The island of Santa Catarina, has to be one of the places that I will remember for all times, a tranquil place that I would love to make my home.
There are a great many excellent hotels to choose from all of which will make your visit a truly memorable experience.With its beautiful beaches and friendly people this is the place to visit if you require a peaceful getaway.
Florianopolis, the capital of the State of Santa Catarina, is located on the west coast of the Ilha (island) de Santa Catarina and is linked to the mainland by the longest suspension bridge in Brazil, the Hercilio Luz Bridge. Spaniards first settled the city in 1542, but by 1675 the Portuguese took control of the island. The captaincy of Santa Catarina was created in 1738 to serve as an outpost in the Portuguese-Spanish territorial wars. During the 19th century a considerable immigration of non-Portuguese peoples occurred. Germans arrived as early as 1829 and came in great numbers during the 1850s, settling not only in Florianopolis, but also along the valleys in the mainland. Anita Garibaldi, wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi fought in the Farroupilha Revolution of 1839, an unsuccessful separatist rebellion in the early days of the empire. Later other waves of immigrants from Italy, Poland, and Russia arrived in Santa Catarina to build new lives. Today Florianopolis is a busy commercial centre. Industries produce metallurgical and electrical communications equipment, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and perfume. The area around Lagoa has some of the best seafood restaurants that I have ever seen, if you visit here I would definitely recommend a meal at 'El Gran Comilon' where Paella is a specialty!
I visited this wonderful place for the first time in October 2000 and my initial impression was of a very relaxed way of life. How different it is to the busy lifestyle of Rio. Local laws there prohibit the building of factories and large industrial developments.
The choice of beaches is a difficult one (there are so many, 42 I believe), although my favourite would have to be Praia Mole, with its expanse of golden sand it is a perfect place to spend a day relaxing with friends.
As with most other beaches in Brazil, good quality food is never far away, freshly prepared snacks and meals are readily available from a choice of outlets at the top of the beach.
Up north is where the most famous resorts are located, Canavieiras, Ingleses and Jurere. To the south, there are beaches such as Armacao, Campeche, and Pantano do Sul these are the beaches of the laocal fishing villages.
For more adventurous types, there are wild beaches, Lagoinha do Leste and Naufragados acessible only by following steep trails around 5 miles long.
Other beaches such as Santo Antonio de Lisboa and Ribeirao da Ilha, preserve architecture from Acores, an heritage from the Acorian immigrants from 1748.
Its natural beauty and quality of life attract people from major urban centres such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
The most visited tourist attractions in downtown are Mercado Publico where the famous Box 32 is located and Alfandega where you will find handcrafted articles.
The local artisans produce articles for the kitchen and decorative objects representing local tradition, religious events and its people. The typical food is fish and seafood, although the variety of food is truly cosmopolitan.
Praia Mole, my favourite beach and a beach I know so well, I enjoyed many wonderful days there, and on one occasion was very nearly arrested (for swimming in front of a red flag). It's not a wise thing to argue with the Brazilian military police!