Five Different Beaches in Florianopolis (Ten Days of Beach Hopping in Floripa)
To get to our Air BnB in Barra de Lagoa, we had to walk over a blue footbridge the locals call The Pencil Bridge.
It crosses over the tidewater channel that flows in and out of the lagoon.
We’d booked a renovated fishermans home-turned-small-hostel right next to the channel. We started each day doing yoga out on the deck by the water, before our gorgeous host Carla (everyone’s hot in Brazil) introduced us to Portuguese while making tapioca.
Tapioca’s a hard white grain made from cassava (aka yuca) root. It can be mashed, added to soups, made into desserts or fried into fries.
Mostly though, it’s filled with just about anything for a crepe-style breakfast. Over a vegetarian version of this Brazilian staple, Jade transitioned from the Spanish Ha-day, into the Portuguese Ja-dee, while I remained Daniella.
We spent most of that week beach hopping, which in Floripa, is a bit like bar hopping in Buenos Aires. The vibe changes depending where you go.
Our first day at Praia Mole was incredible. Warm sand underneath our sarongs, the sound of waves coming into shore, the heat of the sun - my energy was surging back along with my tan.
Which was fast. The sun in Brazil is fierce, I’d go so far to say it’s fiercer than home. 50+ at least.
We walked past the restaurants and deck chairs to a spare section of beach, lay there for hours, then hiked over to Praia da Galheta (aka 'The Nudie Beach') next door.
Bronzed breasts aside, it's a beautiful beach. We spent the rest of the afternoon there, then hiked over the cliffs back to Barra de Lagoa. The sea views along the way reminded me a lot of home.
Out of all the beaches we visited, we went back to Praia Mole the most.
If your in Floripa, you have to hike to Lagoinha do Leste. The lack of sign posts can be a challenge, one we chose to solve by following a quick footed local.
We hiked through a covered green trail that opened out onto a sweeping cliff top with nothing around but the sea.
We lost sight of our guide right near the end. Whether he too went around the side of the cliff, rather than over it, I’m not sure.
We could of been following anyone’s footprints by that stage.
The feeling of jumping down from a cliff onto a semi secluded beach was worth the precarious hike to get there.
Lagoinha do Leste was the least crowded of any of the beaches we went to in Brazil.
At the end of the beach, past the lagoon, there’s a jutting piece of rock known as The Crown. Everyone climbs the side of the cliff to reach the rocky ledge at the top. Edging out to the end is worth the view (and the money shot) of the beach below.
Thanks to the wild weather, we had a slippery hike back to the town of Pântano do Sul.
We arrived at the rustic beachside local just as the sun was going down. A drink and the drum circle happening on the beach entertained us while we waited for the Uber.
We spent a day at Joaquina beach, where even the tide swooping in to soak all our things couldn't send us back to Praia Mole faster than our day up north.
Floripas' northern beaches are packed in a way that’s hard for Kiwis. Its where the elite go to sunbathe while sipping Moet purchased from one of the vendors wheeling drinks carts up and down the sand.
We attempted sunset at Santa Antonio de Lisboa. We'd heard from the bartender at Books and Beers that it was unbelievable, but as soon as the Uber driver pulled up, dark clouds rolled in.
They let loose when we were about three quarters of the way there. By the time we got to Santa Antonia de Lisboa, all the seafood restaurants were closed, the sunset view was obscured and the streets were barren because I’m pretty sure the wind’d blown everyone away.
We dashed into the local supermarket, where we saw our Uber driver at the check out, so we stalked him to his car to wrangle a ride back into town.
But not before we’d bought some peanut butter from the store. With all the dulce de leche around, it was getting hard to come by.
Ten days in Floripa gave us a much needed break. The beaches are nothing short of incredible.
Writing this has made me question two things: Ending a Brazilian relationship over ten years ago, and leaving in the first place six months ago.
One reason answers both really: Big Plans.
All roads in Brazil were leading to Rio.
Everywhere we went was gearing up for Carnaval, but nowhere we visited came close to the real thing.