Overview

The prosperous southern state of Santa Catarina has over 500km of undulating coastline with pretty crescent-shaped beaches. Ilha de Santa Catarina (the gateway is the city of Florianópolis) is popular with families and surfers. The cliffs and bays along the coast shelter a few highly regarded top-end beach properties.

On the mainland, the coastline adjoining the little resort of Praia do Rosa - considered one of the top most beautiful 30 bays in the world - is particularly exquisite and easily explored on foot and by hire car, stopping off at a variety of beaches to admire the sand dunes or take to the surf. Many are backed by tranquil lagoons safe for swimming.

Beyond the beaches, the coastal ranges here and in the more southerly state of Rio Grande do Sul are a sharply rucked carpet of bottle-green mountains, gorges, waterfalls and cloud forests fringed by huge ferns, vivid flowers and palms. The Serra Verde Railway descends through swirling mists which lift to reveal eye-popping panoramas. There are walking trails in the Serra Geral, and mountain ranges gashed by steep canyons. The state was settled by Germans and Italians - vineyards and hydrangeas cover the sunny slopes and the landscape has a distinctly Alpine feel.

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Things to do

Relaxing on beautiful, sun-drenched beaches is a popular pastime in southern Brazil. However, there are plenty of other things to do.

Where to go when - our guide to South Brazil’s mountains and beaches

Praia do Rosa

The weather in South Brazil’s mountains and beaches is wide and varied

Set just outside the tropics, south Brazil boasts undulating coastlines backed by mountains, waterfalls and cloud forests sheltering vivid flowers and palms. The area has well-defined seasons. The mountains and canyons inland can be enjoyed all year: the days are often clearer in winter (June - September) although it is much cooler and you may even encounter snow.
For the best beach weather, go between December and March although it’s still very pleasant through to May. November - March is the most popular time among visitors to the beaches: the area around Florianopolis is extremely busy December - February, making for a lively atmosphere – some shops and restaurants can be closed outside this period.

View our South Brazil’s mountains and beaches weather guide

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    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

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    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

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    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

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    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

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