It was a toss of the coin, after Rio should we go to the Brazilian beach resort of either Buzios or Florianopolis? With a flip we ended up with Floripa!
Florianopolis is the island of Ilha de Santa Catarina located in southern Brazil, its been a popular destination since the 80’s for Argentinian tourists. It’s been called the best place to live in Brazil and has serious nightlife for the young and trendy. In the peak season Music Park attracts huge crowds, nightclub Pacha is here and by day the beaches are packed, it’s the Ibiza of Brazil!
On top of that there are 42 sandy beaches, Italian looking wide lagoons in the centre and green forests hugging the mountains. All sounded glorious on paper!
Mr E master of finding the bargain deals, got us plane tickets from Rio, a hire car and a beach hotel for a steal and off we went. We landed on a very wet Thursday night in a rather chilly temperature we were not used to, it appeared on first sight we had arrived in a Brazilian Weston super Mare on a dreary November night. Brrr!
However our hotel Varadero Palace was a treat with a cosy bed and snoochy blankets. We were staying in Canasvieras one of the first resorts built on the island. The main strip had a lot and I mean lot of Pizza restaurants, burger joints and bars. Topped off with shops selling T-shirts displaying ‘I 💟 Floripa’ this was way better than Weston!
Joy! The next day the sun came out and all was good in the world again. Pirate cruise ships in the bay complete with Captain Jack Sparrow looky-likeys took out excitable crowds ready to dance away on the decks and the beaches started to fill up with sun worshippers!
So I’d like to say we did lots of exploring, but to be honest we walked the compact sandy beach then just sat on the beach drinking beer and it was perfect. There was a cacophony of beach sellers wandering up and down to look at, with plenty of items for sale; sunglasses, sarongs, selfie sticks, hot corn, hot cheese or prawns on sticks, beer and our favourite cart – a mobile fully stocked functioning bar, we can think of quite a few people who would have loved that!
We drove down to Praia Mole on Saturday where the beach was really lovely and surfers were in the waves complete with full body wetsuits, the Atlantic is cold!
From there we took a look at Lagoa da Conceição, it’s so pretty and we could see why it gets its best place to live tag.
We stumbled on a neat little place, Trilha Ecológica do Rio Vermelho. This centre, rescue and rehabilitate birds, Capuchin & Howler monkeys, turtles and other wildlife that has been abandoned by their owners, or in most cases the animals are orphaned when the mother is killed on the roads.
It was a free guided tour through the forest to see the animals that cannot be released. Vivian our young guide was able to translate the tour for us in excellent English. She had learnt at school and by watching UK TV, she was pretty near fluent. Her favourite English show was Sherlock, Cumberbatch is loved around the world! It was a pleasant way to spend an hour and I think she enjoyed practising her English with us.
We liked Florianopolis it had a nice laid back feel, the people were friendly to us even with our non-existent Portuguese. With so many Spanish-speaking Argentinian holiday makers there constantly sipping tea from their ‘mate’ cups we fitted in just fine with our Spanish.
If you like the Spanish Balearic islands this could well be your next holiday destination you’re looking for.
Cheers Floripa, in the sunshine you are beautiful!
Next up – Foz do Iguacu