Find out where in Brazil is Trancoso located, what is the best time to visit, where to stay, where to eat and what are the best things to do there during your trip and much more.
Trancoso is a district in the municipality of Porto Seguro, in the south coast of Bahia state in Brazil, with just over 11,000 inhabitants. It is known for its beautiful beaches usually frequented by artists, young and beautiful people. But did you know that in Trancoso you can also find nearly deserted beaches and other ones suitable for surfing and even to practice some sports such as kayaking, cycling and hiking?
In this article we will tell you everything you need to know to plan your trip to Trancoso, Brazil: how to get there, what to do, where to eat, where to stay, and talk about each beach individually so that you can find the one that best suits your traveling style.
Before we share a complete list of things to do in Trancoso and its best beaches, here are some important points:
Trancoso is located 35 km away from Porto Seguro, a journey of about 1 hour and a half by car. The distance is almost the same from Trancoso to Caraíva, which is 36 km.
If you want to be a little closer to Trancoso, you can leave from Arraial d’Ajuda and drive for 40 minutes and 28 km of road.
Trancoso on the map:
Due to the proximity to the previously mentioned cities, we recommend you to rent a car as it is the fastest and most flexible option. If you arrive from another state, the nearest airport is in Porto Seguro and to drive to Trancoso from there, you have to take the BA-986 ferry and drive ahead through the Estrada de Trancoso.
To go from Porto Seguro to Trancoso in an economic way, you can take a bus or a shuttle van, both leave by the ferry from Arraial d’Ajuda. To get to the ferry it’s possible to take a taxi, Uber or city circular bus and then make the crossing (free for pedestrians) to Arraial.
The bus ride to Trancoso is done by Viação Águia Azul and costs around R$13. You can find updated schedules and prices on their website.
Once you arrive in Trancoso, you will have to take a taxi or a mototaxi to your hotel, taking advantage of the route to chat a little with the driver in order to get some precious tips from a local.
If you are looking for hot, sunny days, January and February are the best months to visit this paradise that is Trancoso. During these months, the maximum temperatures are around 29ºC and it doesn’t rain much.
If you are looking for a less touristy season and almost no chance of rain, August or September are interesting months in this sense, with milder temperatures, around 25ºC.
We stayed for 6 nights and it was wonderful, enough to visit most of the attractions and fall in love with the magical atmosphere of Trancoso.
But the longer the better, so make the most of it and stay as long as you can. Below you will find a guide telling you what to do in Trancoso in order to help you define your itinerary and figure out the number of days that will work best for you.
The prices charged in Trancoso and Caraíva are usually higher due to the logistics required for things to reach these destinations.
Speaking specifically about transportation, the price of a taxi in Trancoso is quite surreal, and 10 minutes on the road can cost you R$85. The best alternative for those who do not carry a lot of luggage is the mototaxi, but if you go from one side of the village to the other with lots of bags, it is best to rent a car.
Trancoso is a very sunny paradise with lots of nature, so take note of these items because they will save your trip:
– Sunscreen and repellent (preferably biodegradable)
– Ointment for insect bites
– Cap or hat (essential items on this list!)
– Flip flops
– Sandals (if you want to ride a bike on the beach)
– Hiking boots (if you decide to explore into the woods)
– Long sleeve t-shirt with UV protection
Now that you have all the initial information you need to start planning your trip, let’s talk about the topics below. Feel free to go straight to your point of interest:
Things to do in Trancoso, Brazil
Find below a list of 15 things to do in Trancoso, Brazil and details about the 7 best beaches.
One of the main attractions of Trancoso is the Quadrado (square, in English), located in the historic center and considered the heart of the village. Around there it is possible to visit São João Batista dos Índios church, the colorful houses, the agitated life around the Quadrado and the mystical atmosphere of the place.
São João Batista dos Índios Church
São João Batista dos Índios church, located in the Quadrado de Trancoso, was founded in the 17th century. It was during this historic period that the Jesuits tried to catechize the indigenous people of the region, and as they did not accept this, they gradually left the place.
Curiosity: Mystics say that behind the church passes the 17S parallel line and that is the reason why people always want to return to this destination. If it’s true, I don’t know, but I’m already dying to get back.
The colorful houses
The houses in the so-called Quadrado de Trancoso were built in colonial style and each one has a story that is told on a little sign on the facade.
It is mandatory that nowadays they are painted in different colours from each other, so that they never lose their characteristics and always keep the history of the place alive, besides being very charming.
In the middle of the afternoon, the surroundings of the Quadrado begin to show the first signs that the night in Trancoso will be lively.
When the sun starts going away, suspended lights are lit and the tables of bars and restaurants are set up around the sidewalk, in addition to the shops and galleries that start to open, awaiting the arrival of the tourists.
What attracts so many looks towards Trancoso in Brazil is, without a doubt, its beaches. The transparent sea, the natural pools, an extension of coconut palms and jaw-dropping cliffs are just a few characteristics that make this paradise unforgettable.
To reach the beaches of Trancoso you can go by car, bus, taxi, mototaxi or, for the more adventurous, renting a quadricycle, cycling, or even walking.
A few minutes walking from the Quadrado, you can reach Nativos beach, being the proximity the main reason that makes this beach one of the busiest in Trancoso. The place has the most varied options of restaurants and accommodations, not to mention the great parties that take place during the high season, especially at the Fly Club.
Nativos Beach is crowned by the beauty of the river that flows into the sea, giving place to a perfect environment for a freshwater bath after a salty dip. It is also possible to practice some sports on the river, such as kite surfing.
Right next to Praia dos Nativos and a 10-minute walk from the Quadrado (R$15 by mototaxi), Coqueiros Beach and its stunning vegetation form a sight that takes your breath away. It is ideal for those who want to rest in the shades of the many coconut trees and is the best option for those who wish to bathe in a calm sea, explore the natural pools or take a walk along the mangrove.
In addition to the incredible nature, the beach offers several food options for you to spend the day worry-free. Barraca do Jonas, Cabana da Lúcia and Zé Barbudo Restaurant offer great seafood options, and for those who are looking for a slightly more gourmet environment (but still with a very charming rustic atmosphere), Uxua offers a lounge with the best of Bahian food and delicious drinks, like a gin with cocoa nibs.
For those seeking peace and tranquility, Itapororoca Beach is definitely the best option. Nearly deserted and with a landscape that looks like it was taken from a movie, the only people you see on the beach are usually couples in love, looking for a corner away from the hype, and some surfers.
The reason why the beach is so deserted is that it is not possible to get there by car. To reach this paradise you need to do a 40-minute hike, walking from Rio Verde Beach.
To spend the day well accommodated and enjoying delicious food and drinks, Casa Clube Trancoso is the perfect spot.
Another alternative is to stay in one of the inns in the region, just like I did when staying 3 nights at Pousada Tutabel.
Rio Verde Beach
A little less than 2 km away from Quadrado Square and 5 minutes by car, is Rio Verde Beach. With a more peaceful atmosphere, it is possible to take advantage of the bay of crystal clear waters and stunning nature for a walk by the sea. After the dive, we advise you to take the salt out of your body with a bath in the Rio Verde lagoon, which is close to the shore, to feel nature at its best.
If you get hungry, we recommend Bahia Bonita beach club to eat fresh seafood and have a cold beer with your feet in the sand.
Transparent sea water, colorful cliffs, natural pools and charming kiosks. If this sequence sounds as good for you as it sounds for us, Espelho Beach is certainly a must.
Its name (espelho means “mirror”) comes from the water mirrors formed by the natural pools, which is why the beach is so popular. It is the perfect environment to disconnect from any worries and enjoy nature in every detail.
This wonderful piece of land is 25 km – approximately 50 minutes by car – from the Quadrado and to get there by taxi will cost you around R$ 350, round trip. For those with an adventurous spirit, it is possible to take the quadricycle or UTV route with Trancoso Adventure.
As it is more distant from the center of Trancoso and so rich in nature, we recommend that you spend one night in one of the many inns at Espelho Beach to enjoy more, and if possible, rent a car for greater convenience and cost savings.
Itaquena Beach is a little piece of sand with a difficult access for those who want to visit, because the 10 km stretch from Coqueiros Beach that leads there, is only possible to be done on foot or by quadricycle (it’s important to mention that vehicles are only accepted on the road, not on the beach).
The breathtaking view – which looks more like a dream – is made up of natural pools placed in the middle of the corals and a crystal clear sea that attracts countless surfers due to the waves.
There are no accommodation options at Itaquena Beach, so we recommend that you search for options at Itapororoca Beach or Rio Verde Beach.
Rio da Barra Beach
Rio da Barra Beach is located just over 5 km away from Quadrado, but to reach this hidden oasis it is only possible by car, through restaurants or hotels.
The surprise when you put your feet on the sands of Praia do Rio da Barra is the presence of just a few tourists in such a paradisiacal, nearly deserted beach. The long strip of fine white sand is bordered by a beautiful sea and red cliffs.
The main access to the beach is through the Rio da Barra Hotel, which charges R$ 30 for parking and offers a structure for those who want to spend the day in this peaceful spot in Trancoso.
Attention! Beach clubs usually charge a minimum cost of consumption for you to enjoy their chairs and sunbeds.
Bike ride at the beach
To cycle through Trancoso, you can choose to take a bike tour with a specialized company like Bahia Active, for instance. Some hotels offer bicycles for their guests, such as Pousada Tutabel, which has bike rental included in the daily rate and you can choose to take your tour with or without a guide.
We took our tour at Itapororoca Beach with a guide from Pousada Tutabel at the end of the day and cycled towards Reserva Rio dos Frades, which is 2 km away from the hotel and is a beautiful sandbank area, perfect to watch the sunset.
Trails and hikes
If you are one of those people who love a good walk, you can go to the famous Espelho Beach on foot, or go hiking in one of the PNHRs (Private Natural Heritage Reserves) in the region. We did the Bosque Hiking Trail at Reserva Rio do Brasil.
For the ones with more experience, it is possible to do a 10 km hike from Praia do Espelho to Caraíva, passing by some impressive landscapes. The trail is long and you will come across rivers, lagoons, gorges and some other challenges along the way, but the route is very well signposted and it’s really worth it.
The best tip is to always keep an eye on the tides to avoid unexpected surprises and, of course, always take lots of water and sunscreen.
If you want to see the paradise from the water, Pousada Tutabel offers a kayak tour that goes from Reserva Rio do Brasil straight to the beach.
In addition to being a different attraction and a fun way to exercise, the route is full of history as it is the first river named by the Portuguese when they arrived in Brazilian lands.
Golf at Terravista
Terravista is an incredible complex located on the top of the cliffs of Trancoso and has several cool attractions to be enjoyed by those looking for tranquility.
These attractions include playing golf at the complex’s course, considered one of the best golf courses in Brazil. I guarantee it will be an impressive experience and I challenge you not to be distracted by the view when aiming the ball.
Another attraction of the Terravista complex is the L’Occitane Theater. With a capacity for 1,100 people, the theater has been the stage for many great concerts – Ivete Sangalo, for instance – and is where the Trancoso Music Festival takes place, being an essential piece to help in the cultural development of the region.
Something I had never thought of doing in Trancoso was birdwatching. We took this tour with Pousada Tutabel at Reserva Rio do Brasil, which belongs to the same owner.
The best time to do it in Trancoso is September, when it’s late winter and early spring. It is a beautiful experience of contact with the local nature, and in case you are traveling with children, bear in mind that birdwatching with kids is a great way to introduce them to biology.
Check out our Instagram highlights to see exactly how it was.
Sunrise from the beach
This item needs no explanation, if watching the sunrise is always magical, watching it rise from the beach is even more so.
I took advantage of the bird watching day, which forced me to wake up very early, to see the sunrise in Trancoso straight from our accommodation at Pousada Tutabel, at Itapororoca Beach.
If you want to know what to do at night in Trancoso, know that one of the most delicious things I did was floating in the pool at Pousada Tutabel while looking at the stars. Trancoso’s sky is mesmerizing and very clean, so it is really possible to spend hours admiring it, almost like a meditation.
With so much history and tradition, it would be odd that there were no regional festivals in Trancoso, right?
And not just one, but three saints are celebrated every year, and each celebration is represented by a mast in front of São João Batista dos Índios church.
São João Batista Festival
The tribute to São João Batista is celebrated annually in June and gathers the entire population of the village of Trancoso in front of the Church of the same name, with several gastronomic attractions that are responsible for the cultural rescue of the region.
São Brás Festival
São Brás has been honored by the Trancoso community for many years, always in February.
The celebration mixes indigenous, African, Portuguese and hippie traditions, with the locals playing drums around the Quadrado. The participants dress in white and throw flowers at the sea for the goddess Iemanjá and the men carry a trunk painted in different colors that, at the end of the night, is raised as the main mast.In addition to the cultural attractions, the festival offers games for the children, such as the Egg Run and “Pau de Sebo”.
São Sebastião Festival
Every year in January, São Sebastião celebration has taken place in Trancoso Square for decades and it has an extensive cultural activities program.
The celebration features musical attractions and typical dances, such as Samba de Couro and Dança do Marimbondo. Moreover, as in all the three celebrations, the mast of São Sebastião is raised in front of the Church as the highlight of the festival.
In addition to the religious festivals, Trancoso also has the events and festivals below:
- New Year’s Eve Party
- Music in Trancoso
- International Film Festival
- Jazz Festival
- Songs in Trancoso
- Elba Invites
Nearby districts: Porto Seguro, Arraial d’Ajuda and Caraíva
If you have extra time to spare, we recommend you to visit the cities near Trancoso, because the whole region is truly breathtaking.
How about learning a little about the colonization of Brazil in the historic center of Porto Seguro, going out enjoy the lively nightlife of Rua Mucugê in Arraial d’Ajuda or disconnecting from the world when visiting Caraíva?
Where to eat in Trancoso
The restaurants in Quadrado de Trancoso usually open only in the late afternoon because people usually have lunch on the beach before this time. But don’t worry because Trancoso offers plenty of great restaurant options.
The best restaurants in Trancoso
Here is where you can find the best of the Bahian food with a refined touch and a beautiful atmosphere among nature. It doesn’t sound bad at all, does it?
We received great recommendations and the most recommended dishes are: Dourado, Carpaccio and the Shrimp. But certainly any dish you order at O Cacau restaurant will be a gift after a delicious day on the beach in Trancoso.
The restaurant is open from 2 pm to 10 pm.
Contact: (73) 3668-1144
The adjective that best describes Favoritto Trancoso restaurant is sophistication. For those who have a slightly more robust gastronomic budget, it is worth tasting the dishes loved by cuisine experts.
This delightful corner at the Quadrado has a rustic and very pleasant atmosphere, so don’t be surprised if you find a celebrity having dinner there.
During the summer, it opens from 5 pm to 12 am.
Contact: (73) 98833-8658
If you want to eat something a bit different, La Cevicheria is the perfect choice. The Peruvian dishes are made with fresh seafood by the Peruvian native chef, Brict Ricardo Perez Villasante.
The most loved dishes are the ceviches, which come in four versions: the classic, made with tiger leche, the mixed, made with oyster salsa, and the mango with passion fruit sauce.
Opening hours are from 6pm to 12am.
Contact: (73) 998393451
If there is a gastronomic nationality that is never wrong it’s the Italian, right?
Cantinetta canteen offers a variety of pasta, sandwiches and mouth-watering pizzas, especially after a long and awesome day. In addition to the delicious dishes, they have craft beers and if you are tired and too lazy to leave the hotel, they can deliver all of it to you.
The canteen is open from 1 pm to 4 pm and from 6 pm to 10:30 pm, from Wednesday to Monday (delivery only in the second time frame).
Contact: (73) 3668 2043
A very special buffet per kilo is what best defines Rabanete Restaurant, which serves everything from Bahian food to Minas Gerais cuisine, Arabic and Italian.
Democratic and made with fresh and natural ingredients, the restaurant, which has units in Quadrado de Trancoso, in Arraial d’Ajuda and Porto Seguro, is very popular and it is an excellent option.
Buffet hours: 12h to 22h.
Contact: (73) 3288-2743
Where to eat cheap in Trancoso
Lua Verde Saladeria
With refreshing and healthy options, Lua Verde Saladeria, located on Rua da Gameleira, has a delicious variety of salads and a frozen açaí, perfect for the Trancoso climate.
The kilo costs R$69 (Dec / 2020) and the salad bar is open from Monday to Friday from 12pm to 11pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 11pm.
Contact: (27) 99731-3622
It’s impossible to visit Bahia and not have a wonderful tapioca.
Sandra’s Tapiocaria helps you on this mission with the most delicious and varied tapioca dishes from Trancoso – sweet or salty – and it doesn’t leave a scratch on your budget.
You can taste tapioca every day, from 2pm to 11pm.
Contact: (73) 99906-3839
LMTM Tip: I don’t usually give tips on what not to do, but I really didn’t like the El Gordo restaurant in Trancoso. Although they have a beautiful view, the service and the dish wasn’t worth it and it did not justify the price charged.
Where to stay in Trancoso, Brazil
If you like to stay at the heart of the village and close to the restaurants, definitely the best option is to stay close to the Quadrado in Trancoso.
But if you are looking for a more peaceful trip, we recommend that you stay at a hotel on some beach further away, such as Itapororoca Beach, for instance.
Hotels in Trancoso
Next to the Trancoso Square, the Pousada Hibisco stands out for its location and cost-benefit ratio.
Mrs. Tuca is the owner who, with great care, decorated each corner with flowery pillows to remind you that you’re in Bahia. The hotel is full of green spots and the pool is delicious, ideal for resting your mind and body.
Address: Rua Bom Jesus, s / n, Porto Seguro, State of Bahia, 45818-000
Pousada Tutabel is just perfect for those who look for a closer contact with nature, a luxury accommodation, walk in the sand and a divine breakfast.
Excellent option for couples (including honeymooners), for those who want to be away in times of pandemic, or even for those like me, who enjoy being alone in a paradise from time to time to get their thoughts in order. Families and groups of friends also love this hotel and usually book several rooms or even rent a house with a private pool that they have in a reserved area.
The hotel offers a beach bar, deck chair, parasol, children’s toys and surf boards.
Prepare your wallet for transportation, as the taxi from the hotel to the Quadrado costs R$85 one way, even though it is only 10 min away. Renting a car can be worth it, except on New Year’s Eve when there is nowhere to park the car at the Quadrado and it is better to book a taxi in advance.
Address: Estrada do Rio Verde, nº 3.000, Sítio Santo Antônio, Trancoso District, Bahia, 45818-000 (Itapororoca Beach is the closest).
Resort in Trancoso
Club Med Trancoso
Located at Taípe Beach, which is on the border between Trancoso and Arraial d’Ajuda, Club Med Trancoso is an excellent option for those who are looking for an all-inclusive resort in Trancoso, with several activities for people of all ages and the whole family.
The hotel, which is located next to the L’occitane Theater and Terravista Golf, brings regional cuisine options for lunch and international options for dinner. They make an exemplary waste control, cooking according to demand and composting what is not cooked.
In addition, they are working on their own garden, which both our health and the environment are very grateful for.
To get to the beach – which is beautiful, by the way – guests can choose to go hiking or take a funicular. The great news for those who love comfort is that the beach has a tent that offers great drinks and snacks for guests.
Address: Estrada Municipal, Km 18, s / n, Estr. de Trancoso – Fazenda Taípe, Porto Seguro – BA, 45810-000
In addition to the options above, you can find different accommodations in Trancoso here:
Airbnb in Trancoso
If you wish to stay in an Airbnb house, you will definitely find good options, near or far from the Quadrado. Check out some of them below:
Responsible Tourism in Trancoso
As there are no public recycling initiatives in the city of Porto Seguro, we strongly recommend that you avoid generating waste during your trip, always giving preference to cans over bottled drinks and using biodegradable sunscreen and bug repellent.
Recommended reading: Sustainable Tourism – What it is and why it’s important
Acknowledgment: This dream trip was made as an invitation from the Porto Seguro Tourism Department. Our stays at Pousada Tutabel, Pousada Hibisco and Club Med were given as courtesy, but you can rest assured that all opinions expressed here are completely honest and based on our own experience.
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