I´ve just got back from spending three days in Florianopolis during the Carnival holiday (photos on instagram). I originally looked at flights (just 1 hour 20 mins from Sao Paulo) but they cost well over R$1000 (this is a lot of money in Brazil), so I reluctantly resorted to looking into bus options. Taking the bus (coach) in the UK is not exactly a desirable option, and if you can book your train tickets far enough in advance to make it affordable, it´s much more comfortable and efficient. In my limited experience of UK bus travel I have witnessed two physical fights on board the vehicle, not to mention delays, uncomfortable seats and crazy fellow passengers who wish to talk at me for the entire journey. Long-distance train travel doesn´t exist in Brazil, so the bus is the only option aside from (usually very pricey) flights.
Considering how much people complain about inefficiency and bad service in Brazil (which is often fully justified), I was really pleasantly surprised by the night bus. You can book in advance online, then you just collect the tickets about an hour before departure from the ticket office in the bus station (don´t forget your I.D because you need this to collect the tickets and to board the bus). The bus departed bang on time both ways, the staff were pleasant and we stopped at service stations two or three times each way. We just booked the regular seats but they were extremely comfortable and you can almost fully recline and therefore sleep relatively comfortably (it is absolutely freezing on the bus though, so take a blanket). The journey took 15 hours on the way there and 12 on the way back, which sounds like hell but it was totally fine. Much more comfortable than travelling by plane and if you do it through the night, you barely notice the time passing because you´re out for the count. Just R$240 return so a big saving. Behold the Brazilian night bus!