The Hippie-Chic Village of Trancoso
Trancoso is a little hippie-chic town located in the southern state of Bahia, that was founded in 1586 as a village formed by simply two rows of rustic houses, a large lawn and a church as the scenery. Today, after four centuries, the great rectangular lawn known as the Quadrado, which was discovered by hippies in the 70s, is where everything happens. They renovated old fisherman houses into hotels, bars and restaurants, creating a charming antique village.
There are no big bright neon signs and almost no outdoor electrical lighting, just the overshadow from the brightness of the beautiful starry sky. Trancoso is great at any time of year, the quiet and charming village and the beautiful beaches are always a pleasure to visit. However the destination truly becomes packed during New Years vacations, when many celebs, socialites and beautiful people come to enjoy the fabulous parties and gorgeous beaches.
How to get there
The easiest way is to fly to Porto Seguro, which is 110km from Praia do Espelho. Once in Porto Seguro your best bet is to rent a car with Hertz, or if you don’t plan on driving around too much you can hire a driver that will take you on the Arraial d’Ajuda ferry and then follow to Trancoso. Some good transfer companies/drivers are: Carlos Transportes 73 3668 1326 / 73 9991 6581 or Nilson Taxi 73 9951 5247 / 73 8116 1610.
Where to stay:
In the charming village there are basically three options when it comes to choosing your stay; the beach, the green area, or the Quadrado (square) where everything happens. In Trancoso there are many beaches to choose from, and you will find that waking up with the gorgeous view of the ocean is priceless! There are a few different options to choose from by the beach, including the famous Club Med resort which is great for families or large groups, or the boutique style Paradise Hotel on Rio Verde beach. Smaller and unique structures include the famous pousada Estrela D’Agua which was once Gal Costa’s (Brazilian singer) original home. This pousada has a gorgeous view of the ocean, as does Pousada Tangara, Pousada Som do Mar e Clube de Mar, which all offer great service, charming rooms and of course the gorgeous beach of Trancoso right at your door step.
For the young crowd your best bet is to stay in the Quadrado where everything happens, here you have the informal but very comfortable option, Capim Santo, which has a great restaurant and good service. For those on a budget a good option is Café Esmeralda Hostel, its simple, well located and has an excellent price! The forest area is an in-between-option from the village and the beach. It offers a cooler climate and some unique pousadas like Mata N’ativa Pousada and Uxua Casa Hotel. The Mata N’ativa is a great option for honeymooners looking to enjoy nature and the cool and cozy climate the destination has to offer. Rates start from R$230, so its a good option for keeping a lower budget. The Uxua Casa Hotel is so unique and charming you will fall in love with it! The pousada is formed by renovated fishermen houses, which creates an extremely unique, and personalized hotel. Each of the 10 cottages are decorated individually and given a special name.
The beaches are definitely the main attraction and there are many to pick from. The most beautiful beach in my opinion is Caraíva, it’s an hour and a half away from Trancoso, but it´s worth it. The most famous beaches are Praia dos Nativos where the water is calm and with natural pools, Praia Rio da Barra where you feel isolated in paradise, while just 2km from Trancoso and of course Praia do Espelho, which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil! There are some beaches, which have restaurants, bars and hotels to relax at and drink some cocktails while soaking up the sun.
Unlike most little villages, Trancoso’s has amazing outings, both at night and during the day! There are great restaurants in the Quadrado, glamorous beach clubs, and fabulous New Year’s parties! In the Quadrado the bars and restaurants share the outdoor space of the Quadrado by placing tables under the generous shades provided by trees. You will find all different types of cuisines here, all with a little touch of Bahia. A good pick is A Portinha, which serves traditional Brazilian dishes. My tip is to snack on the beach in the day before later heading into town for a delicious dinner. To mix things up, reserve at least one day to spend on Praia do Espelho and treat yourself to some amazing seafood at Restaurant da Silvinha. Here Silvinha serves surprise homemade food, everyday is a different menu. Right next to this unique restaurant is Sushi da Mel, which attracts the cool young crowd, here you will find fresh sushi and delicious Japanese food! As the sun goes down, trendy bars start opening their doors in the Quadrado, and later on the nightclubs Para Raio and Louco Lanches start playing their set lists. If you are really hyped up and looking for hardcore partying there is a rave that goes on in Praia dos Nativos called Tostex.
If you are really looking for a fabulous party with amazingly gorgeous people, none of these outings will do, you must come during New Year’s! Here, the city hosts some of the best party line-ups of the country! International celebs, socialites and many beautiful people all dressed in white come to celebrate the turn of the year in Trancoso. The most happening New Year’s party is Reveillon Taípe Trancoso, which happens on the beach Praia Taípe. Plus, there are many fun before- and after-parties as well, starting a few nights before the New Year, and only ending on the 2nd or 3rd of January. These include We Love Trancoso – By Mandi, Pre-Reveillon O Cacau and Beach Club Party.
Written by Brazilian Guru, a travel blog written directly from Brazil! Check us out for travel tips, good restaurants, fabulous parties, beautiful beaches and only the best of Brazil.
Top image by Gabriel Carvalho-Setur