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Dreaming of Florianopolis – Barra Da Lagoa, Florianopolis, Brazil

Dreaming of Florianopolis
Barra Da Lagoa, Florianopolis, Brazil

Beautiful private beach adjacent to Mocambique. Great for relaxing away from all the hustle and bustle.
Beautiful private beach adjacent to Mocambique. Great for relaxing away from all the hustle and bustle.
Where to begin with the beautiful word Florianopolis? Say it once and you will fall in love with the sound as beautiful images appear in your mind. Say it twice and you’ll hear music as the words smoothly roll off your tongue. These are the exact emotions that come to mind when I think of the gorgeous experiences I encountered on this enchanted island. Upon arrival, my travel chum Rita and I only planned on staying for eight sun kissed days of pure relaxation. Little did we know how utterly impossible it was to stay for such a short time on this vast piece of land. All the travelers we came across laughed at our plans and predicted we would surely extend our stay. However, we were confident in sticking to our tight schedule and proving them wrong. Needless to say eight days became one glorious month.

Florianopolis or what most call Floripa is on the Island of Santa Caterina in southern Brazil. The island inhabits 42 beautiful beaches, great shopping, delicious restaurants, and an excellent nightlife. Rita and I were staying in Barra da Lagoa, a quaint little beach town encompassed by a gorgeous stretch of ocean water known as Praia Mocambique. Thus holding the title of the longest beach on Santa Caterina, only a 5-minute hike away is yet another lovely beach. Much more private and romantic it was a sure spot I would like to be a part of. Flourished with numerous beach houses for rent at astounding low prices, the island also is home to an infamous hostel known through out the whole backpacking circuit. The Backpackers Share House is in an absolute prime location set over the lazy river with a panoramic view of the beaches. Although the hostel is blessed with more than enough beautiful travelers from different lands, not to mention its exuberant party atmosphere, Rita and I opted for our own beach house. Who could resist renting a home set on the exotic waters of Brazil for a minimal $10 US a day? Our house was a cute little two bedroom with kitchen area and a living room. It was supplied with all things necessary and our neighbors were oh so helpful. Our Brazilian landlady was always offering a helping hand and sharing her mouth watering recipes with us. It was a backpacker’s dream come true!

Most of our days were spent absorbing the sun on Mocambique, which was literally our backyard. There we would swim the tri-colored waters and attempt to surf, as the handsome locals were more than happy to assist. We fell in love with the beach and explored all its hidden secrets while maintaining a brilliant tan in traditional Brazilian bikinis. It was so easy to make friends here even when I was without Rita. It is as though the island exudes this ambiance that just makes people more friendly and in a cheery mood. But then again how can one not be when staying in such a great location. Whether meeting new travelers or talking to the locals you are sure to immerse yourself in an unforgettable stay.

You gotta try ther queijo con oregano from the cheese vendors on Praia Mole. So tasty!
You gotta try ther queijo con oregano from the cheese vendors on Praia Mole. So tasty!
The beaches are spectacular and numerous. Each one is different in its own way and appeal to various interests. If one were seeking a young crowd and even better eye candy they would go to Praia Mole. I had never seen so many beautiful people in one place at one time. Both men and woman arrive in the smallest beach attire known to mankind. If amazing surf is what you’re looking for then Praia Joaquina is an excellent choice, not to mention the opportunity to sandboard down the dunes bordering this surf haven. There is even a beach for those that dare to go in the nude. Praia Galheta has the option for swimsuits, but beware of the current while taking a try at skinny-dipping, it can give you quite a scare.

Upon meeting a charming Australian fellow I got the opportunity to venture into the romantic Ilha do Campeche, a breath taking island just a short boat trip away. The surroundings are picture perfect with its white sand and aqua waters, surrounded by lush green rain forest. It is a mecca for couples in love and even those having a sweet and short travel fling. We snorkeled in the cold water, which felt great since the heat of the sun was so extreme. The life down below was remarkable filled with color and movement all of a different world. We drank cold Brazilian beer on the rocks and ate some delicious lula (calamari) as we heard a local musician play some romantic strings off his guitar. It is a sure spot to visit with a sweetheart but one can have just as much fun with their pals. In addition, we can’t forget the very romantic spot that Barra da Lagoa has. The natural pools are just a 15-minute hike away and well worth it. Composed of seawater with a border of rocks, you’ll find many couples here as well. The rocks are a bit slippery and rough making it somewhat difficult getting in and getting out. But the relaxation once you’re in is well worth the work. Make sure you go during the day when the tide is low otherwise the ocean may take you as hostage.

Nothing like refreshing amazonian acai to start your day. Buy it from the vendors on Praia Mocambique, it great!
Nothing like refreshing amazonian acai to start your day. Buy it from the vendors on Praia Mocambique, it great!
The nightlife here is amazing. The town itself is heaps of fun with small bars and kiosks lined up on the sand crowded with life. Some will be vibrantly dancing to samba while others will choose to sip capirinas at a low key reggae bar. On special nights the small beach next to Mocambique will have weekly bonfire parties. These are very fun and a great opportunity to meet more people on the island. The beach is lit up with candles as the little tiki bar provides music for those with the urge to dance. Just a taxi ride away is the downtown area, Florianopolis. Bustling with people, delicious cuisine, and posh clubs it is a must do. You should definitely put your gladrags on for this event. Rita and I enjoyed tasting all the different Brazilian cocktails. From the frothy capetas to the refreshing capifrutas we were pleased to have all these natural ingredients. They use real fruit in their drinks, which make it all the more pleasurable. Although there are numerous clubs and bars structured for all kinds of patrons, my favorite club was El Divino. It is upscale and has a great set of DJs playing a wide selection of music from hip-hop, to techno, and of course samba!

Florianopolis is a part of Brazil that shouldn’t be overlooked. The island is blessed with sun and will cater to your every need. My experience was one of a kind and something I will never forget. I would most definitely recommend a minimum of a two-week stay in Barra da Lagoa. Of course all the other beaches are wonderful in their own, but I received much satisfaction from this little beach town and I believe you will too.

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