Monte Pascoal National Park, named for the mount the Portuguese spotted as the first sign of land as they approached the Bahia coast in April 1500, is a must-see in the Trancoso area.
Visiting an indigenous village is not only interesting, but also a way to help the tribe through ecotourism and the purchase of crafts. Of the Pataxó villages on the Discovery Coast, one of the most seriously involved in ecotourism is Coroa Vermelha.
Trancoso Receptivo (www.trancosoturismo.com.br) offers tours to Pataxó villages - contact them in advance so they can provide English-speaking guides.
In Trancoso, you're near the state-of-the-art Terravista Golf (www.terravistagolf.com.br), one of the top local attractions.
Life at the Quadrado takes a pause after lunch.
Catch some action before the need for an afternoon nap catches up with you:
• Go surfing at Itaquena Beach. That's where local boys organize Surf Point Trancoso in August. Trancoso also has good kitesurfing;
• Try capoeira the Mirante, at Casa da Cultura on the Quadrado or by the Uxua Praia Bar;
• Go bike riding with Natural Ecobike (www.naturalecobike.com);
• Go diving, horseback and bike riding, or fly on a plane or chopper with Trancoso Receptivo (www.trancosoturismo.com.br);
Trancoso folklore is rich and carefully kept alive by nativos, with the help of enthusiastic biribandos (non-native residents). The Quadrado is the best place to join in ancient traditions such as Puxada de Mastro (pronounced pu-SHA-da de MAS-tro, meaning "mast pulling"), a ritual which dates back to the catechization of indigenous tribes.
Join in the festivities - and maybe help with some muscle work - as a tall mast bearing the saint's flag is raised in fron of São João Batista Church for the celebration of St. Sebastian (Jan.20), St. Braz (Feb.3) and during Festas Juninas, especially on June 24, local patron St. John the Baptist's day.