Trancoso – Where you pay a lot to have a little

“The sun was blazing at the Tostex beach club in Bahia, Brazil, and the tanned and toned partygoers were lounging on rustic queen-size beds, fighting off the unrelenting mosquitoes on an otherwise lazy day. A scruffy D.J. from São Paulo who went by the name Julião swayed in his thatch-roofed booth and cranked up a funky remix of Laurent Garnier’s saxophone-infused song “The Man With the Red Face.”

The sculptured 20- and 30-somethings — models and actors sprinkled in with São Paulo’s elite professionals — sipped colored martinis and bronzed on leopard-print pillows, as gentle Bahian breezes tickled their skin. Few flinched as a steady stream of private planes and helicopters zipped above the water.

It was another picture-perfect day in Trancoso, a former fishing village that has turned into a super-trendy getaway for Brazilians and fashionable jet-setters willing to pay St.-Tropez prices for rustic accommodations on an unspoiled beach.

Situated on the palm-fringed coast of Brazil’s Bahia state, Trancoso still looks like the hippie getaway that first made the town popular 20 years ago, with its uneven cobblestone streets and dirt roads. Colorfully painted low-rise wooden houses are the norm, even those that now sell $35 wineglasses and $3,000 paintings.” – NYT (more here)

That’s quite funny to me. Making people pay a lot (one night in a ‘local’ hotel can run you R$850) to have a little. There are probably hundreds of Trancosos along the Brazilian coastline, the only difference here is the poor aren’t welcome.