Atapupu is a port town in the Indonesian part of Timor Island (West Timor, in Kakuluk Mesak District of Belu Regency in East Nusa Tenggara Province. It is located on the northernmost part of West Timor, close to the border with East Timor.

Atapupu is located in Timor
Atapupu is located in Lesser Sunda Islands
Atapupu (Lesser Sunda Islands)
Atapupu is located in Indonesia
Atapupu (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 8°59′41″S 124°51′54″E / 8.99472°S 124.86500°E / -8.99472; 124.86500Coordinates: 8°59′41″S 124°51′54″E / 8.99472°S 124.86500°E / -8.99472; 124.86500
Country Indonesia
ProvinceEast Nusa Tenggara
RegencyBelu Regency
DistrictKakuluk Mesak
Time zoneUTC+8 (ICST)
Area code(+62) 389


Prior to the 18th century, Atapupu was a port under influence of the Portuguese, but Dutch influence reached the area by 1797. While the Portuguese seized Atapupu during the Napoleonic Wars, the district of Atapupu was later returned to the Dutch, but border disputes continued. Dutch forces attacked Atapupu in 1817 and 1818.[1][2] The latter of the two attacks occurred on 20 April 1818, when 30 soldiers overcame the town's Portuguese garrison and replaced the Portuguese ensign with Dutch ones.[3]

As part of Dutch Timor, Atapupu was the region's second port after Kupang, being connected by road to the larger port settlement.[1] It was the seat of Dutch administration for what is today the Belu Regency, until the seat was moved to Atambua in 1916.[4] During the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies, Atapupu was used as a staging point for barges and was heavily damaged by Australian bombing.[5]

In the late 2010s, the Indonesian government began to designate Atapupu's port as a transit point for goods exported to East Timor by sea.[6]


The Indonesian Navy operates a naval post at Atapupu.[7]


  1. ^ a b Garvin, James Louis; Hooper, Franklin Henry; Cox, Warren E. (1929). The Encyclopedia Britannica. The Encyclopedia Britannica Company. p. 231.
  2. ^ de Sousa, Ivo Carneiro (2018). History of East Timor. East-West Institute for Advanced Studies. p. 123, 144. Retrieved 5 April 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Gunn, Geoffrey C. (1999). Timor Loro Sae: 500 Years. Livros do Oriente. p. 145-146. ISBN 9789729418693.
  4. ^ Ormeling, Ferdinand Jan (1956). The Timor Problem: A Geographical Interpretation of an Under Developed Island. Wolters. p. 40.
  5. ^ Farram, Steven Glen. From 'Timor Koepang' to 'Timor NTT': A Political History of West Timor, 1901-1967 (PDF) (PhD thesis). Charles Darwin University. p. 190.
  6. ^ Himawan, Aditya (9 May 2016). "Pelabuhan Atapupu akan Dirancang Jadi Pelabuhan Transit Ekspor" [Atapupu Port will be Designed as an Export Transit Port]. Suara (in Indonesian). Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Atambua-Atapupu, Kota Dollar di NTT..." [Atambua-Atapupu, Dollar City in NTT...]. (in Indonesian). 11 December 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2019.