Gorontalo Travel Guide
Gorontalo City sits on the coast of Tomini Bay halfway across North Sulawesi and is just an hour’s flight from Manado and a 12-hour ferry journey to Togean Island. Despite being a fairly large town Gorontalo is laid back and unhurried. It’s not really worth spending too much time here; however, there are one or two attractions worth seeking out.
The Benteng Otanaha Historical Site, eight kilometers from town, is a popular side trip in Gorontalo and reveals a slice of its history. There are three 16th century forts here and a set of steps takes visitors over and above them for stunning views of the region - Lake Limboto can be seen in the distance.
Getting There & Away
Gorontalo is 230kms west of Manado, the main city in the North Sulawesi region. Sam Ratulangi Airport in Manado is a 3-hour flight from Jakarta and under an hour from Gorontalo Airport. You can also take a bus to Gorontalo in around 5 hours. The Togean Islands are a 12-hour ferry journey away from Gorontalo.
Things to Do
- Benteng Otanaha Historical Site
This early 16th century site features three ancient forts and fine views over gorontalo and surroundings.
Side trips from Gorontalo
- Togean Islands
Lying 200kms southwest of gorontalo in tomini bay, these islands have superb diving and are accessible by ferry from gorontalo.
- Gorontalo Culture Festival
Showcasing gorontalo’s cultural heritage, this annual festival in early may features traditional dance, music and food.