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The Island of Campeche, Florianopolis: A Hidden Gem of Brazil

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Brazil is known for many famous locations, but it's also beaming with hidden gems. The island of Campeche, Florianopolis, is definitely one of those spots that blew us away, and will definitely be a place to add to your South American bucket list.


This small slice of paradise is a short ride away from the large island of Florianopolis, and is a popular day trip for tourists and locals alike.


In this guide we're going to share everything you need to know for visiting, and answer any questions you may have about the island of Campeche, Florianopolis. Let's jump right in!

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Where is the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis Located?

The island of Campeche is located off the south eastern coast of Florianopolis, Brazil. The island of Florianopolis is connected to the mainland by two bridges, and is the capital of the state of Santa Catarina in South Eastern Brazil.

Where is Campeche, Florianopolis

Campeche is off the south east coast of Florianopolis.


How to Get to the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis 

There are a few different options for getting to Campeche island, and each of them are by sea. As there are only 700 people allowed on the island each day, tickets do sell out, sometimes days in advance. For this reason it's important to get your tickets as soon as possible, especially during high season.


Visiting the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis Option #1:

The island is just across from Campeche Beach, making it the easiest and quickest point to visit Campeche island from. Here you can find small speed boats that go there in just five minutes. This costs 200 Real, which is a little under $40 USD per person.


Visiting the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis Option #2:

The cheapest way to reach Campeche, Florianopolis is actually to go from a beach which is further away (sounds weird, but it is slightly less expensive). The beach of Barra da Lagoa is a town that is popular for people to stay, and offers quite a few different boat excursions.


There are three companies that run the tour to the island of Campeche, two that are right under the bridge, and one that is located at a small storefront across the street. Two of them offer trips at 10 am for 180 Real, and the third (the one next to the souvenir stands) is 170 Real for a trip at 9 am (and 180 if you are paying with card). This trip was quoted to be an hour, but ended up being an hour and 15-20 minutes.

Campeche Beach, how to get to Campeche, Florianopolis

There are a couple of different beaches that have boats to Campeche Island.

You can reserve tickets in person at their booth, or by messaging them on Whatsapp to get your name on the list. 


Visiting the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis Option #3:

The final way that you can reach Campeche, Florianopolis is by a private tour. There are special charters that you can get that will take you there, and while this the most expensive option, it is definitely a bit more of a fun one, and has a bit more flexibility.


Want to book a tour in advance? Here is one you can prebook from Armacao:


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The Trip to the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis: What to Expect

Now that you know how to book, here is how the beginning of your day will look like.


Checking In

All companies require that you get there an hour before so that they can get everyone checked in. This was extremely chaotic, as some people pay in advance, and see people have reservations that aren't paid for yet. When we got there it was full of people, and hard to even tell if there was a line or not.


Also keep in mind that if you have a car, parking can be quite challenging, so give yourself some extra time. There are some free areas, but most lots charge 20-30 Real to leave your car for the day.


The Boat Ride to Campeche, Florianopolis

We decided to do the trip from Barra da Lagoa, as we were staying in the north, and with traffic it would have been another 45 minutes to drive to Campeche Beach (plus there is insane traffic in this end of the island).


The boat was very full, with a total of 45 of us onboard. The ride is pretty scenic, and the boats are covered on top. The ride was a bit rocky, so if you get sea sick, you may want to bring some dramamine, or opt for taking the shorter ride from Campeche beach.


The boats are equipped with life vests, but it is not mandatory to wear during the journey. There are no bathrooms onboard (at least there wasn't one on ours or the tiny speed boats) so make sure to go to the bathroom before checking in in the morning.


boat ride to Campeche, Florianopolis
Boat ride to Campeche, Florianopolis
boat ride to Campeche, Florianopolis
boat ride to Campeche, Florianopolis

The boat ride to the island of Campeche, Florianopolis is super scenic.


Arriving to the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis 

While the small beaches pull up right on the beach, the bigger ones like ours can't get that close. We actually had to jump in waist deep and walk to the sand, so this is another thing you'll want to be prepared for. Put on your bathing suit before getting on the boat, and bring a waterproof bag if you have one just in case.

boat ride to Campeche, Florianopolis

You may have to walk trough the water to get to the beach from the boat.

Once you get on the island you'll have to wait for everyone to get off, as there is an island brief by the local guides for each boat. This can take around 10 minutes, so be patient and lather up your sunscreen in the meantime. Once the brief is over, you'll have free time to enjoy the island as you wish. Just make sure you make it back to the same place your boat dropped you at the agreed upon time. (Most boats allow up to 4 hours for visitors).


One thing we do suggest, is that whenever the brief is over, make sure to go grab a spot in the shade, as there is limited shaded area, and the sun is super strong!


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Things to Do on Campeche Island

You've finally made it to the island of Campeche, Florianopolis! So now what? Here are the different options for how to spend your day.


Enjoy the Beach

There is actually only one beach on the island, and it is where all of the boats arrive. Being that it is the only beach, it does of course have almost everyone there. The good news is that even though it'll be busy, it won't ever get too packed due to the limited number of people allowed on the island each day.


Island of Campeche, Florianopolis
Island of Campeche, Florianopolis
Island of Campeche, Florianopolis

The island of Campeche is know for it's beautiful beach.

The beach is absolutely stunning, and reminds us of Seychelles with its giant rocks, powdery white sand, and crystal clear waters. 


Take a dip, soak up the sun, or simply go for a walk and explore the hidden corners that the beach has to offer. 

Island of Campeche, Florianopolis

The Beach at Campeche reminds us a lot of Seychelles.

Fun Fact: Due to the texture of the sand, it actually squeaks when you walk on it!


Do One of the Walking Trails

There are actually a few trails that you can explore to see some other beautiful landscapes that the island of Campeche, Florianopolis has to offer. The important thing to know is that you actually can only access this via a guide from the island. 


In order to sign up for one, you'll have to head to the giant bamboo stick between the lifeguard stand and the snack stand. Turn left and you'll see a small kiosk with a local who can put you on one of the tours. The first tour starts around 10:30, and they offer them until usually around 3:30. We do suggest signing up as early as you can though.


trail on the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis
trail on the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis
trail on the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis

There are two different tours of trails that you can do on the island of Campeche, Florianopolis.

The Two Different Trails on the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis

There are two different tours that you can do. The first one is a shorter one, that has a couple of different stops, including stunning coastal views, and descriptions about the history of the island. This one takes about an hour, and costs 20 Real, while the longer, more complete one does a few more stops, is 2 full hours, and costs 30 Real.


Things to Know About Doing the Trails

When we first wanted to do one of the trails, there was a local guide that told us that there are some boat companies that contribute to the island, and others that don't. Those that  said with a company that contributes can do the trails, while the others cannot.


In our experience, we had no issue with this. Although we weren't part of a "contributing boat", they didn't actually ask when we went to sign up for the tour That being said, it could be a good idea to confirm with your tour company beforehand whether they are contributors or not. It's always good to support a company that is contributing to a better cause than just themselves.


Another thing to note is that no food or drink are allowed on the trails, and shoes must be worn. The walk is very slow, and super easy, so anyone can do it really. The end you can choose to walk along the rocks, but you also don't need to if you don't want to. (We definitely think it's worth doing so though).

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Go Snorkeling

Another fun tour that you can do on the island of Campeche, Florianopolis is to go on a snorkeling tour. They take about an hour and 20 minutes, and cost 80 Real per person. This is something that sells out quite quickly, so we urge you to sign up for this as early as possible.


There isn't a concrete time table, but there are only a few slots open. Being that we went on the earlier boat, we couldn't go snorkeling because the only available tour didn't come back until 2:20, and our boat was leaving at 2:00.


In addition, they do have different packages when it comes to photos, which you can take a look at below:

Photo Packages of snorkeling Campeche Florianopolis

There are a few different photo packages that accompany the snorkeling activity.

Play Volleyball

Here's one of the activities that you can actually do without having to shell out any money. Located right on the beach is a large volleyball court, and it is open to the public. We suggest bringing your own ball, as we didn't find any particular place to rent any.


Amenities on the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis

Now that you know all of the fun things to do on the island of Campeche, Florianopolis, here is a bit of info about the amenities that are included on the beach.


Food & Drink

There are two options for food and drinks on the beach.


The first one is a small kiosk, which offers drinks and simple snacks such as sandwiches, empanadas, and açaí. It's a bit overpriced, and definitely not the highest quality, so we suggest bringing your own. However, it's always good to know that there is the option if you don't have time to stop before the tour (like us).

Menu snack bar Campeche island

The second option is a sit down restaurant with seating right on the beach. The menu has different seafood dishes, chicken, meat, and drinks. It's important to note that here you can only pay with cash or with PIX (a Brazilian money transfer app). 


Restaurant Campeche Florianopolis
Restaurant Campeche Florianopolis
Restaurant Campeche Florianopolis

There is a restaurant that offers lunch and drinks right on the beach.

In addition, they have fresh coconuts for sale. Although very expensive (20 Rei), we have to say that they were very cold and refreshing.

coconuts, island of Campeche, Florianopolis

There are fresh coconuts served right next to the restaurant on the beach.

Umbrellas & Chairs

We saw many people bring their own chairs, umbrellas, coolers, and basically anything else you cold think of for a beach trip. However, there are in fact plenty of umbrellas and chairs that you can rent from the the island itself if you don't want to bring your own. Unfortunately we couldn't find the prices on these, but would imagine they can't be too expensive considering the limited amount of time you'll have on the island.


Bathrooms

There aren't any traditional bathrooms on site. However, there are two Porta potties, one for men and one for women. They were equipped with toilet paper, but we definitely suggest bringing some of your own hand sanitizer for afterwards.


We didn't find any showers. However, one wouldn't really help being that you'll most likely have to walk through the water to get back to your boat anyway. Both Campeche Beach and Barra do Lagoa do have showers though if you want to use those when you get back from the island of Campeche.


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Getting Around the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis

The island of Campeche, Florianopolis is super tiny, and everything can be accessed by foot. There are no vehicles at all on the island, and unless you have a tour, you will only be able to stay on the beach area.


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Price for the Island of Campeche, Florianopolis

Here is a breakdown of the different expenses (per person) for visiting the island of Campeche, Florianopolis:


Parking for Campeche Beach or Barra Do Lagoa: 20-30 Real

Transportation to the island: 170-200 Real

Trails: 20 or 30 Real

Snorkeling: 80 Real

Non-Alcoholic Drinks: 10-20 Real

Alcoholic Drinks: 15-40 Real

Snacks: 10-30 Real

Food: 50-150 Real

Coconuts: 20 Real

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How to Prepare for a Trip to Campeche Island

Now that you know all of the things to expect for your trip to the island of Campeche, Florianopolis, here are a few more things to keep in mind:


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Weather at Campeche Island

When we visited Campeche, Florianopolis it was very hot and humid. The weather is like this mostly from January to March. If you want cooler days, we suggest booking your trip from December or April.


The Best Time to Visit Campeche Island

Being that the window frame for visiting the island is the same for everyone, it all comes down to personal preference. If you'd like to get there before everyone else, we suggest trying to hop on one of the earliest speed boats from Campeche Beach.


However, if you prefer to have more time for activities, then we suggest getting the boats that go later in the morning (you can probably get one to leave as late as 11:00, but should check before hand at Campeche Beach- the latest boat that goes from Barra Do Logoa is at 10 am and leaves the island at 3:00).

Island of Campeche, Florianopolis

If you get to the beach on an earlier boat, you can enjoy the beach before it gets crowded.

Packing for a Trip to Campeche, Florianopolis

Despite being just four hours on the island, the trip to Campeche, Florianopolis will in fact be a half day trip, totaling in 7 hours if you happen to go from Barra Do Lagoa like we did.


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Here is a list of things you should bring with you:

  • Sunscreen (the sun is extremely strong!)
  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel
  • Food or Snacks
  • Power Bank (We use Anker power banks as they are some of the best)
  • Travel Adapter (we use Tessan travel adapters as they are affordable and reliable)
  • Cash (if you want a coconut or to eat at the restaurant)
  • Flip flops (we use Havaiana's), water shoes, or sneakers (if you want to do the trails)
  • Bug spray (for the hike)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)
  • Underwater phone pouch (if you go snorkeling)
  • Dramamine (if you get sea sick)
  • Insulated water bottle (or it will get warm quickly- we use Cafago vacuum sealed bottles)
island of Campeche, Florianopolis
island of Campeche, Florianopolis
island of Campeche, Florianopolis

The island of Campeche is the perfect day trip from Florianopolis..


So are you ready to explore the beautiful island of Campeche, Florianopolis? We know you'll fall in love with it just as much as we did. Don't forget to make your reservations as soon as you can!


Want to know other fun things to do in Florianopolis? Well, we have a full Florianopolis travel guide for you to check out, as long as more Brazilian travel guides coming up! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know about all of our new content, as well as receive exclusive deals on our travel products and services.


Looking to start booking your trip? Well, we're here to help! Scratch Your Mapa now offers customized travel planning services so that you can have the most epic trip of your life. Unlike other travel agencies, we aim to save you money, so we don't work on ridiculous commission scams. Want to learn more? Take a look at our different travel planning packages that we offer.


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