Gorontalo is situated in Indonesia on the northern shores of Tomini Bay. Along that coastline, steep mountains fall directly in the deep waters of the Bay. Until now, most travellers have thought of Gorontalo as a transit point between the Togean Islands and Manado. But now diving is available.

Gorontalo Coastline
Gorontalo Coastline

Anreise nach Gorontalo

It is no more necessary to go by bus to Gorontalo on bad roads.The newly expanded Jalaluddin Airport connects Gorontalo to Manado in the north and Makassar (Ujung Pandang) in the south. Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air provide many flight choices. For those still wanting the overland adventure, the Trans Sulawesi Highway is much improved over the past several years.

Gorontalo has not been troubled by the unrest of the Poso-Area on the other side of the Tomini Bay. For the latest travel and safety information, contact Miguel’s Diving.

Das Tauchen in Gorontalo

Miguel’s Diving opened in Gorontalo in 2003. Certified divers can enjoy two-tank morning diving. Trips run for one to six divers. A limited supply of dive equipment is available for rental. Hotel/dive packages are also available. Miguel's website provides extensive information on dive spots, including maps, species lists, and underwater photos. Melati Cyber Café (in front of the hotel) serves as its office.

Dive spots begin within five minutes of the dock. The farthest site offered is an hour by boat. Ironically, diving is only possible during the rainy season (November to April) when west winds create very calm conditions on this side of Tomini Bay. Most dive spots are wall dives. Other spots include a multiple pinnacle dive, sand bays, and two wrecks.

Acropora Coral near Gorontalo
Acropora Coral near Gorontalo

Dive spots near Gorontalo

This is a spur-and-groove site with gigantic wall spurs alternating with steep, white sand basins. The shallow coral garden at the top is in good shape all the way to the rocky beach. Lionfish, many types of parrotfish, and garden eels live here. Rare creatures like the Ornate ghost pipefish, Ribbon eel, and Boxer crab have also been found here. This site is 400 meters long.

This is the dive spot farthest away. Numerous deep, straight cuts run down the sheer wall face. Most of these “chimneys” are too narrow for a diver to enter. Most are full of white gorgonian fans. This site often has down currents and cold upwellings. Schools of fish, such as trevally and tuna, visit this site. This dive spot is over half a kilometer long.
Coral garden near Gorontalo
Coral garden

City Limits
Most of the new species found in Gorontalo are available at this dive spot. This includes the beautiful Orange back wrasse, considered endemic to Tomini Bay. Coral cover and fish life are extremely varied. For advanced divers, a Japanese cargo tanker lies up side down off the wall in 26 to 50 meters of water. It sunk in 1942. Those choosing to dive the wreck will not have enough bottom time left to see much of this dive spot, which stretches 550 meters beyond the wreck.

Christmas Barge Wreck
This second wreck is a dredging barge firmly resting up side down on a steep slope with its entire underside exposed. Cables and numerous barrels hang in midwater, covered with sponges, oysters, and soft coal. It sank in 1993.

Helicopter Bay
This dive spot gets its name from a rock formation that looks like a helicopter. It overlooks a tiny inlet that measures only six meters wide. This inlet penetrates 65 meters into the coral wall.

This dive spot has both coral points and deep sand basins. The Black garden eel, found only in Indonesia and the Philippines, lives here along with huge sea cucumbers. The shallow coral garden is especially good. This site rarely has currents, making for a relaxing dive. This site is over half a kilometer long.

Divespot near Gorontalo
Gorontalo dive spot

This can be a rather athletic dive since the site follows a submerged coral point that hits the long shore current. Currents often change direction and intensity during the dive. The currents also attract much fish life. It has a couple of sunken caves plus a tunnel. This dive spot is almost 600 meters long.

Jinn Caves
This unique section of coral wall is split entirely down the middle. The split backs 33 meters into the rock, ending in a tiny cove. Underneath are numerous caves and holes. Huge black coral, soft coral, and sponges decorate the entrance to the cut.

There are actually 26 pinnacles of various heights positioned along a mixed coral and sand slope. A couple of undescribed species of jawfish live in the sand here. This is a relaxing dive. The dive spot is 300 meters long.

This is usually run as a deep dive since three caves are found at about 30 meters. Above the third cave is a “roadway” cut into the sheer wall. It is edged with anemones. There divers can easily see the Sarasvati commensal shrimp, a new species. More nudibranchs are found here than at any other dive spot. At the far end of this dive spot is a cave with a skylight punched into the reef flat above. A hawksbill turtle usually rests inside. This dive spot is 450 meters long.

Silvertip Grounds
Unless the waters are extremely calm, be prepared for currents at this dive spot. The wall here has huge sponges and numerous fan corals. Fish are very abundant, especially if the current is running. The shallow coral shelf here is only a meter wide. Several boulders have fallen off the cliff above and sit on the coral shelf. This dive spot is an incredible 800 meters long.

Traffic Jam
This dive spot has so many fish that divers can get dizzy. The dense coral growth is stunning. Currents here are usually quite mild. This dive spot is 400 meters long.


Miguel´s Diving
Jl. Gajah Mada No. 33
Gorontalo 96117
Tel. +62 - 435 823884
Email: info@miguelsdiving.com