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Spotlight on Santa Catarina, Brazil

Santa Catarina Brazil

In the year between the Olympics and the World Cup, make touring Brazil’s best beaches your new sport of choice this October.

Courtesy of Ponta dos Ganchos (Boats). Brandon Presser (Hot tub)

As the weather cools in the Northern Hemisphere, Santa Catarina, Brazil's posh Riviera, heats up in anticipation of its summertime jet-setters. One of the nation's most prosperous states enjoys an enviable climate year-round, while the scenic coastline attracts thousands of Brazilian nationals with its sandy beaches, serene coves, and constellations of offshore isles. Fishing villages dot the shores as well, offering friendly pousadas (inns) and fresh-seafood markets.

October, however, is the prime time for party-seekers, thanks to the roaring festivities surrounding Oktoberfest, the second largest global gathering after Munich (and a nod to the region's strong German roots). The month also sees the continued migration of right whales that follow the curving coast for all to see as they search for warmer waters and shelter for their young.

Ponta dos Ganchos (, the TripAdvisor unicorn with a full five-star rating, is the choice honeymoon resort for moneyed Brazilians. Spacious villas climb a bluff of tangled vines -- the largest ones boast pie-wedge hot tubs that easily take the prize for most inventive plunge pool. If you and your partner can pull yourself away from your private abode, there's an islet -- tethered to the mainland by a rope bridge -- where you can enjoy a romantic dinner with your feet in the sand.

Pro Tip:
"When I'm home in Floripa, I like to eat the grilled octopus at Santa Marta Bistro, my favorite dish in the world. Also, try standup paddle boarding -- start at Lagoa da Conceicao and row towards Costa da Lagoa."

Everaldo "Pato" Teixeira, professional surfer

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Brandon Presser