South America > Brazil
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Imagine the majestic beauty
of alpine Bavaria placed by a tropical bay and you will have an accurate image
of Florianopolis. The capital of Santa Catarina state, the city is divided into
two parts: The mainland and the island. The mainland is mostly industrial, but
the scenic spots are on the island: attractive colonial buildings, 400-year-old
forts, baroque churches and the best surfing in Brazil (on the eastern coast of
the island). Florianopolis' nightlife is exciting, and the bierhalls are
popular meeting spots (the city produces some of Brazil's best in its Santa
Catarina Beer. Fine wine is another product of the region, and its grapes
are known for their excellent quality. Nearby, at Camboriu, there are resorts
(also known as Floripa)
is a city in southeastern Brazil, and the capital of the seaport on Santa
Catarina Island known as the state of Santa Catarina.
The longest suspension
bridge in Brazil, the Hercilio Luz Bridge.
connects the island to the
mainland. Situated in a rich farming region, the city is a commercial and
cultural center. The Federal University of Santa Catarina and the University for
the Development of Santa Catarina State are both located there. Founded about
1700, the city received its present name in 1893.
Floripa is 480 miles
southwest of Rio de Janeiro. Over the last few years it has become one of
the most visited destinations in Brazil, for visitors seeking superb beaches,
beautiful scenery, interesting culture, and friendly people. It is also in the
midst of a real estate boom, with Brazilians, especially from SÃ£o Paulo and Rio
Grande do Sul estates, looking for a better living situation away from the chaos
of the big cities.
Smaller islands with forts,
which protected ships in the 17th century, surround it. Most of the population
lives in the islandâ€™s northern half. The southern sector is more isolated and
less developed. Though originally settled by the Portuguese (from the Islands of
AÃ§ores), like the rest of Brazil, the city has a strong German and Italian
influence. FlorianÃ³polis has long been a popular destination for South American
tourists, because of its location and its picture perfect white sand beaches.
Today Florianopolis is a
busy commercial center. Industries produce metallurgical and electrical
communications equipment, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and perfume. The area
around Lagoa has a reputation for some of the best seafood restaurants in the
Three bridges link the
island to the continent but at present only two are in use. HercÃlio Luz
Bridge, the cityâ€™s best-known landmark, is temporarily closed for renovations.
The northern beach resorts, such as Canasvieiras and Ingleses are busy during
the summer months and provide many hotels, restaurants and other conveniences
for seasonal visitors.
Eastern beaches, such as
Joaquina, Mole and MoÃ§ambique are the best surfing beaches and are popular with
young adults. Other beaches to the south include Campeche, ArmaÃ§Ã£o and Morro das
Pedras, which are also very beautiful.
isolated and unspoiled beaches of Lagoinha do Leste and Naufragados can be found
at the southern end of the island and are reached only by hiking trails. The
ConceiÃ§Ã£o lagoon is a famous natural attraction, and features many entertainment
options along its main strip. Peri Lagoon is quiet and serene and is perfect
for nature walks. Among the historical highlights are the maritime forts of
Santa Cruz de Anhatomirim and Santo AntÃ´nio de Ratones.
There are archeological sites with samples of ancient Rock Art. There are
remnants of colonial villages, the City Centre with its historical buildings,
and of course the cityâ€™s trademark, HercÃlio Luz bridge.
There are hot springs,
mountains, waterfalls, endless white sand beaches, clear, cool highland streams,
and year round sports. The food is exceptional; the nightlife is superb. The
weather is warm and the island is welcoming. What better place could there be
to spend a winter or summer vacation?