An azure blue sky contrasts sharply with the endless white beach of Florianópolis, the island capital of Santa Catarina, Brazil. You rest comfortably on the beach and as the sun retires for the day, the sinking sun casts a perfect silhouette of Ponte Hercílio Luz bridge. Built in 1926, the bridge was patterned after the famed Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, California. You find an odd sensation where the exotic is tangled with the familiar.
While Florianópolis (also known as Floripa) is some twelve hours from Sao Paulo it has gained its own following particularly from other South American Countries as well as Europe.
Perhaps it’s the simpler life discovered in Florianópolis or the hot cup of um cafezinho (a particularly strong Brazilian coffee) that calls to those who have walked this way before. Perhaps it is the rich history of the friendly smiles of the Portuguese speaking people of Florianópolis that will be most recalled when you look through the stunning photographs of your time in Floripa.
The population of Florianópolis is approaching 400,000 and more than doubles when the suburbs are considered. This population based continues to grow during the heightened tourist season to well over 1 million people.
Discovered in 1503 by Concal Coleho, Florianópolis was prized for it’s value to shipping commerce. This island city is one of the oldest in South America. Island forts were erected to protect the city from rogue pirates and Spanish soldiers. Originally known as Desterro, the cities name would officially convert to the name Florianópolis in 1893 in commemoration of the well honored Brazilian President, Florianò Peixotto.
Today a thoroughly modern international community awaits with an uncommon thirst for culture and surprise. Two major universities are located in Florianópolis along with two football (soccer) teams as well as a highly respected symphony. Florianópolis is a melting pot of diversity. The city was settled by Spaniards in the 16th century and by 1675 was under the control of the Portuguese which spawned territorial wars between the two cultures. By the early 19th century German settlers came to Florianópolis followed by immigration from Russia, Italy and Poland. This infusion of character and culture has provided a heightened degree of industrial growth while being able to maintain a common respect for the ecology of Florianópolis.
While the beauty of Florianópolis’ Morro da Cruz, a mountain of incredible beauty and rich discovery, it should not come as a surprise that the most common recreational pursuits in Florianópolis are found in the water. Some of the best windsurfing locations in Brazil are found along the more than 100 beaches of Florianópolis. Further adventure can be found in surfing. Joaquina is a favorite spot in Florianópolis and remains the host site for surf championships at the dawn of each new year. Kayaking, swimming, snorkeling and fishing are all an agreeable part of a visit to Florianópolis.
In Florianópolis not all beaches are created equal. Due to the calm beaches and high population density of the northern Florianópolis you will find most tourist accommodations in these areas. The southern portion of Florianópolis sports a less dense population base and have been able to preserve a more village-like identity. The beaches you will find in Florianópolis will range from placid and tourist filled to those resembling lagoons, accessible only by walking paths. No matter what you desire in a South American beach you are likely to find it in Florianópolis.
In late February or early March of each year a carnival, Florianópolis style, is available for tourists to enjoy. This, of course, follows on the heals of surfing championships in January and the Divine’s Feast which is scheduled forty days following Easter and provides visitors with an uncommon taste of Florianópolis.
One might expect to find seafood in Florianópolis and they will not be disappointed. The seafood is indigenous to Florianópolis so you are guaranteed only the freshest and most taste tempting fare at prices that are much lower than you might expect. Shrimp is a common finger food in Florianópolis, while oysters are cultivated in the south and are routinely consumed fresh from the sea. Of course, there are plenty of international restaurants to serve more familiar tastes.
For a unique trip, you might even consider a horse guided tour or sand surfing. You might also consider a trip to Lagoa do Peri, a nature preserve that is perfect for serene hiking and bird watching. Such adventures will only add to your enjoyment of this South American paradise.
Many visitors insist on taking a piece of this paradise home with them and they are not disappointed as they peruse the handcrafted artifacts provided by local artisans. Tourists from around the world have Florianópolis artistry gracing their homes.
The average temperature in Florianópolis is 82 degrees Fahrenheit and the lowest temperatures are seen in July with 56 degree readings making this a destination the truly is ‘just right’.
Florianópolis remains one of the most culturally diversified destinations in Brazil and is a haven for all that is exotic and familiar. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with our sponsors. There you will find exceptional deals on travel, lodging and transportation for the South America’s Paradise – Florianópolis. So much to offer – so much to see – Florianópolis.