Trancoso, Brazil, a town my husband and I went to on our honeymoon, is a magical place. The heart of the town is the Quadrado, or square, situated right before the bluff that cascades down onto the most pristine beach I've ever seen. Humble, colorful buildings surround the Quadrado, where school children play soccer and people routinely pass by on horseback. But behind the unassuming facades of some of these buildings are amazingly luxurious eco-lodges or candle-lit restaurants, hidden like little gems behind the simple exterior. The town has maintained an unkempt, rustic spirit despite becoming a luxury "hot spot" of sorts, with deluxe accommodations and a sparkling nightlife. It is almost eerily quiet during the day, allowing for the simplest of afternoons, exploring the untamed beaches or swinging in a hammock. At night, low-hung lights speckle the trees, under which people gather at the outdoor tables of a row of restaurants. The beat of music punches through the darkness, hinting at other parts of town, where a late-night party is always beckoning.
In honor of the spirit of Trancoso, here's a playlist of Brazilian jazz to help transport you to the unspoiled beach and bohemian nights in the Quadrado. Three years post-honeymoon, we discovered that our infant daughter, Vivi, could never keep her eyes open if my husband danced bossa nova with her to an Antonio Carlos Jobim and Elis Regina album we have on record. Now she's 14 months old, and we play her this Brazil mix nearly every day in the car to inspire naps. It's like the luxurious lazing we did in the hammock of our Trancoso hotel somehow passed down to her. Hope you find it as relaxing and peaceful as Vivi does!
Find "Take Me To Trancoso" and our other mixes at Spotify.
(all photos, Jamie Grill Photography)