It didn’t take long to fall in love with Florianópolis. On the Uber ride to my B&B, passing lush green landscapes before the blue sea came into view, I knew I was going to have a good time there.
Florianópolis is in the southern part of Brazil and is known for its stunning beaches. Most of my two weeks there were spent around Praia do Campeche (Campeche Beach), which is on the eastern (Atlantic) side of this beautiful island.
Surrounded by lush vegetation and with a view to Campeche Island across the water, Campeche Beach is absolutely stunning. I wouldn’t call myself a “beach person”, but I happily spent many hours there, wandering up and down the long stretch of sand which the sea rushes up to meet.
Campeche Beach: Practical Info
There aren’t a huge number of facilities on Campeche beach. I’d consider this a good thing, as it feels quite natural and isn’t overly built up with lots of tall buildings. Perhaps if you’re a family with young kids, though, you may wish for more toilet facilities. In that case you can go to one of the restaurants at the entrance and use the toilets there.
If you’re driving, there is a car park just outside the main entrance, which apparently has shower facilities to wash off the sand before you leave. If you park a little further up the street the parking is slightly cheaper.
I went to Florianópolis in March, after the Carnival holiday. This was ideal as there were far fewer people than during the peak holiday season. Temperatures reached around 30°C most days. It was frequently cloudy, which provided much-needed respite from the hot sun.
Where to Stay in Campeche
There are some accommodation options actually backing onto Campeche beach, connected by short trails through a thick and verdant oasis of plants. This area was definitely a bird-lover’s paradise; it was full of all sorts of birds, particularly in the mornings. (I’m no bird expert, but research tells me I saw brown-and-yellow marshbirds, southern lapwings, rufous horneros, not to mention the seabirds and birds of prey you may see circling overhead.)
I spent a couple of days at Pousada Ilha Faceira, which is in an ideal location for a short beach holiday. It has a small swimming pool, buffet breakfast included and—most importantly—it is only a short stroll through a private trail to the beach!
Later, I went to Floripa Guest House, slightly further from the beach but very close to Lagoinha Pequena (Little Lagoon). It’s a beautiful and cosy little place, run by the most delightful and warm Airbnb host I’ve ever met.
Where to Eat in Campeche
There are a couple of little stools on the beach itself where you can get soft drinks or a caipirinha.
At the main entrance you’ll find a couple of restaurants and also a small cafe serving delicious acai bowls. (Needless to say I went here more than once…)
If you’re staying in the area or are at the beach until early evening, there’s a yummy pizza restaurant just five minutes away from the main entrance (which also has plenty of vegetarian options).
Florianopolis attracts quite a young, outdoorsy crowd, and perhaps thanks to this, vegetarians will not have a difficult time finding something to eat. If you’re near Lagoa Pequina, Sufucos restaurant is a great lunch choice, offering a varied weigh it yourself buffet with plenty of veggie options.
Before wrapping up the Campeche food section I must also mention a fantastic little German bakery called Engelke, which serves delicious coffee and sweet and savoury food that you can eat on the pretty veranda.
Other Recommendations in Floripa
I was pleasantly surprised by the downtown area of Florianópolis; it was lovely, colourful and messy in a charming way. It’s definitely worth spending an afternoon there, wandering around the market and maybe catching some live music on the weekend.
Hercílio Luz Bridge is one of the best-known sites in Floripa, connecting the island to the mainland. It’s currently being renovated, and a far less attractive bridge is being used for traffic. Mirante da Praça Hercílio Luz is a lookout from which you can see the bridge and the mainland. From there you can walk around the adjacent park before taking a short stroll to the centre.
2. Other Beaches in Floripa
As an island, Florianópolis is rightly famous for its beaches, which vary greatly from the more built-up beaches in the north to the less accessible beaches in the south.
If you’re staying around Campeche, Praia de Mole is another great beach worth visiting. The waves can be serious here, making it ideal for surfers (of which you will see many) but less favourable for swimmers and paddlers.
Travelling further south from Campeche you’ll find Armação. If you can find a parking spot near the church (Igreja Santana) you can walk along the little beach and across to Ponta das Campanhas. From there, you have a beautiful view of the colourful fishing boats and beaches.
3. Lagoa da Conceição
Wherever you’re based in Floripa, Lagoa da Conceição is well worth a visit. The lagoon stretches roughly across the middle of the island. It’s a great spot for watersports, but will also appeal to those wanting a more leisurely afternoon.
The lagoon itself is beautiful and can be appreciated from various spots—just find a tree to perch under and sit for a while taking it in. Around the village are plenty of cafes and restaurants. Café Cultura is particularly good, and from there you can have a little wander and marvel at the street art in the area.
And that wraps up this short guide to Campeche and Floripa. If you have any other suggestions or comments, please let me know below!