Florianopolis (aka Florida) is an island in the state of Stanta Catalina, south of Brazil which came with strong recommendation from many Brazilians. It is an island famous for its beautiful beaches and a central lake, with nature and plenty of activities to satisfied the vacationers from all over Brazil and the world.
Florianopolis Wikipedia – “The city has 42 beaches and is a center of surfing activity. The New York Times reported that “Florianopolis is the Party Destination of the Year in 2009.” Newsweek placed Florianópolis in the “Ten most dynamic cities of the world” list in 2006. Veja, a Brazilian publication, named the city as “the best place to live in Brazil.” As a result of this exposure, Florianópolis is growing as a second home destination for many Paulistas, Argentines, North Americans, and Europeans.”
From Curitiba, I took a bus for about 5 hours, a comfy and sleepy ride. Once I landed, I was shocked to see a bustling city with many tall building, busy cars, buses and people. I had expected much less, a small beach town with cute little beach houses and beach stores and restaurants like the little village in Itacare but this was civilzation and full blast. As it turns out, this was downtown Florianoplis and the island has more beach town-y feel but it seems the charm of this place is the balance between civilization and the island life in close vicinity.
My hostel was on the top of the hill looking over the Lagoa (lake) and I was greeted with a gorgeous sunset as per its name, Backpackers Sunset. It was beautiful and the clouds and the colours changing every minute was a great sight to follow. The hostel offers a good atmosphere and a decent selection of beer, so I knew it was going to be a good few days.
It is low season now (June) so not too crazy and crowded but I hear in high season in the summer (Dec – Mar) and around events like New years and the Carnival (which is predominantly gay in Floripa) it gets pretty crazy and expensive. It was still hot enough to lay out on the beach and just a bit chilly at night and not too cold so I think definitely picked a good time to check the island out.
I was originally thinking 3 days but Floripa worked its magic on my and I ended up staying for 6 days. A very satisfying 6 days. Here is what I did.
Day 1: Sunset + Drinks at the hostel. Met people from the UK, US, Germany and Brazil. Easy to meet over the beers and the caipirinhas at the bar.
Day 2: Hike to Lagouinha beach.
A half an hour bus ride from the hostel to the south east of the island and a good 1 1/2 hour steep hike up.
To Lagoinha beach. Due to its access, if did feel like a secluded beach, with only few people despite being a three day weekend. The water was cold the current was strong so not ideal to play around in at this season but there seemed to be good waves for the surfers.
The best part of the beach is this hike up to the mountain to the right of the beach. WHY?
Because for this! The million dollar shot. BOOM!!!
A beautiful day of hiking, beaches and making new friends.
Day 3: A road trip down south to Amacao and Ponta das Campanhas, again to the south east part of the island. Jumping off the dock and enjoying a nice relazing day at the beach.
So happy, can you tell?
Bar do Arante – a must go seafood restaurant with great food and notes posted everywhere by customers.
Of course we posted ours too.
Lovely sunset at the beach.
Day 4: Jaquoina beach. This was my favourite beach in Floripa.
A beautiful beach which reminded me of Rio with its luscious green mountains and the white sand beaches in contrast. Beautiful, just beautiful. The surfers waiting for their perfect ride.
And the sunset.
The shocker was the view on the way to get there, There is a sudden appearance of a desert (or sand dunes) and it is magnificently beautiful with its dramatic white sand and cool because you can sand board on it! Only 25R (US$8) for an hour and incredible fun!
So dramatic at night too.
And my try, not as cool but fun!
Day 5: Praia de Mole, the beach 5 min. walk from my hostel.
Strong current and waves and I couldn’t even get past the first waves but seems to work well for the surfers and stand up boarders / surfers. For me Jaquoina beach was better.
Day 6: Oysters!!!!! Floripa is apparently famous for their oysters from the south west side, Ilha de Riviera and I went all out and ordered a dozen to myself!!!!! But it was only 28R (US$9) can you believe it!??
A bit of lime and olive oil and the jewels of the oceans made me love Floripa even more.
The oysters were small and light.
And the best 10R ($3) that I spent on the island, maybe even in Brazil was this boat ride in the lake.
1 hour of beautiful lake scenery and even a jump into the lake from the slide of the boat.
Very quite lake so paddling with your dog is possible. Jumping off the boat on the slide.
So, Floripa was great. Relaxing if you want it to be and adventurous if you choose.
But the best as always is meeting great people and on this trip, I was fortunate to meet and spend quality time with people from Brazil, US, UK and Germany. Great to meet you all.
Next stop, Iguasu Falls!
Here’s Agata and Hayley from England with their whole life in their backpacks traveling with them to Iguasu.
A special feature because they said my blog is great! Thanks!
Really looking forward to the 14 hour bus ride to catch up on a much needed sleep.