In-Port Race: April 18, 2015
Leg start: April 19, 2015
Itajaí – where business and beach combine
The city of Itajaí on the north-central coast of Santa Catarina state has long been a strategic meeting place for business and tourism.
Itajaí is back on the route for the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15 after making a spectacular debut in 2011-12, when it attracted over a quarter of a million visitors and won international recognition for an innovative environmental programme.
The attractive, green and immensely livable city at the Itajaí-Acu riverside boasts culture, gastronomy, beautiful landscapes – and fantastic opportunities for doing business.
Itajaí has the second highest GDP of the state, due to the strength of the nautical industry and port activity, as well as transportation and logistics, construction, and oil and gas.
The Port Complex, which includes the Port of Itajaí and several terminals installed at the river of the same name, is the second largest Brazilian port for handling containers.
But Itajaí is far more than just a business hub. With beautiful beaches and numerous outdoor attractions, the city is a tourist haven and Brava beach, the Parrot's Beak, the Public Market and the Natural Park of Atalaia are among the most popular attractions.
Itajaí is part of the tourist area called Costa Verde & Mar, the most important in the State. The area offers visitors a large variety of beaches: from the calm, to the urban, to the wavy, and all with a stunning beauty that only Santa Catarina can offer.
Thanks to these unique characteristics, Itajaí has become a sought-after city for hosting medium and large scale events. The city has development a concept designed to host these events in as sustainable a way as possible – concentrating on being environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable.
Whether you are looking for a quiet break or action and adventure, Itajaí provides it all. For more information visit: www.visiteitajai.com.br (in English).
Two of the most popular beaches are the Praia de Cabeçudas and Brava, separated from one another by rocks and hills. Both beaches feature a tranquil and blissful environment and Praia de Cabeçudas plays host to several yachting regattas.
Praia Brava is the best place to surf. It packs in a lot of people in high season, attracted by the clean waters, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, in a lush forest setting. A visit to Praia do Morcego is good for the health and is known for its digestive and respiratory treatments.
10 kilometres to the south is the popular beach resort Balneário Camboriú, famous for its unique cable car which links the two beaches of Balneário Camboriú and Laranjeiras.
Molhes da Barra
The pier Barra da Praia do Atalaia is one of the most popular scenic points of the city, providing the perfect place to watch the traffic on the Rio Itajaí-Acu. It's also a great spot for a bit of of fishing.
Morro da Cruz
From here you can get an amazing view of the city and watch the Rio Itajaí meting the South Atlantic Ocean at sunset or sunrise.
Atalaia Natural Park
A protected ecological area where you can try the thrills of paragliding, enjoy the flora and fauna along the walking trails and take in the marvellous ocean views from the lookout point.
In the valleys of the Rio Itajaí there are 46 towns and villages which still retain a rich European heritage thanks to the early immigrants. The German settlers were followed by Italians, Czechs, Russians, Austrians, Poles and Ukrainians, all contributing to the European mosaic of this region. There are also a lot of beaches to sunbath and some waterfalls to discover.
Restaurants and nightlife
The town has a variety of coffee houses, fine and traditional restaurants and eclectic bars that tempt your palate and keep your nights occupied. If you want a great gastronomical experience, take a walk along Riverside Avenue. For a lively late night of music and dancing, check out the Warung Beach Club, three times voted one of the world's best places to dance.
Local InfoView in Google Maps
Driving to Itajai is pretty easy via the highway BR 101 from Florianópolis, BR 116 & 376 from São Paulo and Paraná. Distance from other cities: Florianopolis: 80 km - Blumenau: 80 km - Curitiba: 220 km - Porto Alegre: 550 km - São Paulo: 660 km
There are plenty of options to get into the city by bus.
There are no trains available to Itajai.
The nearest airport is Ministro Victor Konder in Navegantes city (NVT) 20 km across the river from Itajai. This airport operates flights to and from São Paulo - Congonhas (CGH) and Guarulhos (GRU) airports – and from Rio de Janeiro – Santos Dumont (SDU) and International Galeão (GIG) airports. Direct flights take around one hour to Itajaí.
The main Brazilian airlines on these routes are TAM www.tam.com.br and GOL www.voegol.com.br. You can arrive by bus or by taxi to Itajai, either by the ferry boat crossing the Itajai-Açu river or by the road further up river.
Another option for travellers is Florianopolis International Airport (FLN) which is located about 90 km south of Itajai. This airport offers more options to international flight connections.