Didem Doğan

Northern Shores: Trancoso, Arraial d’Ajuda, Porto Seguro

When Portuguese sailors arrived in Porto Seguro in 1500, they probably did not know that it was the first land in Brazil touched by these discoverers, unaware that this place extending as far as the eye can see would be one of their colonies. Yes, Porto Seguro actually means safe port and that is why their ships might have shored up here. Indeed the Atlantic Ocean in this area turns into a long strip of calm water. This area, now in the south corner of Bahia state, is called ‘costa de descobrimento,’ i.e., shore of discovery. You can reach here in a two hours flight from Sao Paulo. The coast line around which miles of gorgeous beaches such as Arraial d’Ajuda and Trancoso extend beneath the cliffs is one of the places in Brazil that can move you with its geographic beauty. They are located about an hour from Porto Seguro’s airport. The city itself has not a touristic charm but offers a wonderful coral reef excursion to see the corals under the lower waters.The most colourful of these towns is Tronoco; I have stumbled upon the following sentence about this place: “This is the place where wealthy inhabitants of São Paulo come and feel poor.” Indeed the wealthy inhabitants of Paulista fulfill their longing for a bohemian life here; the rustic and bohemian atmosphere of Trancoso is so attractive that a city person would not want to leave. It has a rectangular square that looks like Roman hippodromes and a church on the ocean surrounded by colourful houses in both directions; the church and the square are Unesco heritage sites. You will find a series of long beaches on the shore. The puddles you have waded through in the morning will offer no path in the evening due to high tide. The beaches of Trancoso Praia dos Nativos, Praia dos Coqueiros, Praia do Espelho, with their white powder sands, palm trees, waters, have become worldwide famous. Another place you can stay is Arrail d’ajuda, it’s closer to the airport, similar to Trancoso it has a nice square and beaches where the red-brown mountains stand right behind the ocean, where his tide will give you a different perception of the ocean. Many bars and restaurants with live music are filled with visitors enjoying these paradise-like place.