Time moves slowly in the remote and beautiful village of Caraíva, where roads and cars don’t exist (neither did electricity before 2007). The easygoing atmosphere has long attracted hippies and those looking for a quiet pace of life. Today, even though there's cell-phone reception and even internet access, locals say Caraíva feels like Trancoso did a couple of decades ago. Power outages are all too common – noisy generators light up the shops and restaurants lining the sand streets, and most importantly, keep the forró hopping on Friday night.

The dreamily rustic village is strung along the eastern bank of the mangrove-lined Rio Caraíva and a long-deserted beach kissed by strong waves. Boat trips upriver, south to Parque Nacional de Monte Pascoal or Corumbau, and north to Praia do Espelho and Praia do Curuípe, are easily organized through your accommodations (around R$85 per person).

Most visitors make the short journey to Barra Velha, the indigenous Pataxó village, 6km away from town – you can walk, catch a boat or even hire a horse to get there. When going to the village, bring lots of water and small bills in case you’d like to purchase handicrafts. On the edge of the river, the Centro Cultural de Tradições Indígenas offers exhibits, performances and more information on the Pataxó. Visit for more information.