Roughly halfway between Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, Floripa, as this town is known, has lively nightlife, sandy beaches, sunny skies and a well developed gay scene. Brazilians from the two big cities have for some time been coming to this tiny island to get away from it all, especially in summertime. North Americans and Europeans have recently begun to arrive in greater numbers as well. The area was heavily colonized by Portuguese from the Azores and from Madeira Island in the mid-18th Century, along with Germans and Italians - lending exotic textures to accents, food and lifestyles that contrast with elsewhere in the country.
During Carnaval the gay celebrations include the Pop Gay competion for the best local drag performers, now one of the largest events of all. Several large gay megaclubs vie with Rio and Sao Paulo, and in September the gay pride celebrations of Parada da Diversidade include big parties. A 2009 local law made the practice of homophobia a crime. Camboiú and Curitiba are two nearby towns with gay nightlife.
With a subtropical climate here, the forty-plus beaches within easy reach of downtown are a major attraction. Some of the most popular include: Praia de Jurerê Internacional, an area filled with hotels, beach clubs, restaurants, and nightclubs; Praia Galheta, the gay-friendly but general public nude beach (some cruising in the dunes); and the beautiful Praia Mole, a short walk from Lagoa central, popular with young, alternative and gay people, and location for Bar do Deca and The Week at Carnaval with all-night dancing in the open air. Praia Joaquina is noted for board surfing, wind and ketsurfing - even sand surfing. Whales can be seen on tours of the Imbituba coast to the south of Floripa, coming from Arctic waters to give birth to their young. See more about local beaches under the activities tab.
Getting Here, Getting Around
Domestic and international flights, from Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, arrive at Hercílio Luz International Airport, 14 km (9 mi) from downtown Florianópolis. To get from the U.S. or Europe make a connection in São Paulo for a second leg direct to Florianópolis. Taxis and buses will get you into the city.
Several bus lines operate in the city. See info at Guia Floripa, in Portuguese. Ticket can be bought from a "cobrador" (NOT the driver) a couple of seats down by the turnstile. Car rentals are quite inexpensive and easy to arrange - agents can drop the car off at your hotel, then pick it up at the end of the rental period.
The Rita Maria bus terminal connects Florianópolis to most cities, towns and villages in Santa Catarina, and to other Brazilian cities in the South, Southeast and Central-West regions.
GuiaGay Floripa has good maps and listings of the bars, clubs, saunas and other places of interest.
Made in Brazil is a thick, limited edition models/photography glossy monthly magazine and website.
Projeto Dois Terços LGBTQ social/political activist group promotes social campaigns, and volunteer work, sponsoring interviews, debates and meetings concerning issues of homosexuality in Brazilian society today.
The Rio Times has articles in English, mostly from the Rio de Janeiro perspective, but also covering other parts of the coutnry too.
See a list of local businesses at our map & listings tab with bars, hotels, restaurants and some shopping suggestions.
Hyperion Boutique Hotel & Bar (Garibaldi São Tiago 399), gay-owned all-welcoming guesthouse near Lagoa da Conceição with modern rooms and facilities a short walk from both Joaquina Beach and the Praia Mole, with Bar do Deca nearby; continental to full breakfast options, AC, cable TV, WiFi, bar, multi-lingual staff.
Bars & Clubs
1007 Floripa (Alameda Adolfo Konder, 1007), mostly straight/gay-friendly dance club, concert venue, cabaret shows, theme parties.
Bar do Deca (Praia Mole), last bar before you reach Galheta nudist beach, mixed crowd, very popular during high season.
Conca (Avenida Rio Branco, 729), aka Concorde Club, Florianópolis Centro, large, popular mixed dance club with five bars and terrace, mostly guys, drag shows/performers, guest DJs. Misk gay/mixed Saturday holiday cabaret performances, drag shows, dancing.
Hunter Bar & Video Club (Rua Padre Roma, 431, top foor), men's cruise bar/lounge, darkroom, maze, cabins, naked nights, video lounges; porn DVDs for rent.
Jivago Social Club (Rua Deputado Leoberto Leal, 4), Centro Florianópolis, gay-friendly weekend mix, men/women, 5-area dancing 'til 5am, burlesque mask parties. Was Jivago Lounge.
Jonas 570 (Rua Francisco Tolentino 570, upstairs), gay bar from owner of old Rancho do Maneca; strong drinks, DJs, karaoke nights, theme parties, bears' events.
In Balneário Camboriú, just north of Floripa, D.Led (4ª Avenida, 136, Centro), Saturday night gay/mixed dance club has shows and theme parties.
CLOSED: Blues Velvet (Rua Pedro Ivo, 147) - gay-friendly dancing, shows, live music and comedy nights; Isla Urbana Lounge (Avenida das Rendeiras, 1046), Lagoa da Conceição gay/mixed cocktail lounge, men/women, bears; Studio 47 Club (Rua Menino Deus 47), upscale dance/lounge mixed crowd.
Sauna Adelino (Av. Ver. Nagib Jabor, 356), men's sauna and steam rooms, massage therapy, cruise area.
Sauna Thermas Oceano (Rua Luiz Delfino, 231), men's 18+ steam/sauna by the Beiramar Shopping Center; porn video lounges, darkroom, therapeutic massage, maze, glory holes, bar, internet access.
CLOSED: Bar & Sauna G3 Bath House (Rua Henrique Valgas, 112), men's sauna/steam, bar.