What to do in Florianopolis

Florianopolis is a major touristic destination for Brazilians and foreigners alike. The main attraction is undoubtedly the natural beauty of the island of Santa Catarina, where most of the city of Florianopolis is located. The island offers a rare combination of white sandy beaches, tropical forests, mountains and lakes.
  • From the hotel to the famous Jurere beach it is just a couple of steps! In case you want to see some of the other 40+ beaches on the island I recommend: Mole, Joaquina, Brava, Moçambique and Santinho. [MORE BEACH INFO] (in portuguese).

  • There are some very nice walks throughout the island ranging from hour long leisure walks to strenuous full day expeditions! For more information see [GUIA DE TRILHAS] (in portuguese).

  • The oldest records of human presence on the island of Santa Catarina date back to over 4000 years ago. These early inhabitants left a wealth of drawings and other markings, prompting some to claim that Florianopolis should be considered the Easter Island of the southern Atlantic. While this is certainly an exaggeration one can see lots of interesting petroglyphs at Praia do Santinho and the nearby Ilha do Campeche. There are also some amazing "Oficinas Liticas" (rocks with regular patterns indicating that they were used for sharpening tools) on the right hand side of Praia dos Ingleses.

  • In order to protect the island from the Spanish (who thought it was a great refuelling stop on their way to Rio da Plata), several fortresses were erected in the 1700's. However the whole defence system failed badly in 1777 when the Spanish, led by D. Zeballos, invaded the island and took over the fortresses without a fight. Later, under the treaty of Saint Ildefonso, the island was restored to the Portuguese Crown. According to the treaty provisions the loser was forced to accept that, unless Portugal were at war, the island was never to be a military base. Many of these fortresses have been recently restored by the University of Santa Catarina and are available for visitation. In fact we are planning to organise a trip to the nicest of those, Fortaleza de Anhatomirim. [FORTALEZAS].

  • Fortunately the southern Atlantic Ocean is not yet overfished! Seafood is therefore widely available and reasonably priced. Here is a random list of my favourite restaurants in Florianopolis, all of them reachable only through private transportation:

  • Florianopolis is famous for its oyster farms most of which are located in the neighbourhoods of Santo Antonio de Lisboa and Ribeirão da Ilha, where one will also find nice restaurants.

  • Southern Brazil is famous for its beef. "Espeto Corrido" is the local name for restaurants in which waiters roam the dining room armed with huge beef skewers in search of customers with an empty plate. If you are found in such a condition you'd better watch out! My favourite "Espeto Corrido" places are:
    • Galpão Pegorini, Rua Domingos Andre Zanini, sn - Barreiros - São Jose (3246-8540).
    • Ataliba, Av. Irineu Bornhausen 5050, Agronomica (3333-0990).

  • The island of Santa Catarina is quite large. From north to south in a straight line it measures roughly 53km (33mi). Since public transportation is not very good you might want to consider renting a car. Here is a link to a [CAR RENTAL WEB PAGE]. Disclaimer: we do not endorse the car rental places. Use them at your own risk.

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Last updated 17-Jul-2006.