São Paulo, Foz do Iguaçu and Florianopolis: Part 3

May 14, 2015

In part one of this post I talked about Sao Paolo, in part two it was Foz do Iguacu, now I’ll focus on Florianopolis, the island of beaches.

Florianopolis is and island in Brazil’s Southern region in the state of Santa Catarina. The island is connected to the mainland by a large bridge making it very easy to access and get around. The island has something like 42 superb beaches to suit all tastes. Looking for a gently and shallow lapping surf for the children to play in? They have it. Want crystal clear water with medium sized waves suited for horseplay and moderate surfing? You’ll find plenty. Maybe you like big waves that break long into deeper waters, they have those too. Like any shoreline you can encounter the occasional rip current so you need to be careful in some areas but most of the beaches are pretty tamed. My favorite beach was Praia Brava. The water was clear and the waves were big enough to make them fun without beating you up.

Jen and Matt catching some mighty waves.

The other great thing about Florianopolis is the well-organized public transport system of busses that runs all around the island. It’s perfect for tourists as it is cheap to use and the routes are pretty easy to understand. They can take you all around the island to the most popular towns and you don’t need to speak much Portuguese to get where you want to go. The place I liked most was a smaller town on the Eastern side of the island right on the lagoon named Lagoa da Conceição. It was a bit of a tourist town but it was perfectly situated on the lagoon with lots of little cafes frequented by locals and tourists alike. Another great spot was where we stayed named Rio Tavares. It’s not really a town as it is a crossroads but the little shops all around are excellent for cheap eats and small watering holes. We rented a small two-bedroom apartment there and loved every minute of it. We enjoyed it so much that we actually extended our stay by a few days and got pretty accustomed to hitting the beaches all day and grilling while enjoying beers/cocktails all night.If the beaches weren’t enough, the island also has a few lagoons, some excellent hills for biking/hiking and some pretty good dining options. In the lagoon, windsurfing and kite boarding are quite popular but you can also go diving and kayaking. Hiking and biking is pretty good and the viewpoints around the area are excellent but we chose to rent a car. It was a cheap option that allowed us to see almost the entire island on our own schedule. If you ever go to Florianopolis, I recommend doing the same or even trying to rent a motorcycle/scooter.

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A beautiful beach at the Northwest part of the island. A small fishing town at the southern part of the island.

So there you have it. Florianopolis had amazing beaches and everything you could want as a vacationer or backpacker. The prices were decent and you could get around pretty easily. It may not be a place everyone enjoys and you can find equally beautiful beaches up north with warmer waters but for me Florianopolis was just right.

In summarizing this three-part post, I’ll urge you to visit Iguaçu Falls and Florianopolis but to save São Paulo for another day unless you know someone there who can show you around. Also keep in mind that Brazil is a huge country so getting between some of these destinations generally involves some really long overnight bus rides unless you can afford to fly. If you can do that, then I also recommend continuing beyond Florianopolis to visit the country of Uruguay, which you’ll probably hear more about in an upcoming post. Stay

Category: Places

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