Jacada Travel is the brainchild of Alex Malcolm, who has always been obsessed with travel and its ability to break down barriers. After living in Brazil for several years and working in the travel industry, Alex came up with the idea of Jacada Travel when he noticed that friends that came to visit him were getting a more in-depth, behind-the-scenes experience of Brazil than they would through travelling with a travel agency. He realised travellers actually preferred this more authentic, personal way of travelling, so he moved home to the UK to start Jacada Travel. 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. He wanted people to be able to experience a new country as locals experience it, getting insider information and behind-the-scenes access that only someone who knows a place well can offer.
And this is where Jacada Travel comes in. We create bespoke, luxury trips around the world, giving our travellers insider access to the countries they travel to. All of our trips are private and tailored completely to our customers’ needs and preferences, so when you travel with us, you know the experience you’re getting is one-of-a-kind.
Our experts are more than sales people: they are travel designers who know the countries they send people to inside and out. We also work with brilliant local guides who are passionate about giving people authentic travel experiences. You can think of them, and us, as your well-travelled friend. Travelling with Jacada Travel is as much about the people you meet as it is about the places you go to. We also have a team of brilliant, knowledgeable concierges who look after you once you’ve booked your trip with us. From restaurant recommendations and reservations to helping you sort out any logistics or personal requests, they are here to help you every step of the way until you return home from your trip.
We believe that travel should be uplifting for everyone involved, from our travellers to the people in the countries we work with, and it’s our responsibility to make that happen. Some of the proceeds from all trips taken with us go towards regional community and conservation-focused charities and, as of May 2017, all trips booked through us – including international flights you book yourselves – are 100% carbon neutral. These are just a couple of the ways that we are committed to making the world a better place through travel as well as upholding our commitment to follow a low-impact tourism model. There are other ways we work to make travel uplifting, and you can find out more here.
Over the past few years, Jacada Travel has grown from an idea to an international, pioneering luxury travel company with clients from all over the world and offices in London, Hong Kong and Cape Town.
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 safaris, Asia, Europe and the Polar Regions – 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.