Gorontalo is somewhat of a sleepy old post-colonial town. There are remnants of old colonial rule where you will find Dutch architecture lining the streets in the form of whitewashed wooden bungalows. Many of the older people in Gorontalo speak perfect Dutch and English so use it as an opportunity to really discover what life is really like here.
Most travellers use Gorontalo as a jumping off point to the Togian Islands where you can take a ferry to Pagaimana and then a bus to Ampana. To access the Togians in more style you can charter a boat from Marisa, which is three hours west of Gorontalo.
If you find yourself missing your ferry connection Gorontalo has a few attractions worthy of a visit. A twenty-minute bus ride in a mini van will take you to the shores of Lake Limboto. Here you will find excellent views of this 56 square km shallow lake. There are numerous food stalls along the lakes edge to fill your hungry belly. You can also visit the remnants of the circular stone forts built by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century.
17 Kms East of Gorontalo lie the famous Lumbongo hot springs. It is an idyllic spot where you can bathe your well-trodden feet in the soothing hot waters. Once again jumping in a mini-van is the best mode of transport from town. If you don't want to stay at the springs as it can get busy at the weekends with locals, there are a series of waterfalls further up and can be accessed easily on foot.