Florianopolis (Ilha de Santa Catarina), Brazil

Florianopolis (Ilha de Santa Catarina), Brazil 

Beach Florianopolis Brazil
Beautiful Florianopolis!
Beach and seafood lovers will enjoy a stay on Brazil’s beautiful island of Florianopolis (Ilha de Santa Catarina). Florianopolis and its beautiful white sand beaches and towns are safe to visit and walk around. It is also known as a mecca for surfers with great waves. This region of Brazil enjoys some of Brazil’s highest standards of living and was settled by emigrates from Europe (i.e. Germany, Italy) appearing more European than Latin.

Praia de Jurere Florianopolis Brazil Beach
Praia de Jurere - Florianopolis Brazil
So we could enjoy some very nice hotels during our visit, we decided to stay in the north of Florianopolis and rent a car to visit some of Florianopolis’ other beautiful beaches. Driving around this island was very doable using Google Maps. We split our visit between Praia de Jurere (see photo) and Praia dos Ingleses enjoying these nice beaches while visiting other beautiful beaches by car.

Pat Dunlap Jurere Beach Florianopolis Brazil
Pat Enjoying Jurere Beach
Our stay at Pousada dos Sonhos (see review below for reasons why) made our stay on Praia de Jurere memorable (see photo). The town of Jurere is an upscale place to stay in Florianopolis with nice long beach and restaurants (some of the top rated in Florianopolis). The beach offers calm ocean to swim in.

Wayne Dunlap Praia dos Ingleses Florianopolis Brazil Beach
Wayne at Praia dos Ingleses - Florianopolis
Staying at Costa Norte Ingleses provided a very enjoyable experience at Praia dos Ingleses (again, see our review below to see why). Praia dos Ingleses is one of Florianopolis’ finest beaches offering a wide sandy beach with gentle ocean waves to swim in (see photo). Praia dos Ingleses has become rather developed with hotels and high-price restaurants.

Sexy Brazilian Bikinis Brazil women girls
Get Ready for Sexy Brazilian Bikinis!
Most of the beaches on Florianopolis have restaurants and other facilities. Florianopolis’ northern beaches are more developed with calmer waves and during the high season they are more crowded party scenes (but nice). Southern beaches are less developed offering more tranquil beach experiences. If you want to visit a beautiful completely undeveloped beach, stop at the nature preserve of Mocambique – quite lovely!

Praia de Mole from Barraco da Mole Restaurant Florianopolis Brazil
Praia Mole from Barraco da Mole Restaurant
Beautiful Praia de Mole is a must stop – one of our favorite beaches we visited in Florianopolis. Several laid-back beach restaurants are located overlooking the stunningly picturesque beach. We liked Barraco da Mole mid way on the beach with its good view of the beach, nice music, good food and drinks, and friendly staff (see photo). Several paid parking lots are available servicing Praia Mole. Praia Mole has good surfing and during peak times (Summer – December to February), Praia Mole is a party scene with beautiful tanned bodies adorning this wonderful beach.

Wayne Pat Dunlap Praia de Joaquina Florianopolis Brazil
Wayne and Pat at Praia de Joaquina
We visited picturesque Praia de Joaquina that is close to sand dunes where people were having fun renting a snowboard and sliding down the sand (see photo below). Praia de Joaquina is also a favorite surfing destination on Florianopolis with many restaurants overlooking the beach serving fresh seafood, local cuisine, and drinks (see photo). A paid parking area is located a few steps from the beach.

Ilha do Campeche Florianopolis Brazil
Beautiful Ilha do Campeche - Florianopolis Brazil
Praia do Campeche is also one of Florianopolis’ very nice beaches where we had a nice lunch overlooking the beach. Other than a few restaurants, there are no hotels or condos on this long beach making Praia do Campeche a rather pristine experience. Parking is available close to the beach. You have a nice view of the Ilha do Campeche (see photo) from here and from the southern end of Praia do Campeche you can arrange a boat trip to the ecological reserve there for nice hiking and snorkeling.

Armacao Beach Florianopolis Brazil
Armacao Beach- Florianopolis Brazil
Other highly recommended beaches located in southern Florianopolis are Matadeiro (one of top rated and accessed by hiking), Morro das Pedras, Armacao (see photo), and Pantano do Sul. The small fishing village of Armaçao has kept its older Portuguese heritage. As you go further south in Florianopolis, the roads go through small towns and driving becomes slower. Be patient if you want to visit these beautiful places in the south of Florianopolis. The reward is great because they are less spoiled by development where it is possible to enjoy a more remote beach experience.

Sipping Caipirinha Drink Brazil
Sipping a Caipirinha Drink is Nice!
We visited Florianopolis’ Lagoa town on the southern end of Lagoa da Conceicao. The highlight was taking the 45-minute boat ride along the west coast of Lagoa da Conceicao to Costa da Lagoa leaving from the dock right next to the west side of the bridge between Lagoa da Conceicao and Lagoinha. Windsurfing is popular here.

Costa da Lagoa Seafood Restaurants Lagoa da Conceicao Florianopolis Brazil
Costa da Lagoa Seafood Restaurants - Lagoa da Conceicao
The best reason to visit Florianopolis’ Costa da Lagoa is the very nice seafood restaurants located along the water. We enjoyed the restaurant Cachoeira (see photo). Hikers will enjoy the approximately 2-hour hike from town along the forested lagoon visiting waterfalls and tranquil natural pools with chilled water. You can go on this hike, have a nice lunch, and return by boat. There is a small waterfall near Costa da Lagoa you can walk to in about 10 minutes.

Shrimp Florianopolis Brazil
Wonderful Shrimp!
Travel Tip: The fresh shrimp from Florianopolis are amazing – try a combination plate with them done several ways (see photo). Sipping a caipirinha drink is a thing to do in Brazil and can be done in many favors – they are nice (see photo above).

Map of Florianopolis Brazil
Florianopolis’ modern downtown, called Floripa or Centro, is the political capital of the region. On the mainland is the industrial zone with its historical center on the island revolving around Praca XV de Novembro. Restaurants, accommodations, nightlife, shopping, etc. are abundant here. Florianopolis’ airport, located south of Floripa, is Florianopolis-Hercilio Luz International Airport (FLN).

Brazilian Men Wedding Praia de Jurere Florianopolis Brazil Beach
Brazilian Men Attending a Wedding - Jurere
A note about the Brazilian people... The people of Brazil exhibit a zest for life with their love for friends, family, music, food, and laughter. Their willingness to be friends with you was shown throughout our visit. A friendly smile is almost always returned in kind and they often go out of their way to help you. We can learn a lot from Brazilians. Portuguese is spoken in Florianopolis Brazil. You will encounter some English, especially in hospitality. Due to the similarities of Portuguese with Spanish and the fact that most the rest of the South American continent speaks Spanish, we found trying some Spanish worked well in many cases.

Surfing Sand Dunes Praia de Joaquina Florianopolis Brazil
Surfing Sand Dunes - Praia de Joaquina
Some history... In the 1820’s, a newly independent Brazil realized the importance of this then frontier between Portuguese and Spanish Americas. The emperor invited German-speaking immigrants to establish a presence in this region. Many towns and traditions in Florianopolis look like you are in Germany.

Relaxing Deck Overlooking Beach Praia de Jurere Pousada dos Sonhos Florianopolis Brazil
Relaxing Deck Overlooking Beach - Pousada dos Sonhos
We stayed at Pousada dos Sonhos on the western end of Praia dos Jurere and so glad we did! This is a relaxing top-rated Florianopolis bed and breakfast hotel with a large patio and restaurant on the beach (rare in Jurere). The rooms are large with a small kitchenette equipped with cooking apparatus if you so desire. Nice restaurants and a supermarket are within walking distance – some just around the corner. We went to bed with the sound of ocean waves – nice! We enjoyed the free beach chairs on the beach as well as the comfortable furniture on the patio to enjoy wonderful ocean views. The very nice breakfast can be enjoyed overlooking the beach and ocean. The restaurant on site serves wonderful food and drinks. Guests also enjoy free parking, Internet, pool, A/C, refrigerator, and families enjoy the children’s play area.

Costa Norte Ingleses - Florianopolis Brazil
We also stayed at Costa Norte Ingleses on Praia dos Ingleses and were very pleased with this top-rated Florianopolis bed and breakfast hotel. The grounds are beautiful, especially at night, with a deck and good restaurant right on the beach (unique in Ingleses). The rooms are very comfortable with nice ocean views available. Waves from the ocean are wonderful to listen to. Facilities include an outdoor pool, heated indoor pool, wet and dry saunas, gym, A/C, refrigerator, and a very nice breakfast can be enjoyed overlooking the beach. A nice supermarket is right across the street.

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