I have recently moved to Brazil to stay for six months, while finishing some courses at a local university in Southern Brazil and finalizing my Bachelor thesis. Thus, I have fresh tips and adventures to share with you.
I moved to the small island of Florianopolis, in the state of Santa Catarina. Many say is different from other parts of Brazil, being more “developed”, thanks to its entrepreneur vibe. The beaches are wonderful and the vibe feels really relaxed, even in the city centre. I decided to go live in Lagoa de Conceição, which is characterized by a rather hippie atmosphere. But let’s go step by step.
First of all, Brazil, as a country strikes for its green. It is amazing how it is surrounded by green everywhere and Florianopolis made an extra effort to keep nature like it is. The beaches have this wonderful contrast between the blue of the ocean, the sand and the amazing green of the forest behind. The landscapes are very beautiful. In Florianopolis my favourite beaches are Praia do Mole, Gravatà, Joaquina and Lagoinha do Leste. They are easily accessible, a part from the latter that requires a hike to get there. It has two paths: one, more steep hour-long trip or the longer and more panoramic one, which lasts aproximately 2 and a half hours, depending on the speed. I would reccommend the longer one, since it’s more scenic and less tiring, but anyone can choose. The hike makes the beach less popular, thus more paradise-like. There is nothing on the beach, only one pretty expensive stand selling water and beers. So prepare some food!
Following on the food, I found myself struggling a little bit to buy food here. There are a lot of fast food options, mainly hamburgers, fried “pastels” and hot dogs. Of course, the typical food here is the popular “Churrasco”, the barbecue that reunites families and friends and the feijoada, a bean-based meal. Even at supermarkets it is not easy to find the typical “healthy” food , at least not without paying a fortune. I noticed that during the week prices fluctuates, a carton of milk can go from 2$R to almost 4$R (between 0.50USD$ and 1USD $) in a week. I was weirded out by this. Knowing which days of the week some items are cheaper can help you save some money. Also, chicken is very cheap, while other sources of protein a bit less. Being vegetarian or trying to eat fish instead of meat is more expensive than I thought.
A part from that, not many people speak English, but they really appreaciate you trying to speak Portuguese. If you know Spanish like me, it won’t be hard to understand. Speaking comes later, with practice, but again with Spanish or another latin-language base, it won’t be hard. People are generally friendly here, even though in the city they might appear as a bit rude. I think it is really just a different kind of manners they have.
I will post more on the best places to eat, visit and go in Florianopolis and around Brazil, keep in touch!