LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:
Florianópolis, or Floripa as it's known, is the capital city of Santa Catarina in
southern Brazil. It is composed of one main island, Ilha de Santa Catarina, and
a number of surrounding small islands. Floripa is a natural treasure with truly
exceptional sights, like beautiful lagoons, stunning beaches, rolling mountains
lush with Atlantic rainforest, soft white dunes and an array of small offshore islands.
Floripa has something for everyone, from authentic and rustic fishing villages to
surfer's paradises, high-end Brazilian summer getaways, pristine and untouched nature
reserves just minutes away from modern shopping malls and cinema complexes. Its
numerous white and clean sand bottom beaches attract visitors from around the world
as well as holidaying Brazilians.
There are lots of fun activities, like surfing, windsurfing, paragliding,
snorkelling, diving, boat tours, jiu-jitsu, hiking, whale-watching and
many other ecotourism options. Florianópolis is also blessed with some of the most
breathtaking beaches in the world, 42 beaches in total and has
a wonderful sub-tropical climate, with average temperature between 70ºF and 90ºF,
perfect for the beach!
- Lagoa da Conceição, which has several of the island's most beautiful beaches, including
Joaquina, a Brazilian temple of surf and stage with immense sand dunes. It's also
home to the world-wide surfing championships.
- Praia Mole, another paradise of surfers and sun worshippers and a favourite of the
island's young, athletic and beautiful!
- Barra da Lagoa, which concentrates the biggest fishing colony of the Island of Santa
Catarina and is popular with backpackers.
- Praia da Galheta, a jaw-dropping coastal nature preserve completely virgin in its
natural state, with a soft white sand beach, clear waters and surrounded by lush
- Pantano do Sul beach, known for typical seafood restaurants and local fishing boats
that make the passage to the beautiful offshore island Ilha do Campeche; and Ribeirão
da Ilha, an historic district and one of the rustic fishing villages of Florianópolis.
- Further north along the eastern coast is Moçambique, the island's longest beach
and completely virgin, also a nature preserve, and Santinho beach, a more populated
region offering good tourism infrastructure.
- In the southern stretch of the eastern coast, Matadeiro beach is a great option
for surfing and Morro das Pedras has an agitated sea and a unique rock formation
advancing into the sea.
Like Mardi Gras, Carnaval has its roots in ancient pagan ritual. The wild parties
began in the Middle Ages. Over time it flourished and incorporated extravagant costumes
from India and primitive carnal beats from African rhythm. Carnaval takes place
before Lent where Catholic Brazilians officially gave up luxuries such as meat,
alcohol and pastries.
The excitement of Carnaval builds practically all year round. Rehearsals at samba
schools begin in August and marching percussion bands practise for their performances
of music throughout the year. Carnaval Balls are extreme, surreal and erotic events.
There is various stages of undress, extravagant body painting, stickered tattoos,
fishnets and spandex involved! Hypnotic music, grinding movements and beautiful
ladies of the night vying for the camera’s attention are included in the price of
the ticket. Some of these beautiful ladies are less ‘lady’ than they may appear…
Street Carnaval is all about the dancing in the streets, marching bands pump out
their theme tune and other rhythms as the drag queens and party crazed people bop
along behind. The samba parades are perhaps a highlight of carnaval. As the Lonely
Planet so nicely puts it, the Brazilians harness sweat, noise and confusion and
turn it into art. The best Samba schools in the country prepare all year for their
moment of glory. This procession is a competition of the art. There are many aspects
to samba including percussion, song, dance, choreography, costumes, story line,
floats and decorations. The winner of the samba parades earns admiration and the
pride of Rio and all of Brazil.
Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.