Trindade is a small beach town about 50 minutes by bus from Paraty.
There are public buses that cost R$3.40 that travel from Paraty to Trindade every hour on the hour during the day (check the timetable at the Paraty bus station for details). We took the 10am bus and sat on the left side for the best views of the coast. The bus was ‘local’ so it stopped as needed to pick-up and drop-off people – even places that didn’t seem like bus stops! As we neared Trindade, there was a large hill to climb and then descend. This was a bit nerve wracking in this bus! We rode the bus to its last stop in Trindade. Surprisingly, JT stayed awake most of the trip.
From the bus stop, we first went to Praia do Meio beach. To get there from the bus stop, walk down the dirt road directly ahead of the bus. You will soon get to a big, helpful board showing a map (including a ‘you are here’ dot).
After walking on Praia do Meio, we crossed a small river and took a short, but hilly jungle trail to Praia da Caixa d’Aco. There is a sign clearly marking the trail entrance with information regarding distances. However, it may be a bit tough to find this sign from Praia do Meio due to the vegetation. The trail is straightforward and has railings when necessary. However, it can be a bit mucky when wet and some stairs are rather large.
All of the shops/restaurants were closed on both beaches when we visited (in July, winter here). It could be because it was a Monday, but they generally seemed to be closed for the season. We did see some interesting little black tadpole-like creatures with short hind legs in a freshwater stream running from a waterfall to the ocean. These creatures seemed to be able to survive outside of water for a while – coming to life when the water touched them. Up steam, it seemed like hundreds were banding together near the shores of the stream. We really wonder what they are!
After walking along Praia da Caixa d’Aco, we saw another sign marking the start of the next jungle trail. Again though, this is hard to find until you get to the end of the very-rocky beach. This trail leads to the Natural Pools. Note that at high tide getting to this trail entrance will require scrambling from rock to rock (as we found on our return hike).
The trail from Praia da Caixa d’Aco to the natural pools was longer than the jungle trail between the beaches, but it was no more difficult. We saw many people hiking in flip-flops, but we recommend water sandals like Keens or Tivas (these are also handy when exploring in the natural pool). There was a community or camp on top of a hill right before getting to the natural pool, but we did not visit it and could not understand the signs well enough.
Once at the natural pool, we saw about 10 people. One of them had cut his foot pretty badly, so we offered some neosporin and band-aids. Then we climbed up on a rock and enjoyed the scenery for a while. We decided the water was too murky and the currents too strong to snorkel, but JT decided to wade around and explore. After exploring a while he came back and convinced Katie to get into the cold water and explore with him. The water was pretty cold, but not terrible once you adjusted to it. We waded/swam out to a point, which was indeed beautiful. We stayed there for a while watching the strong waves crash against the rocks and watching a solitary white heron try to fish in the rough currents.
We wandered back into town and stopped at a sandwich place called Muvuca Lanches. We had a cheese and ham sandwich (R$6), an X-Egg sandwich (R$10), a beer (R$4), and a “Gabriela”-style Cachaca from Paraty/Caicara (R$3). We found out a few days later that Gabriela means cachaca flavored with cloves and cinnamon. Katie really wanted french fries (which were on the menu), but the chef said ‘no’ so apparently they were either out or he did not feel like cooking them.
After eating we walked along the main street. There seem to be a lot of places to stay, but many seem rather expensive. The town seemed to be partially shut down for the winter season. There are also a lot of free-range dogs in the town. Some even tagged along for a while during our hike. They seem to be generally in good shape, whereas we saw one cat that was clearly pretty hungry – but friendly to us.
We took the 5pm bus back to Paraty, and actually slept a large part of the way. Once back at the hostel we both showered and then worked on blogging and email until dinner.
Trindade-Paraty local bus departure times (based on a sign at the Trindade bus stop): 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 19:40, 21:30, 23:30
For dinner we tried to find a different place on Katie’s list, but we failed to locate it – due to a lack of street signs. So, we decided to go back to Istanbul cafe again. The assistant cook from the previous night was there again. She smiled as she recognized that we were back for a second night in a row! We both got the chicken wrap, and it was delicious again. Such a small, intimate cafe.
The hostel was really loud this night; we guess a large group must have arrived, or maybe people had visitors. Our double+single three-person room was nice in that it has a window and is by the bathrooms – but it is bad in that it is right on the other side of a thin wall from the kitchen. Hence, all cooking sounds are barely muffled (you can even hear people chopping vegetables). This also made the party and loud singing outside by the kitchen seem like it was in our room. It finally quieted down enough for us to sleep around midnight.