Some consider Balneário Camboriú, in Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina, to be a miniature Rio de Janeiro. It's not hard to see the resemblance, what with its boardwalk-lined main beach, rollicking nightlife scene and even its own hilltop statue of Christ overlooking the city. Whether you're in the mood for a sunny coastal holiday or a trip filled with great food and sightseeing opportunities, you'll find it in Balneário Camboriú.
During the summer months, crowds in Balneário Camboriú swell to a breaking point as visitors flock to the area's golden beaches to escape the heat. Praia Balneário Camboriú, the city's main beach, isn't great for swimming, but you'll find plenty of revellers working on their tans and cyclists and strollers making good use of the boardwalk. You'll find cleaner water and a much more secluded atmosphere at Praia do Estaleiro and Praia dos Amores, which are both bordered by a lush forest.
Like Rio, Balneário Camboriú is surrounded by steep hills just waiting to be explored. An extensive cable car network whisks visitors up to various hill stations in Unipraias Park, where you can tackle trails and take in sweeping views of the city and surrounding rainforest. Another lofty landmark is the Cristo Luz Tourist Complex, situated at one of the highest points in the city. Here stands the Cristo Luz, a 33-metre-tall statue of Christ holding a brimmed hat that shines a beam of light over the city come nightfall.