Although Florianópolis has gained in popularity with foreign tourists, don’t expect every hostel or restaurant to have English-speaking staff. Studying just a few phrases of basic Portuguese will go a long way, and be careful not to assume that Spanish and Portuguese are similar. In fact, some of their sounds couldn’t be more different! Learning common courtesies is an easy way to making a stay in Florianópolis much smoother.
There are numerous hiking trails throughout the island, but it never hurts to have a buddy or two on the trail. Most travelers have no problems while hiking, but going with a group is a great way to meet locals, other travelers and get to know the area better. There are a few websites, like Calendário Floripa, that list the hiking groups and other great events you’ll want to check out.
Florianópolis has a thriving hostel scene, with options including lakefront, beachfront, or up in the jungle. Solo travelers will likely want to stay in the Lagoa da Conceição area for easy access to shops, restaurants and bars. There also great hostels in the Barra da Lagoa area, which is perfect for access to the beach and surfing with has a smaller town feel.
Uber arrived in Florianópolis at the end of 2016, so the drivers are new and there aren’t a ton of them like in other large cities. This isn’t São Paulo or Rio. It’s much smaller, and locals like it that way. Don’t fret though, there are other ride service apps like 99 Taxis that solo travelers can use to get a quick, safe ride.
Without a doubt the beaches in Florianópolis are world class and offer a huge variety of vibes. There are also plenty of other places for solo travelers to enjoy, like the Mercado Publico in the Centro area, which is perfect for browsing and enjoying a beer in the company of a good crowd. There’s also Santa Catarina’s Historical Museum, set inside a lovely restored mansion, also in the Centro area.
Santa Catarina’s Historical Museum Rua Antônio (Nico) Luz, 260 – Centro, Florianópolis – SC, 88010-410, Brazil
Although Florianópolis isn’t anything like bigger cities with more crime issues, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Be smart and only carry around what is needed for the day, particularly on the beach. This is a laid-back beach place, which means excessive jewelry will look out of place and make you a target. Be sure to stay off the beaches late at night, unless you’re with a trusted group of friends.