Florianópolis

by Ucman Scher
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Florianopolis

Solo Gay Trip Guide to Florianopolis in Brazil

Florianopolis is a little piece of heaven on earth. My solo trip Florianopolis was one of the best memories of Brazil. This gay travel adventure to Florianopolis was exciting, romantic, foodgasmic and relaxing, all packed in three beautiful days.

florianopolis from the air

View of Floripa from the air

It is lovingly called Floripa and I absolutely love that name, it has a sense of comfort and love which is very apt. This little island is home to 42 different beaches, one more beautiful than last. It has also emerged as a bit of a gay destination in the recent past with its own Gay Pride and other festivals like The Week.

Fun Fact: Half of the city of Florianopolis lies on the mainland and the other half on the island. It is also the capital of Santa Catarina State.

Read my country guide about Brazil to find answers to all your questions for a comfortable trip.

Getting to Florianopolis

Florianopolis is served by an international airport with frequent flights from Brazil and neighbouring countries with frequent flights during the season. Hercilio Luz International Airport (FLN) is located some 12 km outside the city of Florianopolis and there are regular shuttle buses that run between the city and airport. There are also taxis easily available. It is a very small airport. It barely took me 30 minutes when leaving to go through the entire process from the gate to my seat on the plane. The views from the plane when landing told me this gay travel adventure to Florianopolis will be something and a half.

There are also buses from the mainland but no train. Brazil is so massive that buses eat a lot of time from your trip so I used the plane. The flights were cheap both from Sao Paulo and to Rio de Janeiro.

Check out the guide to get the best flight deals wherever you go.

Getting Around in Florianopolis

Public transport in Florianopolis is horrible honestly. The buses travelling between different areas can take hours which you could cover in 30 minutes if you have your own transport. I initially planned to hire a car but I met a beautiful stranger who was also on holiday but belonged to Florianopolis originally. He was free and had a car so we went around together. it was the most amazing thing because he knew where to take me. It worked out perfectly. For a great gay travel adventure in Florianopolis, rent your car and book it well in advance.

Check out all the different modes of transportation you can use in a new city.

I Love Floripa

I Love Floripa

Where to Stay in Florianopolis

Florianopolis is not the type of place where the city centre is any fun. There are a lot of modern buildings and malls but the city is very dull. Luckily I booked a place through Airbnb with a nice lady in Lagoa. It was perfect because I could walk to Lagoa de Conceicao and the entire area was green. The restaurants were also quite fun around here and I got a hammock and a pool in the back garden for free. There was a lot less traffic as well and it was easy to get in and out of the Lagoa. I’d recommend it!

If you feel comfortable with LGBT establishments only, there are a couple of gay hotels as well for your immaculate gay travel adventure in Florianopolis.

Check the guide to find the best accommodation in a new city.

The house I stayed in

The house I stayed in

Food in Florianopolis

Seafood is the best thing I had here. I tried everything from clams to prawns to fish to oysters and it was all amazing. They don’t do fresh oysters though, they came cooked everywhere. I couldn’t stop eating Acai bowls with yoghurt and bananas for breakfast, it was heavenly. Food is also very reasonably priced. San Anton de Lisboa is a small fishing town which has some amazing restaurants near the beach with great food.

Fresh coconut water

Fresh coconut water

Best Time to Visit Florianopolis

I visited Florianopolis in December just after Christmas between Christmas and New Years. Anything from November to March is good to visit Florianopolis. There is a daily thunderous shower around 2 but that clears soon and the sun returns. Even with little sun, the weather is very pleasant and water nice and warm. Go slightly off-season if you don’t want crowds and a relaxed gay travel adventure in Florianopolis.

Want to plan your perfect trip? Read this guide.

Wine Christmas tree

Wine Christmas tree anyone?

How Many days should in spend in Florianopolis?

I spent three days in Florianopolis which were great. It depends on you and your preference. I mean there are 42 beaches around this gorgeous island, you could spend a month here and not get bored. 3-4 days is a must.

relaxing in hammock

You could spend a month here

Gay Florianopolis

Florianopolis has emerged as a new hotspot for gay travel in the recent years and with the addition of Florianopolis Gay Carnival, it has exploded. Even NYT has mentioned it as a place-to-be. It happens during the summer season every year and attended by huge crowds. You can get more information here. Gay Travel to Florianopolis has really skyrocketed recently.

Florianopolis also has a gay beach not far from Lagoa called Praia Mole. No gay travel adventure in Florianopolis is complete without a visit here. Next to it is a nudist beach called Praia Galheta. At Mole beach, Bar Do Deca is the legendary bar you cannot miss. It was really fun even without a lot of people during my visit. Another must-do for gay travel in Florianopolis.

Praia Mole

Chilling at Praia Mole; The gay Beach

Other venues include Jivago Bar and Concorde/Conca Club. The Week is another international party circuit that happens once a year but if you want to steer clear of drugs, I’d miss it. My experience with it in Rio was pretty horrible. Things are popping up more and more in Florianopolis with the carnival getting bigger every year. If you don’t mind mixed crowds Confraria das Artes in Lagoa is the envy of the world and frequented by all sort of celebs.

There weren’t many people on Grindr when I visited because it was literally the four days between Christmas and New Years and everyone was busy with their families but like I mentioned, I met the one and that was enough. Just like everywhere else in Brazil, people here are very nice and sweet. Gay travel in Florianopolis is like a perfect dream.

Read about staying safe during solo travelling.

Is Florianopolis Safe?

Yes. Most of the issues associated with crime and safety affect bigger cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Florianopolis is relatively quite safe and crime rates are very low. It would still be good to be careful but things were much more relaxed comparatively.

Mirante do Morro da Lagoa da Conceição

Mirante do Morro da Lagoa da Conceição

Top Things to do in Florianopolis

There’s a lot to see and do in Florianopolis be it beaches or watersports, partying to eating great seafood. This isn’t a cultural hotspot. If you love nature, Florianopolis is for you. Here are my top X recommendations about things to do on this gorgeous island.

Party Like Jetsetting Celebs and Rockstars

Florianopolis hosts the Gay carnival with thousands of people flocking to the island. There are special flights from neighbouring Chile and Argentina for these happening people. Like I mentioned you have international parties like The Week as well. It also hosts one of the best-known clubs in entire Brazil; Confraria das Artes in Lagoa da Conceição. If you wish to be with celebs, influencers and rockstars this is your spot. I am much more of a chilled bar evenings person so Bar Do Deco and other venues around Lagoa near the lagoon offered a perfect spot. You can also see people dancing on the streets. It is truly relaxing and enjoyable.

dance in lagoa de conceicao

My type of party

Watersports & Adventure sports

I went for Stand Up Pedal Boarding in Lagoa de Conceicao in the evening on my first day and I cannot explain how beautiful it was. I am not really a swimmer but I was up and around in no time and had great fun. It lasted around 2 hours and we returned when it was getting dark followed by some relaxed drinks in a nearby bar. There were also lessons for windsurfing, paragliding (I really wanted to do it but the weather wasn’t great on my chosen day, unfortunately), scuba diving, dune boarding in Dunes of Jaoquina nearby. Prices were also reasonable and the instructors are very friendly. A complete newbie like me felt totally at ease.

Lagoa da Conceição is quite shallow and perfect for windsurfing.

Learn about all the ways you can use to explore a new city.

stand up paddle boarding in Florianopolis

stand up paddleboarding in Florianopolis

Lagoa da Conceicao

I stayed near this beautiful lagoon. It truly is beautiful and I cannot describe how much I loved my little walks around this beautiful place with its perfectly clear waters, sandy shores and greenery that goes around till the eyes can see. The area around the lagoon is full of bars, cafes, restaurants and other nightlife. You can also find multiple tours, watersports and adventure clubs here. It gets busier by the hour and by the night time it turns into an amazing place where it feels like a mini carnival.

If you also get time check out the Peri Lagoon (Lagoa de Peri) in the south of the island which is amazing and more relaxed, perfect for walking.

Check Out the Postcard Symbol of Florianopolis; Hercílio Luz Bridge

This symbol of Florianopolis is another must-see when in Florianopolis. It is currently closed for repairs but it will be open later for cyclists and pedestrians. It was the first link between the two parts of the city and still considered one of the 100 longest suspension bridges. I wouldn’t suggest spending a lot of time here but it is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. Even from afar, it is mighty and has an impressive presence.
Hercílio Luz Bridge

Hercílio Luz Bridge

Get Mesmerised by the Panoramic Viewpoints

There are a lot of viewpoints around the island and even one of the small island of Campeche (Mirante Ilha do Campeche). The drive round will take you to some. I got the chance to visit the Viewpoint of Lagoa called Mirante do Morro da Lagoa da Conceição. There is also an ‘I Love Floripa’ sign here which is as colourful as the place it is in.

Mirante do Morro da Lagoa da Conceição

Mirante do Morro da Lagoa da Conceição

The views are just incredible with the entire lagoon at your feet with its gorgeous beaches and nature. I wish I could go back right now!

Mirante do Morro da Lagoa da Conceição

Look how happy I was!

I checked and would also recommend the viewpoints: Mirante Morro das Pedras & Mirante do Morro da Cruz.

Want to learn how to take perfect photos while travelling solo? Read this guide.

Visit the Fishing Village of Santo Antonio de Lisboa

If you love seafood, this beautiful little village is a must-do. I loved everything about this place. It was great to visit on the way to the north of the island. It was quaint and beautiful with its own little beach. There was a great selection of restaurants. I wrote a review of Marisqueira Sintra at the time (I used to do food blogging back then). I can still feel the food in my mouth, it was delicious.

Read about eco-friendly travelling.

Explore the Beaches

With 42 beaches to choose from it is a bit of a tough task, looking for the ones you want to go to. I visited Jurere beach in the north, Mole and Jaoquina beaches in the centre and East and in the south I visited Lagoinha do Leste beach.

Jurere Internacional

My very own James Bond moment

Northern Beaches; Jurere & Jurere Internacional

Jurere and Jurere International are both world-famous beaches. In fact, they are called the Beverley Hills of Brazil. The drive up north from the centre is really beautiful and we went through some beautiful areas. It was a short 30 minutes drive and we arrived at the gorgeous beach.

It was a perfect time because the daily rain had just stopped and the weather was clearing up. The entire waterfront is covered with upscale properties and grand restaurants, bars and clubs. The beach is really beautiful with shallow, warm waters.

Note: The beaches in the north are the most famous and accessible and get very busy in the season. Other nice beaches around are Praia BravaPraia dos InglesesCanasvieiras.

Central and Eastern Beaches; Mole, Galhetta & Jaoquina

Praia Mole is the gay beach and Praia Galhetta is the neighbouring nudist beach. Both of these were the closest to Lagoa and where I was staying. There were some stones around the beaches and it wasn’t the easiest way from Mole to Galhetta but we made it, luckily there was pretty much no one.

Praia Mole

Mole Beach

Who wants to miss a chance for skinny dipping in the sea. The clothes were tossed away and we ran to the water. It was pure bliss! The gay beach also had some music and food which meant our day was pretty much sorted. I never counted the number of Caipirinhas we got that day.

On the other side, we visited the dunes of Jaoquina with Jaoquina beach. Both were stunning. It reminded me a bit about the dunes of Maspalomas in the Canary Islands in Gran Canaria. The sand was clean and because it wasn’t too dry it was easy to walk around.

Galheta Beach

Jurere Internacional

Southern Beaches; Lagoinha do Leste
The beaches in the south are the least accessible ones but they are also the wildest and most beautiful ones. We had to drive to the end of the road and then trek from there to get to Lagoinha do Leste beach. It is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen along with Ksamil in Albania. The entire stretch is covered with light coloured sand with perfectly clear waters. The half-day I spent here was totally worth it and the trek seemed totally justified. I do wish I have had more time to go up and get a panoramic view of the beach but sadly I had my flight to Rio de Janeiro that evening. Another time perhaps.
Other beautiful beaches in the south include Naufragados, Solidago & Matadeiro.
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