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  • Florianopolis, Brazil

    Florianopolis Info and Miniguide

    Florianopolis is one of South America's hippest destinations. The island north shore has pretty beaches and warm, tranquil waters that are popular with Brazilians and Argentinean tourists. The Atlantic rollers of the east coast have made the island one of the world's great surfing centers. In the daytime, Praia Mole and Praia Joaquina are crowded, while the bars of the town of Centro da Lagoa bustle until early morning. In the recent years, a couple of great family resort hotels were built in the city surroundings.

    Read More about Florianopolis

    Overview of Florianopolis

    The capital city of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina is a small peninsula and ocean island, half of Florianopolis is on the mainland and half of it is on the island of Santa Catarina. Florianopolis has some of the best beaches in Brazil. There are three main bridges that connect the island to the continent but the landmark bridge named Hercilio Luz Bridge is under renovation now with the possibility that it will be open in the near future to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.

    If you are looking for superb beaches, interesting culture, amazing scenery and friendly local people, Florianopolis is the place to go to. The city is also experiencing a real estate boom because of better economic opportunities being created and better quality of life that it offers in sharp contrast to the crazy chaos of the cities. The city is quite modern with numerous chic fashionable shopping areas, class restaurants and glitzy bars and night clubs that attract young and beautiful people.

    Climate in Florianopolis

    Florianopolis displays subtropical humid climate with 2 well defined seasons, summer and winter. The temperature during the hottest months can vary from 25°C to 40°C whereas the minimum temperatures can be anywhere between 6°to 11°C. Bitter cold conditions are rare but in 1974 there was an instance when the temperature dipped to -2°C. The city receives copious rainfall which is distributed throughout the year. Summer is the season which receives the maximum rainfall in the months from January to March. The months between April and June are the driest.

    Florianopoli's History

    Carijo Indians of the Tupi-Guarani tribe was the original inhabitants of the area. The official settlement of the city began in 1673 when Francisco Dias Velho came here with his agricultural company. The Portuguese monarchy gave Santa Catarina Island the status of a village in 1714 and in 1726 it received the title of a town. Migrants from other regions came and settled here, adding to the population. The name of the capital city of Santa Catarina Island was changed from Nossa Senhora do Desterro to Florianopolis in 1893.

    Getting There

    Florianopolis International Airport is situated 12 kilometers from the city center. Local operators like TAM, Gol, Oceanair and Azul all have flights operating which connects this city with other Brazilian and international destinations. Most flights coming in and going out require a stopover at Sao Paulo. The peak summer season sees visitors coming through chartered flights from Chile and Argentina. The main bus terminal here is called Terminal Rita Maria and it links Florianopolis with other cities in the state.

    Getting Around Florianopolis

    In the city center, you will find scores of buses that will take you to all the beaches of the island. It costs around R$ 2.70 each way and takes anywhere between 35- 60 minutes to get to the attractive beaches. You can also make use of air conditioned Linhas executive buses which charge around R$ 4.50 for a trip to the main beaches. You should seriously consider hiring a car or taxi to explore all the main attractions and interesting spots in the surroundings. You will find the car rentals at the airport and on the island.

    Attractions in Florianopolis

    Florianopolis is full of attractions which mainly date back to the colonial era. Some of them include.

    Catedral Metropolitana which is located in Praca XV de Novembro, is one of the most beautiful buildings you will come across in the city.

    The Muncipial Market which earlier used to be the city market is situated on Largo da Alfandega and still holds some sights which are interesting.

    Hercilio Luz Bridge was inaugurated in 1926 and connected the island to the mainland. This is the most recognizable picture of Florianopolis.

    Ribeirao da Ilha which is situated 36 kilometers from the center is the old district and stands as a testament to Azorean immigration. It has a plaza, which contains a chapel and the Ethnological Museum. The museum houses some relics and documents pertaining to the region’s history.

    Teatro Alvaro de Carvalho and Teatro Ademir Rosa are two local theaters which were constructed during the 18th century.

    There are numerous old forts which were constructed by the Portuguese to protect the city from Spanish attacks. Some of the notable ones include Fortaleza de nossa Senhora da Conceicao, Fortaleza Santana, Fortaleza Sao Jose da Ponta Grossa and Fortaleza de Santo Antonio.

    Santo Antonio de Lisboa is a nice quaint town located on the tranquil western side of the island. You will find many restaurants on the beachfront. You can also enjoy a long walk along the shores that will lead you to Sambaqui.

    Florianopolis' Beaches

    There are 42 beaches in Florianopolis where golden sands and warm sunshine beckon you. You can walk along the spotless gorgeous beaches, watch the beautiful sunsets or participate in some high adrenalin adventure sports.

    The northern beach resorts like Jurere, Canasvieiras, Daniela, Ingleses and Brava are quite crowded during the summers. You will find plenty of restaurants and hotels here.
    Beaches on the east coast like Mole, Joaquina, and Mocambique are the best surfing beaches and popular with the younger crowds.

    Beaches towards the south include Armacao, Campeche and Morro das Pedras which are quite stunning and good for surfing. The southern end of the beaches like Naufragados and Lagoinha do Leste are deserted and untouched and can be reached only by following a trail. Lagoa da Conceicao is the highlight of the island; its shallow waters combine with the high winds to make this a perfect location for wind surfing. Peri Lagoon is calmer and perfect for nature walks.

    Adventure Sports in Floripa

    The city of Florianopolis is synonymous with eco tourism, adventure tours and sports activities. The famous Brazilian Green Canyons and Florianopolis Magic Island are located on the southern end and form part of the eco tourism itinerary. River rafting, rock climbing, paragliding, cascading, hand gliding, and sand boarding are some of the popular activities you can enjoy here. There are organized day tours which take you to the nearby islands.

    Beaches like Lagoa de Conceicao and Barra da Lagoa are good for paragliding. You can indulge in some scuba diving at Praia do Santinho, Praia Mole and Praia dos Ingleses. Sand boarding conditions are good at Joaquina. The surfing hot spots are Praia da Joaquina, Praia Mole and Praia da Lagoa; whereas Praia da Conceicao is good for windsurfing. Trekking lovers can try the trails in Naufragador, Lagoinha do Leste and Lagoa do Peri.

    Where to Stay in Florianopolis

    There are a number of accommodation options depending on your budget and requirements. You will find hotels in the budget, mid level as well as high end ranges. Some of the ones you can check out include Hostel Way2go, Hotel Bruggemann, Ibis Hotel, Joaquina Beach Hotel, Parthenon Lindacap, Pousada de Lagoinha, Costao do Santinho, Majestic Palace, Sofitel Florianopolis, Florianopolis Palace Hotel and Nexus Surf.

    Dining in Florianopolis

    Florianopolis offers some excellent choices for food connoseiurs. There are a number of restaurants that cater to regional and international taste buds. Florianopolis is the perfect place to try the freshest sea food and Portuguese food. Macarronada Italiana is a hot spot for Italian cuisine but others in the down town area are also quite good. Downtown also has some unique per kilo buffet restaurants complete with starters, main course and salads where you can have your fill of food for under R$ 6. Hong Ju is a great place to try vegetarian food at decent prices. Mein Haus Churrascaria is a nice place for barbeques. You can have a fine dining experience at Pier 54 which has over 250 labels of wines and offers a wide array of healthy dishes which use local ingredients. Toca da Garoupa is a good place for stylish regional cuisine.

    Floripa's Nightlife

    The city of Florianopolis was voted by the New York Times as the best destination for parties. This gives an insight to the kind of opportunities that lie in the bars and nightclubs located in the city. Costa da Lagoa and Lagoinha do Leste have the best nightclubs and bars. Confraria das Artes attracts the international jet set crowd from all corners of the world. You can even take a guided tour of the best nightclubs and bars. You can have the best time in places like Party Bus Brazil, Cachacaria da Ilha, Concorde Danceteria, El Divino Lounge, Pacha, El Divino Beach, Saina Bar, Sins Pub and Emporio do Chopp, Mix Café.

    Shopping in Florianopolis

    Florianopolis is a shopper’s paradise where you can find some fantastic international and regional products. There are a number of modern malls such as Shopping Beiramar, Shopping Itaguacu, Floripa Shopping and Iguatemi Florianopolis which house hundreds of shops under one roof as well as entertainment avenues and great restaurants. Florianopolis is a city where the party does not stop. A destination for high adrenalin seekers, the bold and the beautiful.

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