First of all, unless you’re driving there yourself and are using a GPS, you will need to know this simple piece of Brazilian Portuguese: the pronunciation of the letter “R” sounds like an “H.” So if you’re asking for a ticket or directions to anywhere other than Praia do “Hosa” you might get some funny looks.
The actual town of Praia do Rosa is extremely small and mainly consists of restaurants and a couple posadas that line the brick paths down to the beach, but it’s basically an extension of the town of Ibiraquera. When looking for places to stay, if you plan to spend a few nights, remember that Praia do Rosa refers mainly to the beach itself, so look for accommodation by searching Ibiraquera as well.
The beach of Praia do Rosa stretches for a couple kilometers and, when the tide is out, provides a huge strip of soft, white sand near the dunes, and packed sand where the tide rolls in and out, perfect for playing beach sports. The large bay ensures there is rarely a rip, or dangerous current, and the gorgeous, blue waters and refreshing but welcoming temperatures makes it great for swimming.
Set back slightly from the beach, you will find a small lagoon, Lagoa do Meio, a welcome, tranquil change from the windy beach and breaking waves of the ocean. The lagoon accepts ocean water at high tide, and slowly offers it back once the tide retreats, sometimes creating a small sandbar that locks off the lake from the ocean, making a shallow swimming pool.
If you’re expecting to stay at a modern, marble resort where you can stroll past the pool right to the beach and be handed a towel on your way, then Praia do Rosa might not be the beach for you. However, if you want a beach in its unaltered, pristine condition, with rustic buildings and boutique places to stay, and a chance to get in touch with nature, then, yes, you and Praia do Rosa will get along just fine.
Despite Praia do Rosa’s size, it offers an extensive amount of accommodation options for all budgets. There is a handful of hostels for the budget traveler who is alright bunking it, there are mid-range posadas for people who want a little more privacy, or couples looking for a romantic getaway, and also some boutique Bed and Breakfasts for the families visiting Praia do Rosa.
For a rustic and relaxed town, Praia do Rosa surprises with some decent restaurants to eat spread out between the beach and Ibiraquera. You will have your choice of tasty seafood spots, traditional Brazilian food and even a couple of Italian bistros. Just because you’re off the beaten path doesn’t mean you have to eat like it.
So much of the coast of Brazil is thin, rocky outcrops, hilly chunks of jungle, and mini mountains covered in greenery that stick out into the water, making the coast uniquely beautiful—and Praia do Rosa affords that characteristic as well. On the north and south ends of the beach, there are two thin headlands that have trails leading up to them, which will give you the best view and photo opportunities to snap a memorable picture of Praia do Rosa from above.
Where everything revolves around the beach, you will naturally feel a sense of peace, and this relaxed approach continues when referring to marijuana, which is illegal in Brazil, however somewhat accepted in Praia do Rosa. If you are visiting as a family with young ones, understand this, and that the authorities are more concerned with visitors picking up after themselves than surfers puffing on some herb.
The state of Santa Catarina has so many great surf beaches to choose from, more than a handful in Florianopolis alone, that some people forget Praia do Rosa also has some great breaks. The beach breaks need a decently heavy swell to make a surfable wave, but, when it arrives, it’s a ton of fun. On a big day, farther out, you can expect some good barrels too. Also, being such a long beach means it’s not often crowded.