Santa Catarina has some of the loveliest landscapes in Brazil. Both the beaches and the mountains are full of hidden gems, and there are many pleasant towns. The famous Ilha de Santa Catarina, often referred to as Florianópolis or short Floripa is in itself a marvel (apart from some traffic bottle necks). Now really Florianópolis is the city that sprawls on both sides of the strait that separates the island from the mainland, and the island should properly be called Ilha de Santa Catarina. There are many other settlements on the island, some of them very pleasant. But the state houses many beautiful places like Joinville and Blumenau. But on this trip we made excursions in two directions: the canyons in the south of the state and the inland Serra de Santa Catarina around Urubici. There is a considerable population of Italians, Germans and Azoreans which not only added to the cultural diversity of the state, but also favoured development ?