Praia da Lagoinha do Leste is the famous secret beach of Florianópolis… Famous and secret at the same time? How is that possible? If you type in Google “top things to do in Florianópolis”, “visit Lagoinha do Leste, the secret beach” will be on the list. There’s a reason for that… Keep reading to find out about the secrecy of the beach and the most important things to know before visiting Lagoinha do Leste in Florianópolis.
Plan your visit to Lagoinha do Leste – The hikes, boat and beaches
On the following map (My Maps by Google Maps), you can see the beaches, approximate hiking trails and boat rides, and a must-try seafood restaurant as well.
By clicking on the tab next to “Lagoinha do Leste, Florianópolis”, you can see the actual points, and it’s also possible to turn off and on layers. Furthermore, you can also save this map (if you have a My Maps account) by pressing the star next to the map title.
To create your own map, check out my blog post and video about How to plan your next travel itinerary with Google My Maps?.
1. There are only 2 ways to reach Praia da Lagoinha do Leste
The beach isn’t approachable by car, so how you can get to Praia da Lagoinha do Leste?
Only by boat or on foot from Pantano do Sul area.
Pantano do Sul is located in the south part of Florianópolis (short name: Floripa), so don’t forget to calculate the distances. We got there around 9 am, and it wasn’t empty (it was also Saturday, so yeah…). I visited the beach with my boyfriend, Jackson, and our Irish friend, Nick.
Pantano do Sul can be reached by bus. However, depending on your location, you might have to change buses, and it will take more time to get there. Motivoapp is a helpful site to search for public transportation.
Bus ticket price: 4,40 BRL/person
If you’re going to Pantano do Sul by car or Uber, just add this car park to the GPS. The parking is only a few minutes walk from the hiking starting point and around 5 minutes from Praia do Pantano do Sul, the boat departure point.
Parking fee for the day: 20 BRL
Hiking – Trilha da Lagoinha do Leste
You can choose between 2 hikes.
The longer, 4,3 km long hike starts from Praia do Matadeiro. This way, you’ll approach the beach from the north.
We picked the shorter 2,4 km hike already signed along the main road to Pantano do Sul. So we left the car at the car park and followed the signs along the main road. After a few minutes walk on the steep street, you’ll see the official starting point of the hike. You’ll enter a nature reserve, so don’t leave any trash behind. The Atlantic Forest was classified as a permanent preservation area in 1992.
A 2,4 km doesn’t sound a lot, but it’s more challenging because of the elevation. First, you go up to the hill, then down towards the beach. We needed 50 minutes to reach the beach.
Wear comfy shoes because the ground is not even. Sometimes there are wooden stairs, stone stairs or just ground. After rain, it can be muddy and slippery.
The trail is bordered by trees, so mostly it’s shady, though make sure to apply sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
We went on foot and on the way back, we took the boat.
The boat doesn’t have a timeline, it leaves when there are enough people. The boat ride was around 30-40 minutes, and if you’re sitting on the side, you might get wet. The ride can be bumpy depending on the waves, though you’ll get a life west, so no worries.
There’s one row in the shade, so make sure to apply sunscreen and wear a hat if you can.
Price: 50 BRL/person (possible to pay by card)
Going by boat from Pantano do Sul to Lagoinha do Leste
Go to the Praia do Pantano do Sul and look for a boat or people wearing Lagoinha do Leste T-shirts.
Better to not wear long trousers because you’ll have to walk into the water and climb a few stairs to the boat.
Returning to Pantano do Sul from Lagoinha do Leste
The boat leaves from the north part of the beach, which is around a 10-15 minutes walk from its other side. At the boat waiting point, they only accept cash, though it’s possible to pay by card upon arrival at Pantano do Sul.
2. What to bring to your Lagoinha do Leste trip?
Make sure to bring…
- min 2 litres of water
For the hike…
- comfy shoes
- mosquito repellent
For the beach…
- flip flops
- canga (kanga) and/or towel
3. About the beach – Praia da Lagoinha do Leste
After the hike, it’s such a relief to finally arrive at the beach. You might want to crush the waves and cool down, though if you’re planning to ascend the viewpoint, just rest in the shadow. Hiking is not fun with a salty and sandy body…
Hikers and people on boats arrived the whole day, though the beach wasn’t busy. It’s wide and 1,2 km long, and if you want to find a more quiet area, just go towards the middle of the beach.
Most people were in shades or climbing to the viewpoint, so there weren’t many people in the water. The water was a bit cold, colder than usual, so I guess that’s why. On the other hand, its temperature was super refreshing after the hike.
The water was shallow, and the waves were small and not so strong.
A few people even had surfboards. But, as I’ve heard, the waves are more extensive in the morning.
4. Is it worth climbing to the viewpoint, Topo do Morro da Coroa?
The hike to the viewpoint starts at the south part of the beach. I won’t lie, it was tiring, super tiring… I’m not super sporty, but I needed many stops along the way. The ground is uneven, rocky and rough. Sometimes you have to climb on top of sizable rocks.
There are a few shady parts, though you’ll be exposed to the sun most of the time. Try to hike earlier or later, not between 11 am and 2 pm. Nick was super energised, so he arrived at the top in 15 minutes. Jackson and I needed 35 minutes, including rest and video/photo breaks.
Your time doesn’t matter… The view will compensate you! Totally worth the struggle. You’ll see the vast blue ocean, the beach, and the curvy lagoon of Lagoinha do Leste in the forest.
There are many rocks to chill and enjoy the view, though there might be queues at some because everyone wants “the photo”. The viewpoint was busier than the beach.
The way down was also exhausting. My legs were shaking when I finished. However, you’ll have a view of the beach along the way.
5. You can also swim in the actual lagoon, Lagoinha do Leste
The lagoon is located in the north part of the beach, and it was a more popular bathing place than the ocean. Its water is warmer and shady areas were created around the lagoon to welcome visitors.
The boat arriving and leaving point is only a few minutes walk from the lagoon, and there you can buy a few types of drinks as well, though only cash is accepted.
6. Where to eat at Pantano do Sul and Lagoinha do Leste?
Kiosks at Praia da Lagoinha do Leste
There are many bars selling food and drinks. In the warm season, they open the whole week.
You’re far from “everything”, therefore the prices are higher. It’s possible to pay by card, but the contactless payment didn’t work for us, so you’ll need your physical card.
- Água de coco (coconut water) – 16 BRL
- Caldo de cana com limao (Sugarcane juice with lime) – 10 BRL
Bar do Arante at Praia do Pantano do Sul
When returning to Pantano do Sul, stop by at Bar do Arante, one of the best seafood restaurants in Floripa.
The place itself is worth a visit. You can time-travel to the age without internet and online reviews. The reviews are the decoration of Bar do Arante. All the walls and the roof are covered with notes.
Before COVID-19, they offered an all-you-can-eat seafood menu, though because of the restrictions, it’s not available currently. Choosing from the menu was also a great option.
Get ready, the portions are sizable. Fortunately, you can ask for half portion. The three of us were already satisfied with the half quantity of mussels and ate only a few bites from the fish soup called “moqueca de garoupa”.
And don’t forget your little cachaca, the “cachacinha”. As they say:
“Nós cobramos a comida e você paga a bebida, mas a cachaça é por conta da casa.”
“We charge for the food, and you pay for the drink, but the cachaça is on the house.”
- Half portion of Mariscos refogados (p/2 pessoas) – 45,50 BRL
- Moqueca de garoupa (p/2 pessoas) – 210 BRL
Opening time: Monday-Sunday: 11:30 am – 6 pm
7. How “secret” is Lagoinha do Leste?
Maybe 5-10 years ago, the beach was truly secret and didn’t have many visitors. However, it became a tourist attraction. Social media and the internet helped people find the beach and made it famous.
Still, Praia da Lagoinha do Leste is totally worth a visit. I’m not surprised why it turned into an “Instagram spot”. The beach’s location is beautiful, and the panorama from the outlook is breathtaking.
Just don’t expect that you’ll be alone 😉
If you go there early in the morning on a weekday, you might feel it’s a secret beach and can have it all for yourself.
Would you visit Lagoinha do Leste, the secret beachin Floripa?
Leave a comment below and tell me.
Interested in more Brazilian beaches and destinations?
- How to spend 3 days in Ilhabela, Brazil?
- Best beaches in Rio de Janeiro
- 10 things to do and see in São Paulo
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SheldonDecember 25, 2022 at 9:42 pm
Great information, very well done
alizswonderlandDecember 28, 2022 at 9:15 pm
Thanks, Sheldon. Glad you like it 🙂