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  • Gorontalo

    If you are interested in a truly majestic diving experience in one of Asia’s most popular tourist spots then diving in Gorontalo is your best bet. Situated in between the northern Sulawesi area and the Tomini Bay shoreline, this is the ideal place to experience the unique underwater paradise in the coral reefs and diverse rock formations that make Gorontalo so unique. Travel to an underwater world hoe to various species of plant and animal wildlife including the giant sponges and hundreds of species of fish.

    Gorontalo is a one hour flight from Manado to the Togian Islands, one of the most visited tourist areas in Indonesia. It is located n the northern part of Sulawesi at the Minahassa Peninsula and is an island province of Indonesia. The capital city of Gorontalo goes by the same name and is therefore known as the Gorontalo City or Gorontalo Regency. The coastline stretches across for more than 370 miles. There are 67 identified and named islands and islets north and south of the province.

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    The Sumalata Waters Reserve is a beautiful island paradise that has been labeled such since the 1930s during the Dutch colonial times. The water reserve showcases nature’s beauty at its finest. The islands here include the Islands of Raja, Mas and Pepaya which are North of Gorontalo. The world’s best turtle habitat can be found in Gorontalo as the islands are home to 4 species of turtles among the 7 species found in the world, these are the Cheloniamidas or PenyuHijau, the Eretmochelys imbricate or PenyuSisik, the Dermochelyscoriacea or PenyuBelimbing and the Carettacaretta or PenyuTempayan.

  • History

    The Gorontalo was first noted for its three rock forts that overlooked the Lake Limboto. These were brought about with the assistance of the Portuguese in 1525. Spanish influence introduced a variety of plants, fruits and vegetables that could grow in the areas tropical climate. This greatly influenced the cuisine we know and recognize in Gorontalo today. The area was later colonized by the Dutch who overthrew the local kings reign. After several years under Dutch rule, the locals achieved their independence in 1942. In the year 2000 Gorontalo was then proclaimed part of the North
    Sulawesi province.

  • Getting There

    You can take any International flight to Singapore or Jakarta and then take a domestic flight to Manado, then directly to Gorontalo. Depending on you accomodations you may arrange with the resort or hotel to transfer you directly from the airport. Otherwise you can take the local transport, a bus, car rental or the ferry to one of the islands. There are many ways to get around and several tours available that you may set up with your hotel or travel agency.

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    You may get to and from islands via ferry. The Tuna Tomini leaves the Goronto port to the Togian islands every Tuesday and Friday evening and is a scenic way to arrive at your destination as there are many reported dolphin sightings along the way. The return from Ampana is in the late afternoon. Depending on your choice of facilities, some tourists ask for the Perintis which is more expensive and equipped for more passengers. To get between the islands Katupat, Malenge, Dolong and Wakai the Puspita ferry is the one to take. The ferry leaves in the early morning around 5am and is the perfect ferry to catch the majestic island sunrise.

    Because weather conditions may not always be suitable, it is very important to keep yourself updated with the ferry schedules. As tourists keep aware of the local and public holidays in the area as the ferry may not be operational around those times.

    Other local transports include the Bentor a three wheeled motorbike taxi service that can transport up to 2 people, the bendi which is a horse drawn carriage and the mikrolet, the local minibus.

  • Useful Information

    Climate

    Gorontalo is an equatorial island paradise that has a constant temperature of 33C throughout the year. The humidity at the island is at 83% and rainfall is common. The rainy season is during the December months to March thought only tropical and intermittent. The months between Novemberand April are when the ocean waves are at its calmest and it is therefore best to visit Gorontalo during these months.

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    Currency

    Indonesias currency is the IDR or the Indonesian rupiah. Large establishments may however accept foreign currencies like the dollar yet these establishments may be limited. With that in mind I is best to exchange your currencies at the airport once you arrive and before taking a ferry to set off to one of the islands.

    Electricity

    Indonesia makes use of the 220 Volt by two prong plugs. Depending on what type of appliances you will be bringing with you on your trip, you may need to bring an adapter and converter with you in order to use your items. If you do not have one then you may readily purchase these at the airport or at shops around the area.

    Time Zone

    Lying close to the equator, Gorontalo follows the GMT +08:00 hours.

    Telecommunications

    Indonesia has most of today’s modern telecommunication facilities. Hotels and resorts are well equipped with internet connections, especially the big establishments. The smaller ones however may not always have these services free of charge, though may have them available at an added cost. Payphones are available throughout the area though cellular sights are not always at their strongest.

    Immigration

    Travelling to Indonesia requires the traveller to possess a valid passport. He or she may then freely travel from ferry port without the need of one, to get from island to island.

  • Frequently asked questions

    Gorontalo is the diver’s refuge in the heart of Indonesia and has many beautiful sights and activities to experience. It is only best that you know how to get around and what to see. Here is a list of some of the frequently asked questions of tourist who plan on planning their vacation and Gorontalo.

    What is the best way to get around Gorontalo?

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    If you plan on going from island to island then the ferry is the best mode of transportation. There are many ferry options available as you can take a public one that leaves the docks daily or rent a private boat, also available at ship docks around the region. On land you can take the triclycleBentor, the local blue bus mikrolet or the horse drawn carriage the bendi. Most people find that the bendi is the most scenic way to get around the island.

    What is the diving information of Gorotalo?

    The archipelago is a great option to discover sightings of small underwater animals especially for those that are underwater photography enthusiasts. Wall dives are also common from the steep limestone cliffs. The reef is at a 5 to 40 meter depth with a 20 to 30 meter visibility. The currents are mostly gentle during the dive season and this is also when the surface conditions are calm. Divers of the beginner to advanced level frequent the area. There are 15 dive sites to choose from that are accessible via dive resort.

    What is Gorontalo’s major highlights?

    The major highlight in Gorontalo would have to be the 10 natural convolutions in the steep limestone wall that makes up the cliffs down to the depths of the ocean. Formed by various underwater activity, this is what makes the archipelago home to many different species of marine life. The unique rock formations make for the perfect congregating area for the masses of fishes. Explore through a fantastic array of corals, sponges, fishes and plant life.

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