It’s not as simple as sitting on the sand and swimming in the ocean, trust me.

Before going to the beach

Gather family members, relatives and friends. The more, the merrier!


  • A pair of Havaianas, the iconic plastic sandals feito no Brasil
  • A bikini with a string bottom for women, shorts for men
  • A ball (because who knows, with a bit of practice, someone could become the next Pelé!)
  • A cooler filled with beer cans (Brahma, Skol, Antarctica or Quilmes)
  • Your mate kit (thermos of hot water, bombilla and gourd) if you’re from Rio del Sul, visiting from Argentina or simply acquired the taste for the bitter beverage

Take your car and drive to the nearest beach. Don’t bother checking your mirrors, stopping at red lights, or slowing down when turning. You’re protected: you have a crucifix hanging from the dashboard mirror and a decal of Jesus on your bumper.

Park as close to the beach as you can. If you bump into another car, check the licence plate. One of these damn Argentinian tourists? Don’t worry about it.

At the beach

Take a seat on a plastic chair, rent a parasol and order some food. Something light, maybe, it’s very hot. Fries with grilled sausage and meat? Sounds good. Now open a beer can.

Beer isn’t doing what it should. Hail the cocktail cart—it’s about to roll on your feet, anyway. Get a proper drink, something with vodka for instance.

Kids are nagging you? Hail the guy selling beach toys and buy them a buoy. Should keep them busy.

Hungry? How about a hot dog or a churro? Shrimps on a skewer, maybe? Argentinian friend, we have empanadas for you, filling explained in lovely Portuñol. Boiled corn with your choripan sandwich? No worries, here they come!

Eat and watch people. Watch people and eat. Repeat. Don’t get mixed up and start eating people, we aren’t barbarians, there is enough meat on the carts to satisfy your carnivore cravings.

Maybe you’ve just realized that your bikini is so yesterday. Get up and go check out newer models from the bikini cart.

Take a dip in your water to show off your new bikini. Take a buttie—a selfie of your butt.

Water was salty. Need another cocktail. Or maybe a juice?

Tide is going up but it’s all good. We have at least fifty centimetres of dry sand left, no need to move. Why should we? Nobody does!

This is the conclusion of a depth study of Brazilians at the beach conducted over the course of several hours at Praia de Canasvieiras. Peer review was skipped—if you’re Brazilian, feel free to correct me!

Praia de Canasvieiras is about 25 kilometres north-east of Florianópolis on the northern part of Santa Catarina Island. It’s a popular destination for Brazilian and Argentinian families who come to enjoy the beach and the town with “modern” (read “tacky”) tourist “facilities” (read “lots of bars and souvenir shops”).

The sea was calm and the water hot so it was perfect for Mark who could play like if he was in the bath.

However, the beach wasn’t exactly what Feng and I were looking for. The narrow strip of sand—a couple of metres, at most—was jam-packed with people, chairs, parasols and dozens of carts and vendors selling booze, food and clothing. Forget about ice cream on the beach—you could order an entire meal cooked from the cart, like grilled meat with veggies or fish!

As impressive as it is from a technical point of view, we didn’t do the beach the Brazilian way and skipped lunch.

However, the beach was a perfect opportunity to observe people and take pictures (me), check out women in their bikini (Feng) and drop a churro in the sand (Mark).

Packs of beers at the supermarket in Canasvieiras
Coffee at the supermarket in Canasvieiras
Cakes at the supermarket in Canasvieiras
Packed beach at Canasvieiras
Our little corner of the beach
Cocktail cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Cocktail cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Bikini shopping on Praia de Canasvieiras
Cocktail cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Beach buoys on Praia de Canasvieiras
Boiled corn cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Shrimp skewers on Praia de Canasvieiras
Two girls sunbathing and drinking mate on Praia de Canasvieiras
Asado cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Coco cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Brazilian girls in bikini on on Praia de Canasvieiras
Hot dog cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Asado cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Hot dog cart on Praia de Canasvieiras
Praia de Canasvieiras
Praia de Canasvieiras
Praia de Canasvieiras
Praia de Canasvieiras
Praia de Canasvieiras

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  1. isa February 9, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Ahah but where is the sand?! Sounds fun though. Just once. Then back to sandy and jellyfished beaches!

    1. Zhu February 9, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Yep, it was entertaining but I like beaches with a bit more peace and a bit more sand!

  2. kiky February 9, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Too many people on the beach. similar situation in Kuta-Bali, don’t really like this beach even though Kuta is the most popular tourist spot. too crowded, too loud, and a lot of garbage. btw, I like the picture of those colorful bikinis. Did you buy one pair, or two?

    1. Zhu February 9, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      I have one pair, yellow bottom and colourful top. I should buy another one!

      Dirty beaches are the worst 🙁 Tourists can be dirty…

  3. Marlon Guerios February 9, 2017 at 4:05 am

    I lived in Floripa for many years and you will find more of everything in Canasvieiras, the Argentinean beach hehe. I guess I went to Canasvieiras only 2 or 3 times. Floripa has more than 40 ones to choose. You should check some other beaches out before you leave. Enjoy

    1. Zhu February 9, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      Oh, we are checking the beaches one by one! I’m not a huge fan of Canasvieras, too Cancun-ish for me. Which one is your favourite?

      And how was your Buenos Aires trip?

      1. Marlon February 11, 2017 at 1:12 am

        My favorite one is definitely Naufragados, at the very south. You can only get there by a short hike or boat. It’s kind of desert, but I like it very much. Other than that, Jurere Internacional, Campeche.

        My trip in Argentina has been good. Today is my last day, I’m in Puerto Iguazu, I’m gonna visit the argentinean side of the Cataratas, where I’ve never been to despite having lived in Foz do Iguaçu for years. I’ve been only to the Brazilian side, so let’s see.

        From Sunday on, I’ll be back to Curitiba. Keep on enjoying Brazil and let me know if you guys are close by. You can also contact me via Instagram: @marlonguerios

        1. Zhu February 11, 2017 at 6:29 pm

          It’s funny how we don’t take the time to visit attractions nearby us, isn’t it! I’m the same in France, took me years to visit Paris probably even though I’ve been there dozens of time as a student. I hope you enjoyed the Argentinian side!

          We are still in Floripa for now, not sure yet where we will go next. We have to move around Carnival dates as well… I’ll be in touch!

  4. I Say Oui February 13, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Did you make up the word ‘buttie’?? Haha. That food sounds good, but I can’t imagine eating it on a really hot day. Being on the beach makes me want to eat fruit and cool items.

    1. Zhu February 13, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Totally made it up 😆

      Same here, I don’t really eat during the day when it’s that hot. I do drink a lot, though (no, not beer!)


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