KITETRAVEL REPORT: FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL

While the Northeast of Brazil has been on the map for some time now as a world-famous kiting mecca, today our focus is on an exciting new kitesurfing hotspot in the southern region of the country: the island ofFlorianópolis, Brazil (known affectionately to locals as simply “Floripa”).|

 

 August 30th, 2007

While the Northeast of Brazil has been on the map for some time now as a world-famous kiting mecca, today our focus is on an exciting new kitesurfing hotspot in the southern region of the country: the island ofFlorianópolis, Brazil (known affectionately to locals as simply “Floripa”).

 

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Thanks to its constant Atlantic exposure and unique topography, Florianópolis offers fantastic kiting conditions — great wind consistency and tons of variety. The windy season in the region starts in September (Spring time) and continues all the way through March, with the most reliable and powerful wind months being September, October and November.

 

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The island of Florianópolis is uniquely shaped and is blessed with 42 beaches and several large lagoons. There are numerous world-class kiting beaches on the island and numerous options for lagoon, ocean, wave, and downwinder (up to 1 hour rides) kitesurfing. See Lagoa da Conceição, Campeche, Praia Mole and Ibiraquera on windguru to get an idea of just a few of the spots (though note that the published wind figured tend to be 4-5 knots below actual prevailing conditions). A more reliable local wind reader (though in Portuguese) is http://www.windbra.com.br/tempo/. The Lagoa da Conceição lagoon is an excellent spot for beginners (shallow in many parts) and advanced kiters alike. Floripa has a strong kiting culture with numerous kiting shops and centers where you can buy or rent equipment, and where beginners can take lessons.

 

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For advanced kitesurfers, Floripa is also famous because of the many kitewave riding spots. Floripa’s position as one of South America’s top surfing destinations (it hosts the only WCT Pro Surf Tour event in all of South America) gives it an edge when it comes to wave consistency and shape, and world-class wave riding sessions are the norm at spots like Campeche and Praia Mole beach.

 

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Aside from the fantastic wind conditions and great variety, where Floripa really differentiates itself from any other kitesurf destination in Brazil (or the world, for that matter!) is in what all is available outside of the water. For one, it is an outdoor sports lover’s paradise, offering nearly every imaginable activity under the sun: surfing, river rafting, horseback riding, paragliding, wakeboarding, snorkeling/diving, sand dune boarding, ecological hikes, windsurfing, whale watching and much more. So even if the wind isn’t kicking on a particular day or you just feel like mixing things up a bit, you most certainly won’t be bored. Also, unlike the Northeast of Brazil where the entire coast line is exposed to the winds, Floripa is an island with numerous hills and as such you can always find protected areas as well for your non-kiting activities or simply laying out and enjoying the many beautiful beaches and stunning natural beauty all around the island (in either case for which howling winds are less than desirable).

 

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Then there is the dining and nightlife in Floripa, which truly must be seen to be believed. What seems like a quiet beach town by day turns into one of the most vibrant and bustling nightlife spots anywhere in the world at night, with high-end “VIP” clubs and bars offering nightlife to give the best of LA, New York, Miami or London a run for their money (and at just a fraction of the cost, speaking of money!). There are a tremendous variety of dining options as well, with culinary gems including Thai, Sushi, Brazilian BBQ, Italian and French cuisine. And the people are known as the most beautiful in all of Brazil (which is saying a lot!), something that doesn’t hurt the nightlife scene of course either!

 

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Finally, there’s the culture of Florianópolis, which like much of southern Brazil has strong European influences from centuries past (particularly Italian and German). The result is a unique blend of cultures embodied in the friendliness, sophistication and look of the local people, as well as the greater organization, infrastructure and safety of the city as a whole.

 

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Not to be missed, Florianópolis should definitely be on your short list for top kitesurfing vacation destinations. With so much to offer in and out of the water there’s really something for everyone in Floripa, and a strong argument can be made that it is the world’s top all around kitesurf vacation destination. See for yourself, though be forewarned, you may not want to leave ever again as this is as close to a kiter’s paradise (or paradise in general, for that matter) that we’ve come across!

 

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For more information on kiting in Florianópolis and on the island in general (beaches, nature, culture, nightlife, etc.) visit www.nexussurf.com.

Nexus offers full service kiting tours (or packages with lessons and equipment for beginners) that feature high-end beachfront accommodations with WiFi, international phone lines and air conditioning, transportation, access to surf and other adventure sports activities, VIP nightlife access, local cell phone use and more. 

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