The first inhabitants of the region around Florianopolis were known as the Tupis-Guaranis, a group of indigenous peoples who foraged on land and in the ocean. Florianopolis was settled in 1673 by colonists from Sao Paulo, and was originally known by the name of Nossa Senhora do Desterro. It was an important political center, but remained a part of the city of Laguna VIllage until 1726 when Desterro was officially declared a village unto itself. 

    Because of its strategic position and sheltered harbor, Desterro began to be used for military purposes, which brought in a large number of settlers and immigrants, especially from the Azores islands. During the 17th-century, the port began to be used as a base for whale hunting and the trading of whale oil. In 1823 Desterro was declared the capital of the southern Province of Santa Catarina, a designation it retains to this day. It was renamed Florianopolis in 1893 after Floriano Peixoto, a president of Brazil. Today, Florianopolis is known as a popular tourist destination, especially for South Americans, due to its miles of beaches and favorable climate.