Destinations – Florianopolis, Brazil

Where: Florianopolis is in the southern part of Brazil, nearly five hundred miles south of Rio de Janeiro. For the geographically challenged, Brazil is in the southern hemisphere, which means when you flush a toilet, the water flows down clockwise.

What: With the exception of Campeche, a rock-bottom pointbreak, most of the breaks are sand-bottom and forgiving. The beaches are long and wide, providing ample opportunity to find yourself a nice little peak with few other surfers around.

When: With south swells marching up from Antarctica, May and June offer your best chance for overhead surf in the region. The water temperature at this time of year averages 68 degrees. During the months of January and February, the waves are smaller, but the water hovers around a toasty 77 degrees. Generally speaking, the surf is best from April through October.

Why: The waves are fun, the nightlife rivals that of anywhere, the gorgeous girls are really forward, and, well, the gorgeous girls are really forward. What more reason do you need?

How: A roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Florianopolis, during the low season (when the waves are best), costs around $800. Most major carriers fly into Brazil, including Northwest, American, Continental, and Delta. One important thing to remember when traveling to Brazil is that you need a visitor’s visa. Check with your nearest U.S. Consulate, and don’t wait until a week before you leave.

Places To Stay: Steal some pro-surfer’s chick (good luck) at the Praia Mole Hotel in Mole, that’s where most of the WCT guys stay when they go to the annual ‘CT event. Rooms are reasonably priced at 50-100 dollars per night. Surfcamp e Chale Gel & Susanne is located on the edge of a national forest, and for three bucks a night, you can pitch a tent there. For ten bucks a night, you can stay in a hostel type accommodation. Surfboards and kayaks are available for rent, too.

Places To Eat: Brazil is famous for its barbecues, and the meat, usually beef, is either imported from Argentina or raised locally. Either way it’s a treat, because the cows aren’t pumped full of steroids and God knows what else we Americans inject our cows with. Supermarkets and convenience stores are located throughout the city of Florianopolis.

Gachi§as: Let’s be real. You’re not going to Brazil to watch futbol or to take in some local culture-you’re there to check out (and hopefully hook up with) a green-eyed brunette with a perfect rear end, limited English, a miniscule bikini, and a fiery Latin temper. She, along with a thousand others just like her, is just waiting for you. Beware of chicks that want to marry you for a green card, though. Trust us, it’s a bad idea.

Crowd Factor: While the main beaches get crowded, you can always hike up the long, expansive strips of sand and find a peak to yourself. Brazilians have a well-deserved reputation as aggressive surfers, so don’t take it personally if you get into paddle battles at more crowded spots.

Stuff To Bring: Don’t bother with the tow-boards and guns. But do bring your best shortboards (chicks dig guys that rip), trunks, a spring suit if you’re coming during the winter months, sunscreen, warm-water wax, and a Portuguese phrasebook. Don’t just stand there looking at her-spit some game, man!

If The Surf Is Flat: Either chill on the beach and take in the sights, or go to the main mall in Florianopolis-it’s the spot to be in town. Casinos, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and all kinds of shops fill this little slice of heaven. Don’t like to go out? Lucky for you, there’s porn on public television late at night, creep.

Helpful Web Sites: Check out wannasurf.com-they have some cool links and photos. Another good Web site to browse is travellerspoint.com; there are good links to hotels, hostels, and local sites.-Justin Cotà‡