Archive for July, 2008

Florianópolis North: what to do and where to go

Florianópolis North: what to do and where to go

For most visitors, Florianópolis encapsulates the perfect beach destination, and satisfaction comes in the simplest of ways: a beach recliner [sun-lounger] a sunshade and a beach. But even the most sedentary of tourists will at one stage or another want to leave the comfort of the beach where they are staying to visit other parts of the island. This entry is part of a trilogy (that includes forthcoming entries on Centre-Lagoa and the South) with tips and basic guidance on the most interesting points on the island.

On the north of Florianópolis we find the two beaches best loved by the Argentinians that crowd them: Canasvieiras and Ingleses. It is here that we find the biggest concentration of tourists on the entire island. Distances between beaches are not that big, although roads can become irritantingly slow during the high season, when bottlenecks are a permanent feature on an island with precarious road infrastructure.

View larger map

From west to east, the following are the main beaches on the north of the island:

  • Daniela. It’s 3 km long, with calm waters (no waves) and fine sand. Appropriate for families with children. On the left-hand side of the beach there is a mangrove where shrimp, crabs and cockles are caught.
  • Forte. Between Daniela and Jurerê, it is also quite suitable for families with kids. Forte is the site of the Fortaleza de São José da Ponta Grossa, part of the fortification system erected by the Portuguese to defend the island from invaders. No easy parking near the beach, which explains the fact that it’s usually less crowded than other beaches on the region.
  • Jurerê. Two beaches for the price of one. On the left-hand side, the private housing development of Jurerê Internacional. If you drive your car there you might be forgiven for thinking you are in Miami, with its mansions and luxury cars. If you want to see with your very own eyes where the rich live, this is one of the best places to do so. Calm waters and a wide seafront. To the right of Jurerê Internacional you will find Jurerê beach proper. They both have good infrastructure and lots of beach-goers.
  • Jurerê Internacional

  • Canasvieiras is next, with complete infrastructure, hoteles, restaurants and clubs. A piece of Argentina in Brazil. Calm waters, warm sea and a very narrow strip of sand that nearly vanishes during the high tide. From Canasvieiras there are boat trips to the Baía dos Golfinhos and Anhatomirim Island.
  • next we find the beaches of Cachoeira do Bom Jesus and Ponta das Canas. The sea on the former is similar to Canasvieiras, calm and mild waters. Well-equipped but quieter than Canasvieiras. Ponta das Canas evolved from an initial fishing village. Another beach suitable for families. White sands and warm waters. Lots of Argentinians around.
  • Lagoinha is one of the quietest beaches on the north of Florianópolis. It’s 1 km wide, with white sands and calm waters. You will only find summer houses there. It’s not easy to park nearby, though you can reach the beach on foot from Ponta das Canas.
  • Praia Brava, our next stop, attracts surfers with its waves. In spite of the waves and the cool water temperature, it is still a beach suitable for families as the sand strip is really wide. There are bars and restaurants. As you arrive in the the beach you will be shocked by the amount of houses built on the area.
  • praia Brava

  • Ingleses is the next beach, another favourite among Argentinians. It is one of the beaches with the highest concentration of houses on the entire island. At Ingleses the waves are more intense that at Canasvieiras and the water is cooler. Sandboarding is practiced at the dunes separating Ingleses from praia do Santinho.
  • Santinho beach, isolated from the rest, attracts travellers looking for piece and quiet. The rising number of houses will no doubt endanger that feeling of tranquility felt at Santinho. Strong waves and plenty of surfers. On the right-hand side of the beach you will find one of the most expensive hotel complexes on the island.
  • Costão do Santinho

    On the west coast of the island, half way between the centre of Florianópolis and the northern beaches, you will find the Portuguese villages of Sambaqui and Santo Antônio de Lisboa. Two interesting places for a walk with the family, although the beaches are not good for bathing. Both villages have a handful of seafood restaurants as well as crafts shops.
    Santo Antônio de Lisboa

    Leave your general queries on Florianópolis at the entry Destination: Florianópolis.

    brazil travel

    July 23, 2008 | By More
    Mighty real

    Mighty real

    A vitamin-enriched real – the Brazilian currency, reached on Friday an all-time high against the dollar. Not since 1999 had a real bought so many dollars. On Friday, 1 US dollar would buy you 1,5895 reais. 1 euro would buy 2,5194 reais (I’m mentioning here the “comercial” quotation of the dollar, for more info read also at this blog differences between “comercial”, “turismo” and “paralelo” dollars).


    This is basically bad news for anyone planning a trip to Brazil. Irrespective of the evolution of prizes within Brazil, Brazil is a much more expensive country for anyone coming from Europe or the United States. To make matters worse, the current inflationary tide sweeping the world is being felt in earnest in Brazil. In a few months, food prices have gone up to 30% in some of the largest cities of Brazil. As a result, restaurants have increased their prices considerably in the last couple of months. I won’t even bother mentioning the rocketing airfare prices, another factor that will be heavily felt by visitors to the country.

    More than ever, comparing prices is the name of the game.

    At the money category of the blog you can read all the blog entries published on the subject.

    July 21, 2008 | By More
    Brazil in pictures: Kinkaku-ji temple

    Brazil in pictures: Kinkaku-ji temple

    No I haven’t lost my mind, you have read it correctly, there is a real-size replica of UNESCO World Heritage Kinkaku-ji temple near São Paulo. The Atlantic rainforest near Itapecerica da Serra, 40 km from the centre of São Paulo, is host to this outstanding construction.

    templo Kinkaku-ji
    The temple was finished in 1974, and today is home to the ashes of those who chose the temple as their final resting place.

    templo Kinkaku-ji

    There is no public transportation to the temple, set in what is known as the Vale dos Templos (Valley of the Temples). A smaller Enko-ji temple sits nearby.

    templo Enko-Ji

    Click here to see the location of the temple in Google Maps.

    July 18, 2008 | By More
    Top 10 music: Chico César

    Top 10 music: Chico César

    This is the 2nd of ten entries entries presenting videos from the artists I wrote about at Top 10: Brazilian music (B-sides). I am following the alphabetical order I used on that entry.

    The second artist on the list is Chico César. The first video I have selected, A primeira vista, which has seen covers by a handful of other Brazilian artists, it’s a perfect example of Chico César sublime lyrics and sensibility as a performer. The second video, Mama África, from 1996, is probably Chico’s most famous song. The video is an outstanding cinematic achievement, was filmed on a single shot – for a fraction of what master Scorsese spent in that awesome shot in Goodfellas. The video begins with a declaration from Chico César’s parents, introducing themselves and telling how Chico was a lovely kid who never troubled his parents. Then the party begins walking along the streets of Catolé da Rocha.

    A primeira vista

    Mama África

    Videos provided by

    July 16, 2008 | By More
    New page: tag cloud

    New page: tag cloud

    From today, the Brazil Travel Blog has a new search tool: the tag cloud. Along with the sitemap, a useful help to finding your way around the blog.

    July 15, 2008 | By More