It’s late afternoon when two teams made up of boys with toned bodies compete in a soccer game on the Quadrado field. In front of brightly colored side houses, windows and open doors, a procession heads towards the lookout behind the São João Batista church. That’s a strategic point to see the sea and say goodbye to another summer day.
We saw the Trancoso river, which gives its name to the famous Bahian village. Its waters, when they meet the sea, separate Praia do Nativo from Praia dos Coqueiros. At low tide, it is possible to cross the mouth of the river on foot.
A Bahia it is a land full of incredible beaches, capable of seducing the most varied profiles of lovers of the sea. There is, however, a place of soft sand, colorful cliffs, natural pools and a generous offer, both gastronomic and hotel, which makes Trancoso one of the main tourist destinations in the country.
This summer season, 80,000 people are expected in Trancoso, according to calculations by the Porto Seguro Tourism Secretariat, the municipality of which the village is a district.
Crowded almost the entire year, Trancoso is one of the most disputed points in the New Year’s Eve. This year, it is estimated, according to the secretariat, a greater demand both in closed parties and in those open to the public.
Lodging is not a problem there, and the options have been diversifying. Trancoso is also experiencing a period of real estate expansion, with the construction of high-end condominiums and houses.
There are basically three regions that concentrate hotels and inns. In Quadrado, there are the most charming inns, such as Uxua, close to shops, restaurants and bars, which shelter the fervo on the hot nights of the full moon. The closest strip of sand to the Quadrado is Coqueiros beach. It offers good infrastructure, including for children. And you can walk there.
When it comes to walking in the sand, the charming Estrela d’Água, on Praia dos Nativos, 700 meters from the Quadrado, is an excellent option. Embedded in a spot still surrounded by the exuberance of the Atlantic forest, the house belonged to singer Gal Like (1945-2022) before becoming an inn.
Facing the sea, on the left, a light 20-minute walk will take you to Rio da Barra beach. They say that it was its white and red cliffs that caught the attention of Pero Vaz de Caminha, who even described them to the King of Portugal during the discovery of Brazil, in those times when the country was still called Terra de Santa Cruz.
A resort option, aimed mainly at the family, Club Med Trancoso is not a foot in the sand. To get to the beach, you need to go down an “elevator” or down a wooden staircase. The complex is installed on top of a cliff, which reaches 40 meters in height, with a practically deserted and charming beach, Taípe, at its feet.
Facing one of the most beautiful coastlines in the south of Bahia, which form Itapororoca beach, the fasano network comes to crown this list of luxury and comfort, by mixing the rustic with the sophisticated in the midst of natural beauty.
Designed by architect Isay Weinfeld, Fasano Trancoso houses 40 bungalows (measuring from 60 m² to 206 m²), amidst an Atlantic forest setting right in front of the natural pools of warm water that form at low tide. The deck extends for about 500 meters in the middle of the forest and sandbank. In addition to serving as a crossing, it offers a beautiful view of the beach and houses the hotel’s two swimming pools (one for adults and one for children).
On the menu, there are seafood and the best of the tradition of Italian cuisine, the chain’s trademark. The main restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. There is also an area set up under the shade of almond trees facing the sea, a perfect place to enjoy the late afternoon, accompanied by good music.
Accustomed to playing in paradisiacal places around the world, DJ Monica Soldan, a Brazilian who lives in London, spent New Year’s Eve and last summer at Fasano in Trancoso.
“It was incredible to play with that paradisiacal look, with the pleasant climate of the Bahian summer, under an almond tree, right in front of the blue sea”, he recalls. “This time, I’ll play on New Year’s Eve at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, in the London winter. Imagine how homesick I am for Bahia.”
It is at this time of year that the hype takes over the peaceful village in the so-called Discovery Coast, although it is still possible to attend a mass in the little church. It is common word, and the priest’s too, that the church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Its format dates back to the work of evangelization of the Jesuit priests in the region since the beginning of the discovery.
Trancoso has always been an escape point. Starting with the Jesuits, who, at the beginning of the 16th century, founded the town to protect the Indians from colonial magnates.
In the 1970s, hippies and other groups who felt a bit on the margins of society arrived, with the aim of finding a world there, drawn between the sea and the Atlantic forest, far from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Looking for inspiration in the light and invigorating climate of the Bahian coast, the artists arrived.
With kilometers as far as the eye can see, the beach was (and still is) perfect: it freely cuts across the sea, which advances in a varied palette of blue and green tones, oscillating depending on the sun’s incidence, leading visitors’ dreams.
As a curiosity, the Square actually has the shape of a rectangle.
That done, let’s get down to what really matters: bathing in the sea, jumping the seven waves or not, toasting beer as if it were champagne. It does not matter. There is no stress that resists the Trancoso effect.