Join Paulo Barreto, a former professional soccer player, trainer and director on a custom tour of his tropical homeland – Florianopolis, Brazil. Below is a sample itinerary. Details subject to change.
Day 1 (Saturday)
Ola! Families gather at Miami-FL or Fort Lauderdale-FL International Airport to travel to Brazil as a group.
Day 2 (Sunday)
Bem-Vindos ao Brasil! Arrive this morning in the Magic Island of Florianopolis – a garden paradise in southern Brazil. With 53 kilometers of breathtaking shoreline, 42 beaches and endless vacation activities, Florianopolis has become a mecca for Brazilians and tourists alike.
You will be escorted from the airport to Slaviero Essential Acquamar, a 4-star hotel situated on popular Praia dos Ingleses (Beach of the English). With a spa, indoor / outdoor pools, spectacular ocean view and a 3-mile white sand beach at your doorstep, Slaviero is a perfect home base for your Brazilian adventure.
Spend the afternoon at your leisure walking the sugar sands of Praia dos Ingleses, relax by the pool or warm up your soccer legs in preparation for Day 2’s game! The group will then head to dinner together at a nearby local restaurant.
Day 3 (Monday)
Futebol = Life! Florianopolis is the home of two professional soccer clubs – Figueirense and Avai – a well-respected rivalry in the state. After breakfast, we will set out for our first game and true cultural exchange of the trip – squaring off against Figueirense Esporte Clube Academia (youth) in a friendly clash of style and skill. Playing on foreign soil against a team that speaks Portuguese will be a rich, eye-opening experience.
To refuel after the game, the group will then venture to a classic Churrascaria to enjoy a delicious traditional Brazilian barbecued lunch. Following lunch, we will tour the postcard-perfect south beaches of Praia da Armacao, Morro das Pedras and Praia do Campeche – enjoying the crystal blue, tranquil waters.
In the evening, we will visit one of the most elegant shopping centers in Florianopolis – Beiramar – an oasis with over 200 stores and national / international trademarks. The group will enjoy dinner before returning to the hotel.
Day 4 (Tuesday)
Praia City! Following breakfast, the beach-hopping continues. Today we will explore the magnificent north beaches – Cachoeira de Bom Jesus, Canasvieiras and Praia Brava – three of the top five Florianopolis beaches that residents of America do Sul flock to. A buffet style lunch will follow.
Changing pace, downtown Florianopolis will be our next stop. Here you will clearly see, and feel, “VIDA” (life) – the pulse of the city. The Centro is the place where you can find it all. Locals strumming guitars and tapping drums as the crowds stream by. The most luxurious store to the humblest. The latest sophisticated restaurant to a proud small vendor selling his goods. While here, we will visit popular districts including Praca XV, the public market (mercado), the cathedral and, of course, soccer stores.
This evening, we will dine at an authentic “Brazilian” Pizzaria. Borrowing the concept of a churrascaria – the endless table-side pizza options won’t stop until you do. The restaurant overlooks iconic Hercilio Luz bridge (the bridge that connects Florianopolis to the mainland).
Day 5 (Wednesday)
Vamos! It’s game on after breakfast. We will play our second game against Academia da Trindade FC, another local club, to gain more international experience and exposure. Lunch will follow.
Next, we will head to the Dunes of Joaquina – the birthplace of sandboarding and a Florianopolis must! Enjoy spectacular views at the top before racing down the large dunes on a sandboard for some adrenalin-pumping fun. Then a short walk leads us to gorgeous Praia da Joaquina for a refreshing afternoon dip.
After working up a much-earned appetite, dinner tonight will be Cafe Colonial-style – a truly creative culinary display. You will find everything from meats, fruits, pies, baked goods, breads and ice cream in this abundant, Brazilian / European meal.
Day 6 (Thursday)
Ola Quinta-Feira (Thursday)! This morning we will take a short schooner ride into the North Bay as we head to historic Fortaleza of Santa Cruz, a fortress built in the XVIII century. The fortress’s main purpose back then was to control the entrance and exit of ships in the bays of Santa Catarina island. Currently it is maintained by Santa Catarina Federal University. The university hosts aquaculture and oceanography stations, as well as cultural and artistic exhibitions.
Families will be encouraged to explore the island and its natural museums, while students will participate in a soccer clinic focusing on the technical side of the game. Everyone will reconnect for lunch.
In the afternoon, the group will enjoy some leisure time at the hotel before heading to Beira Mar Norte for dinner and a charming view of the main bay in Florianopolis.
Day 7 (Friday)
Sabor de Vida (Flavor of Life)! Today we will say hello to arguably the most stunning beach on the island – Praia do Santinho. Paulo will conduct a beach session that focuses on dribbling, passing, defending (1 x 1- 2 x 1- 3 x 2), and turning with and without the ball. (Students will be expected to wear tennis shoes.) While students are exercising, families will enjoy free time to stroll along the beach or take a short, guided hike to the nearby mountains for magnificient ocean views.
Trading salt water for fresh water, our group will travel to the center of the island to visit Lagoa da Conceicao – a large lagoon that offers sweeping panoramic views of the mountains. We will cruise across the lagoon, dine at a local seafood restaurant and take a small nature walk in this idyllic setting. Our group will then head back to the hotel for dinner.
Day 8 (Saturday)
Tchau! On the seventh day, we will rest. Breakfast and lunch will be at the hotel. Take one last dip in the pool, walk down Praia dos Ingleses or sport your new soccer skills. We will leave for the airport at 2PM for our overnight flight to Maimi or Fort Lauderdale.
Day 9 (Sunday)
Bem-vindos a America! Early morning arrival in Miami-FL or Fort Lauderdale-FL. Our trip ends.