The Hidden Beaches of Ilha de Santa Catarina

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The hardest it is to get to a spot, the more likely you’ll enjoy it. It feels like a precious, unique experience, you’re mentally set to appreciate it.

And sometimes, you do stumble upon a true gem.

South of Ilha de Santa Catarina is Armação, a cute village with an equally cute little beach and plenty of picturesque fishing boats. Praia da Armação was still quiet when we arrived—… at 2 p.m., I’m guessing Brazilians were still finishing their beloved lunch!—so I went to explore Praia do Caldeirão, starting a few metres north. The beach isn’t that long but my feet were sinking deep in the coarse sand all the way and it was exhausting. Other than that, it was a fun, lonely walk and I found a few giant seashells.

By the time I came back to Praia da Armação, it was packed, so we decided to hike to the other two beaches just across the hill.

We didn’t need a trail map, we just have to follow the flow of people going back and forth between the three beaches. First, you have to cross a drainage canal—water was pretty clean, it sounds worst than it is—then you take a wooden bridge along the coast or walk on mostly flat rocks up the hill to get to the one-kilometre-long Praia do Matadeiro.

At the end of the beach, another trail leads to Praia da Lagoinha Leste, a secluded beach inside a park and surrounded by hills and mountains.

Brazilians seems to be born with the ability to climb smooth, sand-covered rocks completely blinded by the sun, wearing Havaianas flip-flops, and holding a can beer. I definitely don’t have this skill but hey, it was worth it, great spot, very different from the rest of the island. For some reason, it reminded me of a South-East Asia beach where lush hills meet the sea.

At the end of the day, we hiked back to Praia da Armação. Suddenly, I noticed several boats rushing to the shore, the fishermen looking up at the sky.

I looked up as well and I saw it—a giant black cloud moving fast towards us. How did we even miss it?

“Quick, it’s gonna pour!”

The beach emptied out in a matter of seconds. We all hurried to our respective parking lots, a few hundreds metres from the seashore.

Some made it, others didn’t.

We didn’t and got soaked.

“Gee, how do people manage to have sex in a car?” I mumbled as I was trying to take my swimsuit off and change into my dry shorts and t-shirt on the passenger seat.

Leaving the beach at the right time—another Brazilian skill I don’t master…

Mirante Morro das Pedras, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Mirante Morro das Pedras, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Mirante Morro das Pedras, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Mirante Morro das Pedras, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Armação, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Armação, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Ilha de Santa Catarina, Praia do Caldeirão

Ilha de Santa Catarina, Praia do Caldeirão

Ilha de Santa Catarina, Praia do Caldeirão

Ilha de Santa Catarina, Praia do Caldeirão

Ilha de Santa Catarina, Praia do Caldeirão

Praia da Armação, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Armação from the Ponta das Campanhas

Praia do Matadeiro from the Ponta das Campanhas

Praia do Matadeiro from the Ponta das Campanhas

Crossing between Praia da Armação and Praia do Matadeiro

Crossing between Praia da Armação and Praia do Matadeiro

Hiking between the beaches

Hiking between the beaches

Praia do Matadeiro, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia do Matadeiro, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Lagoinha Leste, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Lagoinha Leste, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Lagoinha Leste, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Armação, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Armação, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Armação, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Praia da Armação, Ilha de Santa Catarina

Soaked, finally in the car…

Soaked, finally in the car…

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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