Trancoso’s eight beaches spread across 24 kilometers of pristine coastline, nestled under towering cliffs or alongside Atlantic rainforest and mangrove. These perfect stretches of sand are easily reachable from the Quadrado by foot, bicycle or horseback:
This is the smallest and closest of the beaches to the Quadrado, and yet it feels like one of the most remote. A 500-meter stretch of silky white sand, this beach offers thick, privacy-enhancing mangroves, and breathtaking views of the juncture where ocean and Trancoso River meet and mingle.
Calm, serene and peaceful, Rio da Barra marks where the Atlantic Ocean and Barra River meet. Only four kilometers from UXUA, this beach is perfect for inveterate sunbathers or nature lovers keen to explore the virgin bush along the Barra River by canoe.
Social and vibrant, Praia dos Nativos (aka Natives Beach) is the “bubbly little sister” to its neighbor, Rio da Barra. Although this 3-km-long inlet boasts an abundance of natural beauty – pristine mangroves, hundreds of coconut trees and lavish coral reefs – Nativos is also home to beach bars only meters before the beach meets the Trancoso River. These bars lure visitors, among who are also sports lovers who cherish the regular winds, which aid in any kite and wind-surfing efforts.
Sporty types will love this beach, where 400 meters of white sand and dense mangrove swamps prove conducive to soccer, strand-tennis and, of course, beach volleyball. Tidal pools formed by reefs among the emerald-colored waters and colorful corals up the dramatic factor for sunbathers more intent on admiring the local scenery.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but with its coral-dotted waters, shallow lagoon and lush vegetation, this beach can be considered the “pretty one” of the family. Only 2 kilometers south of the village, Rio Verde can boast of few cottages and is bordered by the river of the same name. Because of its proximity to the river, lush flora and fauna await intrepid hikers who manage to venture beyond the sands.
Because of its secluded location, this is known as a great walking destination. A long stretch of sand without huts of any kind joins turquoise waters and sparse vegetation, meaning little shade for beach-goers. A tip: bring plenty of sunscreen.
Where to go when a little “alone time” is called for? This almost deserted swathe of sand punctuated by wildflowers will probably fit the bill. The only companions may be the creatures you find lurking underneath the stones on the beach.
This is the surfers’ choice, thanks to Itaquena’s reputation for generously sized waves. About 5 km from UXUA, this beach is often deserted, save for the cajueiros – trees of Brazilian origin that grow the world-famous caju (cashew) nut.
You can find a beach in Trancoso to fit any mood, but if you can't resist exploring further here are some suggestions:
Ideal for windsurfers, snorkelers or divers, Pitinga sports enchanting reefs, emerald waters and natural pools that form during low tide. Located in Arraial D’Ajuda, the beach is about 10 km by foot along the beach or 16 km by car via a dirt road from Trancoso.
Lovers of dramatic landscapes will cherish Taípe, which is completely surrounded by high cliffs – the color of which changes with the rising and setting sun and are particularly dramatic in moonlight. Located halfway between Arraial D'Ajuda and Trancoso, Taípe only holds 2 huts and has a reputation for being quiet – aside from New Year’s Eve, when a bevy of party-goers invades the shore for a legendary night of carousing. Partying of a different order can be seen during spawning season, when hordes of sea turtles come to lay their eggs.
This “mirror” has two names. Known alternatively as Espelho (”mirror”) or Curuípe, this beach features waters so crystal-clear that they mirror the horizon. A border of cliffs completes this dramatic picture. Cottages and restaurants have come to take advantage of the picturesque location, making this one of the busier beaches in the area, despite its relatively distant location: 18 km from Trancoso by dirt road.
This beach could epitomize what southern Bahia originally was for a visitor. An hour from Trancoso, Caraíva is basically a fishermen’s village, sans cars, motorbikes, or any other motorized vehicle. Sand roads, almond trees and a veritable orchard of fruit trees fills out this charming picture, while an inland Native Pataxó reserve – comprising ¾ of the village – makes Caraíva a unique day trip for anyone interested in culture, nature or miles of virgin beaches.
Future generations will enjoy perfectly preserved nature on the beaches around Trancoso with special Federal environmental protection extending from Trancoso to Caraíva, and bordering kilometers of undeveloped coastline which Monte Pascoal towers above, sacred lands reserved as a permanent home for indigenous Pataxó people.