Florianopolis- where the city meets the beach
Florianópolis is capital of southern Brazil’s Santa Catarina state, it is made up mostly of 54km long Santa Catarina Island. It’s famous for beaches, surfing and night life. The Lagoa da Conceição, a saltwater lagoon in the island’s center, is popular for windsurfing and boating. The Pedro Ivo Campus Bridge connects the island to a mainland commercial district.
From what we had been told by other travelers, Florianópolis is an island paradise and alot nicer than other areas in Brazil mainly due to its cooler and dryer climate. We arrived from Curitiba where you can get a conventional bus ticket with the company Catarinense for R$45 and the journey is about 8 hours. The bus drops you off right in the city center, although we were staying about 20 minutes away in an area called Campeche known for the surf. You can take a bus there but public transport on the island is not very good and short journeys can take alot of time so we just got an Uber for R$18.
Our hostel in Campeche was called Sagui Hostel and was located only 400 m from Campeche beach. It was R$45 a night for a 16 share and was basic but offered a nice breakfast and also had plenty of hammocks for lounging around after a morning of surfing.
Unfortunately for me, I got sick the first night we arrived. It must of been some Brazilian flu because I spent the next 2 days in a hammock while Bailey and Liam enjoyed the amazing weather and white sandy beaches. Not wanting to waste my time here in Florianópolis on the third day I forced myself out of bed at 6am and went for a morning surf, there is something about the ocean that makes you feel full of life and it was just the medicine I needed to get over my man flu! That day we went from laying in hammocks to surfing several times, what a perfect way to spend a day. That afternoon we headed to a bar right on the beach and enjoyed some cheap beers and convinced Liam to book Carnival in Rio!
On our last day we wanted to check out the city. It was also our last day with Liam until Carnival so we decided to have a “blowout” which is where we forget our budget and head out for a nice feed and drinks instead of the usual home-cooked hostel meals. We packed our backpacks and left it in lockers at the bus terminal and walked around the city’s many stone paved roads, most of which are only for pedestrians. This city has everything on offer from great parks to live bands and is the perfect place to get a cheap all you can eat buffet (although the quality of the food can be quite low and possibly unsafe to eat.) For our “blowout day” and we went to a nice seafood restaurant and shared a seafood platter, it was R$100 and was more than enough for the 3 of us. At least once in Brazil do yourself a favour and enjoy some local seafood, it really is fresh and at prices for any budget.
Interested in budget travel? Check out this great blog by our friend from The Beau Traveler about What You Could Get for $10 in Florianopolis!
The last few Hours in Florianópolis were spent drinking at a bar chatting with locals in a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish and English. Small side street bars are a nice way to meet the people of the city you are visiting and get the best travel advice while really immersing yourself in the culture. Despite getting sick, this city was a nice place to spend a few days and like us you will enjoy it to, Have fun!