As I have found little to no English information online, here is a rough guide for hiking on the Ilha de Santa Catarina.
- We ignored Florianopolis, the capital – lovingly nicknamed Floripa – and drove straight to the other side of the island
- We stayed overnight in Barra da Lagoa and did 2 longer walks, 11 km each with 4 km optional*
- The first tour starts directly in Barra da Lagoa, on the other side of the pretty blue pedestrian bridge. Just ask the locals for a trilha and you’ll be shown were to go.
- Follow the lightly beaten path – there is no other till reaching Praia Mole.
- Take the road for a km or so direction Lagoa da Conceição till your GPS** (seriously, take one) indicates a path to Praia de Cravata.
- Enjoy the sights there but stop walking before getting your legs all scratched by these:
- For the second tour, we drove to the South of the Island and parked the car close to the Praia matadeiro
- The trail starts by taking left after crossing the little river on a small wooden bridge.
- Keep on walking, cross the next beach – at the end of it, you’ll find the continuation of the path.
- Up in the mountains it goes, and on and on till reaching the praia of Lagoinha do Leste – a beach that’s only accessible through trails.
- After a good break and another walk by the beach, find the wooden sign indicating the trail to Pantana do Sul and from here the bus back to where your car stands.
Honestly, the trails are sometimes not more than a washed out stream, in other words: steep, slippery and occasionally muddy. I hence highly recommend good hiking shoes even if you meet invariable and infallibly a Brazilian doing the same trail wearing floppies. Also take something to eat and lots to drink as there is sometimes a bit of infrastructure but sometimes not.
For us, it was very enjoyable to hike along this rough coast with its chilly winds alternating dense vegetation and lonely beaches.
É muito recomendado!
* Optional as in either taking the bus or walking back by the road
** We’re using the OsmAnd app as you can actually see the trails if zooming in closely enough.