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Brazil's Paradise Island Florianopolis

Updated on January 5, 2013

Brazil’s Paradise Island- Florianopolis

Florianopolis is indeed Brazil’s Paradise Island. It has so much beauty to offer by way of natural landforms, panoramic vistas, gorgeous beaches, and a rich cultural heritage. Water sports are numerous, music flows gently, and the people welcome tourists with friendly smiles. What more could anyone want for their vacation getaway?

Florianopolis, a gorgeous island, is the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, which is located off the southern coast of Brazil. It is also commonly referred to as Floripa or “Paradise Island,” its nicknames, especially by locals.

Only eleven miles wide, this beautiful island boasts 42 sun-drenched beaches full of clean white sand that offer unique vistas and water-time fun. Each of the beaches is like a separate neighborhood with its own unique flavor of personalities and local color. Since Florianopolis is only 31 miles in length, each of its balmy beaches is within reach from its downtown center.

Brief Background

The Carijos Indians once called this island home and have left a distinctive mark on the island by way of their sambaquis or piles of shells. Many fascinating rock inscriptions are also scattered on the island.

The island has a rich cultural heritage that continued from that of the Carijos Indians to the Spanish (sixteenth century) and Portuguese (seventeenth century) explorers who made this island home. Today, the island continues to be rich with a diversity of cultural identities.


The Island by Day

Floripa has much to offer visitors due to its varied landscape. As mentioned above, its sandy beaches, rocky coasts, and crystal waters captivate newcomers with their pure beauty. Majestic mountains filled with lush rainforests offer charming fresh water lagoons and cascading waterfalls for a day’s adventure. In the very heart of the island, visitors will find the beauty of a large lake, Lagoa da Conceicão.

The spot at Lagoa da Conceicão provides one of the two most promoted viewing points for spectacular vistas on the island. From this spot, one can see a panoramic display of the island’s beaches, the lagoon, a number of small islands can be found off the coast of Florianopolis, and the sand dunes located near Joaquina, one of the most popular beaches. From the center of the island atop its mountain, Morro da Cruz, one can see a panoramic display of most of the island and Brazil itself.

Beautiful Island

On the outskirts of the island, especially on the southern end of Florianopolis, the buildings, streets, churches, and museums rest mainly untouched by the modernization that can be discovered elsewhere on the island. The local inhabitants appreciate the island’s past and the quaint way of living of their ancestors.

The months that occur between August and December are perhaps the busiest time of the year for the island. The weather is most agreeable then for some of the exciting sports that visitors can enjoy on the island including paragliding, kite surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Such high adventure activities require the strong winds and crisp water that the island’s location can provide. Local inhabitants have shops where the necessary equipment can be obtained for a fee.

It is important to note that the island of Florianopolis has been referred to as one of the best locations for windsurfing, paragliding, and kite surfing in Brazil. This is mainly due to the fact that the island features numerous hilltops affecting the wind currents. The novice windsurfer will have ample opportunity to try out their skills since the island also boasts quite a number of shallow places that are amenable for beginners.

Click to enlarge image
Click to enlarge image

Although surfing is quite an adventurous sport and featured here, it is prohibited during the months of May, June, and July. During those months, the tainha migrate in large schools. These are the island’s largest species of fish. In January, though, local surfing championships draw in the crowds. The months of February or March invariably brings an exciting carnival that most tourists would find fascinating.

For those visitors who are not into high adventure sports, Floripa provides exciting opportunities for fishing, sailing, hiking, and mountain biking. Tours are also available on the island. This vacation spot is child friendly as well, providing equipment in just the right sizes for little ones. Low adventure activities such as walking, hiking, and animal watching are even more enjoyable at Lagoa do Peri, which is a natural reserve sanctioned by the local park authority.

Typically, the weather here on the island is temperate and subtropical. No matter what time of year you visit the island, every Sunday brings a craft market. Popular items include ceramics, wicker, and handcrafted items made from straw. For more commercialized shopping, a quick jaunt over the bridge brings visitors back to the mainland.

Boating and sailing opportunities are offered on Floripa. This worthwhile activity takes visitors to the smaller islands for a taste of history. These islands still contain the remains of many historical forts that were utilized many years ago to protect the ports along this side of the continent. Plus, the trips also feature the opportunity to watch the fun-loving antics of the local dolphins.

Florianopolis by night
Florianopolis by night | Source
Relax on the beaches of Florianopolis
Relax on the beaches of Florianopolis | Source

The Island by Night

Nonetheless, the island is still a hot spot for nightclubs and bars that offer drinks flavored with luscious fruit, tunes from local musicians, and local artwork hung proudly on display. The beaches are ablaze with bonfires during the evening hours and the air is filled with the melodic notes of romantic music.

Florianopolis is filled with restaurants that feature Brazilian and Argentinean flavored cuisine as well as an entire medley of seafood entrees. Fresh shrimp and oysters are delicacies that are always enjoyed fresh due to their abundance off the coast of the island.

Vacationers looking to enjoy a taste of salt air can obtain accommodations at one of the available beach houses, while those vacationers looking for something a bit more elegant can check out one of the many luxury spas and resorts.

The Hercilio Luz Bridge provides easy access to the island from the mainland of Brazil, as well as Uruguay and Argentina. Crossing the bridge itself is an exciting adventure since it is the longest suspension bridge in Brazil. In fact, Hercilio Luz Bridge is suggestive of the glory of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. At night, the bridge lights up the sky with its man-made splendor.

The Exciting Adventures of Scuba Diving

One of the best facets of scuba diving is the simple fact that anyone can enjoy it, even the beginner. Scuba diving provides hours of delightful exploration of the treasures held beneath the crystal waters of the sea.

Many types of scuba diving exist including cave diving, drift diving, night diving, rescue diving, wreck diving, and open water diving. Scuba diving allows the individual to explore underwater ecosystems at leisure in their natural environment.

As its name implies, cave diving provides the opportunity for the exploration of underwater caves. Mexico and Florida, in particular, have some noteworthy caves for the adventurous scuba diver.

Drift diving is for the carefree individual who dreams lazy dreams of drifting along on a current waiting for adventure to come to him. Since less energy is expended, the diver can actually remain underwater for a longer period of time.

Night diving allows an even greater sense of mystery to enter the activity since underwater torches must be utilized. The total darkness that the diver experiences as he enters the water is alleviated by the light, allowing him to venture on with his adventure.

Rescue diving can only be used by trained personnel. A very specialized form of diving, it is used by those who have undergone emergency operational training.

Wreck diving is definitely an enticing idea, but few people ever get to indulge in it. Sunken treasures and promises of gold have lured many into the waters though.

Open water diving is the type of scuba diving that most people get to experience. It requires a body of water large enough to accommodate the equipment as well as the adventure. Numerous underwater ecosystems from a wide variety of lakes, seas, and oceans lure both novice and experienced scuba divers every year.

I hope you enjoy Brazil's Florianopolis Island and Have yourself a splendid Time.

Copyright © Jangaplanet . All rights reserved

Scuba dive
Scuba dive


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    • michelgf profile image

      Michel Golfe 

      5 years ago from Itapema, SC, Brasil

      i living in Itapema, Florianopolis is amazing.

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Thanks nivea, Florianopolis is absolutely irresistible, I agree! One of the world's most beautiful Islands. Truly a Brazilian paradise!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great article, Floripa is really a paradise!

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      You are most welcome MartaRocha. Floripa/ Florianópolis is one of the top ranked destinations in Brazil. The entire country is amazing, from its thick Amazon jungles, beautiful beaches and diverse and vibrant cities. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this nice article about Floripa!

      I have been there twice, but after reading this article, I see there is much more to see...

      Not only Floripa, but the state of Santa Catarina have lots of beauty.. I really recommend...;)

      Great job!!

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Hi Peter, thanks for adding this piece of information to the article. Personally, I would visit Brazil any time of the year. I really enjoy the beauty of this amazing Country. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I liked the article but the time that Floripa is busy is from December 20th until just after carnival which is usually around late February to late March. Some places on the Island are busy until Easter which usually ends sometime in late March early April.

    • profile image

      selma santos 

      8 years ago

      Hello, I loved the article about Floripa. realamente the beaches are beautiful, I've been there a few times and loved it. when you spoke of Floripa not missed anything in white.

      beijos, obrigada

      Selma Santos

      Sao Bernardo Do Campo- Sao Paulo,Brasil

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you! I enjoyed reading about Santa Catarina, were I was born and raised. I wanted to mention, while in Florianópolis, you should of course make sure you visit the entire island, and all its villages and beaches. You can visit a few at a time because distances are not very huge. You will have lots of fun at Campeche, Joaquina, praia do Mole and around the Lagoa da Conceição. I live in Costa Rica now, but it was nice reading, still miss my Country!

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 

      8 years ago

      Wow! Great hub Janga with some goregous pictures! I love it! I love traveling and this is wonderful to see.

    • Taniatravels profile image


      8 years ago

      Great hub!! I was Brazil 4 years ago with friends and had a superb experience! Although I never got the chance to visit Floripa, I did visit Rio de Janeiro though! Brazil in itself is a vibrant and lively beach atmosphere everywhere. Nice photos!

    • Jangaplanet profile imageAUTHOR

      A James Di Rodi 

      8 years ago

      Hi Fortaleza, Brazil- what a beautiful country! The land of Samba and soccer- (football as we call it in Italy). Well Brazilians call it football as well. Florianopolis is stupendous! Thank you for the kind comment! I'm delighted you enjoyed the hub!

    • Fortaleza profile image


      8 years ago from Fortaleza, Brasil

      :) I knew you were going to write about my Country! I hope you had good time here in Brasil! Of course Floripa is beautiful in every way possible. Also Rio and Fortaleza!:) But Floripa is beautiful! Thank you so much for writing about this! Up and everything else! well just beautiful cause I know its interesting and awesome already! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like your article. It's very helpful. The south of Florianópolis is a fantastic place. My husband and I are Canadian looking for a place to spend a few weeks in Florianopolis sometime next year. But its hard to find some good information. I found your blog quite interesting! All the best!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great site! I am planning on spending New Years in Brazil, and currently the plan is Florianopolis . Thanks very much for your advise.


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