Taking a bus south from Rio de Janeiro some 1,200 km passing by the cities of Sao Paulo and Curitiba, you reach Brazil’s great southern island city of Florianopolis. With only one company making the direct trip by bus from Rio de Janeiro to Florianopolis, during the high season seats sell out fast. But don't despair, you can also go to Sao Paulo first and continue your trip by bus to Florianopolis from there, where they have more departures per day.
The bus company servicing the route from Rio to Florianopolis is called Kaissara.
They have one bus departure from the Novo Rio bus station in Rio per day and the journey takes 18.5 hours to arrive at the Rita Maria bus station in Florianopolis. Because there is only one departure per day, we recommend you book as far in advance as possible to secure your seats.
You could either make the trip yourself to the Novo Rio terminal a few days in advance to secure your ticket or book your ticket online with a credit card.
Origin City = Rio de Janeiro - RJ (TODOS)
Destination City = Florianópolis - SC (TODOS)
At the terminal, they have a counter on the second floor of the terminal, and if you booked your ticket online, you must go there to collect it before you depart. Your ticket will have the departure gate printed on it and once the bus arrives you will need to take your luggage to the attendant near the back of the bus who will store them and give you a receipt which you must produce at the end of the journey to collect them. Then you head to the entrance of the bus where another attendant will check your ticket and passport before you enter.
The bus is an EXECUTIVE class which means the seats are the semi-bed type which does not quite recline all the way, but generally more than economy class on flights. Air conditioning can get strong so make sure you have something warm with you in case. There is an onboard lavatory, but no food or drinks are offered during the journey, so you take advantage of when the bus does stop every 3 to 4 hours where it is possible to purchase food and beverages and use the restrooms.
Connecting buses from Sao Paulo
If you are unable to get the direct bus, then we suggest you take one of the many buses from Rio to the Sao Paulo Tiete terminal where there are more departures for Florianopolis per day. The journey time from Rio to Sao Paulo is 6 hrs, then from there to Florianopolis is a further 11 -12 hrs.
If you have more time on your hands and can travel from Rio to Florianopolis over a few days, we suggest you consider taking the coastal road from Rio to Sao Paulo which includes great locations such as Ilha Grande and Paraty, before continuing on from Sao Paulo to Florianopolis. The following pages give more information about those destinations.
The bus takes 18.5 hours on average to travel the 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) from Rio to Florianopolis. The direct bus usually travels overnight departing around midday and arriving in Florianopolis around 7 am the next day.
The overnight bus departs from the main bus station in Rio de Janeiro is called the Rio Novo Rodoviaria located on the outskirts of downtown Rio. Click on the button to read about how to get there because it is located in not the best area of Rio.
The bus arrives at the main bus station of Florianopolis which is called the Terminal Rodoviário Rita Maria. It is located on Avenida Paulo Fontes 1101, in the downtown area. Check out more details about this terminal.
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