During your visit to Gorontalo, in the north of Sulawesi, take time to slide westward toward one of its natural, picturesque beaches with its beautiful view and relaxing atmosphere. This beach is Pantai Bolihutuo, which is located in the Boalemo District about 120 km from Gorontalo City, facing the Bay of Tomini.
Also known as Pantai Boalemo Indah, or Beautiful Boalemo Beach, the coast is famous among local and international tourists for its natural beauty. This beach offers fascinating and charming scenery with views of white sandy shores, lined with giant pine and palm trees. It is one of the main tourist attractions in the Boalemo District.
On your way there, you will pass through the green landscape of the Boalemo district accompanied by the cool air and hilly valleys. Palm trees scatter among the green hilly terrain and lining the shore, giving the area a very relaxing and laid-back atmosphere. This is a great place to come if you’re looking for some relaxation and a break from the busy routine of daily city life.
The beauty of Pantai Bolihutuo is simple and still relatively untouched by modernity. The rolling waves touching the shoreline add to beautiful natural ambience. The white sand along the beach is surrounded by dozens of giant pine trees, which serve as useful and welcome shade and have created a cool and calm atmosphere along this beach. The water has a greenish blue hue which adds to the exotic freshness of this spot. If you are looking for a weekend of reprieve from the stress of day to day city life, Pantai Bolihutuo is a wonderful option for a weekend visit. Experience something apart from the regular scheduled activities, and come back rested and refreshed.
Around the Bolihutuo coast there are several restaurants you can try. One of these is Rumah Makan AZ, which provides a distinctively varied menu of local delicacies such as mutton gulai (a local type of curry), curry, satay (different types of skewered meats barbequed on a stick) and other dishes. Rumah Makan Cairo is another culinary option, which provides a typical Middle Eastern cuisine. There are also three separate restaurants along the coast specializing in local seafood.
One local food that you should try here is the Ikan Bakar (grilled fish) which can be enjoyed along with Dabu-Dabu, which is sliced red onions, peppers and tomatoes marinated in hot coconut oil.
Along the road to the beach there are also shops where you can buy local Gorontalo souvenirs and traditional foods such as large local bananas, Gorontalo ilabulo (meat, fat and chicken skin cooked with sago starch), Binte biluhuta (a delicious corn soup ), as well as the corn on the cob. This is smaller than regular corn but it has a very distinctive taste and is very tender.
Not far from Pantai Balihutuo, about 3 km before Boalemo town, there are several accommodation places to choose from. There is the Pratama Hotel, simple, clean and adequate, which charges Rp 25,000 per person, with some rooms having air-conditioning. Then there is the Indraloka Hotel which has approximately 20 rooms available at Rp 25,000 per person as well. Another option is a small cottage, located along the Bolihutuo coast, which is owned by the Boalemo District government and can be rented by the public. For a wider range of choices, you can stay in Gorontalo City. There you can find many accommodation options to suit your preferences.
Pantai Bolihutuo is an ideal beach for family weekend holidays. The smooth white sand is perfect for sand castles and other sand play. Of course after having soaked up a fair bit of Bolihutuo sun, a refreshing dip in the ocean will be just what you need. Along the beach there are water sports facilities and equipment for rent such as jet-skis, motor boats, and diving and snorkeling equipment. There are also cottages, a restaurant, as well as the Tourism Information Center. If you would like to take some time out of the sun there are also a number of shade stalls and gazebos to rest at along the beach. In addition to relaxing on the beach and marine exploration at Pantai Bolihutuo, another nearby place to visit would be the Lamu Village in the Tila Matu District. This is a place where small, white-sanded islands lie scattered in the middle of the sea.
Other islands worth a visit are Pulau Lahumbo and Pulau Paniki. On both these islands there are groups of thousands of bats that make the islands appear black when viewed from the sky.
Another no less interesting place to visit is Pulau Bitila Marine Park on the border between the Boalemo district and Pohuwato district. This is located about a 15 minute drive from Pantai Bolihutuo. Taman Laut Pulau Bitila offers wonderful unexplored underwater life.
Another interesting excursion is to the Ayuhulalo Waterfall located in the Ayuhulalo village in the Tilamuta district. This region lies 200 meters above sea level and is about 5 km. from the Boalemo District, with a travel time of about 15 minutes by public or private car. The Ayuhulalo Waterfall is not very large in size, but it has a very calm, peaceful, back-to-nature atmosphere. Here visitors can spend time enjoying the beauty of a natural waterfall, and not have to think about the price for going to an expensive location. The combination of this secluded waterfall, located among pretty, green hills, and the pounding waters, makes it a perfect location for a relaxing weekend getaway in itself. It is most suitable for family recreation.
To reach Pantai Bolihutuo, you will have to travel through Gorontalo City, capital city of the Gorontalo province.
Daily flights are available from Jakarta via Makassar to Gorontalo with Lion Air and Sriwijaya Airlines. Garuda Indonesia has also recently opened daily flights to Gorontalo from Jakarta, Denpasar (Bali), Surabaya and Makassar. From Manado, Wings Airand Lion Air now also have daily evening flights to Gorontalo. Tickets for all of these flights can be purchased online.
After arriving at Gorontalo, you will proceed on to Pantai Bolihutuo in the Boalemo District. To reach Pantai Bolihutuo, tourists will have to travel along the Trans-Sulawesi road, a distance of about 120 km from the center of Gorontalo.
From Gorontalo City you can proceed to this beach by private car or rented vehicle. There are also public transportations available at a cost of Rp 25,000 per person.