Top 10 things to see and do in Florianopolis, Brazil

With so many things to see and do on the island, it would be easy to list 40 or more activities. We’ve limited the number at 10 on this list based on a popularity criteria.

Sandboarding

If surfing’s not your thing, then sandboarding might be. The island is filled with white sand dunes, and sandboarding could be a fun way to meet locals and exercise at the same time. Boards can be rented in different areas of the island, but the top choice when it comes to choosing where to sandboard is Joaquina. That’s where all championships are held and where dunes are highest. And to make it an even better day trip, the view from the top of the highest dune in Joaquina is breathtaking. Worth trying.

Don’t miss the seafood

Being an island, it would only be expected that seafood would be a staple diet. And there are some things that are unique to this area in the way they are served. Don’t miss the opportunity to order a “Sequência de camarão”, which is shrimp served in 6 or more styles. It is a huge meal and you better be hungry. The same applies for their famous oysters. Make sure you order a “Sequência de ostras”. Very nicely made and quite delicious.

There are restaurants everywhere and most beaches have dozens of restaurants specializing in their local fish and other goodies.

42 beaches

They’re probably the reason you’re traveling to Florianopolis. If not, they should be high on your list of things to do. From November to April, chilling on the beach is one of the best things you can think of doing in your free time. If laying on the beach isn’t your cup of tea, then go exploring via trails, secluded beaches, and caves.

From May to October, fewer people go the beach but it’s when they’re most beautiful. If you like taking photos, that’s when you should come. Besides, the low season offers your more availability in accommodation, lower prices, and a more relaxed vibe.

The beaches in the south are less crowded than in the north.

There are forts on the main island and on smaller orbiting islands. They’re all worth a visit, but you may not have time to visit all. If time is a constraint, you could start with Fort São José da Ponta Grossa, in Praia do Forte. Very nice location and beautiful construction.

If time allows, don’t miss the boat trip to the Santa Cruz de Anhatomirim and Santo Antônio de Ratones forts.

The forts were originally built to help combat the threat of invasion from the Spanish.

Partying

Named the party destination of the year in 2009 by the New York Times, you know you’re in for a good time when you land in this town.

No matter what kind of music you like, options range from Samba do Eletronic music, so ask us at the school and will be able to inform you about the best places to go.

In the summer, most of the nightlife is concentrated around the beaches, while in the winter, the fun moves to Lagoa da Conceição and downtown. But no matter the season, there is always a massive party to be found.

Hercilio Luz bridge

Hercilio Luz was a governor and under his administration, the bridge that carries his name was built. It was opened to the public in 1926 after three years of construction time. and since then it has been the landmark of the Florianópolis.

It has since become the main landmark of Florianópolis. What is special about this bridge is that it is the longest suspension bridge in Brazil, and the second in all of South America.

I love going to Forte Santana (a tiny fort built by the Portuguese) which is now a museum and is located right under the bridge and watch sunsets. I’ve seen some great sunsets at this location and you will, too. Highly recommended.

Public Market

The history of this market dates back to the 18th century. The government around this time decided to set up tents that were rented by small vendors. Fish, beans, rice, vegetables and others things were sold by locals farmers and slaves.

In 1851, the province governor authorized the construction of the market we see today.

It is well worth a visit. You’ll find crafts, local produce, seafood and a dozen restaurants. On Friday and Saturday afternoons the happy hour is quite fun. Local musicians set up shop and Samba takes over.

Click this link and you’ll be taken to the Public Market website where you’ll see the schedule for musical attractions and more pictures.

Santo Antonio de Lisboa

Located in the north-west side of the island, about 30 mins by car from downtown, Santo Antônio de Lisboa was established in the 18th century by the Portuguese from the Azores islands.

It’s a beautiful little town in the Portuguese style with great restaurants, a lovely beach and some nice handcraft stores.

Trail to Lagoinha do Leste

A nature reserve in the south of the island, Lagoinha do Leste is by far one of the top 3 beaches in Florianopolis in our opinion.

To reach this little piece of paradise you have to endure a 2-hour hike from Praia Matadeiro (most scenic way to reach Lagoinha). It really is worth the effort. The trail offers spectacular views.

To return, you may take another path, which is the steep climb of the hill that will take you to Pantano do Sul. A much shorter hike albeit much harder due to the steepness you will face.

Make sure you have good walking shoes on and don’t forget your camera and a bottle of water.

Campeche Island

The boat trip to the island is a one-of-a-kind ocean adventure. Bring along a diving mask and explore the crystalline waters that surround this island.

The island is home to a bountiful ecosystem as well as archeological relics that are preserved by the Couto de Magalhães Foundation. This ecological sanctuary welcomes people from all over the world who come to appraise its beauties.

Next article: Top 3 beaches to visit in Florianopolis.

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