Florianopolis straddles a small peninsula on the mainland and the 18 by 54km island of Santa Catarina. With a subtropical climate, the island has a coastline of over 100km, and some of Brazil's most beautiful beaches. Many of these are accessible by bus from the city center.
Northern beach resorts Brava, Canasvieiras, Daniela, and Jurerê, get very busy in summer. They offer plenty of urban pleasures, with hotels, restaurants and clubs beside calm bayside waters, good for relaxed swimming. The nearby Praia dos Ingleses has rougher waves. Lagoinha, a small fishing village, has a pretty beach and great sunset vistas between Praia dos Ingleses and Canasvieiras. Praia do Santinho is another small beach next to a large resort.
The east coast has the best surfing spots with powerful Atlantic swells: Barra da Lagoa, for beginners; Praia da Joaquina, once the site for international surfing competitions; Praia Mole, popular with young people, with Bar do Deca and The Week, plus special Carnaval dance parties nearby; and Praia da Galheta, a clothing-optional, surfing, and gay cruising beach, accessible only by foot on trails through dunes at the north end of Praia Mole. Praia do Moçambique, a favorite of those craving solitude, is screened by thick vegetation alongside the 19km of wide open beachfront and strong ocean currents.
To the south Campeche, Armação and Morro das Pedras is each very beautiful, also with good surfing. The isolated and pristine beaches, Lagoinha do Leste and Naufragados can only be reached by trail. Lagoa da Conceição is a lake at island center, relatively shallow and warm, with high winds that make it a windsurfers' favorite. The quieter Peri Lagoon is good for nature walks.
Many more beaches lie a short drive away, along the mainland coast, including the world famous Praia da Silveira, Praia Rosa, Imbituba (Garopaba), and the beautiful Guarda do Embaú with powerful breaks.
A gay-friendly brick villa bed & breakfast, located 150 meters from the highway connecting Curitiba to Florianopolis in the Rio Bonito Valley, with breathtaking surroundings to help you relax and enjoy what this Atlantic Tropical Forest region has to offer.
Each of the bedrooms has a queen size bed and full ensuite bathroom; the master suite also has a spa tub, a TV room with 80' screen, a dining room with bar, a formal living room with fireplace, large balcony, plus screened veranda with BBQ and dining table.
The property sits on 18 acres (75% untouched forest), with natural running water pools, fish ponds and an orchard; with surrounding rocky rivers, mountains, hiking trails, and beautiful beaches nearby. Activities include scuba diving, snorkeling, biking, hiking, and canoeing.
Guide services include trips to local bars, night clubs, restaurants, theaters, and beaches such as Guaratuba, among the most beautiful in Parana State. Also personal services may be provided for travelers throughout South Brazil, year-round, with a focus on adventure and ecotourism. You can feel safe and relax.
One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, Iguacu Falls is located about 700km west of the Villa. Ilha do Mel (Honey island) State Nature Reserve is 150km from the Villa. Garuva, at the foothills of the Serra do Mar mountain range, about 15km away, is one of the best places for fishing in Brazil.
Curitiba, to the northwest, one of the largest cities in Brazil's prosperous Southern region, has a population largely descended from German, Ukrainian, Russian, Italian and Polish immigrants. Florianopolis is just down the coast to the South, and Sao Paulo is to the north. A three hour mountain train travels daily from Curitiba to Morretes, through scenic forest preserves.
Tourist visas are required for North American and Australian nationals, but not required for those from most European, South and Central American countries, or from Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, or the Philippines.
Capoeira is the Brazilian martial art of quick, complex moves, powerful leg sweeps, dance and music. It developed mainly among the descendants of African slaves, perhaps with Brazilian native influences, during the 16th century. It's said the skills were originally practiced in the hope of survival for escaped slaves in a hostile, unknown countryside, being pursued by armed and mounted colonial agents.
Lucky escapees might later join or establish quilombo settlements that grew up at a distance from the Portuguese towns. Brazilian natives and Europeans in trouble with the law or the church might also arrive. Some quilombos took on the trappings of a small independent multi-ethnic state, and their militias would sometimes raid estates -- until slavery was abolished on May 13, 1888.
Many former slaves were marginalized in the workforce of this new society. Capoeira developed into a recreational sport as well as a martial art and some adepts became bodyguards, mercenaries, and enforcers. But when groups known as maltas began to terrorize Rio de Janeiro, the new Brazilian Republic moved to prohibit Capoeira in 1890, and the practice went underground.
By 1937 things had changed, as Mestre Bimba founded his school, Centro de Cultura Física e Luta Regional. It was with the official permission of Salvador’s Secretary of Education that he began to teach Capoeira to the elite, and in 1940 it became legal.
Music, integral to Capoeira, sets the tempo and style of game to be played. Rhythm is kept on a berimbau instrument, sometimes slow or very fast, depending on the style of the roda. A circle is formed by capoeiristas and musicians, singing and clapping as two players enter to play until one leaves or calls an end to the game. The game usually focuses less on knock-down destruction of the opponent, than on displays of skill. In old times the singing and dancing masked the true significance of the art -- even the intruments could be used as weapons in a real fight.
Samba de roda, a traditional Afro-Brazilian dance & musical form has been associated with Capoeira for many decades, accompanied by intruments, singing and clapping. Maculelê an indigenous armed fighting style using two sticks or a machete is a folkloric dance with heavy Afro-Brazilian percussion is also included by many Capoeira groups in their presentations. Outfits such as Brazil Trails offer camps for visitors to learn the techniques of Capoeira.