15 – 21 November
The border crossing from Uruguay into Brazil is the easiest I have ever experienced outside of Europe as I neither have to leave the bus nor see an immigration officer. The only thing I have to do is handing my passport to the busdriver who quickly drops by at immigration’s and returns after less than five minutes, ready to keep on going.
On the way to Porto Alegre, where I stop over for a day, the bus passes rice fields as well as giant wetlands inhabited by huge water rats, storks, flamingos and cows. When heading further up the coast, the landscape keeps on changing as it starts getting hilly. And out of a sudden, it really feels like being in Brazil as this is exactly how I always imagined it to be: lush, green hills meeting a beautiful coastline in combination with a tropical climate.
Florianópolis is the gateway to the island of Santa Catarina, a popular holiday destination for locals as well as Argentineans, next to tourists from other parts of the world of course. The island is very diverse and has many different faces as it offers calm lakes, rough coast, pristine beaches, amazing hiking opportunities, bustling nighlife, good surf spots, peaceful fishing villages and hip beach-clubs. In a way, it reminds me of Mallorca as each part of the island has its very own personality.
I stay with Jorge from Peru and enjoy the great view from his apartment every day again. As he has to work most of the days I explore the island on my own and check out various beaches by means of two fantastic hikes. On my first hike, I hardly see other people but just stunning coastline, pretty beaches and tropical forest.
The second one is a little shorter and apparently more popular but the views are breathtaking and get even better the higher up the mountain I get. On the very top I have a 360-view and enjoy seeing some gorgeous beaches, green hills and one of the lakes on the island at the same time – absolutely amazing!
The beauty about visiting the island around this time of the year is that it is already nice and warm but the high season has not started yet, meaning all beaches are still very quiet, clean and peaceful. All the nature during the days in combination with a bit of nightlife in the evenings together with my host Jorge result in me having a very good time on the island and make me want to come back soon…