When to visit
Florianopolis does not have a definitive “best” time of the year to visit. Different seasons of the year offer different attractions. By trying to outline both the advantages and disadvantages the discerning visitor can make their choice.
The high season starts after Christmas day, and runs through to end of Carnival, the date of which varies from year to year but usually falls at the end of February or the beginning of March. This is high summer, the temperatures are high (30-35 degrees), the water is warm and the beaches are jumping! Bars are busy to bursting, clubs are rocking, street markets flourish- DJ´s, TV stars, bands and the international jet-set come to soak up the summer vibe and entertain the holidaymakers. Music festivals sell out fast, all the restaurants are open-and the best need reservations-and the party literally goes on all night. Lagoa da Conceição is more like Leicester square, London and Canasvieras beach simmers to the sound of “maté” (Argentina´s national drink). Up and down the Santa Catarina coast the scene is similar as resorts are flooded with sunseekers. The island of Santa Catarina doubles in population, everyone takes to the water-windsurfing, sailing, hawaian canoeing, banana-boating, and of course, surfing. However-and here come the drawbacks- traffic can be intense as fortunately the island does not have an ´urban´ road system, service in restaurants suffers as owners try to cram in more and more hungry customers, parking can be near impossible, and last but not least, January and February have the highest rainfall of the year. When the rain comes it tends to be heavy and can last up to two days. In summary, if you are a party animal, want to see the “beautiful people” (as they are labelled in Brazil) and don´t mind crowds and the odd downpour you will love the island during “the temporada”.
Many locals think this is the best time of the year. The heavy rains ease off, the masses make their exits, the prices return to some normality. However, the temperatures are still high, the beaches remain lively and present perfect swimming conditions, and movement around the island is easier. The clubs are slightly less packed, but the island is by no means quiet. Long evenings are perfect for barbeques and extended happy hours, and perhaps it is a better time of the year to get a feel for what the island is really like.
May, June, July
In May the beach can still be an option on a hot day, in July it is definitely not, except for a lovely walk. It is dry, perfect conditions to explore the islands 42 trails, covering mountains and dunes, circling coasts and lagoons. Without doubt there are few better activities at this time of the year than trekking half the day to a famed beauty spot, where it is likely you will be alone, or chancing upon a deserted beach, where you can enjoy oysters, prawns and a well-deserved ice-cold beer or fresh juice. The skies are beautiful. However, be warned, temperatures are starting to drop, particularly in the evening. On the other hand, the natural beauty of the island is especially evident, and it is a great time for adventure sports- off-road cycling and mountaineering.
August, September, October
Springtime. All things considered, this time of year is not the best in terms of the weather. It is unlikely to be hot enough for the beach, it is quite wet, the southern winds blow hard. However, the oysters still taste delicious, and you can always escape to the mountains to stay in a Country Hotel, a mere two hours spectacular drive from the island. There, you will enjoy sumptuous cuisine, stunning walking country full of rivers and waterfalls, and you have the chance to try horse-riding through mountain passes and wide open plains. The flora is magnificent and the warmth of the “catarinense” people is unforgettable.
Summer starts in the second week of December, though the locals are hitting the beach from the early weeks of November. The island is not crowded, and it is a good time to visit, before the New Year festivities.