“Our trip was spectacular”
Our trip was spectacular. It was action packed in the short time we had with seamless transfers and pickups; everyone was on time. All of the hotels and activities were top-notch, unique and informative. The highlights of our trip: the long drive from San Pedro Atacama through Bolivia to the salt flats; the scenery was some of the most gorgeous and remote. We really felt like we were on top of the world, close to heaven. It was a very special experience. The salt flats themselves were other-worldly; we loved visiting the islands, the local people, the mummies in the cave. Titilaka hotel was an exceptional hotel and we wish we would've had an extra day. Visiting the reed floating islands, learning about the expeditions facilitated by the Aymara and their reed boats was so cool. Bolivian food was simple but well cooked and had awesome fresh vegetables and salads. Peruvian food did not disappoint - we savored every dish at Titilaka and at Central sister restaurant in Lima. Some things for improvement: my husband is vegetarian (though he will eat fish/ chicken in a pinch) and both Matetic and Alto Atacama had a hard time fully accommodating this. At Matetic, the chef seemed a little flustered when my husband said no fish or chicken, so he ended up saying fish was OK and ate fish for two meals. Alto Atacama had vegetarian options but the menu for lunch and dinner was very limited and the exact same for all three days (only 2 veggie main options and one was plain marinara spaghetti, which was disappointing). As Alto was far from town, it was somewhat burdensome to go to town to eat so we felt stuck with our dining options. Both facilities focused a lot on presentation - the food looked gorgeous on the plates- but not enough on the content and the preparation. The fish was over-cooked at Matetic and undercooked at Alto (I actually got food poisoning from the trout/salmon there for 15 hours- violently sick with diarrhea/ vomiting that took me out of a morning activity. I know this comes with travel but it is exceedingly rare for me. I was happy that it happened on a good day and didn’t mess up our over-all travel plans :) We were also quite disappointed that in the 6 days we had in Chile, we didn’t have one real Chilean dish- it wasn’t offered on the menus! The focus was on western food and artsy plates. Tipping was stressful at Matetic and Alto. Although I carried $500 from the States, it wasn’t adequate by the end. We had sometimes 2-3 different drivers and 2-3 different guides each day- how do you tip each for half, or less than half, day? The hotels didn’t carry change for us. They were both in remote locations (and our days were filled with activities) so it was hard to find an ATM or bank to get change. We didn’t realize that the restaurants at Matetic were not staffed by the hotel so the idea of tipping at the end of our stay didn’t work. We didn’t pay / tip anything for a lunch one day and the following day the waiter actually asked us to tip (which made us feel terrible since I’m a usually very generous tipper but we didn’t know! and without a bill, how do you figure what the appropriate tip should be?!) I would have loved to have the tips included or an option to pay by CC or a tip jar for everyone at the end. In Bolivia it was easier because we had continuity with guide/ driver and we could tip at then end. At Alto, there were different guide qualities. We had a couple guides who were excellent and a couple who were a bit lazy. It was an eerie feeling because there were almost no guests (off season, full moon maybe?). We were looking forward to meeting other travelers but found ourselves alone on most tours. We met an awesome Singapore couple who requested a private guide and they were lucky to have the same guide/ driver for three days, while we had different guides/ drivers for all activities because we wanted the group activities (yet there was no group!). We would do some activities in parallel with them (i.e. have 2 big vans for the 2 couples). Just a bit of a weird feeling… Oh- and I mentioned to our Bolivian guide already but, as you know, obtaining a Bolivian visa for Americans requires many separate documents (if we get it at the border). I screwed up and didn’t have passport copies (you gave us good instructions but I stupidly looked at a website, which did not indicate I needed a passport copy, instead of your email). We paid the guy an extra $20 at the border and all was fine but, in the future, it would be best to have the guide check all the documents in Chile before leaving the hotel because most of the documents are easily obtainable at a hotel with internet access but impossible to get at the checkpoint shack at the top of the mountain :) Over-all, we had a truly fantastic trip and the inconveniences were minor. We would definitely book with Jacada again!
Published 11th October 2018 on TrustPilot
Our 10-week trip to Argentina, Chile, Easter Island, Bolivia and Brazil was amazingly executed down to the smallest detail, which was no small feat. Everything was pretty much perfect - the recommended hotels and excursions amazing and perfect for the family.
A lovely touch was the personalised message, from George, in each new hotel welcoming us to the hotel and the new area. No complaints!
Published 23rd January 2014 on TrustPilot
“Live Up Its Promise of Personalized Luxury Travel”
It was going to be the first time for me and my father to South America, and I stumbled upon the name "Jacada Travel" in many articles and thought of checking it out. The website did enough impression to make me decided to contact them.
Since that moment, I have been very taken care of by my travel designer, [Name] Owens. She crafted an extremely beautiful plan that fits almost everything we want to see within our limited time. This plan is refined couple times along the way, including last-minute change due to our visa situation. She has been extremely patient and helpful to us.
The trip itself was fantastic. Jacada did a great job in adding many personalized touch throughout our trip. Very friendly guides and drivers who knows our taste, welcome gifts upon arrival to every country and every hotels, and lots of letters from [Name]. Our hotels are all amazing and fits our preference of what a good hotel should be.
There is absolutely nothing bad I can think of. It has been one of the most memorable trip for us. It's even better to know that the price we paid are only slightly higher than what local tour providers in Indonesia would charge us; but we got WAY better hotels and services.
If there is anything Jacada can do to improve what has already been a really wonderful service, is if they can take care of visa applications as well. Otherwise, all my thumbs up for them!
p.s. If you want to know EVERY single detail and experience of my recent trip with them, check out my blog by searching google and type "Travelog christian leonardo jacada"
(since this review does not allow me to post any link, apologize for the inconvenience lol)
Published 31st August 2014 on TrustPilot
“Marvelous trip, flawless organization”
The destinations were outstanding (excellent advice from George, as usual), the guides all very good and very fluent in English, the hotels as good as they can be in Bolivia. We were picked up on time and taken care of flawlessly. When one of our flights was cancelled due to bad weather, the reaction was swift and efficient. Great job!
Published 29th August 2014 on TrustPilot
“Another wonderful vacation organized by Ciara Owens of Jacada Travel”
This is the second time of having Ciara from Jacada Travel to organize our vacation to Latin America (Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia). We had wonderful time for both trips. Right from the beginning, Ciara listened to our needs and made lots of excellent suggestions in refining our vacation plan. She always put herself into our shoes and made valuable recommendations. On the ground, Jacada in-country supports are always attentive and responsive. Ciara keeps tab of our progress along our journey and made necessary refinement to our travel plan to ensure what is best for us. After we've engaged her at the start of the vacation planning, we know all we need to do is to sit back, relax, knowing that the only thing we need to do is to enjoy a fabulous vacation ahead.
Published 06th February 2015 on TrustPilot