Download GPX file for this article
-27.8333-49.8167Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

For other places with the same name, see Santa Catarina (disambiguation).

Santa Catarina is a state in the southern region of Brazil. Santa Catarina offers rural tourism, thermal resorts, ecological tourism, and adventure sports, historic monuments and sights, religious tourism, Beto Carrero World and Unipraias parks in Balneário Camboriú, and beach resorts of Florianópolis, Laguna, Porto Belo and Itajaí. Beyond the beaches, the state also offers excellent rural tourism in the Serras Catarinenses region and a rich culture influenced by German and Italian immigrants, including Brazil's most famous Oktoberfest event.


Regional map of Santa Catarina
  Grande Florianópolis
  Itajaí Valley


  • 1 Florianópolis — the state capital, also known as Ilha da Magia (Island of Magic), is one of the most popular beach destinations, as well as possibly the most liveable state capital, of the entire country
  • 2 Balneário Camboriú — a lively beach city famous for its jovial nightlife and one of Brazil's most impressive urban skylines
  • 3 Blumenau — host of Brazil's most important Oktoberfest event, it is a major center of German and Italian culture
  • 4 Bombinhas — a small municipality containing some of the state's best beaches
  • 5 Garopaba — a good base for exploring the vast array of beaches south of the state capital
  • 6 Joinville — possibly the major cultural centre of the state, with several museums and traditional events
  • 7 Lages — a popular base for ecotourism and rural tourism in the Serras Catarinenses region
  • 8 Pomerode — a charming and very authentic German-settled town
  • 9 São Francisco do Sul — containing Santa Catarina's best preserved Colonial historical centre

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Serra do Itajaí National Park — a representative area of the Atlantic Forest biome; protected species in the park include cougar, margay, vinaceous-breasted amazon, white-necked hawk, white-bearded antshrike and Phylloscartes


It is situated between Parana and Rio Grande do Sul. It is one of the wealthiest and more developed states of the country, also containing the most popular beaches of Brazil's South region.


European settlement began with the Spanish settlement of Santa Catarina island in 1542. The Portuguese took control in 1675 and established the captaincy of Santa Catarina in 1738, bringing families from the Azores to populate the shore.

In 1839, during the Ragamuffin War, there was an unsuccessful attempt for Santa Catarina to secede from the Empire of Brazil to form the independent Juliana Republic (allied with the Riograndense Republic to the south) which was thwarted in four months. Between the early 19th century and mid-20th century, a great number of European immigrants arrived in Santa Catarina; these immigrants were taken to populate the south of the nation by Imperial initiative. About 50% of these immigrants were from Germany and Austria. The rest came mainly from Italy, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Lithuania, France, Finland, Croatia, Serbia, Estonia, Slovenia and Latvia; these immigrants created an abundance of small, family-held farms, many of which continue to exist in the interior of the state.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

National and international flights arrive at Hercílio Luz Airport in Florianópolis and Victor Konder in Navegantes.

Domestic flights arrive at Serafim Bertaso Airport in Chapecó and Lauro Carneiro de Loyola in JoinvilleRegional flights arrive at Diomício Freitas Airport in Forquilhinha/Criciúma, Carlos Alberto da Costa Neves in Caçador and Municipal de Joaçaba.

By car [edit]

The BR-101 crosses the state in a north-south direction along the coast, is duplicated in the North section and in the final phase of duplication in the South section. It has toll collection stations in Garuva, Barra Velha, Porto Belo and Palhoça.

The BR-116 also crosses the state in a north-south direction, but through the interior, it has a single lane, heavy truck traffic and is privatized, with toll collection stations in Monte Castelo, Santa Cecília and Correia Pinto.

The main connection between the Coast and the Interior is the BR-282, which leaves from Florianópolis and ends at the border with Argentina, in Paraíso. It has a single track and dangerous stretches of mountains.

Another important connection is the BR-470, which leaves Navegantes westwards, passing through the Itajaí Valley, where there is intense vehicle traffic. It is in the process of duplicating the stretch between Navegantes and Indaial. It crosses the BR-101 at Campos Novo, heading south from there, ending at the border with Rio Grande do Sul.

The BR-280 connects São Francisco do Sul to Porto União. It has a single lane, but in the process of being duplicated in the section between São Francisco do Sul and Jaraguá do Sul.

Other highways are BR-163 (access via PR to the Far West), BR-158 (access via RS to the West) and BR-153 (connection between RS and PR via the West).

By bus[edit]

The main interstate and international bus companies serving the state are Catarinense, Reunidas, Unesul, Pluma, Itapemirim and Eucatur.

By boat [edit]

Several cruises dock during the summer season in São Francisco do Sul, Itajaí, Porto Belo and Florianópolis.

Get around[edit]


  • Babitonga Bay in Sao Francisco do Sul
  • Whales in Imbituba
  • Caves in Botuverá
  • Snow in the National Park of São Joaquim
  • Falls of the Chapecó River in Abelardo Luz
  • Waterfall Park in Corupá
  • Arvoredo Marine Biological Reserve in Bombinhas
  • Serra do Rio do Rastro between Lauro Muller and Bom Jardim da Serra
  • Serra Dona Francisca and North Plateau between Joinville and São Bento do Sul


  • Thermal waters in Western Santa Catarina: in Águas de Chapecó, Itá, Piratuba, São João do Oeste and São Carlos
  • Beto Carrero World, a theme park in Penha
  • The Oktoberfest of Blumenau is Brazil's largest and the world's second largest (after Germany's Munich)
  • Between July and November, southern right whales visit the state's coast.
  • The municipality of Timbó is a center for adventure sports like rafting and canyoning.
  • Joinville is the host city in July to the widely acclaimed "Joinville Dance Festival", the annual "Festival of Flowers" in November which showcases orchids produced in the region, and several business events in its Convention Center



  • Beer - high quality beer from local microbreweries Einsebahn and Bierland, in Blumenau, Schornstein in Pomerode, and Zehn Bier in Brusque
  • Wine - investments are being made to produce good wine in São Joaquim
  • Cachaça - high quality cachaças can be found in Luis Alves and many other small cities, and Florianópolis also has a few good brands, as Cachaça Intisica


Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Santa Catarina is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!