The state of Santa Catarina is in southern Brazil. Its capital, Florianopolis, lies largely on the Ilha de Santa Catarina and has over 40 beaches. The 560 kilometre coast is made up of beaches, bays, lagoons and islands, and is separated from the inland plains by the Serra Geral mountains. Activities include watersports, rafting, kayaking, canyoning and hiking. Over the centuries the region has been home to Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Polish and Japanese settlers, among others, all of whom have enhanced the diverse culture.
The summer months, December to March, are the best for beach lovers with high temperatures and sunshine. There is rain, but it usually falls in short, sharp bursts. The temperature drops considerably in winter, June to August, making the coast less attractive, but hiking and adventure sports can be done year round. If you want to see southern right whales they are usually present from July to November.
Time: GMT -3 hours
Most flights go to Sao Paulo but some airlines have direct flights to Rio de Janeiro, and to North-eastern Brazil. British Airways and TAM have direct flights from London and many European carriers also offer flights to Brazil.
Language: Portuguese is the official language. Spanish and English are understood quite widely.
Not required for British nationals.
There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if you are coming from an infected area. Malaria prophylactics are recommended in the rainforest.