The Perfect Road Trip in Florianopolis

Florianopolis Road Trip

With all the hype around Rio de Janeiro and its beautiful beaches, it’s easy to overlook the other hot spots around Brazil. I get it; many tourists want to see the most popular places within a particular country, and don’t have time for much else.

But let me just tell you; if you go to Brazil and only visit Rio de Janeiro – it’s like you’ve gone to a buffet and only ate the chicken tenders. Sure, it’s delicious, but there’s so much more out there!

Florianopolis for example, is only an hour and a half flight from Rio, and the 40+ beaches on the island rival any of those in the big city.

They have crazy beach parties during the high season for the social butterflies, and incredibly peaceful secluded beaches for those that want to get away.

The island itself is just over 400 square kilometers in size, so the best way to get around is by renting a car at the main bus terminal downtown or at one of the individual car rental shops.

Once you have your ride (convertible would be a nice touch), here’s the perfect road trip plan for a weekend in Florianopolis:

Florianopolis MapSATURDAY:

From downtown Florianopolis, take the short drive north to the fanciest area on the island. Jureré and Jureré Internacional beaches are dedicated to the rich and famous. There are huge homes, beautiful coastline and lots of money to go around.

Grab an early lunch at one of the beachside restaurants and then check out Fortaleza de São José da Ponta Grossa, a beautiful Portuguese fort at the end of town.

As the afternoon breeze rolls in, head south to Lagoa da Conceicao, where you will find a very cool neighborhood with lots of shops and boutiques along the big lagoon.

Try to make your way up the surrounding mountains just before dark to witness a beautiful sunset over the island.

As night falls, head back downtown to get changed and ready for the night. Florianopolis is home to some of the best nightlife in Brazil!


If you stayed out late last night, that’s okay, lying in the sand all day is the perfect cure.

Today, drive west to the most popular stretch of beaches in Florianopolis. Mole, Joaquina and Campeche Beach are the local favorites, and the best surf spots around.

Spend the day here drinking Skols and Caipirinhas and enjoy the people watching.

If you’re feeling adventurous, head south to Lagoinha do Leste for a great hike to one of the most secluded beaches I’ve ever seen.

Do these things and I promise, you will experience the perfect road trip and you’ll see the best beaches in Florianopolis, guaranteed.  Rio who?


My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!


  1. Oh gosh, this brings back some memories. We were lucky enough to stay at a wonderful homestay where the woman who ran it delighted in driving us to see a new beach everyday. Anyone who isn’t so fortunate should definitely hire a car and do the rounds!

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