Despite being originally settled by the Portuguese, this magical island developed a strong German and Italian influence through trade, and the blend of cultures has made this city a truly inviting destination to the international traveler.
Florianopolis is world famous for its 100 beaches. Some are quiet and perfect for families, others have a rough sea with waves that are best fit for surfers. Actually, this place is considered the surfing capital of Brazil and happens to be the only city in South America to host a WCT pro surf tour event in October.
If you’d like to start learning to surf, Barra da Lagoa or Praia Mole are great places to take lessons. The waves at these beaches are less rough than at other beaches on the island, such as Praia da Joaquina.
In addition to being a heaven for surfers, Florianópolis gets its character from its inhabitants, many of whom are still involved in traditional trades such as fishing and lace making. It is this traditional culture, local folklore, and colonial architecture that draw so many tourists to this remarkable location every year.
Not to be missed is the historic town center where one can find wonderful examples of colonial architecture. Also nearby is the district of Governador Celso Ramos, an area steeped in tradition and history. It is made up of small fishing villages, where you can find a slice of life from colonial Brazil.
As far as the best viewpoint of Florianópolis, nothing beats Morro da Cruz, a hill providing a great spot to spend the evening watching the city change colors as the sun goes down. If you don’t have a car, you can easily catch a taxi in the center of the city and take it to the top of the hill. Morro da Cruz is also the perfect spot to take a time lapse of the city.
You have to stop at Lagoa da Conceição, a saltwater lake that is huge and also one of the top attractions in Florianópolis. The lake is the perfect place for watersports enthusiasts, since there you can do kayaking, wind and kite surfing, fishing or just relax and watch the life go by. The neighborhood is packed with boutique hotels, guest houses, hostels and, at the main street you can find restaurants serving traditional food.
Finally, your last stop should be the Joaquina Dunes, sand dunes that stretch from the lake all the way to the beach. Leave your shoes in the car, put your feet in the sand and walk to the highest dune, with a marvelous view of vegetation, the sea and just a few scattered houses nearby.
LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Baez