Diving in Gorontalo
Tomini Bay, North Sulawesi
Diving was only started here around the year 2000 by an enthusiast who was keen to find a viable alternative to the more established and popular nearby destinations in Sulawesi.
Located on the rugged, northern coastline of mountains and rolling hills in Tomini Bay, Gorontalo not only has similar riches in biodiversity, but it also has its own unique mix of marine life and many species that are endemic to this area. To date 10 new species, some only ever found in Gorontalo, have been internationally recognised and many more are slated for further investigation.
You may be wondering why the Gorontalo diving sites would posess such exciting and colourful creatures as the orange-backed wrasse, yellow-spotted slingjaw wrasse, Sarasvati's commensal shrimp and Coleman's coral shrimp. The truth lies in the unique conditions that exist here - Gorontalo is located very close to the Equator and its coastal walls plunge into a deep and very calm bay, allowing deep water marine species to come in very close to the dive sites. It's also near the centre of "The Golden Triangle" of marine bio-diversity.
With the 15 dive sites being just a few minutes from town, diving in Gorontalo will appeal to you if you have an interest in marine life identification and in absorbing some authentic culture of Indonesian rural city life. The latest dive destination in Indonesia to be receiving media attention and earning plaudits, Gorontalo, which is only a daily 1 hour flight from Manado International Airport, rightly deserves the praise and its place amongst the top diving destinations in Sulawesi.
Traffic Jam: What makes this Gorontalo diving spot special are the 10 natural convolutions in the wall that form vertical shafts; perfect congregating areas for masses of juvenile fish seeking protection and shelter. The line up of colourful wrasses, angelfish and butterflyfish is worth the entrance ticket alone. Then you can explore the walls themselves, covered in a spectacular range of sponges, harbouring Coleman's coral shrimp and many nudibranchs.
How to Dive Gorontalo
Regretfully, due to the lack of reliable flight operators and regular flights at the time, we have stopped offering diving packages in Gorontalo.
But with only 1 dive centre operating in Gorontalo, you can sample for yourself this fascinating brand of deep healthy coral walls, wreck diving, pinnacles and bays, in waters that are only crowded by fish.
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Have a look through our Frequently asked questions
The Gorontalo scuba diving season runs from November to April. Outside of this time, the winds make surface conditions too unreliable for trips to be guaranteed.
Good for: Small animals, underwater photography, reef life and health, wall dives and dive value-for-money
Not so good for: Non-diving activities
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 20 - 30m
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 28 - 30°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: 15
Distance: 230 km west southwest of Manado (1 hour)
Access: Dive resorts
Recommended length of stay: 3 - 7 days
Dive Site Descriptions
For more on the detailed Gorontalo dive sites:
• Gorontalo travel information
View a map of:
• Sulawesi - Indonesia
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