Trancoso’s charming hotels tend to be on the pricy side, although some affordable options are available. During the summer, prices double and reservations are a must. Prices listed are for off-season.
If you want to be on the Quadrado, a really lovely option is the Pousada Porto Bananas (Quadrado 234, tel. 73/3668-1017, www.portobananas.com.br, R$130–210 d). Various bungalows are spread throughout a jungly garden that will make you feel as if you just checked into Eden. The tastefully simple rooms are decorated with harmonious colors and textures, all of which are very conducive to respite.
Equally irresistible, although a little more refined (and expensive) is the Hotel da Praça (Quadrado 1, tel. 73/3668-2121, www.hoteldapraca.com.br, R$180–240 d). Trancoso’s first hotel opened back in the days when Trancoso was merely hippie without chic. In late 2006, the owners of Porto Bananas got their talented hands on it and hired local artists and architects to give the place an inspired facelift. The result is quite enchanting with unique art works and furnishings that also adorn the hotel’s restaurant. Christened Japaiano, it has already garnered a reputation for intriguing culinary creations that draw on both Japanese and Bahian cuisine, such as moqueca sushi and bobó de camarão with wasabi.
You might find it hard to believe that there’s anything but luxury on the Quadrado, but those on a budget can take refuge at the Albergue Café Esmeralda (Quadrado, tel. 73/3668-1527, cafeesmeralda [at] terra [dot] com [dot] br, R$30–60 d). Although rooms are dark and cramped, they are clean, Internet service is available, and the owners are terribly friendly.
A little off the beaten track, but also of great value is the Pousada Encantada (Rua João Vieira de Jesus, tel. 73/3668-2024, www.pousadaencantada.com.br, R$60 d). Although the bungalows are in close proximity and the garden is more residential backyard than tropical paradise, the rooms themselves are in mint condition and the staff makes you feel at home.
Another fine choice, only 150 meters (500 feet) from the Quadrado, is the Pousada Mundo Verde (Rua João Vieira de Jesus, tel. 73/3668-2024, www.pousadamundoverde.com.br, R$130–150 d). The comfortable rooms aren’t stylish, but the verdant surroundings are bucolic. From the pool at the edge of a bluff, you’ll be treated to captivating views of the forest and beaches below.
If prime beach access is what you’re searching for, Pousada Le Refuge (tel. 73/3668-1150, www.pousadaencantada.com.br, R$50 d), on the trail leading from the Quadrado to Praia de Coqueiros, is the perfect candidate. Clean, unaffected, and definitely affordable, the only drawback (for some) is the hotel’s brick structure, which is a bit overbearing.
For complete beachfront isolation, Pousada Bahia Bonita (tel. 73/3668-1565, www.bahiabonita.com.br, R$300 d without sea views and R$500 d with sea views), located on beautiful Praia do Rio Verde, will answer all your prayers (at a cost). Built and accessorized with lots of precious wood, coconut fibers, and other natural materials, the bungalows are not unlike luxury treehouses. If you have a lot of luggage, you’ll need to grab a cab in Trancoso. The alternative is a 30-minute walk through native forest or along the beach.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition