The incredible island of Florianopolis, is home to no fewer than 40 beaches. Though varied in size and popularity with the crowds, all are stunning in their own right. One beach, however, stands out thanks to its secluded location: Lagoinha do Leste.
The name means ‘little eastern lagoon’ but this beach is actually a large crescent of white sand tucked between two hills. The only way to access Lagoinha do Leste via land is by foot trails that wind through the hills for about an hour or more, depending on which trail is taken. The area surrounding the beach is verdant Atlantic forest, filled with a diverse array of plant and animal life.
One trail leaves from the Pantano do Sul area, southwest of Lagoinha do Leste. This is about 4 km and relatively easy to access from the town. The other leaves from Armação, north of the beach and is significantly longer at 14 km. Hikers should travel in groups, walking in a single file because the trail isn’t always wide enough for more. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent, snacks and a hat, as the trail is often exposed. Also take care when touching plants, as some have hidden thorns. The trail is well worth the effort, along the way there are spectacular views of the coastline.
The true reward, however, is arriving at Lagoinha do Leste and taking a dip in the cool, clear waters. If not deserted, there are often only a few souls around, thanks to the effort it takes to get there. It’s lovely to bring a picnic to enjoy after the hike, be aware that there are few, if any, facilities available. There may be a small tent with some drinks for sale, but there are no permanent structures at this beach. Fires are prohibited, but that doesn’t stop some from setting up camp and staying the night. It’s also popular with surfers in search of the best uncrowded break, and they, along with some beachgoers often arrive by boat from Pantano do Sul, skipping the trails altogether. However you get there, you won’t be disappointed.