Surfing Florianopolis | Complete Guide To Brazil’s Island Paradise 

Did you know there’s an island paradise with warm weather and water year-round, super fun beach breaks, and ridiculously consistent and natural beauty to rival any surf destination? Oh, and people don’t wear many clothes either; always a lovely touch. Surfing in Florianopolis offers all of the above and could be the location for your next lesser known surf venture…  

Situated in the Santa Catarina region in southern Brazil, the subtropical island paradise offers everything you can want, from a surfing destination to a digital nomad base. Fun and sometimes pumping beach breaks, numerous spots, and somewhere to surf every day. 

Surfing in Florianopolis, usually looks like this...

About Florianopolis 

Floripa has long been established on the Brazilian surfing map and is widely regarded as one of the best locations to be a surfer in Brazil. A huge claim in a country comparable in size to Australia and where surfing is as popular as football. 

With an abundance of spots for all abilities and many of Brazil’s top WSL QS surfers coming from the area, it’s no wonder the place has such a reputation. Brazil and Floripa remain relatively “off the radar” for many traveling surfers, and unless you’re on the QS, the nation of Brazil and this little island remain largely overlooked. 

But should it be this way? I was intrigued, so I booked a ticket and headed to Floripa. Here I break down everything you need to know about surfing Florianopolis. From the different spots, where to stay, what surfing is like here, what to eat and how to get there. 

Getting To Florianopolis

Fly to Floripa from any major city in Brazil. (Check flights here) with direct services from Rio, Sao Paulo, and most major cities; Sky Airlines and Latam are two of the major carriers in the country. 

You can also find direct flights from other cities across South America. For example, I flew directly from Santiago in Chile, which cost around $350usd. From further afield,  you’ll need to connect through Sao Paulo or Rio, then hop on a domestic flight to Floripa. Check out all flights here. 

The bus may be a great option if you’re already in Brazil and traveling on a budget. Although the distances are longgg in Brazil, many o bus services cater to this and are complete with A/C, wifi, and comfy reclining seats. 

If you’ve ever traveled on the buses in Brazil, please let me know of your experience in the  comments. 

Florianopolis Surf Season

While the island enjoys great waves year-round, the Florianopolis surf season can be considered winter. Which in Brazil runs from April – October. This is when the largest swells are created from storms deep down in the roaring forties and send the largest ground swells to the Brazilian coast. 

While significantly cooler than other spots further north in the country, the weather in Floripa is warm year round and although the mornings are a little chilly, you can surf in a 3/2 all year round and even surf in boardies during the summer. 

Despite Brazil’s Reputation, Floripa Is Generally Not That Crowded & Has Tonnes Of Super Fun, Punchy Beach Breaks. 

Surf Forecast For Floripa

To check the latest conditions for the surf in Floripa, check Surfline Florianopolis or MSW Floripa. 

Florianopolis Surf Spots

The island of Florianopolis boasts a wide array of spots for all abilities. But don’t be fooled; despite Brazil’s reputation for having crappy average beach breaks, the waves here pack a punch and get heavy… Below are some of the most well-known spots in the area. 

Praia Mole 

When over 4ft, a super consistent spot turns into a menacing closeout. On smaller days, punchy peaks up and down the beach are perfect for intermediate to advanced surfers. 

Joaquina 

One of the centerpieces of surfing Florianopolis. Another super reliable beach break is located in the island’s center—fun, punchy, and, at times, heavy. Popular and easily accessible means this spot does get crowded, but walk down the beach, and you’ll find peaks to yourself. 

Campeche 

More protected due to Isla Campeche covering E/SE swells, but on larger days, swell wraps around the island to create shallow barreling wedges running down the sandbar, which on the best days is reminiscent of Snapper in Australia.

Mocambique

A long stretch of beach runs for miles at the island’s northern end. The potential for peaks up and down the beach means you can often score great waves here with little to no one else around.

Barra Da Lagoa

The perfect sheltered corner (in south winds, at least) for beginners and intermediates. Tucked into the corner is the ideal beginner spot with small waves even on the biggest days, and as the beach bends around toward Mocambique, the waves get progressively bigger as you go, so pick the size you want to surf.

Joaquina, one of the centre pieces of surfing in Florianopolis

Where To Stay For Surfing In Florianopolis

Numerous accommodation options are scattered across Florianopolis, many of which serve as the perfect spot for surfers and digital nomads. I stayed at Selina Floripa, a chain of excellent hostels catering to backpackers and digital nomads across Latin America.

Selina Floripa is located perfectly across the road from Praia Mole and boasts a restaurant, surf shop, barbers, dorm and private rooms, and an epic co-work space. If you work online and want to surf, look no further. 

Floripa Digital Nomad life and surfing go hand in hand // Co Work Space At Selina Floripa

Surfing Florianopolis - Summary

Despite Brazil’s reputation for average surf and aggressive crowds, having been here and spent, I can safely say that presumption is wrong. And if surfing in Florianopolis is anything to go by, Brazil boasts pumping, heavy waves, and enough spots to spread out the crowds. 

Florianopolis has enough different spots to cater to all abilities and can keep a surfer happy for months at a time. Seriously I didn’t leave the place for weeks. To summarize, I’d highly recommend staying at Selina, surfing Mole, and exploring all this paradise island has to offer from there. 

I hope this post has helped inspire and informed you to head to Floripa and get some waves. Let me know how you go in the comments. 

If you want to explore more about surfing in Brazil, check out this post on what surfing in Rio is actually like. 

Dan Harmon

Dan Harmon

Hello! My name's Dan Harmon and I am a full time content creator and copywriter working freelance as I travel and surf my way around the globe. This blog is where I show you how to do the same.

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