[:en]A charmed Brazilian ecopousada immersed in the jungle[:]

[:en]mata nativa spa baixa

More than 12 years ago, Daniel Santos and his wife, Daniela Bonora, exchanged their hectic city life in So Paulo for the calm Trancoso, in the south of Bahia State, one of the most paradisiac places in Brazil. There, 400 meters (1300 ft) away from the sea, the couple has put together a pousada. Passionate about nature, they’ve planted hundreds of native species to the local rain forest, the Mata Atlntica (a rich vegetation that covers part of the country along the coast), and over the years formed an enormous garden. There are heliconias, bromelias, fern and orchids, besides endangered species such as mahogany and jacaranda.

In the mist of this 5 000 m (5500 yards) garden, the 12 rooms of Mata Nativa Pousada are distributed. The area’s flora attracts many native birds, such as ti-sangue (Ramphocelus bresilius), sanhao (Tangara sayaca), japira (Cacicus haemorrhous) and corrupio (Icterus jamacaii), besides wild animals, such as macacos-prego (a type of monkey), micos (calitrix geoffroi), bichos-preguia (sloths) and others. Every day we see these animals and we have a selection of books in the reception area to help guests identify the plants, says Daniel.

Guests can see this natural richness from the balconies of their rooms, which are also equipped with natural essence amenities and solar heating system. Brazilian art and freshly picked hibiscus are part of the dcor. Two units also have a hot tub, one has two stories and a kitchen, and eight can accommodate up to four people.

Running alongside the garden with the rooms is the river Trancoso, clear and calm. It’s the starting point of kayak rides guests can take in order to further see the vegetation and more native birds. On the margin of the river there is also a spa (services paid separately) and the swimming pool, which has a shallow area for children. It’s also possible to go on horseback rides, rent kayaks or bicycles, which can be used for a visit to the beach, to a bull ranch and to city’s historical center, called Quadrado, 300 meters (980 ft) away.

Gastronomy Besides dishes exclusive for children, the menu of Mata Nativa Pousada offers homely recipes made from natural ingredients. Almost all types of bread available for breakfast such as kmmel, wholewheat, potato bread, carrot bread and pumpkin bread are produced in the kitchen of pousada. The same is true for the yogurt, cakes, chutneys and jellies, such as the hibiscus jelly. If the guest prefers, there are also scrambled eggs and tapioca, freshly made.

Carbon free Following its sustainable policy, Mata Nativa Pousada allows guests to neutralize their carbon emission footprint from the plane ride, offering a tool that calculates, from the distance traveled, how many trees are necessary to be planted in order to offset the damage. The pousada also offers saplings for guests to plant in the region. We want guests to understand the importance of preserving the environment even before they arrive, explains Daniel.


Mata Nativa Pousada

Estrada para Arraial, s/n Trancoso Porto Seguro Bahia

743km/461mi South of Salvador

12 rooms

Daily rates from USD 94 (March and April), including breakfast.

Credit cards: Diners, Mastercard and Visa.