The Magic of Florianopolis
January 1, 1970
by Edward Illustrisimo
Curios about Florianopolis?
Upon being invited to stay in a city named “Florianopolis”, I never had an idea where it was and what to expect. Brazil is so huge that it can show you a lot of things that might just be the very first of a thousand new experiences. While I was on the plane going to “Floripa” (the Brazilian term for Florianopolis), I was hesitant to research a lot about her; I wanted her to surprise me – and she succeeded.
The Magical Island
Floripa is located near the south-eastern part of Brazil. It is actually an “an island connected to the continent” as locals would say; and it boasts of its natural beauty, orderly city, safety and beachy lifestyle.
Consider the temperature
I was basking in the sun when I went to Rio (that was around 37°C) and then suddenly when I got to Floripa, arriving by 7pm, the temperature dropped to 14°c – and in the evening, it got down to 9°C. It can be a little bit chilly and cold down there.
So, if you visit Floripa other than the months of January and February (summer period) you might as well bring a sweater or a jacket to warm you up. On the other hand, if you get to Floripa during the summer period, temperatures will be around 30°C during the day and around 20°C – 25°C during the evening. During the summer, expect a lot of Argentinians, Paraguayans and Brazilians to be your companions in your vacation.
Peaceful and Warm People
My first hosts lived in the town of Campeche in the south-eastern part of the island. They just recently moved in to Florianopolis because of the beauty and safety of the island. Although everyone is still advised to be careful, I felt that it was really safe to walk around even at night. Plus, the people are really warm and had smiles on their faces most of the time; even making an effort to converse in English to better understand anything you ask of them. I was fortunate that my hosts spoke English very well so I was able to ask them a lot of stuff; and they were always eager to explain about the wonderful parts of the place.
Nature at its best
The next day, another friend from Latvia arrived and we were both invited by our hosts to go around and take a tour. They said we should take the chance to see the beaches, the lake and the sand dunes because the weather was really nice.
Mirante Da Armação and Praia do Armação
So, off we went to the first place – Mirante Da Armação. On top of a hill, in a monastery, there is a seaside view of Armação, hence “mirante” or “the view” of Armação. Armação is the long stretch of beach from that spans until it reaches Ponta da Campanhas. From here, the air is fresh because of the lush vegetation and the South Atlantic Ocean greets you with hues of blue. It is very relaxing. I recommend to not miss out on taking a photo of course:
We went down to the Praia do Armação, the beach itself, and we took a walk along the coastline. To our surprise there was a penguin in the water having the beach all for himself! It was really a big surprise because although penguins have been seen on these parts, they are really rare to just show up on a sunny day, so that made it really special. We tried to dip our feet in the water and it was kind of cold, so maybe next time! Hahaha!
The beach is so awesome combined with the quaint seaside neighbourhood beside it. The wall murals (paintings) really caught my attention because they were colorful and artsy; showing the artistic talent of the locals.
Ponta das Campanhas and Praia do Matadeiro
Very near to Praia Praia do Armação you could check out the islet called Ponta das Campanhas by passing through a wooden bridge. From this islet, you can see the fisher folks stretching their nets, having siesta and enjoying the warm rays of the sun. The islet is perfect for taking photos and specially the view on the edge of a cliff – I like it so much!
From this islet, you could see another beach that can be accessed by traversing the shallow waters of the Praia up to a hill which descends to Praia do Matadeiro. Named after the “matadors” or butchers – it had a grim past of whale poaching, but now, they are protecting the whales who regularly pass by these waters; so, our whale friends could now pass by without any fear.
Lagoa da Conceição
After some time, we headed north towards the famous Lagoa da Conceição, the biggest lake in the island. It covers around 1/12 of Floripa and is very famous specially during the summer. The lake’s placid water is like the veranda of teeming bars that light up the night life in this part of the island.
Thousands of tourists frequent these parts during the summer season. Also from here, the surf culture is very inviting, because there is a sort of a backdoor from the lake towards the Joaquina beach where international surfing competitions are held at various times of the year. If you go to Joaquina beach, there is a pearl waiting to be discovered along the way and this was what really made my trip to Florianopolis very special.
Dunas da Joaquina
Given that it was first time to see sand dunes, I was really on cloud nine, literally. When I was younger I saw these exact same sand dunes on TV and never have I imagined that I would be brought there! Really awesome! So, me and my friends went in of course, and I took a lot of photos! Our hosts told us that they really wanted to bring us there by sunset because the beauty of the sand dunes was so out of this world. And they really were – amazing. I tried a lot of failed jump shots, and it was really fun! All in all, I felt like a kid playing in the sand, why not?! Hahaha!
As the sun went down, I saw the horizon, and the coastline of Joaquina as if it was telling me, “There’s more magic to this island waiting to be discovered.” In fact, Floripa is also called “Ilha da Magia” (The island of Magic).
Floripa si amazing! I went back home enchanted, full of sand in my pockets and stories to tell to my grandchildren, someday.