Attractions in Florianopolis, Brazil: What to do and where to go
The variety of amazing attractions that "Floripa" has to offer is enough to excite vacationers before they even pack their bags. In this stunning Brazilian capital, discover unique cultural, historical, and architectural sites along with an extensive list of adventure-type activities. The city overflows with promenades that are ideal for admiring the incredible landscapes all around this earthly paradise. The city also hosts amazing shows, festivals, concerts, and sporting events all throughout the year. The ocean is the focal point of this destination. The city's one hundred miles of coast offer a variety of water sports such as diving, sailing and surfing, which is Florianopolis' most popular sport. The coasts are also rich in local archaeology and culture, featuring unique seaside museums and exhibits where nature combines with art and history.
This beach resort is a beautiful city situated at the mouth of the Camboriu River. Visitors love its wide shores backed by towering hotels and steep hills, all combined with an amazing infrastructure of gondola lifts linking the two main beaches. It's located just half an hour north of Florianopolis, so don't forget to include a day at Balneario Camboriu in your travel plans.
This city maintains the European spirit of its inhabitants through its architecture and culture. The population is primarily of German, Italian, Polish and Portuguese descent. The city was founded in 1850 by a small group of German colonists. Today, it is well known for its traditional celebrations and festivals (such as Oktoberfest), and for unique museums, parks and restaurants. It's like traveling to Europe without ever leaving the Americas. Blumenau is located just one hour from Florianopolis, making for an ideal day trip.
Florianopolis is a true diver's paradise, with crystal clear waters throughout the lagoon and the nearby ocean. The colorful plant and animal life residing beneath the surface are clearly visible to snorkelers and divers when they explore this amazing destination. The city has special nature reserves designated specifically for these activities, where visitors can also enjoy beautiful beaches and great restaurants.
Casa de Alfandega
In 1876, this beautiful building replaced the original Customs House, which had burned down ten years earlier. Since then, the new Customs House has preserved its trademark neoclassical-style decor. Apart from having unique and beautiful architecture, it also houses the Catarinense Association of Visual Arts, whose works are constantly on display throughout the building. There is an on site crafts shop and a bar that opens daily and serves all sorts of typical drinks.
The Cathedral is the most important church in Florianopolis, situated right in the heart of downtown on one end of Praca Quinze de Novembro (November Fifteenth Plaza). This beautiful church, whose official name is Nossa Senhora do Desterro, was constructed in 1678 and remodeled in 1922. The interior of the Cathedral evokes a feeling of incredible inner peace while featuring amazing art displays and stunning decorative windows.
Unleash your adrenaline as you participate in exciting extreme sports in Florianopolis, where you'll find much more than just tropical beaches. The region is full of ideal locations for paragliding, rafting, hang gliding, diving, sailing, excursions and even rock climbing. The unique geography of Santa Catalina Island offers amazing natural surroundings for almost any sport. When you travel to Floripa, ask at your hotel about the many options available for taking part in these unforgettable experiences.
These well-preserved buildings have withstood the test of time since their construction in the eighteenth century, allowing visitors to see their power and strength firsthand. Since Santa Catalina Island was an ideal refuge for pirates in past centuries, the town suffered from invasions for many years. The population defended itself using these forts, always striving to maintain its autonomy and independence. Experience this part of local history by visiting Fort Ponta Grossa, Fort Santana and Fort Naufragados.
Lagoa da Conceicao
Conceicao is the largest lagoon in the entire state of Santa Catarina, located in the mid-eastern part of the island. From the lagoon's lookout on Morro das Sete Voltas, viewers can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of Florianopolis along with the nearby ocean, beaches, dunes and hills. Discover why this island is known as the "Island of Magic" through the beautiful blue skies and waters and the harmony of the surrounding landscape.
Shoppers can buy all sorts of goods at the local public market. The most interesting part of the market, however, is the building in which it's located. This building was constructed in 1896 in front of the Customs House after a people's vote decided its location. Today visitors can find artists, politicians, bohemians, locals and tourists mixed together, gathering here to discuss the day's events, enjoy a coffee or simply shop.
Museu Victor Meirelles
This museum has been a Brazilian National Heritage Site since 1950 due to its history and original architecture dating back to the eighteenth century. This home belonged to one of Brazil's most famous painters and a native of Florianopolis, Victor Meirelles, whose family included many masters of the visual arts. Today the museum houses a collection of works done by Meirelles and other artists along with different seasonal exhibits featuring artists from all over the world. The Victor Meirelles Museum is perfect for academics as well as art lovers.
Palacio Cruz e Sousa
Originally constructed as Florianopolis' City Hall, this beautiful building is located downtown in front of Praca Quinze de Novembro. Named in honor of a well known local poet, the palacio housed Santa Catarina's leaders and governors up until 1984. It now serves as a museum and as headquarters for the Historic and Geographic Institute of Santa Catarina. Its free access allows visitors to admire its architecture along with amazing art and history exhibitions.
The most important attraction of Florianopolis is without a doubt its amazing beaches. The thousands of tourists who visit these shores year after year know that the beaches of Florianopolis compete among the best in the world, with emerald colored crystal clear waters and wide stretches of soft, golden sand. The beaches to the north of the island offer warmer waters and more visitors, while the rocky southern beaches have incredible views. Don't forget to visit a few of the many beaches such as Canasvieiras, Ingleses, Joaquina and Campeche.
Praca Quinze de Novembro
This plaza is the heart of the city's historic area, where artisans come together to sell their crafts. An enormous and legendary fig tree can be found here, preserved by the state as part of the city's heritage. Local legend says that walking around the tree seven times brings good luck. The plaza is flanked by the Catedral Metropolitana, the Palacio Cruz e Sousa and the Mercado Publico.
Hercilio Luz Bridge
This is Brazil's largest suspension bridge and, consequently, one of the largest in the world. It unites continental Florianopolis with the island of Santa Catarina. The bridge was named after Governor Hercilio Luz, who oversaw much of its construction before his death two years prior to the bridge's inauguration in 1926. Today it is conserved as a monument and a historic symbol since its closure to traffic in 1986. In the surrounding areas, you can also find the Museo da Ponte (Bridge Museum) and the Parque da Luz (Luz Park), which complement the history of this beautiful bridge.
This sport, which is enjoyed all over the world, was born in this Brazilian city, created by surfers searching for alternative activities on waveless days. They decided to take advantage of the enormous sand dunes formed on certain beaches such as Joaquina Beach (or Jocca Beach, as the locals call it). Few places in the world have sand dunes like the ones found here, which is why participating in this unique sport is an opportunity you can't pass up when in Florianopolis.
This is one of the most important and well known sports in Floripa, considered a sort of surf Mecca in Brazil and Latin America. The island's best surfing can be found at Mole and Joaquina Beach (Rosa Beach and Ferrugem Beach on the mainland) due to the variety of waves and water. The months of March through May and September through November offer the best waves.
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