Alex Malcolm thought up the concept of Jacada Travel back in 2007 while he was living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I really enjoyed giving my family and friends insider information so they had the best experiences when they came to visit me in Rio. I realised that those kind of experiences were difficult to get from conventional travel agencies, so I decided to set up my own travel business – with a difference.”
Alex moved back his hometown in the UK to start putting his plan into action. His vision was to create a company with people who had in-depth, first-hand experience of a place, from either living or travelling extensively in that country. These experts would be more than sales people: they would be travel designers. Since its inception, Jacada Travel has grown from an idea to an international, pioneering luxury travel company with a clients from all over the world.
We now have three offices in London, Hong Kong and Cape Town, dealing with clients from all over the world. We’ve expanded our expertise from Latin America to Africa, Southeast Asia and the Far East, the Indian Subcontinent, Europe, Australasia and the polar regions. Our event space in Hong Kong, The Explorer Lounge, is used as a venue by luxury brands and the city’s most stylish travellers.
We are often asked where the name ‘Jacada’ came from. The word was taken from ‘jacaranda’, a beautiful purple-flowering tree originally from Latin America. The much-loved trees are now found all over the world. Just like us.
The travel designers’ passion, expertise and detailed knowledge of logistics combine to form seamlessly planned, inspirational trips. Each with their different speciality – Latin America, Africa and safari, or Asia – the travel designers are go-to experts.
Our clients often tell us that they’ve had a ‘trip of a lifetime’ with Jacada Travel, but no matter how many times we hear it, it doesn’t get old. Creating magical moments for our clients is the reason Jacada Travel exists. It’s what makes the job worth it for our travel designers and why so much time is spent on each trip.
There’s a pretty simple reason we create incredible trips: passion. Every single member of our team has it in bucket loads.
Guiding is one of the most important elements in our company, which is why we hand-select our guides ourselves. We only use local guides who are brimming with knowledge and enthusiasm. They must be as professional as they are passionate.
“Eduardo, our guide in Mendoza, was outstanding, one of the best, or maybe the best I have ever had. He anticipated everything, checked on everything we did or were getting ready to do, made us reservations, called to make sure things were set up, and was so kind. He knew everybody – and I mean everybody. We were extremely pleased. The cooking day with Lucas was special and we enjoyed it very much. The girls are still talking about it. The wineries selected were a good cross section of the region – well done. All the dinner reservations were perfect. Overall, I give Jacada an excellent rating.” – Fees, USA
We take responsible travel very seriously and aim to give back to the environment and the communities that we work with.
In Africa, we support Rhinos Without Borders and Uthando. Rhinos Without Borders aim to move 100 rhinos from South Africa, where they are at high risk from poaching, to the relative safety of Botswana. Back in January 2015, we held an event at London’s Royal Geographical Society in aid of rhino projects, including Rhinos Without Borders, and raised over £10,500 ($16,300). Uthando is a community development charity based in Cape Town. Most recently, we helped fund the new Isiseko Educare Centre, a day care centre in the Cape Town township of Mfuleni.
Latin America bookings support two of the Latin America Travel Association (LATA) foundation’s projects: wildlife rescue in Costa Rica and schooling in Ecuador. The Kids Saving the Rainforest project in Costa Rica rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned animals in the Manuel Antonio region. In Ecuador, the Condor Trust works in Quito, helping families send their children to school. The funds provide uniforms, books and school materials for children from low-income families.
Our Asian charities of choice are the World Land Trust in Malaysia and Building Schools for Burma. The World Land Trust supports conservation in Borneo, protecting the rainforest and the animals that live there. Building Schools for Burma is a project set up by Patrick Gilfeather to advance the education of the children of Burma by providing educational facilities and building schools in Burma. Read our interview with Patrick here.