The city that stole my heart is probably somewhere you’ve never heard of but is definitely a place you NEED to know about. That place is Florianópolis in Brazil, which was where I spent my year abroad. Florianópolis (Floripa for short) isn’t so much as just a city but is in fact a whole island located in the south of Brazil. From the moment I was coming in to land in Floripa I was blown away. It was the most perfect sunny day and I was able to see the whole incredible island stretching out before my eyes from my window seat. I was immediately hooked and all I intend to do with this article is try to give you just a taster of what makes Floripa such a special place.
There are so many reasons to enjoy Floripa as it definitely has something for everyone. Since it is an island, Floripa has an abundance of beaches (42 in total!), but it’s not just your typical beach resort, there is a certain charm here that I instantly fell in love with. There’s pretty much every type of beach imaginable: big, brash beaches full of people selling souvenirs; quiet, secluded stretches of golden sand; there’s even a nudist beach if that sort of thing floats your boat.
The beaches are Floripa’s most famous attraction but that’s not all it has to offer. The island is a hub for adventure sports with surfers travelling from all over the world just to ride the big Atlantic waves. The lagoon here offers the perfect location for everything from windsurfing to kayaking and kitesurfing to flyboard, you’ll never be bored. Then throw into the mix paragliding and sandboarding, plus the fact that trying out any of these sports is much cheaper in Floripa than it would be in the UK, and you’ve got yourself a true adrenaline-junkie’s paradise.
Floripa is the gift that keeps on giving. After living there for a whole year I never once got bored of the place or felt like I had seen everything as I was always discovering new things, whether it was the many waterfalls hidden amongst the thick inland forest, or the endless stunning hikes leading to deserted beaches. Even just a simple stroll through the quaint colonial towns that populate the island was exciting. Although I was fortunate enough to spend a year in Floripa I still feel as if I could have spent many more years there and still kept on uncovering new gems.
Floripa is the gift that keeps on giving.
Rio may be Brazil’s most famous tourist destination, but I personally much prefer Floripa because of its chilled out vibes, it’s incredible natural beauty, and mainly because its beaches are largely free of any pollution (unlike Rio unfortunately). It really is a MUST for any backpacker travelling South America, it is the perfect spot of rest and relaxation and truly is the most beautiful place imaginable. I just can not sing Floripa’s praises high enough, but I hope this has summarised just a few of the reasons why Floripa is my favourite place on Earth and why you should definitely go.