Florianopolis - Style and Surfing in Brazil
Florianopolis, nicknamed Floripa, is the capital city of the southern state of Santa Catarina and consists of one main island, the Island of Santa Catarina, part of the mainland and many smaller surrounding islands. The city has garnered many accolades with Brazilian magazine Veja dubbing it “the best place to live in Brazil” and Newsweek including it in its 2006 list of the "top ten most dynamic cities in the world".
Beaches and Surfing
One of the main draws to the city is its beaches, of which it boasts 42, all with their own individual characteristics. You can go sand-boarding on the dunes at Ingleses Beach, relax in the tranquility of Santinho Beach or indulge in a spot of fishing at Campeche Beach and if you are into surfing you are spoilt for choice; an attribute of many of the beaches at Florianopolis is the quality of their waves, a fact which is attested to when one sees that it is the only place in South America at which the Association of Professional Surfers’ World Tour stops.
Surfers are not the only outdoor sports-lovers that can find there fill here though, with diving, hang gliding, mountain-biking and para-gliding being popular here too. With so many activities on offer one also needs a chance to relax, to regain their energy and lucky for those in Florianopolis they can make use of the thermal baths on offer in the city. Indeed those staying in the Caldas da Imperatriz district may even find that their hotel has their own private thermal bath facilities.
Culture and Wildlife
Of course a trip to Florianopolis does not necessarily have to be an exercise in exertion with the place offering much in terms of culture, history and wildlife. The southern half of the Island of Santa Catarina has managed to repel the influx of modernity and villages immersed in tradition and history such as Santo Antônio de Lisboa and Ribeirão da Ilha offer a chance to step out of the rat race and back in time. It is also the fishing boats, the lacemakers, the folklore, the cuisine and the colonial architecture that entice people to this half of the island.
Culture and tradition feature heavily in Florianopolis with one being able to sample street food and be entertained by the performers of the Holy Spirit Festival, which occurs forty days after Easter. During the winter months you can also make your way to Barra da Lagoa beach, where penguins can often be seen swimming.
However, one of the main draws for Florianopolis is a bit bigger than a penguin! From July to November, you can head offshore in special boats to enjoy the amazing spectacle of these enormous beasts as they continue their annual migration - getting up close as they breach the surface is a sight you'll always remember.