Florianopolis for Carnival
This little island is popular with tourists following the "Gringo Trail" through Brazil but it's also a popular holiday destination for Brazilians!
I had a slightly different experience to the typical beach and party vibes that surround Florianopolis. It was carnival when I was there so we went to a local Bloco (Street Party) on the first night, walked around The Lagoa area and did some shopping. On our second day we headed downtown, which I can't say I recommend as a general activity, it felt a bit sketchy and there's not much to it. But we were heading to the Sambadrome for CARNAVAL PARADES! We were lucky enough to catch the last day of parades so it was just the best three samba schools in Florianopolis that were parading. Obviously this was an amazing experience and it started at 11pm and went on into the early hours of the morning!
The next day we had a lazy day walking around The Lake after our late night, which was nice and we did some more shopping, visited the food truck park and went for an ice coffee in The Culture Cafe which is a really nice cafe.
Our last day was spent at the beach - there's over 40 beaches to choose from in Florianopolis and it was lovely! Just beware the sun is strong (and I know people always say that) but I'm now working a nice shade of deep red thanks to the Brazilian sun!
We stayed in InHostels which is in Lagoa, it's about 40mins from the main station, 20mins to the closest beaches by bus and walking distance to the small lakeside town with shops, banks, restaurants, bars etc and of course the lake!