We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Finding your way in Florianopolis

Which Florianopolis hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Finding your way in Florianopolis

My husband and I spent a week in Florianopolis in October 2010. We found that the smartest money we spent was for a local guide to show us around the island and give us his opinion on beaches to go to , places to stay and places to eat. Most vacationers in this area are Portuguese or Spanish speaking so there isn't much English spoken. To have an English speaking guide take you around for a few hours is very worthwhile. I am more than happy to provide the name and contact information for the reputable guide we found if contacted.

Calgary, Canada
4 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

Hi CalgaryMomma,

I'm also from Calgary and my husband and I are considering going to Florianopolis between Feb. 6-18. My husband is very concerned about the language barrier so any tips you could send me would be great:)

thanks

Mags

Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
8,202 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

Mags--

IMO your husband doesn't have to be concerned about language problems. Florianopolis and the island of Santa Catarina are accustomed to tourists from all over. Bring a phrase book and/or dictionary with you. Try to learn a bit of Portuguese, maybe from one of the many online sites, just for politeness sake. Ingleses is a calm beach, and I'm sure you will enjoy yourselves there. Do try to see some of the other pretty beaches on the island as well, and some of the Azorean culture. There is public transportation, and some people choose to rent a car to get to the various beaches more easily, but I don't think you necessarily need a guide to see the island.

Happy travels.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

Hi Mags:

We found that most tourists speak Spanish or Portuguese in this area and therefore most locals, even hotel staff, wait staff in restaurants and taxi/bus drivers don't speak English. You can learn a few words of Portuguese to be polite, but whenever you ask a question you will get a reply that you can't understand. Brazil is not a place to rent a car. There is a good reason that most great race car drivers come from Brazil - they learn at an early age on the local roads! You're just looking for an accident if you try to drive there. The local transportation system in Florianopolis is practically non-existent for the beaches. Most trips to beaches would require transfers between 2 - 3 buses and 2 hours each way. I would highly recommend hiring a guide for a day or even half a day to show you around the island and recommend places to stay that are convenient and easily accessible. The guide we had spoke excellent English and his suggestions were invaluable when it came to accommodations, restaurants and beaches. Getting expert advice from a local who loves the area is the best way to make sure that you make the most of your time there. The guide we used is Andrey Alves. You can reach him on email at guiadailha@hotmail.com or look him up on FaceBook. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

Calgary, Canada
4 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

thank you tcantarelli,

I'm definitely planning to learn some Portuguese before our trip to know the basics.

What other beaches would you recommend seeing? I love the blue crystal waters, white sand and natural beauty.

M

Calgary, Canada
4 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

CalgaryMomma, thank you for the guide's name, I think it's worth to get a tour from a local and find out all the local tips - saves so much time:)

Have you been to Iguazu Falls? How far is it and can it be a 1 day trip?

Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
8,202 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

Well, a calm one would be Cachoeira, with lots of big shells buried in the sand underwater. A really dramatic one is Mozambique, big waves. (Gotta say here that one of the souvenirs is a T-shirt that names a dozen+ beaches :-.) There was one we went to that looked just like the volcanic Azores, with a mountain rising out of the sea. No wonder the Azorean fishermen felt at home. Joaquina was another pretty one, with some big rocks at one end. You can "surf "down the dunes near there too.

A lot of them you can see on video on YouTube. And here's a list, with a little phto of each and a map showing where it's located n the island. (The descriptions, you can translate in Google translate.)

http://www.guiafloripa.com.br/turismo/praias/

Enjoy.

Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
8,202 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

Iguacu is not a day trip, both because of transport times and the extent of both sides of the park (different views).

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

Iguazu is definitely not a day trip - but it is definitely worth a visit. I would allow for two days if you have the time. A whole day can be spent on the Argentinian side to explore the falls up close on their extensive pathway system. The Brazilian side is impressive from a panoramic viewpoint. You pretty well need a car/guide to see the Brazilian side.

Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
8,202 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

You can see the Brazilian side by walking along the paved path. No cars allowed. No guide needed. You can get from one side to the other very easily by public bus for about R$2.

Annapolis, Maryland
7 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Finding your way in Florianopolis

My husband and I will also be in Florianopolis in February and hope to get to Iguacu. Can you suggest someplace for an overnight stay?