Florianópolis is located in southern Brazil, and is composed mostly of the island of Ilha de Santa Catarina. Florianópolis, or Floripa for short, has been attracting surfers and sun worshippers for years. It has become one of Brazil’s most popular beach destinations and is famous for its massive parties. Floripa is the ideal location for fun in the sun, offering visitors an endless array of beaches, excellent seafood, quaint Azorean fishing villages, and awesome nightlife. It’s an especially popular stop for young travelers seeking fun.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Florianópolis
1. Lagoa de Conceição
2. Try the seafood
3. Enjoy the beaches
4. Go surfing
5. Take a hike
Other Things to See and Do
(Click the title to expand the text)
1. Get wild and enjoy the nightlife
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. In the summer, most of the nightlife is concentrated around the beaches, while in the winter, the fun moves to Lagoa da Conceição. But no matter the season, there is always a massive party to be found.
2. Try sandboarding
If surfing’s not your thing, then you could give sandboarding a try. The island is covered in white sand dunes, and sandboarding is an exhilarating way to spend an afternoon. Basically, lie on a piece of wood and fly down the dunes for just about $5 USD per hour. What a deal.
3. Riberão da Ilha
This traditional Azorean fishing village in the southwest is famous for its oysters, secluded beaches, cobbled streets, and colorful houses. The Acoriano Casario church and the Ethnological museum are the two main attractions. Eat your way through the town.
4. Visit the Old Forts
The forts were originally built to help combat the threat of invasion from the Spanish in the 18th Century, but nowadays are manned by roving band of camera wielding tourists. You can take a boat to the Santa Cruz de Anhatomirim and Santo Antônio de Ratones forts.
5. Go parachuting
There are many parachuting clubs in the area—some of which include overnight lodging. This can run on the pricey side, but it is well worth the thrill.
6. Party during Carnival
Brazil is famous for Carnival, and while Rio gets all the press, anywhere in Brazil can be fun. Beginning shortly after the January surfing championships and going through late February, the area becomes a giant outdoor party with food, fun, drinks, crafts, parades, and a lot of dancing. Make sure you book accommodations well in advance.
7. The Sao Joaquim National Park
Spanning over 50,000 acres, this national park is an endless forest of native plants and wildlife. You’ll need a vehicle to explore this park. If you don’t go with a guide, make sure to take a map as it’s easy to get lost.
Budget hotel prices – Prices for a double room in a centrally-located 2-star hotel will be around 300 BRL. The prices increase as you get closer to the beach. Some hotels offer free breakfast and WiFi. Use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates. Airbnb has a large selection. Shared rooms start at 33 BRL and whole apartments are around 100 BRL.
Average cost of food – Florianópolis is a big budget travel destination, so there are a lot of cheap food options to take advantage of. It’s easy to find cafes and street food for only a couple of dollars. Sit-down restaurants can be expensive here and will set you back 50 BRL per meal with a drink. Grocery shopping is very cheap, costing about 70-100 BRL per week.
Transportation costs – Local buses cost 2.90 BRL per trip, but the buses don’t run often and are slow. Taking a taxi starts at 4.60 BRL and are about 4 BRL per mile. Depending on how long you are there and how much you plan on getting around, renting a car could be more cost-effective. Rental cars start at 35 BRL per day.
Suggested daily budget
170-250 BRL / 50-75 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating and cooking, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. If you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more, expect this to be higher!)
Money Saving Tips
- Por Kilo – As with elsewhere in Brazil, restaurants that have you pay by the kilo for your food is a good deal. Look out for these cheap options.
- Visit the market – If you’re staying at a hostel with kitchen facilities, it’s a good idea to stock up on food at the market and eat like the locals. Otherwise, stick to the street food and cheap cafes.
- Couchsurf – Nothing’s cheaper than sleeping for free. Couchsurfing connects you with locals who will give you not only a free place to stay, but also a local tour guide who can introduce you to all the great places to see.
- Save money on rideshares – Uber is way cheaper than taxis and is the best way to get around a city if you don’t want to wait for a bus or pay for a taxi. The Uber Pool option is where you can share a ride to get even better savings (though you can get your own car too). You can save $15 off your first Uber ride with this code: jlx6v.
My Must Have Guides For Traveling to Florianópolis
This book shows you how to take money out of the travel equation and and master the points and miles game. It will show you how to easily collect and redeem travel points for free airfare and accommodation so you can get you out of your house faster, cheaper, and in comfort.
Kristin Addis writes the solo female travel column for this website and her detailed guide addresses all the concerns women have about traveling and gives the specific advice and tips you need to conquer the world and stay safe.
This book will teach you everything you need to know about landing your dream job and features interviews with dozens of teachers, recruiters, detailed information on the top teaching destinations, sample resumes, advice on nailing your interview, and much more.
My New York Times best-selling paperback guide to world travel will teach how to master the art of travel so that, no matter how long you want to travel for, you’ll save money, get off the beaten path, and have a more local, richer travel experience.