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FLORIANOPOLIS

Florianopolis is the capital of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Half of the city is on the mainland of Brazil while the other half is on the Island of Santa Catarina. The island is known as "Ilha da Magia" or Magic Island, probably because of its incredible natural beauty, more than 100 beaches with 42 being well known, rocks, mountains, lakes, lagoons, waterfalls, bays, inlets, rich houses and buildings and young population and visitors.

Florianopolis has some of Brazil's most beautiful beaches. The northern beach resorts Jurerê, Daniela, Canasvieiras, Brava and Ingleses get very busy during the summer and there are plenty of hotels, restaurants and other conveniences for the tourist. Eastern beaches, like Joaquina, Mole and Moçambique are among the best surfing beaches and popular with young people. Beaches heading south include Campeche, Armação and Morro das Pedras, which are all very beautiful and also good for surfing. Isolated and unspoilt beaches, like Lagoinha do Leste and Naufragados, can be found at the southern end of the island and can only be reached only by trail. Lagoa da Conceição is a famous natural attraction, and the centerpiece of the island; it is relatively shallow, with high winds making it a world-class location for windsurfing. Peri Lagoon is quieter, on the other hand, and great for nature walks.

For sightseers, Praça XV de Novembro is the place to be. There is the Cruz e Sousa Palace that was built in the XVIII century to be the residence and office of Santa Catarina's Governor. Later, it was rededicated in honor of the symbolist poet Cruz e Sousa. Catedral Metropolitana is also in Praça XV de Novembro and regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Another attraction in Praça XV de Novembro is Velha Figueira. This 100 year-old tree is honored in the official municipal hymn of Florianopolis.

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