Florianopolis – A backpackers guide

Florianopolis stole a bit of my heart, from its epic sunsets to its one of many beaches this place sure knows how to make one feel like they are on holiday.


What to do

Florianopolis is an activity central, though I spent most of my days beach hopping and sun catching, here are some highlights of what you can do:

Surf. Of course, grab a board, pick a beach and get going. Mole beach is known for its epic surf, best for intermediate to advanced surfers. If you don't know how to surf, take a class and give it a go.

Handy hint some hostels have free board and wetsuit rental – Barra beach club had multiple.

Sandboarding. There is a sand dune located in Joaquina Beach which is the biggest dune in the city. Plus it will only set you back R$20 for an hour.

Relax. After being in a full on city and need to take 5, this is the perfect place and was one of my favourite past time while being here. Nothing screams holiday like laying in the sun and wonder across the beach with you toes in the water.

Hiring a car. Florianopolis isn't a small place and the best way to see a small portion of the beaches is to beach hop around them.

Read all about our car hiring experience here.

Catch the sunrise or sunset. Start your day off right, down on the beach watching the sunrise above the horizon or end your night with a beer and a picnic with some mates and watch the sunset into ocean. 

Taste the ocean. Some of the freshest fish, prawns and even oysters can be found there so make sure you set aside some budget to enjoy some local seafood.

Hint: try out Ostradamus Bar e Restaurante for some amazingly fresh oysters.

BBQ. Instead of going out, a group of us got together and decided to give the hostels BBQ a try, taking it down to the beach and enjoy it by the water with a couple of beers.

Hint: make sure you buy the salt rub, it makes the meat super heavenly.


Walking. Some of the trails around Florianopolis give you the most amazing views. The trek from Barra beach over across to Mole beach (be prepared the first stop is a nude beach) reached a peak which has the most amazing 360° view of both sides of the island.

Another trail we did was a short one to the natural pools, though I didn't see any pools, the rock formation was incredible and just chilling listening to the ocean for a few minutes was super peaceful.

Kayak, paddle boarding, kite surfing etc. Pretty much every water sport can be done here, just look out for a hiring place near your local beach or ask your hostel, they point you in the right direction.

Go nuts on coconuts. Nothing feels more tropical than drinking out of a coconut while walking amongst the breaking waves. 


Where to stay

You want a choose a place that is only a stone throw away from the beach or your come to regret it when you're stuck on a bus instead of wandering across the beach! Plus going to sleep to the sound of the waves is so therapeutic.

We stayed at Barra Beach Club and I couldn't recommend it more, it even has breakfast with a view, you cannot beat that. Plus to top it all off the staff are super helpful and welcoming, and did I mention the quiet dogs that they have adopted from the street, too cute.


What things cost

Hostels. A good but budget hostel will cost you from R$30-45 for a dorm room. A private room ranges from R$80 or all the way up to R$160.

Activities. If you want to be busy this is the place for you, from surfing to paragliding.
Surf lessons – from R$70
Surfboard hire  – free at some hostels
Kayak/stand up board hire – from R$40
Paragliding – R$170
Sandboarding – R$20

Transport. Buses cost $R3.10 per ride. If you need to transfer to another bus, do this at the stations and it won't cost you a dim.

Hiring a car is a great way to get around all of Florianopolis beaches and for only $R80 for a whole day, it's a steal especially if you rally  couple of friends in to split the bill.


How to get there

From Puerto Alegre you will find multiple buses leaving on the 6hr journey. I recommend going for a morning bus as it gets you there in the afternoon, just enough time to squeeze in an afternoon swim.