Florianópolis, the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, is one of Brazil’s most popular carnival hotspots after Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.
The Blocos de Sujos parade on Carnival Sunday is famous for cross-dressing male performers. The festival draws a mixed crowd, including 50,000 tourists every year from the LGBT community.
Oyster farming was introduced to this 33-mile long island in the late 1980s, after small-scale fishermen began struggling to survive on fishing alone. Since then, locals have guarded this rare delicacy fiercely, making the oysters almost impossible to source outside Brazil. Try them at award-winning Ponta dos Ganchos, an upmarket resort.
Latin cyber space
Six hundred tech companies are based in the tropical island’s colonial-style city. Over the past two decades, two technology parks and six incubators for new businesses were set up in Florianópolis. The area, which is also home to families of monkeys, is more affordable than the sprawling megacities of São Paulo and Curitiba further north. This new workforce is having an impact on housing. Sapiens Parque expects to house more than 25,000 tech workers across 400 companies over the next 10 years.
Oktoberfest, Brazilian style
For 19 days in October, a town settled by German immigrants in the mid-19th century plays host to its own Oktoberfest. In 2015, nearly half a million visitors flocked to Blumenau, which lies 150km north-west of Florianópolis, for beer, bratwurst and a beauty pageant to crown the Oktoberfest Queen.
To escape the harsh winters of Antarctic waters, southern right whales travel up the coast of Santa Catarina to give birth and nurse their young. Take a boat out between late August and early October for the best sightings.
Photographs: Alexandro Auler/LatinContent/Getty Images; Sandra Martins/FOAP/Getty Images; Purestock / Alamy; Global_Pics/Getty Images; Travel Pix/Alamy
FT special report: Reinventing Brazil