Governador Celso Ramos, Brazil

Photo: Ponta dos Ganchos

It’s autumn in Brazil. The temperature is dropping to a comfortable level. So is the humidity. In Santa Catarina, the wind is calm and there aren’t as many rainy days. You get where this is going, right? Now is a great time to travel to South America.

Santa Catarina is one of Brazil’s smallest and southernmost states. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the east. Misiones, Argentina is to the west. The state of Rio Grande do Sul is to the south. Uruguay is beyond that. You’ve probably heard of its capital, Florianópolis, which straddles the mainland and Santa Catarina Island. But the beaches are the real draw to the South Region of Brazil.

You’re leaving the city behind to head north to Governador Celso Ramos. The coastal town, located about an hour north of Florianópolis’ airport, is on the Emerald Coast. It’s part of the Arvoredo Marine Biological Reserve, which extends along the coast, over nearby islands, and out to sea. It’s also home to a romantic little hideaway.

Photo: Ponta dos Ganchos

Ponta dos Ganchos sits on a private peninsula northeast of town. It overlooks a turquoise bay, three small islands, and a white-sand beach. Twenty-five free-standing bungalows are scattered among the rainforest-covered land. They’re made of wood and glass. They have wooden beams and walk-in closets, minimal decor and lots of light. Plus their spacious decks, strung with hammocks, have wide views of the water.

You instantly decide that you want to move into your split-level Anhatomirim bungalow. The first level has an eggplant-colored couch, a wood-burning fireplace, and a flat-screen television. Egyptian cotton sheets and Havaianas sandals are in the bedroom upstairs. Both levels have decks. Solar panels provide hot water. While a bottle of Cave Geisse Brut, a Brazilian sparkling wine, is chilling upon your arrival.

The rest of the resort is just as heavenly. Breakfast—pay attention to the bolinho de chuvas (cinnamon doughnuts)—is served at Espaço das Bateiras regardless of how late you sleep. Afternoon tea—full of sweet cantucci (biscotti) and queijadinhas (coconut tarts)—is set out here later in the afternoon, as well. There’s a hidden spa, where massages feature warm cinnamon oil. Caipirinhas—Brazil’s national cocktail—are served by the outdoor infinity pool. A second, heated pool is inside for rainy days. Canadian canoes, SUP boards, and a bonfire pit are sprinkled around the beach. Plus a wooden bridge leads to Yes Island, where private dinners can be set up. You are now disconnecting from everything back home.

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