How Trancoso Came to Be...

How Trancoso Came To Be...

Trancoso, a district of Porto Seguro in southern Bahia, was founded by Jesuits in 1586 under the name São João Batista dos Índios. The tiny 16th-century church on the Quadrado, built by indigenous people, is one of the oldest in Brazil.

For centuries, Trancoso lay in isolation on its pristine stretch of Discovery Coast. Sought by hippies in the 1970s and more recently by former big city folk and the wealthy and famous, the village has become more sophisticated, but remained beautifully rooted in its native essence. 

Practical Tips 

How to Get to Trancoso:
First, you need to get to Porto Seguro. American Airlines' nonstop flights to Salvador (daily) and Belo Horizonte (three times a week), launched in late 2008, helped create fun itineraries with the capital of Bahia and BH/Historic Cities. You can fly from BH to Porto with Gol ( or from Salvador to Porto with TAM ( for example.

There are taxis straight from Porto Seguro to Trancoso ($100 and up).

Food & Nightlife

On the Quadrado, go to Capim Santo (phone: 73-3668-1122) for great seafood. Dinner only, closed in June. Portinha, open for lunch and dinner, is a cheap kilo restaurant (R$30/kilo).

Pricier Cacau (73-3668-1266, dinner) serves Bahia cuisine. So does Silvana (73-3668-1049, lunch and dinner); try the famous moqueca.

Maritaca (Rua Carlos Alberto Parracho) is the place for pizza and draft beer or wine (dinner only). El Gordo, at the pousada by the same name, has sea views and cachaça to go with international cuisine.

Go clubbing at Pára-Raio. Keep an eye out for shows by music legend and Trancoso homeowner Elba Ramalho.

Enjoy grilled sandwiches and nightlife at Tostex Praia, on Praia dos Nativos.

Villas de Trancoso is worth the drive for a meal.