Campeche Island is on the east coast of Florianópolis, in front of Campeche Beach. There the sand is white and although the water is usually cold, is perfect for kids cause it’s calm. The water has an incredible turquoise blue color and a rich marine life, which is perfect for those who like scuba diving. In its rocky shore, you can find natural pools.
The island is habitat for wild animals such as coatis and Brazilian tanagers, a species of bird in extinction. Campeche Island is formed by rocky shores and hills covered by Atlantic Forest, with 21 archaeological sites that you can visit walking the trails around the island. There are more than 150 primitive inscriptions of geometric designs, forms of animals and humans.
Campeche Island was placed under governmental trust as Archaeological and Natural Landscape Patrimony on 2000 July 19th by IPHAN (Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional) (loosely translated, Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage – INHAH). The visitation is open to the public if properly monitored by specialized guides. It helps to preserve Campeche Island and guarantees information and security to visitors, as there are dangerous areas that required knowledge about its paths.
How to get in Campeche Island?
There is a limited number of visits per day, around 600 people. It must take a boat from one of departure points in Florianópolis: Armação Beach, Barra da Lagoa Beach or Campeche Beach. There are differences of fees and time among them.
The prices can go from 60 BRL to 90 BRL and the time takes between 5 minutes and 1h15min.
Campeche Island has only one restaurant, open all summer. But you can take your own food with you for a picnic. There is no source of electricity just solar power plates.
Besides the beach, you can enjoy Campeche Island by its trails where it’s possible to see rocky shores, archeological sites and amazing landscapes. To walking the trails, you must be accompanied by an environmental monitor. There is also a fee around 10 or 20 BRL to help on trails maintenance and management fund of Campeche Island.
There are 6 trails, but that one called “Caverna dos Morcegos” (Bats Cave) is closed for an undetermined time. The longest trail just can be done with prior scheduling and with willingness. The other trails:
Average duration: half an hour.
Difficulty level: normal.
Climbing a hill through Atlantic Forest, with an exuberant and panoramic view of east side of the island, with Atlantic Ocean in the background. Then, there is a steep descent with a sandy ground that takes to the archaeological sites. It is allowed to take photos and filming.
- Pedra Fincada
Average duration: between half an hour and 40 minutes.
Difficulty level: easy.
A short walk through the Atlantic Forest that takes to the highest point in Campeche Island, where is possible sees east, west and southeast coast of the island, Moleques Island, and Xavier Island.
- Volta Norte
Average duration: 2 hours.
Difficult level: hard.
The trail goes towards the northeast coast, called Pedra do Rosa, covered by native forest. The path passes by Pedra Fincada, where there are rock inscriptions, almost all on the floor. After that, there’s Pedra Preta do Sul, an archeological site with about 20 inscriptions. Further on the trail, there’s Pedra do Imã, where is a specific point that disorients compasses. Near the end of the trail, there’s Enseada Beach, where there is an archeological site.
- Pedra preta do sul
Average duration: between 40 and 50 min.
Difficult level: normal.
The trail goes in the middle of Atlantic Forest, that takes to eas side of Campeche Island. There is also an overlook to see the neighbor islands (Moleques do Sul Island, Xavier Island and Aranha Island) and the ocean in the background. Afterwards, there is a descent to another archeological site.
- Pedra da vigia
Average duration: 40 min.
Difficult level: hard.
Pedra da Vigiat takes to a point where, when whale fishing was allowed, the “vigia” (guard) warned his fellows when the whales was approaching. From there is possible to see all the southeast coast of Florianópolis, all the way from Ponta do Facão, Matadeiro Beach and Lagoinha do Leste Beach to Joaquina Beach. Along the trail, there are ruins of old ovens for whale oil extraction.
*In case of rainy days, the trails are not allowed.
There is option for diving for 30 minutes, costing 45 BRL. The price includes diving clothes, mask, snorkel, monitor and transport by artisanal fishing vessel. You can bring your own mask and snorkel if you want to.
Some days it is possible to take Stand Up Paddling lessons with a local teacher.
> It is important to remind that the rock inscriptions in Campeche Island are cultural heritages that must be preserved and respected. From the island just take with you photos and sweet memories.
> The boats used to stay for 4 hours in the Island, so be aware cause the transportation fee is paid in the same boat.
> It is expressly forbidden do trails in Campeche Island without an environmental monitor.
> It is also forbidden camping, bonfires, take animals or plants with you.