Florianópolis (mostly called Floripa) is the capitol of the state of Santa Catarina and the only Brazilian city that is situated on an island, the Ilha de Santa Catarina. The city has 400 thousand habitants, the metropol region about twice as much. The complete island belongs to the muncipal area and also an area on the continent belongs to the district “centro”.
The indians of the Carijós tribe called the city „Meiembipe“, the Portuguese gave it the name „Nossa Senhora do Desterro“, the short name was „Desterro“. 1893 the city received its present name, named after Floriano Vieira Peixoto, president of Brazil from 1891 to 1894.
Previously structured more rural Florianópolis is today, especially in the high season firmly in the hands of tourists, many from Argentina and Uruguay. The high season is in the Brazilian summer, from December to carnival.
The island offers hikes through the protected national forest, as well through a landscape of dunes in the area of the lake. On the east coast (Atlantic side) is also a worthwhile destination, the Projeto TAMAR, a hatchery for sea turtles.
On the island there are about 100 beaches. On the Atlantic side they are particularly popular for surfers, the ones on the continent side offer a calmer sea.
The center of Florianópolis
In the center of the city you will find some interesting buildings, including the Palácio Cruz e Sousa, the Cathedral, the market halls, as well as the Praça 15 de Novembro.
The Palácio Cruz e Sousa, built in the 18th Century, was formerly the Governor’s Palace and is now the Historical Museum of the State of Santa Catarina. The palace is located at the square Praça 15 de Novembro, where also the cathedral is located, built in 1753. Also located around the square still many historical buildings, such as the building of the city council, which is currently under renovation (June 2011).
Below the pedestrian zone, on Largo da Alfândega is the old Customs House (Alfândega), built in 1875 in neoclassical style, in which nowadays is the union of artists of sculptures and a shop for local handicrafts. Beside it is the Mercado Público (public market). Between the two wings you will find stands, and inside, in one wing shoe and clothing shops, fish shops in the other, as well as snack bars and restaurants.
On the other end of the Mercado Público there are many food stalls. If you have not yet tried the different “lanches” (snacks) in Brazil, you have a good possibility to try them here. Likewise, it is worth it to buy shoes and other leather goods which are rather cheap in Floripa.
You should explore the center by foot, but also a city tour is offered with an open top bus. To make a tour your hotel will help you or the tourist information at the central bus station (rodoviaria).
Jurerê and Daniela
Santo Antonio, Sambaqui and Cacupé
Beira Mar Norte