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South of Florianópolis Has More Conserved Areas and Is Less Sought After Than the North

09/29/2016 - 12h43

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ROBERTO DE OLIVEIRA
SPECIAL ENVOY TO FLORIANÓPOLIS

Florianópolis is one of those places from where you always come back thinking about the places in the area you left out, giving you reasons to return yet again.

On one side, there are the most sought after places, which resemble St. Tropez - or perhaps Beverly Hills? On the other, there are reminiscences of the Azorean colonization, wild beaches, simple people and pleasant areas inland and along the coast.

If the north of the island of Florianópolis is the best place for parties and is always crowded with Argentine tourists, the south still has preserved areas for those who favor green landscapes and are looking for some contact with nature and flirt with history.

For the latter, the bucolic region of Ribeirão da Ilha, one of the first communities in the state of Santa Catarina, is a perfect destination.

It is a good reason to just kick back for a while in that part of the "island of magic" as Florianópolis is affectionately called.

For example, the far and deserted beach of Saquinho, located in the extreme south part of the island. With only a small strip of sand among the rocks, with its back to some exuberant native Atlantic forest, visitors to the beach can get there through a paved trail that cuts through the forest.

It takes some 30 minutes, bordering the shore, with a complete, superb view of the Solidão and Açores beaches, following to Pântano do Sul, at the edge of the bay, with many tiny boats reflecting their colors on the horizon.

This side of the island still resists real estate expansion and, walking for an hour (sometimes three hours, if you are leaving from Matadeiro) through a steep trail, visitors arrive at the most preserved beach in Florianópolis: Lagoinha do Leste.

When the sea is not too rough, a boat trip (which takes approximately 15 minutes, leaving from Pântano do Sul), takes those who don't enjoy walking so that they can get to area - nearly untouched -, which is a big favorite among all adventure lovers.

A minimum effort, however, is required to cross the path that connects the beach of Armação to the Campanhas island, where you can get the best view from the Matadeiro beach, which received its name because it used to be the place where whales were killed.

To get to the small island, stop near the Sant'Anna church, built in 1722. Walk down to the wooden docks of Armação beach, facing the beach and with your back to the church. Turn right, walk along the sand to the wooden path. Soon you can see the fishermen working busily.

The small island of Campanhas offers much more than just a beautiful view - as if it were not enough. That is where the "manezinhos", as the natives are called, still maintain their most authentic customs.

It is an example of the southern resistance expressed in the rustic fishing techniques that still mark the contact between outsiders and the local residents, who have a unique accent.

The presence of the fishermen, always surrounded by their families and many children, creates a pleasant atmosphere, one that can be found only in small villages, that charms visitors.

This is the southern side of Florianópolis: a place for intimate, affectionate contact with both nature and the local residents. It is place to let your eyes rest, put your body to work, rest your mind and lie in the sun.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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