Located on Brazil's southern coast, Florianopolis is arguably the most party-friendly city in a country famous for its festivities. Long known as a surfing hideout, it’s now becoming a booming destination for evening revelers, including everyone from international celebrities to backpack-wearing hippies. Half of the city lies on the mainland of Brazil, but the liveliest section sits on the island of Santa Catarina, the jumping off-point for long, sandy beaches and small but rowdy nightclubs.
Outdoor adventure: The best surfing is found at Barra da Lagoa (for beginners), Galheta (all abilities), and Joaquina (experts), all nearby. All three are blessed with steady breezes and consistent swells. Evandro Santos Surf School rents equipment and offers lessons. Nexus Surf offers surfing lessons and nightlife tours of clubs and restaurants—a true one-stop shop.
Hostel: The Barra Beach Club hostel sits on the water’s edge, has its own bar, lends out beach equipment, and will help arrange surf trips. A 10-bed mixed dorm room costs $20 a night, and a private room goes for $35.