July 16, 2012
Campeche, on the southeast side of Santa Catarina Island, is one of the best beaches in Florianópolis and a great choice for travelers on their first visit.
The beach is a favorite among surfers, kitesurfers and other active beachgoers. It attracts a beautiful crowd every summer, and it's close to other major points of interest, such as Lagoa da Conceição and Joaquina.
In front of the beach is a top ecological attraction: Ilha do Campeche, an island rich in native rainforest and archaeological sites. Praia do Campeche is one of the points in Florianópolis from which the island can be reached, and the crossing here takes only five minutes.
Moreover, Campeche is dotted with affordable places to stay (read more below), restaurants that don't break the bank, for example kilo restaurants, and shops, including good grocery stores and bakeries such as Recanto dos Pães where you can stock up on snacks to take to your room.
The young party scene is hottest at Riozinho, a point where there are summer sunset parties, sports events such as kitesurfing tournaments and a big New Year's Eve celebration. Just follow the crowd to the area north of the intersection of Campeche and Pequeno Príncipe Avenues.
Saint-Exupéry in Campeche:
Pequeno Príncipe Avenue helps tell of an illustrious presence in Campeche's history - that of French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), author of Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince, 1943).
In 1923, France started its first flights to Latin America. One of the pilots in the Aéropostale service maintained by the Latécoère company was Saint-Exupéry.
Florianópolis was a stop between Paris and Buenos Aires and there was an airfield at Praia do Campeche. In 1923, during one of his stops on the island, Saint-Exupery made friends with Manoel Rafael Inácio (1909-1993), a local known as Deca. Unable to pronounce the writer's name, Deca used to call him "Zeperri".
The friends would meet whenever Saint-Exupery was on the island. In 1931, Saint-Exupery left the postal service, and in 1944, he disappeared while on a military mission.
Getúlio Manoel Inácio, Deca's grandson, wrote about the friendship in a book called Deca e Zé Perri. The writer is honored locally in other ways: the owner of Pousada Zeperri not only named his business after the writer's nickname, but also created a small exhibit in the pousada with posters honoring Saint-Exupery and other aviators.
Besides sports events and parties, Campeche hosts one of the best religious/folkloric celebrations on the island: Festa do Divino (Holy Ghost Feast), in mid-July. The commemoration dating back to the 18th century includes Mass at the São Sebastião Chapel, a procession, folk songs, dances, and a parade reproducing a coronation, with people dressed in rich costumes and carrying flags. There are stalls selling food in the square and fireworks shows.
Where to Stay:
Campeche is home to one of the most charming places to stay in Floripa: sustainable Vila Tamarindo Eco Lodge, a ten-minute walk from Riozinho, surrounded by gardens and awarded with a Carbon Free seal. English is spoken.
Also with a sustainable approach to hospitality and a charming vibe, family-owned and managed Campeche Hostel is a little over one mile from the beach and a five-minute walk from the local bus terminal (TIRIO). English is fluently spoken; mother, son and daughter Regina, Amanda and Paulo lived in the US and New Zealand.
Find other options: 15 Places to Stay in Campeche
How to Get There:
Though Campeche is the next beach south of Joaquina, there is no direct road access between them. The walk between the two beaches takes over two hours. Campeche is over six miles from Lagoa da Conceição; there are buses from TILAG, the Lagoa da Conceição bus terminal, and also from TICEN, the Central bus terminal.
The buses to Campeche say Rio Tavares; that's where the closest bus terminal, TIRIO, is located.
Top Southern Beaches and Islands of Florianópolis:
- Ilha do Campeche (Campeche Island)
- Ribeirão da Ilha
- Morro das Pedras
- Pântano do Sul
- Lagoinha do Leste