One of the first settlements established by the Jesuit priests, this once Indian village was originally founded in 1586 with the name St. John Baptist of the Indians, in hopes of spreading Christianity throughout the country. Located in the municipality of Porto Seguro, in Brazil’s Bahia state, Trancoso today is a small and tranquil, wonderfully-preserved village, its beautiful golden sands and emerald seas found just below the village cliffs plus an ideal climate year-round making for the perfect destination for those seeking a quiet escape amongst Brazil’s best beaches. Many of these white sand beaches such as Praia dos Nativos, Praia dos Coqueiros and Praia do Espelho are sheltered by reefs, forming natural swimming pools.
Despite having become a hotspot for the rich of Brazil, which today sees several high-end hotels and private villas for rent, Trancoso retains its rustic charm; providing a nice getaway for visitors to slow down and relax, with a range of services from modest and economical to the most luxurious and sophisticated.
Overlooking the ocean is the grassy Quadrado, the heart of this rectangular town, which is framed by colorful houses in the traditional style. Here you will find many historical sites plus several trendy restaurants, small shops selling local arts and crafts, pleasant pousadas and bars. Lit by torch and candlelight at night, you are sure to enjoy a stroll along its car-free streets.
To the east of the Quadrado sits the chalky-white Igreja de São João Batista—the second oldest church in Brazil, built in 1585 by Protuguese settlers, which along with the houses of Trancoso enjoys a UNESCO-protected status.