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This post is part of a series called Florianópolis Feb 2019

Florianópolis, Brazil. Feb 2019

We had a business trip to Brazil, and decided to spend a few days checking out Florianópolis, (or Floripa as known by locals). Our flight was from Dallas to São Paulo, Brazil, from where we took a local connecting flight on LATAM airlines to Floripa.

São Paulo, Brazil’s vibrant financial center, is among the world’s most populous cities, with a population of over 12 million. We have visited São Paulo a couple of times and the blogs are available here and here. This time, we did not stop in São Paulo, simply transited. The vastness and density of São Paulo is apparent in the image below

Florianópolis, Brazil São Paulo as seen on the flight from São Paulo to Floripa. The shaded area due to clouds makes for an interesting picture. This type of dense urban space went on for miles.
São Paulo as seen on the flight from São Paulo to Floripa. The shaded area due to clouds makes for an interesting picture. This type of dense urban space went on for miles.

Florianópolis is the capital and second largest city of the state of Santa Catarina, in the South region of Brazil. The city encompasses Santa Catarina Island and surrounding small islands, as well as part of the mainland. The metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1.2M. The economy of Florianópolis is heavily based on information technology, tourism and services. The city has ~42 beaches and is a center of surfing activity. Lagoa da Conceição is an interior salt water lagoon; and a famous area for tourism, recreation, nature and sports.

Florianópolis, Brazil Floripa on Santa Caterina island; note the beaches and the interior salt water lagoon
Floripa on Santa Caterina island; note the beaches and the interior salt water lagoon
Florianópolis, Brazil Old fashioned deplaning
Old fashioned deplaning

We landed and were surprised to see that our hosts and friends, Rafael Jorge, Martha and their son, Gui, were at the airport to meet us. How nice of them 🙂 . We rented a car, and followed Rafael and family to the B&B they had found for us.

Though the B&B was only a few miles away from the airport, it took us over 40mins to get there, because the island has only small 2 lane roads, no “highways”, lots & lots of traffic, and many traffic humps to discourage speeding.

The Haute House Guest House where we were staying was located right on the shores of the Lagoa da Conceição; and was very nice indeed; with bright, new, clean rooms with a nice view of the Lagoa. Breakfasts were at the swimming pool, and were very nice and filling. We paid about $55 per night, and it was definitely worth it.

We dropped our stuff off, said goodbye to the Jorge’s who were headed home, and went to check out the nearest beach; the Praia da Joaquina (or Joaquina beach). It was getting evening by this time

Florianópolis, Brazil Praia da Joaquina, near our B&B
Praia da Joaquina, near our B&B

Fresh fruit juice, coconuts were plentiful and available everywhere. We saw a strange fruit below, that we have never seen before.

Florianópolis, Brazil Anyone know what this fruit is?
Anyone know what this fruit is?

For dinner, we drove past Praia Mole to a small inland navigable waterway between the sea and the Lagoa, and ended up at Restaurante Rancho de Canoa, which is on the waterway, and is a nice casual outdoor eatery, sitting on the waterway watching people boating by. The fried local white fish, shrimps and accompaniments were delicious, except for the pirão, a traditional gruel made with fish stock and manioc flour. The texture was odd for me, something like a congealed blob, and no flavor. Decided to stay away from pirão from now on. The portions were quite large, and the 2 of us could have shared one dish. Prices were a little high for me; we paid $35+ for this meal. Drove back to our B&B for a good night’s rest.

Florianópolis, Brazil Night view of the Lagoa from near our B&B
Night view of the Lagoa from near our B&B

Next few days, it was more beaches, more local foods and exploring 🙂 . Some images below

Florianópolis, Brazil View of the Lagoa from a nice viewpoint
View of the Lagoa from a nice viewpoint
Florianópolis, Brazil Fresh squeezed juice, Acai and coconut water on the beach everywhere
Fresh squeezed juice, Acai and coconut water on the beach everywhere
Florianópolis, Brazil Beautiful Praia Jurerê Internacional beach on the north of the island, facing the mainland, was the best, warmest beach
Beautiful Praia Jurerê Internacional beach on the north of the island, facing the mainland, was the best, warmest beach
Florianópolis, Brazil The natural beauty in Brazil is amazing
The natural beauty in Brazil is amazing
Florianópolis, Brazil We went for a late lunch to nice restaurant on the water
We went for a late lunch to nice restaurant on the water
Florianópolis, Brazil We went for a late lunch to nice restaurant on the water; and ended up eating way too much delicious seafood
and ended up eating way too much delicious seafood
Florianópolis, Brazil I loved this view of the purple tree on the hillside
I loved this view of the purple tree on the hillside

Rafael and his family invited us for dinner at their place on the mainland one evening

Florianópolis, Brazil Beautiful view looking back at the island and connecting bridge from Rafael’s place
Beautiful view looking back at the island and connecting bridge from Rafael’s place
Florianópolis, Brazil With Rafael, Martha on the left and Rafael’s parents at dinner
With Rafael, Martha on the left and Rafael’s parents at dinner

We inquired about getting Yellow Fever vaccinations in Floripa, since these vaccines are very expensive in the US, at about $250 per vaccine, and are required of all visitors going into the Amazon jungles (Amazonia is on my bucket list 🙂 ). After researching, and asking Rafael and at our B&B, we determined that we may be able to get these vaccines at low cost or even free at the local public (Govt) run clinics. So armed with our passports, we found out where the local clinic was to our B&B, and went there late one morning. The clinic appeared to be clean, nice, well organized and well equipped. We went to the reception and communicated with the staff what we were looking for. They were not surprised at this request, and entered our info into their computer system and asked us to wait. Shortly thereafter, a nice young lady came by and took us into her vaccination office, and got someone who spoke a bit of English to communicate with us.

Apparently, because of the prevalence of Yellow Fever (YF) in Amazonia, the Govt gives free vaccinations to anyone; Brazilians and foreigners, who plan to travel to the rain forests. Great news. She asked is if we had ever had YF vaccines when we were younger, and we told her that we could not remember, but most likely, we probably had had this vaccine. At this point, she informed us that since we were over 59, and since we had been administered the YF vaccine when young, the Govt medical directive was that we did not need another YF vaccine. Interesting. So we left feeling comfortable about a future trip to the Amazon rain forest.

Footnote: When we got home, we checked our old vaccination booklets from Kenya, and found the YF vaccination records page to be totally blank 🙁 . So we were never vaccinated against YF in Kenya when younger; and had missed this opportunity to get YF vaccinated 🙁 . Mental Note to try this again next time we go to Brazil

Florianópolis, Brazil Beach on the south part of the island had much cooler waters. Note the conservatively dressed muslim women; who I was told are typically Lebanese.
Beach on the south part of the island had much cooler waters. Note the conservatively dressed muslim women; who I was told are typically Lebanese.
Florianópolis, Brazil Yet another nice beach in the south
Yet another nice beach in the south
Florianópolis, Brazil Santo Antonio de Lisboa was an old, well preserved, colonial Portuguese town
Santo Antonio de Lisboa was an old, well preserved, colonial Portuguese town

There is a high hilltop above the city of Floripa, the Morro da Cruz, where you get excellent views of the city. The drive there is very steep but well worth it

Florianópolis, Brazil View from Morro da Cruz of Floripa island and mainland. There is a statue of Christ the Redeemer here, but it is obscured by the many radio towers positioned here.
View from Morro da Cruz of Floripa island and mainland. There is a statue of Christ the Redeemer here, but it is obscured by the many radio towers positioned here.
Florianópolis, Brazil Pantano do Sul local beach with lots of fishing boats
Pantano do Sul local beach with lots of fishing boats

We stopped here for early dinner at the Arante restaurant on the Pantano do Sul beach.

Florianópolis, Brazil Arante restaurant on the Pantano do Sul beach; with thousands of notes posted everywhere
Arante restaurant on the Pantano do Sul beach; with thousands of notes posted everywhere

This restaurant used to be a meeting place for low cost travelers (hippies) in the olden times, and people used to stick up notes to stay in contact with other fellow travelers by these notes; long before the internet or cellphones arrived. This restaurant became famous as a result, and now, everyone is encouraged to leave behind a note. Of course, we too had to leave a note there, especially as It was Valentine’s day 🙂

Florianópolis, Brazil Everyone posted notes here
Everyone posted notes here
Florianópolis, Brazil Fried fresh local fish, cold Brahma beer and Caipirinha; what more can one ask for :) ?
Fried fresh local fish, cold Brahma beer and Caipirinha; what more can one ask for 🙂 ?
Florianópolis, Brazil Sundowner on Pantano do Sul beach
Sundowner on Pantano do Sul beach
Florianópolis, Brazil This is a fruit we used to get in Kenya, and we called it “Jambura”; not sure of the English name. But it was not available in the supermarket; only fell from the tree and got wasted.
This is a fruit we used to get in Kenya, and we called it “Jambura”; not sure of the English name. But it was not available in the supermarket; only fell from the tree and got wasted. Have not come across this anywhere else, except in Mumbai many years ago.
Florianópolis, Brazil Check out the size of the passion fruit
Check out the size of the passion fruit

After a nice few days exploring Floripa, thanks to Rafael and Martha, we flew back from Floripa to Dallas via São Paulo. A very nice and hospitable few days.

Floripa is a nice, clean, safe place to visit, with great weather (high 80’s most of the time during the day, low 70’s at night in Feb). There are many beaches to enjoy here and they are all mostly very nice; though there are some which may be polluted more than others. So need to ask around and research. The place is “upscale” and a lot of wealthy Brazilians and Argentinians, Europeans have 2nd homes here.

So prices for eating out etc were higher than what we have experienced on trips to other parts of Brazil. Also, we did not find a typical Mercado here; people simply get their foods at Supermarkets.

We got dental cleaning done here, and it cost us about $45 per person; cheaper than Dallas, but not significantly cheaper. The natural beauty is amazing and distances are small (small island); however, the 2 lane roads, lots of traffic and traffic humps means it takes long to get anywhere. Worth visiting.

This entry was posted in Brazil, Brazil. Feb 2019, Florianópolis, South America

22 thoughts on “Florianópolis, Brazil

  • Abdulmajid Morani July 28, 2019 at 11:14 am Reply

    I enjoyed the internet vacation with U, that fruit you asked about if any one knew what it is; It is SOUR SOP or the indigenous name should be GUANABANA. The health features of this Fruit; very high in vitamin C, higher than orange juice, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, ideal fruit for patience with Pancreatic Cancer. Proven to fight Cancer tumors, 10000X better than Chemo therapy. Correct me if I am wrong ?

  • Naidu July 29, 2019 at 9:13 am Reply

    Lovely pics Ali Karim – and I can see how you “enjoyed” taking the “nice pics” of the beaches…. uum…. Thanks and continue your travels !!

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2019 at 7:56 am Reply

      THanks Benita; I sure did enjoy admiring the natural beauty in Brazil 🙂

  • Mansoor Ladha July 30, 2019 at 6:24 pm Reply

    Hello, world traveler Ali. Even as a travel writer/photographer myself, who gets to travel all around the world, you make me jealous. And your photography is better than mine. Enjoyed your article and pictures. Continue travelling and keep us informed.

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2019 at 7:57 am Reply

      Hi Mansoor; many thanks for the feedback and the compliments; really appreciate that.
      So glad you are enjoying reading my blogs

  • Nasim Deleon July 31, 2019 at 7:23 am Reply

    Beautiful places, and pictures. You guys sure are world travelers; did a great job with the blog.

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2019 at 7:58 am Reply

      THanks Naseem, for the feedback. So glad you are enjoying them

  • Shemin Thobani August 2, 2019 at 1:35 am Reply

    As always pleasure to read your blogs. You describe everything so surreal, thanks for sharing and stay blessed Globetrotter!!

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2019 at 7:58 am Reply

      Thanks Shemin, for the feedback and kind words

  • Amin Aziz August 6, 2019 at 7:40 am Reply

    Nice!

    We have Jamans in karachi as well!

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2019 at 7:49 am Reply

      Thanks Amin; seems like Jaman/Jambura is common between India and Pakistan 🙂
      I’ll have to look for it when I next go to Karachi 🙂

  • Mahamud Jinnah August 6, 2019 at 7:42 am Reply

    Wow 42 beaches!!!

    Friends were so nice to receive u at airport although u had a rental car. A very rare quality.

    Food looks awesome and loved the restaurant where people left notes. The good old days.

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2019 at 7:51 am Reply

      Thanks Mohammed; Yes; very nice welcoming people. The kind we need 🙂

  • Suraya Hyder August 6, 2019 at 7:44 am Reply

    Karim and Dilshad
    I am always looking forward to read all about your trips. Awesome!
    Now I know your secret of your youth.
    And Mubarakis on being grand parents.
    Love you both.
    God bless

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2019 at 7:52 am Reply

      Thanks Suraya; for the feedback and the good wishes.
      Yes; travelling keeps us young; so I keep telling Dilshad 🙂

  • Shamim Virji August 6, 2019 at 7:46 am Reply

    Keep up the good work. Very informative. Enjoy.
    Regards,
    Shamim.

    • Ali Karim August 6, 2019 at 7:53 am Reply

      Thanks Shamim

  • Alnasir Karim August 10, 2019 at 7:22 am Reply

    Looks like an awesome and beautiful place to visit ! Had never heard of it .Thanks for sharing !

    • Ali Karim August 10, 2019 at 10:42 am Reply

      Thanks Alnasir; for the feedback. It is indeed a nice place to visit; with nice people.
      Interestingly enough, we have the same first and same last names; what a coincidence 🙂

      • AmirT August 11, 2019 at 8:21 pm Reply

        Thanks, Ali! For another enjoyable chapter in your travel blog. Please convey our regards to Dilshad.

        • Ali Karim August 11, 2019 at 10:11 pm Reply

          Thanks Amir.

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