In our three-week journey down the coast of Brazil we encountered some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, but none as chic as Trancoso, Bahia. Accessed by a semi-paved road an hour from the nearest city of Porto Seguro, we bumped along assuming this was going to be a ten-shack town but instead we found the hippest side of paradise.
If a town’s center is meant to represent a place, then Trancoso planned it perfectly with the Quadrado, a wide open field surrounded by charming cafes and colorful casas. Though obscured here, the nighttime twinkle is one of my favorite features.
This Jesuit church was the heart of town in the16th century and still is. Though I am sure the church square still has its share of devotees, this is now where artisans sell their wares and wild horses tend to congregate.
Trancoso is set on a bluff overlooking a beach filled by a system of rivers and lagoons. The change in tides keep them filling and falling, creating an ever-changing landscape that draws you down the coast. Just be warned, if you stay out too late in the day…you may have to wade part of the way home.
Trancoso is far from flashy but pay attention and you’ll notice the beach is full of little paths leading to luxury hotels.
Just when you think Trancoso is all about the jetset, a guy like this will roll by to keep it real.
This washed up boat was turned into the rustic chic bar, Uxia. Love the sun hat umbrellas.
Trancoso has found the winning formula for a beach-town restaurant: massive tree for shade, big wooden patio chairs for seating, and poppy pattern pillows to draw you in. Cafe Vitoria’s fun floral cushions tempted me curl up here with a book and a caipirinha.
With everyone on the beach all day, the town comes alive at night with art galleries and boutiques like Galleria Fulô and staying open until 10pm or later.
Trancoso is a magical place (If a white wild pony grazing in front of a blue beach cottage didn’t have you convinced.)
Relais & Chateaux is one of the most selective hotel groups in the world and there only have one property in the state of Bahia that gets its seal of approval: Estrela d’ Agua. If you want to be directly on the beach this is the spot to be.
Casa Timbo is one of the chic lantern-lit restaurants under the boughs of the Quadrado but with a better price than its neighbors.
Aue Zum Zum has a great outdoor music scene by night. Snag a table early or just can grab a drink at the adorable pop-up bars and listen in from a bench in the square.