Santa Catarina State

Translated in English as Saint Catherine, Santa Catarina is a state located on the southern part of Brazil. With its capital city, Florianopolis, it is considered to be among the states in Latin America with the highest standards of living.

Aside from Floripa – as the city of Florianopolis is also called – Santa Catarina has nine more main cities. These are: Joinville, Blumenau, São José, Criciúma, Chapecó, Lages, Itajaí, Jaraguá do Sul and Palhoça.

Below are descriptions of some of these cities:


The state’s largest city, Joinville has a metropolitan area with over 1 million inhabitants. Its relatively good infrastructure and urban development have just been two of the reasons why major business conferences and other big events are held in the city. The standard of living in the city is among the highest in Brazil.

With most of its people are of German descents, many aspects of the city’s culture, even architecture, are strongly influenced by the Germans as well. It is here were the Festival de Dança de Joinville or the Joinville Dance Festival – the largest dance event in the world – can be experienced.


Founded by Dr. Hermann Bruno Otto Blumenau, together with 17 other immigrants from Germany, on September 2, 1850, the city of Blumenau is located in Vale do Itajaí which is in the northeastern part of Santa Catarina.

The city’s name was said to have come from the German words Blumen which refers to “flowers” and Au which is a suffix referring to floodplains. Put together, the city would have “Floodplain of Flowers” as its meaning. In reality, however, the name is just a reference to its founder.


Located 180 kilometers from Florianopolis, Criciúma is Brazil’s center for the home materials and flooring industry; as such, it is also the second largest throughout the world. The city’s foundation dates back on January 6, 1880, by immigrants from Italy.


Lying 630 kilometers from the west of Florianopolis, Chapecó has a total area of 625 square kilometers. It was established by Italian immigrants on August 17, 1917. Majority of the city’s people are of Italian, Polish and German descents.


Used to be referred to as Cajuns, Lages is located on Santa Catarina’s central part, which is the state’s mountain region. Founded on November 22, 1776, the city is known to be the host of the Festa do Pinhão, which is an annual festival famous throughout Brazil. Wood processing and cattle breeding are two of the contributors to the city’s strong economy.