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Published: October 13th 2014
Florianopolis is a big island with allot to offer. The north of the island, around Jurere, Canasvieiras and Ingleses, is busy, built up with infrastructure and has narrower beaches. If you want a more authentic experience and prefer wider, quieter beaches head south and visit areas such as Campeche, Joaquima and Lagoinha do Leste. The public transportation on the island isn't the greatest but it isn't impossible to use and if there isn't a bus you can stick out your thumb and hitch a ride.
Hitchhiking is very popular and is extremely common but always be cautious! During our week on the island we picked up 3 hitchhikers and were picked up once ourselves. To maximise our time exploring Florianopolis, we hired a car at R$98 per day with unlimited kilometres. But if youdon't have the funds, or a license, bus journeys are R$2 per trip (there are two types of bus and the yellow buses are more expensive at R$6 per trip) but inevitably this will use up more of your time.
There are countless activities for all tastes - whether you enjoy shopping, beach time, surfing, sailing or partying, you can do it all here. Top
• Paddle boarding at Lagoa da Conceição R$30 per hour, with tuition if needed.
• Surfing/surf lessons
• Sand boarding Joaquina
• Whale spotting at Morro das Pedras (June to September)
• 1 hr hike to Lagoinha do Leste beach from Pântano do Sul
• 2hr hike to Lagoinha do Leste beach from Matadeiro beach (this hike is more beautiful than the shorter hike)
• Visit the Projecto Tamar in Barra da Lagoa
• Take a Schooner to one of the islands: Ilha de Anhatomirim and Ilha dos Ratones Grande
• Visit the various fortes around the islands. Downtown
With the zillions of beachs on offer, we found there wasn't much to keep us in downtown. It has a beautiful location, perched next to the water and has a nice colonial historical centre including the Catedral Metropolitana, Palácio Rosado e Museu Cruz e Sousa and Mecardo Publica. Make sure you pay a visit to the Praça XV and the Figueira da Praça (one of the most spectacular trees ever!) when you visit downtown. The bus station is very close to the historical centre, as are the bridges connecting to the mainland. Accommodation
Having splurged on the car hire,
we wanted to spend as little as possible for the remainder of our week. Accommodation is undoubtedly the biggest expense while traveling and instead of staying in a hostel or hotel, we found a tiny studio apartment on Airbnb, paying approx R$54 per night. Hostels and hotels charge twice that. There are plenty of accommodation options on the island - the north is more geared towards package holiday types and is mobbed by Argentineans during the summer holidays, the east coast is for hotels and hostels and the south for quaint hotels and b&b's. There is even a large campsite near Mozambique beach and you can camp for free for up to 7 days on Lagoinha do Leste beach - but be careful, its a tough-ish 1hr hike to reach the beach). Eating
Since we had a kitchen and were determined to keep costs down, we ate at home for breakfast and dinner and made sandwiches each morning to take to the beach for lunch. Do this really helped us reduce our overall expenses - eating out is also extremely expensive on the island! We did, however, sample a bit of the Florianopolis nightlife and Lagoa is the
best area we saw for nightlife. There are bars and restaurants which overlook the lake and the "town" centre is full of rock bars, restaurants and shops which open until late.
For sunset drinks, head to Bar do Boni, by Lagoa da Conceição. Beers cost R$7.50 (600ml), empanadas are R$5 each and a large portion of fries cost R$11. The view across the lake spectacular during sunset. It's full of Brazilians enjoying cold beers and listening to the live music.
Eat fresh seafood and pen a message at Arante Restaurant in Pântano do Sul. This bar restaurant is very touristy and comes with a hefty price tag compared to other eateries on the island, we popped in for a beer (R$9) andempanadas (R$7.50 each). Look out for our message above table 10! Getting around
Without a car, exploring the island is more difficult and you may feel restricted to visiting your closest beach. To travel from downtown to the east, north to south you will need to change buses at one of the three major bus terminals on the island. This makes travelling around the island slower. As I said before, if you travel on the
none yellow buses you will pay R$2 per journey. What we spent;
- Initial transfer from the bus station to the airbnb accommodation R$100 for the two if us. We arrived at 1am.
- Fully equipped studio in Ingleses, found of airbnb, R$54 per night. Total R$376
- Car hire R$98 per day for 6 days. Total R$588 (buses R$2 per journey, 4 journeys per day R$8. Total R$48)
- Fuel R$40 for the week.
- Breakfast and lunch bought at the supermarket R$10 per day for the two of us. Total R$60
- Dinner bought from the supermarket (pasta, salads, homemade burgers) R$12 per day for the two of us. Total R$72
- Bar do Boni; 2x Empanadas R$5, Bowl of fries R$11 and 2 x 650ml beer R$7.50 each. Total R$36
- Arante Restaurant; 2x Empanadas R$7, bowl of fries R$13 and 1 x 650ml beer R$9. Total R$36.
- 3 litres of water, R$5 each day. Total R$30.
- other expenses (suncream), ice creams, bbq material. Total R$100
Our total was R$1,400 for a weeks stay. There are ways of making the week cheaper, such
as using public transport, not eating and drinking out etc. but we wanted the car to explore every corner of the island.
Bus information is a Little thin. We found a Schedule in the tourist information centre in downtown which I have written below.
Buses from downtown to...;
East of the island;
To Lagoa da Conceição: take bus from Local Bus Station in downtown. Platform "B". Take the bus # 330 or # 320. Get off at Lagoa Bus Terminal. To Barra da Lagoa or Mole Beach: change to bus #360. To joaquina beach: change to bus #363
North of the island;
To Canasvieiras Beach: take bus from Local Bus Station in downtown. Platform "B". Take the bus #210 #221 #230 #231 #233. Get off this bus and change to #276 Balneario Canasvieiras. To Ingleses and Santinho Beaches: change to bus #264. To Brava Beach change to the bus #266. To Jurerē beach: take bus from Local Bus Station in downtown. Platform "B". Take the bus #272
South of the island;
Take the bus from Local Bus Station in downtown from platform "B". Take bus #410 or #420 Rio Tavaes. Get off
at Rio Tavares Bus Terminal. To Campeche Beach: Change to bus #N-462 Campeche. To Armacao and Pantano do Sul beaches: Change to bus #563 Costa de Dentro.
Take the bus from Local Bus Station in downtown from platform "B". Take bus #183 or #186 Corredor Sudoeste. Get off at airport.
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