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Recommended Flights to Gorontalo
Divers planning to board flights to Gorontalo will have daily connections. The most choices are found when arriving in Indonesia via Jakarta. Three airlines have daily flights to Gorontalo via Makassar (previously known as Ujung Pandang). They are Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air. Arriving in Jakarta allows divers to take advantage of multiple, cheap flights from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. All flights from Jakarta stop in Makassar for 20 minutes before preceding to Gorontalo. Divers can also choose daily flights to Gorontalo from Denpasar (Bali).
Wings Air, a subsidiary of Lion Air, now has daily flights to Gorontalo from Manado. This allows Gorontalo divers to connect with Silk Air from Singapore. Tickets can be purchased on-line from the Lion Air web site. Sometimes their web site refuses credit card payments. In that case, please contact Miguel’s Diving for solutions. Divers checking onto this flight can ask for the sports equipment waiver (alat olahraga) on any overweight baggage because of diving equipment. Try it!
Please contact us for current domestic flight information.
Direct International Connections to Sulawesi
One solution for those seeking flights to Gorontalo is the international connection to North Sulawesi via Manado. Silk Air, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, provides routine flights to Manado directly from Singapore. As of late February 2010, Air Asia no longer flies to Manado.
As mentioned above, Wings Air flies daily from Manado at 1825 hrs, allowing divers from Singapore to arrive in Gorontalo the same day. The plane leaves Gorontalo at 0530 hrs, allowing plenty of time to check-in to a returning flight to Singapore. Please check the Lion Air web site above for the current schedule. The overland route from Manado takes a full day whether by private transport or by bus.
Air Asia connects Kuala Lumpur with the brand new terminal at Makassar (Ujung Pandang) in South Sulawesi. Lion Air has a new late flight that may allow travelers arriving in Makassar to connect to Gorontalo. Air Asia’s evening departure back to Kuala Lumpur allows plenty of time for travelers to connect from flights from Gorontalo. See Air Asia’s web site for current information for flight changes as these can change.
Garuda Indonesia now flies every day from Singapore to Makassar (Unjung Pandang). This is part of the airline’s plan for regional expansion. This provides a good option for divers wishing to arrive in Sulawesi from the south. Ask us for the current choices of flights to Gorontalo using this route.
Indonesia’s Visa Policy
In 2010, Indonesia revised some of its visa procedures to make things easier. Please check the current requirements and options from the Indonesian embassy web site.
Gorontalo Airport Transfers
Divers with reservations with Miguel’s Diving have airport transfers in Gorontalo included in their dive package. Typically there will be four passengers per vehicle. The ride takes about an hour.
Language & Communication
Visitors to Gorontalo can experience Sulawesi untouched by mass tourism. This also means that little English is spoken. Bring an Indonesian phrase book. Gorontalo people are genuinely friendly and feel proud that outsiders come to visit their homeland. WIFI is available at your hotel. Cell phone coverage is available, although at times its capacity is overloaded.
Indonesian banks will usually only accept USD100 bills. These must be newer than 2006, unfolded and without any stain. Banks in Gorontalo do not accept Euro, so we cannot. Travelers should change money prior to arrival in Indonesia or at your arrival airport. Money changers are not readily available outside of airports in Sulawesi. Travellers’ cheques will receive a much less attractive rate than cash USD100 bills at an Indonesian bank. ATMs for cash withdrawals are readily available in Gorontalo and other locations in Sulawesi. Miguel’s Diving can now accept Visa and MasterCard. There is no surcharge.