North Coast Beaches
The beaches along Ilha de Santa Catarina’s north coast boast the warmest and calmest waters. For this reason, they were the first to attract tourists, particularly families. As a result, most of the beaches along this coast have become incredibly built up with numerous soulless hotels, restaurants, condos, and tacky T-shirt shops.
At the extreme western tip, Daniela is one of the nicer beaches, with aquamarine waters and soft sand backed by greenery. Facing the beach is Ilha Ratones with its medieval-looking 18th-century Forte de Santo Antônio de Ratones. Traveling west, you’ll come to Praia de Jurerê. Although very developed, it has a fine beach and is close to Praia do Forte, a fishing village built adjacent to the impressive 18th-century Forte São José da Ponta Grossa.
Canasvieiras is out of control, while Ponto das Canas, at its western end, is more manageable with a wide strip of beach, fewer summer houses, and a privileged westward-looking view that makes for ideal sunset viewing. From here, it is a 20-minute walk to Lagoinha do Norte, an enticing little beach surrounded by green hills with calm transparent waters that are ideal for snorkeling.
Facing the open Atlantic, Praia Brava attract surfers and hangers-on with its rough seas. Unfortunately, this pretty beach has also attracted some extremely ugly four-story condos. Even worse is neighboring Praia dos Ingleses, one of the most heavily urbanized beaches on the ilha (island). Surfers also flock to the somewhat wilder Praia do Santinho, which is bracketed at one end by the Costão do Santinho mega resort and at the other by deserted sand dunes fringed with vegetation.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition