Santa Catarina is a state in southern Brazil. Most of its inhabitants are descendants of Portuguese, German, and Italian immigrants.
Neighbouring states are Rio Grande do Sul to the south and Paraná to the north. It is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west it borders the province of Misiones, Argentina. The Serra Geral, a southern extension of the Serra do Mar, runs north and south through the state parallel to the Atlantic coast, dividing the state between a narrow coastal plain and a larger plateau region to the west. The Atlantic coast of Santa Catarina has many beaches, islands, bays, inlets, and lagoons. The humid tropical Serra do Mar coastal forests cover the narrow coastal zone, which is crossed by numerous short streams from the wooded slopes of the serras.
The central part of the state is home to the Araucaria moist forests, dominated by emergent Brazilian pines (Araucaria angustifolia). The drainage of the plateau is westward to the Paraná River, the rivers being tributaries of the Iguaçu, which forms its northern boundary, and of the Uruguay River, which forms its southern boundary. The semi-deciduous Paraná-Paraíba interior forests occupy the westernmost valleys of the Iguaçu and Uruguay rivers. The highest point of the state is the Morro da Boa Vista, with an altitude of 1,827 metres, and the second highest point is the Morro da Igreja, in the town of Urubici, with an altitude of 1,822 metres.
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The northern beach resorts Jurerê, Daniela, Canasvieiras, Brava and Ingleses get very busy during the summer and there are plenty of hotels, restaurants and other conveniences for the tourist. Eastern beaches, like Joaquina, Mole and Moçambique are among the best surfing beaches and popular with young people. Beaches heading south include Campeche, Armação and Morro das Pedras, which are all very beautiful and also good for surfing. Isolated and unspoilt beaches, like Lagoinha do Leste and Naufragados can be found at the southern end of the island and can only be reached by trail. The Lagoa da Conceição lagoon is a famous natural attraction, and the centrepiece of the island - sports, cuisine and entertainment are first class! Peri lagoon is quieter and great for nature walks. The Lagoa da Conceição lagoon is relatively shallow, with high winds making it a world-class location for windsurfing.
Hercílio Luz International Airport near Florianopolis is the main airport in the state. Gol flies to/from Belo Horizonte, Buenos Aires, Chapecó, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, TAM offers roughly the same services, and flights to Campina. Several other airlines fly to mostly these destinations as well, and to a few other cities like Punta del Este, Montevideo and Santiago de Chile.
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