Types of Beach – Tombo, Shallow and Intermediate Beaches

Florianópolis, with 97% of its territory located on Santa Catarina Island, has its paradisiacal beaches as its main attraction. And how attractive! There are dozens of beaches around the island, each with its own charm and beauty. We seek to present here some characteristics of beautiful beaches that you are likely to find ahead.


The observation of the beaches easily leads to the conclusion that they have different characteristics, mainly determined by the waves that reach the coasts and by the size of the grains of their strip of sand. In general, it is possible to group them into three groups, with different characteristics and risks.

Tombo beach

soft beach

It is almost always formed by coarse sand and the depth increases abruptly, after a few steps towards the sea. Very sloping profile, often the waves do not even break when reaching the shore. The main dangers of tumble beaches are related to the strong sweep of the wave at the edge of the beach and the rapid increase in depth.
Tip: Remember that on these beaches the depth increases very fast. Stay close to the water's edge. The strong sweep of the wave can knock over children and the elderly, who deserve extra care.
Examples: soft beach, Campeche beach, Mozambique beach, Galheta Beach.

shallow beach

Cachoeira do Bom Jesus Beach

It is usually formed by fine sand and the depth increases slowly. Because of this very gentle slope, the waves start to break relatively far from the shore. The main risks of this type of beach are associated with the surf, which is usually very long, and the presence of currents parallel to the beach or transverse.
Tip: The extensive surf of the shallow beaches makes the depth of the same place vary a lot. Therefore, do not go deeper than your waist, especially if the waves are very high.
Examples: Canasvieiras, Ponta das Canas, Bom Jesus waterfall, Daniela, Barra da Lagoa, Saint Anthony of Lisbon, cacupé.

Intermediate Beach

Video of Floripa - Praia da Armação
Armacao Beach

This type of beach can be identified as a combination of shallow and tumble beach characteristics. That is, although the profile has a notable slope, the waves break when they reach the beach, forming a tube that closes slowly (tubular surf) at small distances from the water's edge. Intermediate beaches have a very variable background, with banks and caves, where holes appear. Special care must be taken with the surf, which can be violent on beaches facing the ocean, which makes children and the elderly especially susceptible.
Example: Morro das Pedras, Frame, Azores, Traditional Jurerê, Jurerê International.