How much does it cost?
From personal experience, an arm and two legs. It’s definitely not the cheapest place I have ever been to. A decent pousada will set you back a staggering 80 R$ a night – I stayed in one for 40 R$ and got lice – whilst a good meal in a self service place will set you back about 6 R$. The local tourist people told me that a couple should aim to spend about $500 for a week.
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
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Good, budget accommodation is not cheap in Floripa. If there is a group of you then perhaps you can rent a house. If not, then the only alternative to staying in a flea pit is to splurge a little cash.
Other places you may have some luck at include:
Travel – Getting there
Most of the big companies have daily flights to Floripa. From Sao Paulo you can drive (705kms), from Rio it’s a pleasant 1144km and a quick hop of 300km from Curitaba. However, this route follows the infamous BR 101 – Brazil’s answer to London’s own A40 and people have been known to disappear for weeks on this road.
Travel – Buses
I have to brag here a little, I once did see a bus in Floripa – the fact that it wasn’t in service, only had three wheels and had most of it’s engine spilled out onto the pavement is merely circumstantial evidence. The sage and understanding people at the local tourist information office told me that either I should develop the patience of Job, hire a car or stand by the side of the road and look attractive.
The best advice, apart from indulging in some clandestine car-jacking is to rent your wheels (never a cheap option) at the airport or bus station. The tourist information office waxed lyrically that the roads “didn’t have holes (well, not that many), were straight and well sign posted and were even poetic”. They might as well have added that Brazilian prisons are underused. However, after you drive around a bit you get their drift as you pass many roadside poems.
There are many buses to Argentina and Uruguay.
Best Time to Go
According to those in the know, the best time is March and April when the sun is hot enough to fry eggs and the city isn’t that crowded with Diego Maradona worshipping Argies. The tourist board, with their tongue firmly in cheek, suggests that if you don’t mind queueing for an hour in a restaurant then December to Feburary is the best time to visit.
How Long to Stay
About 20 minutes according to my girlfriend, but more optimistic people aim for about a week which is sufficient time to get to know all the beaches, do a little hiking and queue for the odd hour for lunch.
Where to Eat
A good list of places can be found at:
About the Author
The author has lived and travelled extensively in both hemispheres. He is co-founder of the “Let’s travel in Chile and Uruguay” society. When not travelling or contributing to numerous travel magazines he can be found in Cambridge, UK. He lists his favourite activites as: writing complaining letters to Air Portugal, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and hanging around airports. He may be contacted via: