The coastline running north from Florianópolis is quite spectacular. It is also insanely mobbed in the summertime by tourists from São Paulo, Paraná, and Argentina. Unfortunately, its many natural attractions are marred by the type of unbridled urbanization epitomized by the resort town of Balneário Camboriú.
Billed as the South’s “Pequena Copacabana,” this tourist mecca 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Florianópolis possesses the Rio neighborhood’s high-rises and animation without any of its charm. To date, the area that has best fended off development is the peninsula of Porto Belo, 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Floripa.
Here, you’ll find some of the state’s loveliest beaches along with emerald waters that are ideal for snorkeling and diving. The small town of Porto Belo is the departure point for exploring the beautiful neighboring beaches of Bombas and Bombinhas, which although crowded by families in the summer still have not been overwhelmed.
Close by—accessible only by boat or on foot—a dozen small, deserted coves offer peace and tranquility.
Getting to Porto Belo
Porto Belo is easy to get to from Florianópolis, only 55 kilometers (34 miles) away. Santo Anjo (tel. 48/3224-9004, www.santoanjo.com.br) offers frequent bus service. By car, just follow the BR-101 north.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition