Located in the Southern region, Santa Catarina is the Brazilian state which ranks the highest on the human development index and in terms of quality of life.
It was populated principally by European immigrants: Portuguese from the Azores settled on the coast in the 1700s; later came the Germans in the Itajaí Valley and the north of the state in the middle of the 1800s; the west and south were populated by Italians and Germans coming north from Rio Grande do Sul in the first half of the 20th century.
One of the country’s richest and most highly developed states, it has a diverse and industrialised economy. In the metal industry, with engines and compressors, a highlight is the state’s most heavily populated city – Joinville – and in logistics there is one of the country’s busiest ports: Itajaí. The Catarinense economy is also heavily based on agroindustry and the state is the country’s largest pork and chicken meat exporter.
Santa Catarina also attracts lots of tourists, being famous for its beautiful islands, beaches and mountains, where the contrast between the blue of the sea and the green of the shrubbery makes for picturesque scenery.
The capital Florianópolis, also known as Floripa, is situated on an island, full of preserved nature and over 100 beaches. Among them are the Praia Mole, popular with the young; Joaquina, a surfer’s paradise and Jurerê International, popular among those with more spending power, and with top resorts and nighclubs, among the most sophisticated in Brazil.
Summer attracts people from everywhere in search of surf and diving championships, all along the coast. Natural paradises, such as Garopaba, Praia do Rosa, Guarda do Embaú and the bustling, urban, Balneário Camboriú are chock full from December to March.
In the Winter, the state offers scenic trips in the Serra do Rio do Rastro, where one will find Brazil’s coldest cities: Urubici and São Joaquim, with their cozy B&Bs and winery tours.
Next to the city of Pomerode, considered the most German city in Brazil, is Blumenau, with its traditional architecture, which welcomes tourists from all over Brazil during Oktoberfest.
Peaceful, varied and full of natural beauty, Santa Catarina is one of the richest and most pleasant states in Brazil.
Capital: Florianópolis Area (km2): 95,736.165 Population: 6,819,190 (2015) Term for a person from this state: catarinense Dial code: 47 / 49 Bordering states: Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná
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