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Florianopolis: Brazil's Next Beach Hot Spot

Home to some of Brazil’s best beaches, Florianópolis is making waves

For more space in the sun, head to the laid-back (and less touristed) southern beaches of Florianópolis, Brazil.
With 42 beaches and city streets that are safer than Rio’s, Florianópolis — or Floripa, as it’s nicknamed in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina — has long been a favorite getaway for the locals of São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. Recently, it’s gaining global popularity as a luxury travel destination as well, thanks to its its warm waters, pristine sands, and world-class surfing. 

Best Beaches
The best beaches and resorts are on Santa Catarina Island. Jurerê Internacional is a mile-long string of glitzy beachfront shopping centers, open-air bars, and hotels — including the huge Il Campanario resort. It’s the playground of Brazil’s elite, and supermodel Gisele Bunchen is known to vacation here.

For a quieter kind of exclusive, book at the Ilha do Papagaio resort: 20 ocean-view bungalows on a small private island in a forest preserve. On the other side of the island is the more relaxed Campeche, with its 3 miles of undeveloped beachfront and simple posadas.

More Things to do in Florianópolis
Sand-worship isn’t the only option on the island. The city of Florianópolis has its high rises, but also well-preserved colonial Portuguese architecture and a waterfront area with restaurants, shops, and a long boardwalk. The pretty, colonial-era seaside towns are worth visiting, too. One is Ribeirão de Ilha, known for its waterfront oysters bars.

Everywhere in Florianópolis you can partake in water sports, from sailing and scuba diving to snorkeling, kite surfing, and parasailing. Surfing deserves special mention — excellent surf breaks dominate the eastern coast. Plenty of surf schools cater to beginners, but even if you don’t ride the waves, it’s fun to watch.

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