Exploring Gorontalo, the Porch of Medina in Sulawesi

Gorontalo, located in the northern part of Sulawesi, is a relatively new province, only founded in 2000 after separating from North Sulawesi. This province is nicknamed ‘Serambi Madinah’ or the porch of the Medina. Gorontalo is indeed predominantly Muslims and they have a unique culture.

walking among fish. via Instagram/mahdishahab7835

In term of tourism, Gorontalo relies most on its coastal and sea area. Gorontalo is mostly mountainous land with unique flora and fauna like Tarsiun, Maleo, and Babirusa. Gorontalo City, the capital of the province, has several beautiful places that are worth exploring. Here are some of them.

Fort Otanaha

Fort Otanaha. via Instagram/cungkring

Unlike most forts in Indonesia, this one is not a legacy of the Dutch. Rather, it was built by the Portuguese and used by Gorontalo kings to defend from any enemy that invade the kingdom. Located on a plateau, this fort has a vantage point all the way to the Limboto Lake. Consequently, visitors have to climb some 345 steps to get to this fort.

Olele Marine Park

Snorkeling at Olele. vai instagram/sulawesitours

This park is one of the most popular diving spots in East Indonesia. Olele Marine Park is an underwater paradise with healthy coral and vibrant marine life. This park is well known to world divers due to a kind of sea sponge.

Olele has Salvador Dali Sponge, a unique sponge that can only be found here. It is named after Dali because the sponge resembles an object on one of his masterpieces; L’enigma del  Desiderio.

Tangga 2000 Park

Tangga 2000 Park. via Instagram/tikaraisyah

Tangga 2000 literally means 2000 stairs. But fret not, the number 200 refers to the year the park was inaugurated, and not the number of the steps. There are indeed many steps and stairs in this park which includes Pohe Beach. You can also rent a boat in this park to get around some parts of Tomini Bay.

Batutonuo Beach

Batutonuo Beach. via Instagram/gorontalo.unite

This is the classic white sand beach, with crescent-shaped beach and some palm trees at the lining up. This beach is relatively well-developed, you can find food stalls, a bathing place, and places to hang out. You can also find some photo spots on this beach.

Batu Pandang

Batu Pandang. via Instagram/reginamamahit

Batu Pandang is a hill located next to Batutonuo. This hill has a sweeping view of the beach all the way to the horizon over the open sea. This place is remarkable with many viewpoints and platforms. Naturally, Batu Pandang Hill is an extremely Instagramable spot.

Kurenai Beach

Kurenai Beach. via Instagram/rahmirzl

Kurenai is a lovely beach with a white sandy stretch. The sand is very soft, with a nice view of the sea, including several small rock islands. There are many sheep wandering on this beach and they are not afraid of people. There are also many food stalls so you won’t have to worry about being starving while here.

Fort Otanaha. via Instagram/adimorito

Gorontalo is an old city, with a rather rich history. Islam values is very well adhered here, so you might see an interesting festival once you’re there. But for a start, you might want to explore its natural beauty.

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Gorontalo Indonesia
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