Florianopolis (Portuguese: Florianópolis), Brazil (also know as Floripa) is the capital of the Southern state of Santa Catarina. The city is split between the mainland and Santa Catarina Island and connected by three bridges. Santa Catarina Island (Portuguese: Ilha de Santa Catarina) has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brazil.
The official city limits of Florianopolis covers the entire island of Santa Catarina, and the villages within the island are considered burrows or neighborhoods of Florianopolis. When on the island the city center is referred to as Centro.
Centro Florianopolis is a modern city with high-rise buildings, up to date infrastructure, a public transportation system, expensive restaurants, and a happening nightlife. On the mainland, the city center is more of an industrial zone, while on the island you will find the historic center of Florianopolis with cobblestone streets and an 18th century cathedral. Generally people visiting Florianopolis stay on the island as there is not much to see in the industrial zone.
The Island of Santa Catarina is approximately 60 km / 37 miles long and 20 km / 12 miles wide (at its widest point), and is known both for its natural beauty and happening party scene during the summer (December thru March). About 300,000 people live on the island fulltime and during the summer months the population swells to over 1 million. Nearly half of the island is a government sanctioned nature preserve so there are plenty of options to get in touch with nature through the beautiful water, beaches, lagoons, native vegetation, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and sand dunes.
Floripa (Ilha Santa Catarina) boasts 42 beaches and a handful of towns, all with their own unique ecology and vibe. The North is almost to the point of being overdeveloped while parts of the South can be completely secluded. In general, the further south you go less developed and a more chilled out vibe you’ll find.
Here are some of the more popular destinations in Florianopolis.
North Santa Catarina Island
East Santa Catarina Island
South Santa Catarina Island
A key factor to getting the most out of your stay in Florianopolis is choosing the right location to make your home base. Florianopolis tourism has grown in the past few years and traffic in the peak season is an absolute nightmare so keeping your time on the road to a minimum is highly recommended. Therefore we recommend picking a location with a vibe that best suites what you’re looking for and spending the majority of your time there. If you’re primarily looking to party consider Jurere or Lagoa da Conceicao. If you’re looking for more of a chilled-out scene consider Ribeirão da Ilha, Armação or Campeche. If you’re looking for more of a bohemian vibe checkout Barra da Lagoa, while if you’re looking for more of a trendy vibe go to Jurere International. Surfers will want to stay somewhere on the East side of the island as this is where the best waves can be found.
Chances are you will be visiting more than one location while on the island, so renting a car is highly recommended, but just keep in mind where you want to spend the majority of your time and go with that for your accommodation choice. Limit your time in the car.
Although Floripa is most visited in the summer months, it is also a great option during the rest of the year. Your Reais ($R) will definitely last longer in the winter as price fall 20% to 40% during the off-season.
The typical rain season in Florianopolis occurs in September/October, and April/May. But it’s also common for a 15 to 30 minute afternoon shower in the summer. The relative humidity is pleasant, around 70% during the summer.
Photos of Florianopolis
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Things to do in
Florianopolis boasts some of the best beaches in Brazil. The beach scene in Florianopolis ranges from totally secluded in the south to ultra trendy in the north. Here are some of the best beaches in Florianopolis:
Praia Brava – Surfing beach, young crowd, decent party scene
Praia Mole – Hip, young and beautiful crowd with a beach club.
Campeche – Chill, natural beach with a local scene
Armacao – Natural beach set in a traditional fishing village
Riozinho – Natural beach with more of a trendy vibe.
Solidão – completely secluded and beautiful
Saquinho – completely secluded and beautiful
Florianopolis is a huge surf destination in Brazil and has been host to several international surfing championships. The best surf beaches are located on the East side of the island and breaks vary by location. Using a 1 to 5 star rating system:
Praia Brava – beach break, 3 stars, both rights and lefts
Praia Santinho- beach break, 3 stars, both right and lefts
Praia Barra da Lagoa- river mouth break, 2 stars, both right and lefts
Praia Mole – beach break, 4 stars, both rights and lefts
Praia Joaquina – Point and beach break, 5 stars, both rights and lefts
PraiaCampeche – beach break, 4 stars, rights only.
Praia Riozinho – beach break, 5 stars, both rights and lefts
PraiaArmacao – beach break; 2 stars, both right and lefts
PraiaMaterdeiro – beach break, 3 stars, both rights and lefts
Lagoinha do Leste – beach break, 4 stars, both rights and lefts
Florianopolis is known for its party scene, but for such a large island there are relatively few options. There are a handful of beach clubs that offer day-parties, some of which will go into the evening, and there are a few nightclubs located in different parts of the island that stay open all night. For what Florianopolis lacks in quantity on the nightlife front, it makes it up with quality. Florianopolis girls are some of the most beautiful in all of Brazil and very friendly. If you really want to have a robust social life we suggest you learn some basic Portuguese. The nightclubs in Jurere International, Centro and Lagoa all offer world-class DJ’s, VIP sections and bottle service. During peak season, the people, the scene and the vibe is all extremely good.
Tiako Lounge - Rua Madre Benvenuta, 687, Jurere International. Tel (48) 3029 1099
El Divino Beach - Avenida dos Pampos, Jurere International. Tel (48) 3282 1816
P12 – Srv. J Cardoso Oliveira, Jurere International. Tel (48) 3284 8156
Posh – Jurere International. Tel (48) 3282 2533
Pacha - Rodovia Maurício Sirotsky Sobrinho, Jurere International Tel (48) 3282 2533
El Divino Lounge - Avenida Beira Mar Norte, Centro. Tel (48) 3225 1266
Vecchio Giorgio - Avenida Afonso Delambert Neto, 103, Lagoa da Conceição. Tel (48) 3232 0600
Vecchio Giorgio – two levels with live music upstairs. Also located in Lagoa
Thai Restaurant - Estrada Geral da Joaquina, 555, Lagoa da Conceição. Tel (48) 3232 4181
Pizzaria Basilico - Rua Laurindo Januário da Silveira, 647, Lagoa da Conceição Tel (48) 3232 1129
Café Cultura - Rua Manoel Severino de Oliveira, 669, Lagoa da Conceição.
Shopping in Florianopolis
There’s plenty of shopping in Florianopolis. Centro has two large shopping malls and Jurere has an open-air mall. Prices tend to be steep in Floripa, but if you are looking for budget gifts they can be found in Lagoa da Conceicao and Barra da Lagoa
Sightseeing in Florianopolis
Catedral Metropolitana – A beautiful Cathedral that was completed in 1750 and definitely worth a look today. Located at Praca XV de Novembro, Centro Floripianoplis.
Rue Fleipe Schmidt – located on the far end of Praca XV de Novembro, is a busy promenade that is great for shopping and people watching.
Dunes of Joaquina – huge sand dunes surround Praia Joaquina that make for an interesting landscape.
Excursions Around Florianopolis
Curitiba – Located about an hour east of Florianopolis, Curitiba is a quaint town with nice parks and shopping.
Budget Hotels Florianopolis
Floripa Hostel – Centro – Centrally located between the city center and Beira-Mar Norte, this is a well run hostel. Tel: 3225 3781
Backpackers Sunset – located directly across from Praia Mole. Beautiful hostel in beautiful location. Tel (48) 3232 0141
Midrange Hotels Florianopolis
Florianopolis Palace – One of the more fancy hotels in the historic district with a mid-range price tag. Tel: 2106 9633
Jurere Guest House – Beautiful guest house located directly across from the Yaacht Club in Jurere. Tel (48) 3266 0928
Luxury Hotels Florianopolis