• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Citilink Gorontalo Makassar Flights Available

Citilink Gorontalo Makassar flights are now available.

Gorontalo Welcomes Citilink Flights

citilink aircraft
A Citilink flight arrives at Gorontalo airport

Gorontalo’s new terminal welcomes yet another airline with the arrival of Citilink. Flights from Gorontalo depart at 1100, arriving in Makassar at 1230. Also, flights from Makassar depart at 0845, arriving in Gorontalo at 1015. This is the present schedule. Divers should always refer to Citilink’s official website for current flight times and options. This new flight began in mid 2017.

Divers will also want to note that this airline provides for a free bag of dive gear. The limit is up to 20 kilos. This is addition to its normal free baggage of 20 kilos to economy passengers.

The ticketing code is QG. The code for Makassar is UPG, reflecting its previous name, Ujung Pandang. Gorontalo remains GTO.

A Low Cost Airline

Garuda Indonesia established a low-cost subsidiary in 2001, naming it Citilink. Its main purpose is to offer shuttle services within Indonesia. If travelers need more than the Gorontalo-Makassar flight, they can check connections on-line or with an agent.

Additionally, this airline uses mainly Airbus A320s.

International Safety Standards

In June 2016, the European Union lifted its ban against Citilink flying in its airspaces. Although the airline does not fly there, the vote of confidence from the EU gives European citizens and others peace of mind. The decision recognizes that the airline operates according to international standards for safety and management.

Should you need suggestions on flights for your upcoming dive trip to Gorontalo, please contact with us.

Certificate of Excellence 2017 for Miguel’s Diving

Certificate of Excellence 2017 for Miguel’s Diving Gorontalo was just announced by TripAdvisor®.

Certificate of Excellence 2017

TripAdvisor celebrates achievements of hospitality businesses. Its coveted Certificate of Excellence is awarded to those that earn great travel reviews on its website. TripAdvisor has been doing so for seven years now. Certificate of Excellence 2017 recipients are not only dive centers. They include accommodations, eateries and attractions. Locations are all over the world. Recipients must continually deliver quality customer experience.

Certificate of Excellence 2017
TripAdvisor recognizes Miguel’s Diving

“We are truly thankful for the great support from our guests. They are the ones who take time to send their impressions to TripAdvisor. We are delighted to receive this recognition from TripAdvisor. Actually, this marks the third year in a row for us to receive this recognition” says Rantje Allen. He is marketing consultant for Miguel’s Diving.

High Service Standards

“With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honors hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers,” said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition helps travelers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service. TripAdvisor is proud to play this integral role in helping travelers feel more confident in their booking decisions.”

The Certificate of Excellence 2017 accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews. Travelers submit their reviews to TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, there are several measurements. A business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five. Also, it must have a minimum number of reviews. Additionally, its TripAdvisor listing must run for at least 12 months. #CertificateofExcellence

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site. This is according to comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, February 2016. It enables travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers. Also, it has a wide variety of travel choices and planning features. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world. Its sites reach 340 million unique monthly visitors. This is according to TripAdvisor log files, Q1 2016. It has 350 million reviews and opinions. These cover 6.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 48 markets worldwide.

For your chance to enjoy excellent service, please book your dive trip with Miguel’s Diving.

European Union Flight Ban Lifted

European Union flight ban against all Indonesian airlines no longer applies to seven national carriers. This is great news for international travelers wishing to dive in Gorontalo. Additionally, divers residing in Indonesia can have greater confidence to fly on certain airlines.

Approved Indonesian Airlines

Currently, airlines certified as meeting international safety and management standards are Garuda Indonesia, Airfast Indonesia, Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua, Indonesia Air Asia, Citilink, Lion Air and Batik Air. The European Union website contains the official list.

Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air and Batik Air fly to Gorontalo’s Djalaluddin Airport (GTO).

History of European Union Flight Ban

In June 2007, the European Union blacklisted all domestic airlines in Indonesia. At that time, no Indonesian airlines actually flew in European airspace. Most of all, the European Union flight ban was a response to a series of high-profile aviation accidents. Jacques Barrot served as EU vice president in charge of transport. He announced the European Union flight ban. In clarification, he stated,

“Once more, the EU blacklist will prove to be an essential tool, not only to prevent unsafe airlines from flying to Europe and to inform passengers traveling worldwide, but also to make sure that airlines and civil aviation authorities take appropriate actions to improve safety.”

The ban also required travel agents in Europe to inform those traveling to Indonesia. Most noteworthy, the EU ban had an immediate, negative impact on the tourism sector in Indonesia. This included dive operators in Sulawesi.

Indonesian Airlines Work Hard to Improve

european union flight ban
Garuda Indonesia parks in Gorontalo

Two years later in July 2009 came the lifting of the European Union flight ban against Garuda Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia received its air safety certification from the International Air Travel Association the year before. Furthermore, IATA’s standards are very strict.

A year later in 2010, Indonesia Air Asia gained EU permission to fly there. Actually, this airline had not yet begun operating at the time of the original European Union flight ban.

In June 2016, the EU lifted its flight ban on three additional domestic carriers. Those were Citilink, Lion Air and Batik Air.

Strict International Standards

In order to pass an IATA Operational Safety Audit, each airline must fulfill numerous technical and safety standards. The check list totals more than one thousand items. The audit itself takes about three months to complete with on-site inspectors. Issues include organizational and management systems, departure flights, aircraft and engine maintenance, cabin procedures, ground handling, cargo and operational safety.

EU’s commissioner for transportation Violeta Bluc announced lifting the travel ban against Lion Air and Batik Air. She said, “We are pleased to improve the air safety level for EU citizens and the world. We are also pleased to expand flights worldwide.” As a result, those approved Indonesian airlines are looking at expanding internationally.

Should you need flight information when coming to Gorontalo for your dive trip, please contact with us.

Blacktip Shark Mating in Gorontalo

Blacktip shark mating is a rarely witnessed event. But that is just what happened one dive day in Gorontalo.

The Tell-tale Fin

blacktip shark drawing
The Blacktip Reef shark

The Blacktip Reef shark is the most common shark sighted in Indo-Pacific waters. Its scientific name is Carcharhinus melanopterus. Divers can easily identify this shark by its distinctive, black-tipped dorsal fin. Additionally, its anal fin is also black tipped. It can grow to a maximum length of less than two meters. Actually, another shark also has a narrow tip of black on its dorsal fin. However, this other shark has a pale anal fin. It also can grow to over two and a half meters in length. This oceanic blacktip shark is named Carcharhinus limbatus.

The Blacktip reef shark prefers shallow waters close to shore. Divers should look over reef ledges and flat sandy areas. Two dives sites in Gorontalo often have this shark patrolling sandy flats. That is where we witnessed a rare event.

Blacktip Shark Mating

One fine dive day Miguel’s Diving staff and guests watched two Blacktip reef sharks mating. Two guests had their GoPros ready and we created a combined video. Please watch it on our YouTube site.

You may notice that the male bit the female behind her gills. The love bite does not leave a deep wound. It should heal completely within a month or so. Also, notice that there is much thrashing about. At the end of the video, the sharks end up turning up-side-down and falling into a trance.

Tonic Immobility in Sharks

Some species of sharks become motionless and generally unaware of their surroundings when turned up-side-down. This is called tonic immobility. Once up-side-down, the shark will quickly become catatonic. This strange state can last up to fifteen minutes, as long as the shark remains undisturbed. The shark will eventually snap out of its trance and resume normal activities.

Sharks susceptible to tonic immobility include Whitetip and Blacktip reef sharks, as well as Lemon, Silky, Sandbar and Tiger sharks.

Notice in the video that that ecstatic pair of Blacktip sharks flip up-side-down and become catatonic. They fall together down the reef slope to a deep sand flat below.

For your chance to witness rare marine events in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Unterwasser Magazine Discovers Gorontalo

Unterwasser magazine discovers a new dive destination in its March 2017 edition.

Unknown Diving Locations of Sulawesi

The leading dive destinations in Sulawesi have long been located in the Manado area. The Indonesian government established Bunaken National Marine Park in 1991. Muck diving was born in 1994 with the exposure of Lembeh Strait. These two locations have become international hot spots for divers in the know.

Unterwasser Magazine double page
Imran Ahmad’s double-page spread

Although Miguel’s Diving opened diving here in 2003, many international divers have yet to hear of Gorontalo. To many, it remains a hidden paradise. Now is the time for Gorontalo’s wider exposure. Hence, the article in Unterwasser magazine by Imran Ahmad in its March 2017 edition.

The editor of Unterwasser magazine mentions, “Our author has set off for the unknown places in North Sulawesi’s diving paradise and still found untouched underwater worlds.” Gorontalo has gained fame among Indonesian and Asian divers for its surreal Salvador Dali sponges, incredibly dense hard corals and, more recently, whale sharks.

Imran Ahmad, World-Class Photographer

unterwasser magazine with Imran
Imran Ahmad with his annual calendar

The author of the article in Unterwasser magazine is Imran Ahmad. His first, rushed visit to Gorontalo was over a decade ago. He is much sought after as an underwater photographer and journalist. His work assignments range from Asia to Mauritius to Iceland. Recently, his busy schedule allowed for several weeks in Gorontalo. Some of his many photos from Gorontalo appear in the eight-page spread in Unterwasser magazine.

In his article, he writes, “The underwater world in Gorontalo impresses you with its unique sponges, sometimes in surreal forms. Colors appear before your mask and add to them soft corals, overhangs and countless marine life forms – impressive.”

Unterwasser Magazine

This magazine has long been a leading voice in marine sports for the German-speaking market. It has been published monthly since 1995. Its typical length is about 170 pages. Articles in it feature underwater photographs and travel reports on international dive destinations.

Miguel’s Diving provides a web page for German speakers. Any diver can book your dive trip to Gorontalo with us. Please contact with us for a dive package booking.

DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2017

DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2017 marks its 11th anniversary this year. Miguel’s Diving will be there to help celebrate! We remember the first DEEP expo. We have been operating for 14 years now.

Booth C27

DEEP Extreme Indonesia 2017
Miss Scuba Indonesia 2017 visits Miguel’s Diving

Gorontalo Province has invited Miguel’s Diving to join its booth. The booth location is C27. This year’s theme is “Gorontalo Luar Biasa.” That is Indonesian for “extraordinary.” Two of Miguel’s Diving staff attended this year’s expo. They are Yunis Amu and Ispan “Boka” Habuge. Other dive staff remained in Gorontalo to take guests diving.

DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2017

As in many previous years, DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2017 will be held at the Jakarta Convention Center. The dates are 30 March to 2 April. The expo combines scuba diving with EXTREME sports, such as rock climbing. It is now the largest expo of its kind in Southeast Asia. At DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2017, we are offering discount dive packages. Drop by to see us!

Friends Old & New

Imran Ahmad
Mr. Imran Ahmad with his whale shark photo

The Gorontalo booth for DEEP EXTREME Indonesia 2017 contains a dramatic whale shark photo from Gorontalo. It is courtesy of Mr. Imran Ahmad. He will give a special presentation of his photograph work from Gorontalo on 1 April at the Mini Stage. His whale shark photo, called “Destiny,” received over 11, 000 likes on our Facebook page. Gorontalo is a great place for underwater photos, whether wide angle or macro.

Also part of the Gorontalo booth is the wall of friends. Over 40 photographs of some of our Indonesian guests are featured. Some international divers also joined. Finding your photo or those of friends makes great fun.

If you could not meet us in person, please book your dive trip with us.

Juvenile Trevally Accompany Jellyfish

Juvenile trevally escorts jellyfish in Olele Bay, Gorontalo.

Travel Buddies

juvenile trevally pusing jellyfish
A juvenile Blue trevally pushes a jellyfish away from shore

Several times, Miguel’s Diving staff have observed juvenile trevally travelling with large jellyfish. Oftentimes, the young fish hide inside the bell of the jellyfish. They are safe there from predators and from the bushy, oral arms of the jellyfish. Usually, these large jellyfish travel the open oceans. Sometimes currents or winds will bring one of them close to Gorontalo’s reefs. The jellyfish will die if it gets caught on coral or drifts onto a beach. At those times, the fish seems to push the jellyfish away from danger and towards the open sea.

Thysanostoma species

We have only seen juvenile trevally accompanying large Thysanostoma jellies. Jellyfish of the Thysanostoma genus live in warm waters from the central Indo-Pacific to Japan. The Latin word thysanura means “bristle tails.” This name refers to the large, bushy oral arms that hang from the jellyfish’s central bell. They are active swimmers, using a pumping motion of the bell for propulsion.

Juvenile Trevally

Pilotfish (Naucrates ductor) are famous for accompanying large pelagic marine life. However, the juvenile trevally found in Gorontalo with Thysanostoma jellies are different. In 2009, we found a juvenile Blue trevally (Carangoides ferdau) darting in and out of a jellfish’s bell. The fish was so active that it is blurred in all its photographs. Its pattern, though, is disctinctive.

Longfin juvenile trevally
A sub adult Longfin trevally accompanies a jellyfish

Recently in 2017, we saw a fish grown too large to hide inside the bell of its travel buddy. This fish was not actually a juvenile trevally but a sub-adult. This stage of life for ocean swimming trevally species is rarely documented. Mr. Rudie Kuiter suggests that the one we observed was a young Longfin trevally (Carangoides armatus).

For your chance to see marine life interaction in Gorontalo, please contact with us for a dive package booking.

Schooling Bigeye Scad in Gorontalo

Bigeye scad can form large schools in quiet inshore areas of Gorontalo.

Thousands in Synchronized Motion

For several weeks in October 2016 a large school of Bigeye scad called Olele Bay home. Actually, this is a typical pattern for this fish. Since they hunt for food mostly at night, they gather in large schools during the day. During daylight hours they do not travel much. This was certainly true of the scad found in Olele.

With undetectable communication, the fish school moved and changed directions all at once. Their movements and direction showed astounding synchronization. Watch for yourself in the video below. At one point, they swam into the sunlight. Notice how the sunbeams danced around the school of fish.

Bigeye Scad

The scientific name of this oceanic fish is Selar crumenophthalmus. It is found in tropical regions worldwide, including equatorial Gorontalo. The local name of the fish in Gorontalo language is “oci.” It is a fast reproducing species and plays an important part in the local diet. One fish is the right size for one person. Other common names in English include Purse-eye or Goggle-eyed scad.

Bigeye scad schooling
Schooling Bigeye scad

The Bigeye scad is considered pelagic since it is associated with the open ocean rather than the reef. In Gorontalo, ocean depths plunge several kilometers just off the beach. That is why pelagic species including whale sharks swim right over the coral slopes of Gorontalo.

Inshore or Offshore

When they are swimming close to shore, Bigeye scad eat small shrimps, invertebrates and forams. When they are in open ocean conditions, these scad will eat zooplankton and fish larvae. Perhaps you notice them eating in the video. Clearly, they were plucking planktonic morsels from the water.
For your chance to see a school of Bigeye scad, please contact with us for a dive package booking.

BOOT 2017 Features Gorontalo

BOOT 2017 in Dusseldorf, Germany, included a large delegation sponsored by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism.

Destination Gorontalo

BOOT 2017 with Indonesia
Wonderful Indonesia delegation

The booth for the tourism ministry at BOOT 2017 proclaimed the theme “Wonderful Indonesia.” Marine tourism operators from all over the country accepted the invitation to promote their various destinations. Miguel’s Diving exposed visitors to Gorontalo, Indonesia’s hidden paradise. A large map of major dive destinations nationwide covered a third of the back wall. The biggest hit with visitors was the coffee shop, specializing in fine Indonesian coffees. Made with a flare by a professional Indonesian barista, all coffees and teas were free.

 

In addition to the ministry booth, three international underwater photographers displayed their photos from Gorontalo. Imran Ahmad promoted Gorontalo exclusively at two photo lectures at the Underwater World stage in Hall 4. Patrick Neumann included his stop in Gorontalo in his travelogue of several Indonesian dive destinations.

Finally, Dusseldorf resident Volker Lonz created a dramatic and beautiful short film. This film ran continuously at the Gorontalo table during BOOT 2017. For those who did not get a chance to see it, please access video below. The resolution is low because it is on Youtube.

BOOT 2017 – an International Marine Expo

BOOT is the famous boat show of Europe. Mega yachts and ships take up the largest hall. Also included in the expo are dive destinations. They were located in Hall 3. For BOOT 2017, a myriad of destinations world-wide packed into the large hall. The expo stands as the longest one in Europe. This year the dates were 20 to 29 January 2017. As usual, the location was MESSE in Dusseldorf, Germany. Exhibition floor space totaled 22,000 square meters.

BOOT 2017 marked the 48st year. The theme “Play Now!” could be seen throughout the halls. Sailing and motor yachts celebrated 70 world primeres. Exhibitors numbered over 1,800 and came from 70 countries. That included the great dive destinations found in Indonesia. In addition to scuba diving, fishing and holidays on the water plus trend sports enjoyed dedicated spaces in various halls.

Manado Gorontalo Flight on Garuda Indonesia

Manado Gorontalo is Garuda Indonesia’s newest destination This represents a regional expansion for Indonesia’s premier airline.

Manado Gorontalo Daily Flight

Garuda’s new Manado Gorontalo flight began on 6 January 2017. The flight leaves Manado’s Sam Ratulangi International Airport at 1530 hrs. Then it arrives in Gorontalo at 1605 hrs. The return flight leaves Gorontalo’s Jalaluddin Airport at 1645 hrs. Then it arrives in Manado at 1735 hrs. Moreover, flights are daily.

The aircraft used is a Bombardier CRJ1000. This plane seats a maximum of 96 passengers. The flight provides economy seats only. As a result, there are no business class seats available.

Manado Gorontalo flight on Garuda
Garuda Indonesia’s office in Gorontalo

Garuda Indonesia has an office conveniently located in the business wing of Gorontalo Mall. Look for it on the south side of the mall.

In its promotion of the new Manado Gorontalo flight, Garuda Indonesia’s website says, “Enjoy the sensational comfort of a private jet from Gorontalo to Manado.”

Good News for Divers

Garuda Indonesia provides 20 kilos of free baggage on its new Manado Gorontalo flight. In addition, divers can ask for an another 23 kilos of free baggage for sports equipment. Divers should do this upon check-in at the Garuda counter at the airport.

Since the flight schedule is in the late afternoon, divers can enjoy three dives on the day prior to flying. The recommended dive-to-fly waiting period is 18 hours.

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