For when you dive into the blue, you dive into the essence of our shared existence on this beautiful planet.

*Dates and pricing are subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions, animal behavior, and currency fluctuation.

Timor Leste, East Timor




7 Days




Swim with blue whales, sperm whales, dolphins and many other types of marine mammals

Price and Dates
Choose an option
November 5 - 12, 2023

4 in stock

Price excludes flights and accommodations


Day 1
Assemble in Bali

Day 2 Fly to Dili

Day 3 — 7
5 days searching for blue and sperm whales and swimming with many other types of whales, dolphins and porpoises

Day 8
Depart from Dili





Water 86°F (30°C)

100 ft (33m)

Contact Us


Suggested accommodation at the Timor hotel – book directly at –








  • 5 full-days of searching and free diving with whales, porpoises and dolphins
  • Round-trip transportation to and from airport
  • Photo coaching
  • Expedition leadership


  • International and domestic flights
  • (BigAnimals will book flight from Bali – Dili –  Bali and invoice separately)
  • Hotel in Dili
  • Dinners
  • Personal charges such as laundry, telecommunications
  • Gratuities

Getting there

Book flights to and from Bali, Indonesia

Timor Leste

One of youngest nations in the world, became independent from Indonesia with the support of the United Nations in 2002. Besides being part of the Ring of Fire – the most seismically active region on earth, Timor Leste is also part of the Coral Triangle ; the epicenter for biodiversity.

Strait of Ombai

Our expedition adventure to Timor Leste will take place in 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 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.

Ocean Superhighway

This is 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 to many pelagic and cetacean animal species.






Undiscovered Country

Timor Leste probably has one of the best shore diving in the world, entries are so easy and within 10 meters from shore and there’s a 20 meters drop-off. Timor is still such a new nation that tourism infrastructure is still at its infancy. Consequently, there are no crowds at the dive sites so imagine having the whole dive site to yourself.

Clear & Warm Waters

Dili and Atauro are blessed with clear waters year round due to the absence of large rivers on the island — which means no sediment runoff into the ocean — only the fast-flowing ocean waters between the mainland and Atauro, which have formed a deep channel that serves as a conduit for one of the largest seasonal migrations of whales anywhere on Earth.


Whales diversity is similar to what you might find in 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.




Expedition Video

Expedition Leader


You can reserve now by either paying a 33% deposit through our online reservation system or by by mailing a check (Please see Payment Policy, Deposit, and Cancellation Information below — a 3.5% processing fee is applied to all online transactions)

If you’d prefer to mail a check to our office or arrange for a wire transfer, please get in touch with us via the Contact BigAnimals form below

Reserve Online*
Choose an option
November 5 - 12, 2023

4 in stock

Price excludes flights and accommodations

* 3.5% processing fee applied to all online transactions — All prices $USD 
*Dates and pricing are subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions, animal behavior, and currency fluctuation.
Reserve by Check*

Please mail deposit check to:

Big Animals LLC
189 Evans Avenue, Suite A
Pacific Grove, CA 93950 USA

Join our Mailing List

Payment policy and deposit

When we receive your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive and detailed trip preparation document about the experience and the destination. All trip costs are subject to change without prior notice until your reservation is confirmed. All trips require you carry trip, health, and dive (if applicable) insurance. This information as well as your passport photo will be requested after you place your deposit.

Full payment is due no later than 90 days before departure. We reserve the right to sell any space that is not paid in full by 60 days before departure.



Join this expedition by paying the deposit.

Your deposit reserves your place on the trip. However, the full amount is due 90 days or more before the expedition date begins.

You will receive a confirmation email when your application is received. When your deposit is complete, you will receive trip confirmation. Complete trip details will be sent upon final payment.

View the Expedition Page for Total Trip Price and Cancellation Policies


Additional information

Dates (Timor Leste)

November 11 – 19, 2023, November 5 – 12, 2023, October 24 – 31, 2022, October 31 – November 7, 2022, November 7 – 14, 2022