I have travelled and worked all over the world, but my last stint was out in Latin America. Touring from Colombia all the way down to Ushuaia and back up to Rio has given me an amazing overview of many of the fascinating countries in South America.
Understanding cultures and local customs is a favourite pastime for me when I’m travelling, and sipping on mate and galloping about with the gauchos are top of my list of great local experiences in Argentina.
Beaches are always going to be my first love. Ask me about my favourite beach experiences in Latin America, which include complete isolation up in Tayrona National Park, sipping on caipirinhas in bustling bars in Paraty, or enjoying a pisco sour on the palm-fringed Peruvian coast.
I have been very lucky to travel to some remote and beautiful landscapes worldwide, but nothing took my breath away quite like Patagonia, with the Perito Moreno Glacier and trekking in the Los Glaciers National park being highlights.
Another incredible highlight of my time in Latin America will always be partying with the locals for a week during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
Ask me about discovering Peru by train, Machu Picchu and exploring Argentina from glaciers to falls.
Beauty and customer service beyond belief!We stayed at the Galapagos Safari Camp for four nights and it is an experience we will not forget. There are several things that made it special; the people, the location, the amazing “tent”, the tour guides, the incredible food and last but not least, Jacada Luxury Travel who planned and coordinated this amazing trip. Without Jacada, we would have never of known about Galapagos Safari Camp.People: From the first second of arrival we had the best possible experience. Getting to the Galapagos is a bit of a journey but arriving at the camp you are greeted by a smiling face (Anabel, Andres, and Alejandro), a cup of local tea and a nice cold washcloth to refresh yourself. This was only the beginning of our experience. The staff knew us by name, engaged us always in conversation, gave us advice on things to see and were generally wonderful. The small number of guests makes it very intimate as there are only 9 tents at the camp.Location: The camp is located away from the “city” and ports – it is secluded, silent and very private. I enjoyed the 20 minute drive to and from our excursions… it was a great way to prepare for adventure and discuss the fun we had on the way back. The camp is located in the highlands so can be a bit misty (at least when were there) but the lodge and grounds are really something to see. Ecologically designed to make a minimal impact on the island (solar water heating etc.) but made no impact on comfort or convenience.Tour Guides: Fernando Zambrano is an amazing and super sweet naturalist guide. Very knowledgeable about every destination he took us to. Also very respectful about the wildlife and environment around us. My wife is very leary about snorkeling and almost didn't go. Nobody pushed her but the comfort she felt with Fernando, she ended up going snorkeling both times we went out. He held her hand the whole time and guided her to see a range of sea life including sea lions, sea urchins, lobsters, schools and schools of beautiful colorful fish plus a couple of white fin sharks (Thankfully my wife didn't see them). It was an epic experience for her as it was for me. I would definitely recommend purchasing a waterproof go pro if you don't already have one. One major ability of Fernando was to point out the amazing wildlife. My wife was able to get some of the most amazing photos that will be lasting memories of our beautiful 20th anniversary trip. When we toured the east side of Santa Cruz, we went kayaking and to our surprise, we saw about 20 sharks about 8 feet below our kayak. Pretty amazing to see and experience.Incredible Food: Everywhere we went we were fill with amazing food! From the gourmet experience for breakfast and dinner at the Safari Camp (beyond amazing!) to the food on the excursions everything was top quality and delicious. If you like great food… trust me this is the trip for you!A bit about Jacada: Jacada Luxury Travel was super professional from start to finish. Going to Galapagos was not our first time travelling with them and it will certainly not be our last. There was a bit of a situation about 2 weeks before our departure, Ecuador was experiencing civil unrest in Quito Ecuador. Jacada notified us of the situation and kept us up to date every single day. We did purchase the trip insurance and thought about cancelling but due to it being an indigenous strike and not a labor union strike, our insurance would not cover us so of course we waited for the strike to end and decide if we'd be travelling to Ecuador. We made the “investment” in travel insurance but shockingly the insurance would not cover a general strike! Advice, get the trip insurance where you can cancel for no reason. Just in case.The insurance deal was a bit disappointing but Jacada stepped right in and provided alternate solutions such as skipping the tour to Quito and just going direct to the islands as there were NO problems in the Galapagos Islands. Thankfully the strike ended 5 days before we departed and we did decide to travel to the Galapagos Islands. We did skip the city tour in Quito and spent one night at the airport then traveled to the islands the very next morning. To my complete surprise, Jacada was able to get our money back for the two nights we missed in Quito and covered the night at the airport. It was certainly not expected but SO appreciated. Jacada has a wonderful reputation and super strong relationships with their vendors. My wife and I would like to give Berni De Luca a very special thanks for keeping us informed and calm through that very stressful situation in Quito. Of course many thanks also goes out to Emily Opie for arranging our itinerary.We had a wonderful time and memories that will last forever. Thank you again to Jacada!!!Ray and Lisa Kuczera
Jacada Travel was very easy to work with before our trip to mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. They helped us pick destinations that exactly matched our interests and abilities (my 81 year old mother was traveling with us and while she is still very active, there are some things that she just shouldn't try to do anymore). Because everything was so well-prepared for us there was no need to contact them at all during our time in Ecuador. Their local representatives (from Jacada, their partner company Metropolitan Touring, and Haugan Cruises) were always ready for us when we arrived with all details in place. Our local guides and naturalists were all amazing and friendly. I will definitely work with them again the next time I am planning a trip with my family.
If you are looking for VIP, worry-free travel, and incredibly wonderful adventures then Jacada Travel has the team to make your wishes come true.
We had a wonderful experience touring interesting sites and learning about the culture in Peru. Our travel guides and support team were knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful.
Our trip to Africa was one of the best vacations that we’ve been on! Everything was well planned and it was an experience of a lifetime.
Jacada Travel helped us plan a trip to Mendoza, AR. They made some great suggestions about activities there. Their local partner, Discovering the Andes, were great hosts and took us to great wineries/restaurants as well as local artists. The wine was good; the food was good; the "people to people" activites were delightful.
Em did a great job preparing and reviewing our trip with us.
Attention to details from point of point of entry to departures ... met or exceeded our expectations
Go with Jacada! If you try to do the trip yourself, you may hit a few high notes. With Jacada you get a symphony! Emily orchestrated every element of our trip to South Africa. Cape Town, Franschhoek wine country, Ngala game preserve, and the incredible Royal Chundu were all spectacular. Each element building on the last. The guides at each location were knowledgeable, professional and clearly loved their subject. The safari guides at Ngala —beyond belief. My wife is gluten intolerant. Emily, Angela, and each of the locations made sure she was more than accommodated. Her chefs table birthday dinner will be talked about for years. Helicopter rides over Victoria falls!! If you want a trip of a lifetime go with Jacada. We talk about never being able to go on a vacation again that will top this one. Next time we will surely go with Jacada.
This was our second trip working with Jacada. For our daughter's 12th birthday, we decided on Costa Rica.Emily and Berni, our travel designers, helped us design a trip that made our daughter feel like the center of the world. They even sent her a gift prior to departure.At every turn Jacada made us feel special, whether it was the bottle of champagne waiting at our first stay, or our daughter special birthday dinner out under the stars along the Pacuare River, or a departing dinner at Grano De Oro hotel in San Jose.There where a few issues along the way, but this is allowed Berni to shine; she was able to address issues at the moment. A lesser company would not have done this. It is how things were dealt with that really shows the quality and care given to my family.The list of highlights is too long to share in total but a few things we did included: zip lining, canyoning, rappelling, horseback riding, birding, and whitewater rafting. We saw toucans, macaws, sloths, all four species of monkey, dart frogs, and more! We loved every minute.Currently, we are starting to plan our next adventure, and we will be working with Jacad again for sure.I hope this helps you all make an informed decision. Best, Scott
Jacada Travel was the first travel company we had used for travel in Africa - and the first one we had used in over 12 years. The service was superb - on time, as advertised, and friendly. The guides were superior and made our two week adventure not good, but totally great in every way. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience - on the adventure and also our conversations with Em. She is wonderful.
Amazing! This was my 2nd solo trip with Jacada to South America and I can’t say enough great things about them. Everything is so organized and I was well taken care of by everyone on the team. My activities that included other travellers proved how spoiled I was with Jacada’s connections whether it was learning local history, access to local foods or special cooking classes or restaurant visits. Experiences are with thoughtful, conscientious companies that allow me to connect and support communities and environment. Each new accommodation has a personal note from my Jacada travel expert, which as a single traveller, makes me feel connected and looked after. 5 stars all the way. Thanks Emily!
Our experience with Jacada was first rate from initial contact throughout our full trip. Our planner, Emily, quickly understood expectations and offered great advice that enabled us to organize the trip efficiently. The quality of hotels, airport transfers and all of our tours and tour guides exceeded our expectations. This was our first time using Jacada but will not be the last. We would recommend this company to anyone.
This was our first experience with Jacada though we had heard good things about the Company. Our trip to South America included Ecuador and Peru with the highlights being the Galápagos Islands and the Inca Trail. I cannot exaggerate how good Jacada was to us. Every need was taken care off including some we did not even realize we had. For example when we arrived in Lima Jacada surplus with a dinner reservation at one of the best restaurants in the City. All our guides were incredible and seemed to be well versed on us and our travelling style. Every hotel was amazing. Our intra country travel was carefree and perfect. We will definitely use Jacada again. But where too next ????
Generally great in the planning process and good at resolving any issues that may come up during the trip. Prices could be cut down significantly though.
Every single detail is taken care of. And their expertise on the areas of travel is amazing.
We just returned from our first trip with Jacada, a custom Ecuadorian Highland itinerary focusing on exceptional cloudforest and mountain scenery, biodiversity, unique local ( and historic) boutique accommodations, and lovely cultural experiences. My husband and I are well travelled for over 40 yrs, and I would say that we have had may lovely luxury and scenic itineries, But Jacada was able to provide unexpected and intimate experiences, almost every day that was a step above our previous initeraries. For example, highlights include The biodiversity of a cloud forest up close and personal including a night walk sighting of a rare glass frog, and a sky cycle journey through the cloud forest at tree top level at Mashpi Lodge; we hiked to a fantastic view of an incredible Andean valley that had pre Incan ruins and condors; a private dinner in an Incan Empire temple room that was preserved part of a 1600s Spanish Hacienda San Augustin de Calla ( that we had 3 lit fireplaces in our suite): and last, a chocolate experience from bean to bar where we learned all about the process of growing and making chocolate, including making our own bars.Emily was my representative from Jacada and created an custom intinerary that met or exceeded our expectations, and worked flawlessly with Romanet, the local organizer. The logistics were flawless and our main guide and driver ( Antonio and Carlos), we’re knowledgeable, engaging and flexible.Thank you!
My husband and I recently visited Argentina for the first time and Emily Opie planned our amazing "white glove" trip for us; every detail was taken care of for us. She recommended hotels that were unique and special, organized guides and excursions that were fantastic and even stayed in touch while we were there to ensure that we were comfortable and happy while traveling. I would highly recommend using Jacada for your travel plans, especially if you just want to get on the plane and GO and leave the planning to someone else!!
Wonderful Service & Trip Planning by JacadaMy husband and I planned a trip to Patagonia for 10 days with the Jacada team (Emily & Romanet). We were unsure where we wanted to visit given our limited hiking experience and lack of familiarity with the region, but the Jacada team helped us navigate what our ideal vacation would look like and mapped out an itinerary that made sense for us that covered all the places we wanted to visit in Argentina & Chile. It was the perfect balance of being engaged with us and customizing an itinerary for us vs. requiring too much of our detailed attention in the trip planning process.From our very first call, Emily asked specific questions about our travel styles and our vacation goals that helped inform her recommendations of our activities, time allocation in each place, and where we stayed during the trip. She was very honest about the expectations that we should have for each place, whether it was regarding the weather, climbing conditions, hotels, etc. based on what she gleaned from our travel personalities, which we found very helpful and informative. Right before we left on vacation, we hopped on another call where she walked through the highlights of what we needed to remember (everything from where to meet our local guide upon landing at the airport to specifics on traveling from Argentina to Chile) which was a nice refresher also. Prior to departing on our trip we also received a beautiful, leather-bound pocket guidebook customized for our vacation, complete with high-level itinerary details and suggestions on sights and places we could check out. It was the perfect touch that helped us get excited for vacation.Our trip exceeded all expectations and we had a great time largely in part due to 1) the seamless transitions that Jacada took care of as we traveled from one place to the next and 2) the detailed itinerary and guides that helped us not worry about anything before and during the trip. I think we appreciated it even more once we were on the ground and realized how many little transits and details we would have had to arrange and worry about if we had done it alone.We've enjoyed vacations booked through travel companies of similar caliber before but were especially impressed by the personable service and the high quality of local guides Jacada provided us. Whether it was a trip to the Perito Merino glaciers or a day-tour of Santiago, we met excellent local guides who not only spoke fluent English and were great guides, but who were incredibly personable and educated. It was really special having such engaging guides who made us feel like we weren't tourists receiving a canned answer, but rather an expert we knew that just happened to live in the place we were visiting.Would enthusiastically recommend Jacada to friends, colleagues, or anyone interested in traveling in the future.
Wonderful service-great advice
Am amazing experience. Emily was terrific in helping us plan our trip to South America including dealing with visa issues. We worked closely with Emily on the itinerary, there was lots of communication and consultation and the trip was exactly what we wanted. Everything was well planned and executed perfectly.
The trip Emily & Jacada booked for us in Rio on New Years was nothing short from spectacular. It was the best New Years eve we have ever had the privilege of experiencing. Not our first Jacada trip, and definitely not our last. World class.
Everything turned out almost exactly as advertisied - in some cases it was better! There were few if any "bumps in the road" while we were away, and the response from the local contacts was immediate and professional. My suggestions apply to all that took place prior to leaving: 1. the Jacada Black Book was too generic to be of real use, and heavy (we were traveling carry on). It should be customised to each trip. 2. The final itinerary and travel tips arrived too late to be of real use - it can take time to get foreign currency and the right clothing and I would not leave that to the last week prior to leaving. They should arrive 6 weeks before departure at a minimum. 3. Pertinent detailed information (length of tour etc.) about some tours was provided once arrived - had we known that information beforehand we might have packed differently/chosen different tours.
We felt in good hands for our trip to Peru and the Galapagos from the beginning. The travel concierges who help plan, listen to your needs and develop an itinerary that is beyond amazing. We consider ourselves very experienced travelers but it added to the enjoyment that Jacada took care of every detail, and had wonderful staff on the ground to greet you and get you to where you needed to go. The travel guides and accommodations were excellent. I cannot wait to book another trip with Jacada! I have recommended to many friends without hesitation.
The trip was great! My husband and I had super fun and wonderful in Chile trips. We love Chile more than any country we had visited on last Oct.-Nov. and hopefully we will have a chance to visit here again! We miss Chile already! People are very nice, Food was amazing and the natural was so unbelievably! Thank you so much Emily and her team to made our dream bigger than we thought and came true :)
Emily Opie helped us plan our trip. She was AMAZING. Very responsive and planned a wonderful honeymoon. Would definitely recommend and use again.
Our third trip with Jacada. This one to Chile, great hotels, seamless arrangements, personalized service as usual.
The experience with Jacada was absolutely fantastic. All of the hotels, restaurants and planned activities were exceptional and top quality. The guides were all extremely personable and helpful every step of the way. Moreover, the logistics were all completely seamless as we never for a moment had any questions or issues in getting anywhere. In fact, even when one or two minor unanticipated issues popped up, the team worked quickly to revise the plans to ensure we weren't in any way inconvenienced. Overall, my wife and I were extremely impressed and we would highly recommend Jacada to anyone who is seeking help with their travel planning.
Jacada Travel is a wonderful agencies who do their utmost best to put the “perfect” itinerary together for you the client. I worked with Emily Opie who helped put our journey together as a birthday gift for my husband to visit South America and mostly to see macchu picchu. What an experience. The journey was exactly what we were looking for and so much more. The guides that helped out along the way were fantastic. The vacation did not have one flaw. It was picture perfect, as well as, travel perfect. I would recommend this agency out of the UK to anyone who would want a once in a lifetime extremely well done vacation. Absolutely fantastic/magnificent. Thank you team Jacada!!!
Jacada goes above and beyond!My wife and I travel a great deal, and we have planned trips ourselves and worked with travel agents; however, we decided to give Jacada a try since our ideas for an Ecuador trip were getting complex.I reached out by email and Emily, a travel designer, called us shortly after. I had a lovely chat with Emily where she took notes on what would make the perfect Ecuadorian trip for us. We received a custom itinerary and Emily was able to tweak it from there to make it perfect. After booking we were connected with Romanet, our Personal Travel Concierge. Emily and Romanet handled everything.All of the finer details were executed flawlessly. For example, at each airport, a representative was there to greet us. Private transfers, tours, and check-ins were standard. At every hotel there were personal notes welcoming us. These touches made us feel special at every stop.My wife was concerned about her ant allergy since we were traveling into the rainforest. Upon arriving at the Napo Wildlife Center, my wife shared her concerns and that she carried an epipen. However, the manager explained that Jacada had already shared this information with them, so we need not worry. And they were right, everything was great.Yet another highlight was when my wife and I decided we would like to add on another private tour. While we were still on the yacht Isabela II in the Galapagos, we emailed Romanet our request. Prior to disembarking, she had it arranged, our itinerary updated, and payment taken care of.Emily, Romanet, and all of the people that helped us along the way were top-notch. In closing, I think the best compliment that we can give is to share our story and let everyone know we will use Jacada again in the near future. If you are looking for a personalized trip with great service, Jacada is the answer. Happy traveling!
Perfection. They took care of every detail and booked us on an amazing trip to the Galapagos.
This is the second trip Jacadsbplanned for us. The first was an extraordinary experience in South Africa. This trip was to Peru and Ecuador. Jacads did a wonderful job arranging our hotels and guide. Alll were superb. They also found a tented camp for me in the galapogos since I dodo not want to stay on a boat. It was. Beautiful and definitely the right choice. I would not hesitate to use Jacads for my next adventure
JACADA TRAVEL planned our trip to Argentina and Chile and it was perfect: their attention to detail, sound advice and great suggestions catered to our personalities, their ability to maximize our experience by making the most out of our trip, all resulted in one fantastic honeymoon perfectly planned from beginning to end. We felt very pampered without being overwhelmed... We will definitely be using their services again in the future for such long trips that include complicated itineraries.
Had a great time and everything went smoothly. Ocean Spray was a great boat for the tour. There were 15 guests, 1 guide and 11 crew on board. There was great attention to detail and the needs of passengers.
We just returned from a three-week trip to Peru and Ecuador arranged by Jacada. While we normally schedule our own travels, we wanted to see Machu Picchu, the Amazon rainforest, and the Galapagos and knew we needed help. After reviewing several companies, we decided on Jacada because of its experience, positive reviews, and responsiveness. We found Jacada to be outstanding in all regards, from planning to execution. Our representatives were Emily and Suzann who were very knowledgeable about South America and who provided detailed information on transportation, guides, hotels, restaurants, and excursions. They also were exceptional in helping us determine a budget and offering options that would meet it. For example, we really wanted to stay at the Sanctuary Lodge at Machu Picchu and have a suite for our Galapagos cruise (both pricey) and were perfectly happy to stay at a Marriott or Hilton in other cities at a lower cost. Both Emily and Suzann kept in constant touch during the planning process, responding immediately with emails or phone calls. They even got us restaurant reservations in Lima at Central and Maido (5th and 8th in the world, respectively). The trip turned out to be perfect in every way. Our tours were fantastic, and our drivers and guides were outstanding, always prompt, very friendly, and helpful. This was particularly important during challenging times, such as the 6-hour delay from Machu Picchu due to a landslide on the train tracks; Adrianna and Antonio were there waiting for us and smiling and got us to Cusco at 2am! Emily and Suzann also kept up with us during the trip with small notes at the hotels and a lovely gift of alpaca scarves. Because of the attention to details and overall quality of the trip, we would not hesitate to book with Jacada again and highly recommend it.
All the Jacada people were great to be with. They assisted us from the planning through to the execution of our journey. The home office people were very knowledgeable in setting up our travel plan and the guides and drivers got us to all the places and informed us well regarding the sights. Machu Picchu was the center point of our adventure and the assistance of our guide Nilo made it every bit of our expectations and then some. Visiting the Sacred Valley in advance of M P gave reference to the role and life of the Inca nation and made the visit to MP much more worthwhile. Also, feeding the baby Alpacas that morning was great fun........ As an added bonus to our trip, we were set up with a cooking class in Cusco that was fantastic for us. Peruvian cuisine organized by a master chef and then able to enjoy it all was our best meal of the trip.
Jacada Travel planned a spectacular trip for our family to Patagonia. Emily knew the area very well so her expertise helped put together a trip that met the entire family's expectations. Emily and the entire team was there for us when something unfortunate occurred at one of the properties where we stayed. I can't thank Emily and the entire Jacada team enough.
My husband and I recently experienced our third adventure with Jacada Travel in Chile for my 30th birthday. As with our previous trips, each step of the process was exceptionally thorough and personally tailored to our individual style of travel. I am a planner by nature, and tend to invest significant time in researching/planning my trip. Despite this, I rely on Jacada Travel for their expert first-hand advice and for their unique exploration opportunities. We also love that each accommodation is excellent, and every tour/exploration is at the highest level with the most knowledgable guides.
Our trip to South America was the second time we have worked with the folks at Jacada. The bottom line is our travel planner Emily and her team listened to our likes and dislikes in regards to travel and the experience we enjoy. She hit the nail on the head in terms of designing and planning the perfect vacation. Our guides were exceptional, they knew what we wanted before we did! I will certainly use Jacada again for our next adventure.
Jacada Travel did a phenomenal job for my family and me in planning our time in Argentina. Our early June trip included several days in Buenos Aires, the Patagonian Lake District, Southern Patagonia Glacier, and some time at the beautiful La Bamba ranch north of B.A. Just a perfect trip. Time in each location was just right. The weather was perfect for hiking the Patagonian Lake District, exploring The Glacier National Park, touring Bueonos Aires and riding with the Gaucho's in La Pampa. The local guides who looked after us in each of the areas we visited in Argentina were top notch. I can't imagine how our trip could have been any better!
We would highly recommend Jacada Travel. They were thorough and thoughtful. We were taken care of from morning until night each and every day of our trip. Attention to detail was exceptional. All of our guides were knowledgeable and kind. We had a fabulous holiday thanks to Jacada Travel's trip designers. Many thanks and cheers to our trip designers, guides and drivers!!
Me and my friends were planning for a trip to Peru since the beginning of 2016, and We did the right decision when we chose Jacada Travel to handle all the details for our trip ! We had a wonderful experience, the 12 of us ! excellent accommodations, friendly tour guide and perfect care of the little details ! We will totally travel with them again to other destination ! I personally loved how they are well arranged from the day I emailed them and then working on the perfect itinerary together and later living the great details in real in Peru ! it was definitely the ultimate trip with adventure, sightseeing, luxury, cultural experience and more
Jacada and Emily Opie planned the 10 day trip my daughter and I took to Peru earlier this month. We visited the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lima, Cusco and the Amazon. Jacada arranged transportation, guides, activities, hikes and some meals. They did a great job -- trip was fabulous, guides fun and knowledgeable and logistics close to flawless.
Jacada provided us with the utmost in professionalism in planning our trip to Peru. Accommodations were beyond expectations and guides provided were both personable and willing to do whatever needed to be done to ensure that our trip was perfect. Along the way, they even threw in a few unexpected surprises which enhanced our experience even more. Not only will I unconditionally recommend them to friends and family, I already have while also contemplating my next adventure for them to plan and organize for us.
Emily Opie who was our travel consultant did an outstanding job. Lima, Sacred Valley, Cusco and of course Machu Picchu were outstanding experienced. The guides, the food, the accommodations were all wonderful.
Emily heard what we wanted, sent us choices, asked questions, gave advice and in four short days our plans were finalized. So nice to work with someone so professional. Everything on our trip was exactly as presented, no mistakes, mis communication, excuses. Really nice to have such a great experience. And they follow up all along the way, really a quality experience.
We had an outstanding experience with Jacada Travel. Everything was carefully planned for us and executed without a flaw. We would highly recommend this agency to anyone who travels.
Excellent experience with Jacada. From initial query to holiday. Experts who know the region - South America in our case , and what to do and not to do. Accomodation, guides, transfers all high quality Would highly recommend them
We had a nine day window to fill in between tours that we had booked previously. I chose Jacada Travel from the Internet by googling tours in South America. After submitting my request on line I was very surprised how quick I had a response from Jacada agent. (Emily Opie) from there on the booking procedure by email and telephone was extremely easy and professional. After explaining what we required and informing Emily that we didn't know much about South America. In no time she came back with options that were tailor made to fit our time frame and requirements. The actual tour involved several flights through Argentina and Brazil so therefore many different guides. Every guide was absolutely fantastic punctual,informative and easy to converse with. We have traveled the world a lot in the last seven or eight and the guides were definitely the best we have en-counted. The standard of accommodation was excellent with some being off the beaten track which was great. You can see that they were hand picked as the hospitality at everyone made us feel so welcome and at home. The little notes and gifts from Emily along the way also gave the tour a personal touch. We will definitely use Jacada Travel again and will have no hesitation in recommending them to our friends. .
Exceptional from start to finish. The staff in London and over in Peru were all incredibly helpful, knowledgable and went beyond the expectations on every level. Very impressed. I will be traveling with them again.
Our trip to the Galapagos Islands was one of our top trips that we have taken. Everything was amazing! The boat and service was top notch. Once there everyday life is forgotten and you are in paradise with wildlife that you will not encounter so closely anywhere else. Working to schedule the trip with Jacada was so easy and they had the answers we needed. From beginning to the end of booking our trip, we felt it was going to be one of a lifetime and it certainly was. In the future, we would book another trip through Jacada.
Incredible honeymoon at Fazenda Catuçaba and Pousada Picinguaba through Jacada Travel thanks to Emily Opie My wife and I had an unbelievable honeymoon at Fazenda Catuçaba and Pousada Picinguaba for 8 nights in April. Our Latin American Travel Designer from Jacada Travel, Emily Opie, was absolutely incredible. She worked with us for months to ensure we got the perfect trip. We had plans to be near Sao Paulo for a few days after the honeymoon, so Ms. Opie scoured the South American continent for places for us to go. Our trip was a bit difficult to plan because we were bringing our dog with us. Emily worked so hard to try and make Argentina work, but even with a doctor’s note, no domestic airlines in Argentina would allow us to book, so she went back to the drawing board and found us these fabulous two spots in Brazil, that turned out to be heaven on earth. I don’t even want to know the number of hours and the contacts Emily had to make, but she never gave us and she was so kind. Upon our arrival at the Sao Paulo airport we were greeted by a driver, who allowed us to the opportunity to go to the bathroom and exchange money. We didn’t touch our baggage. We took the drive out of the city into the countryside that eventually led us onto a dirt road to Fazenda Catuçaba. When we entered the gates of the Fazenda we knew we had reached paradise. We were immediately greeted by the hotel manager, Marcel who told the driver where to take our luggage and then led us to the main house for snacks and drinks. When we went to our room we found our bags put away and rose petals scattered all about the room. Our room was fabulous and very spacious. We had no issues with mosquitos, so we were able to leave our windows open at night to allow the cool breeze in. If needed we would have been provided fans for warmer nights and a fire on cooler nights, but neither were necessary. We had a very comfortable and large King size bed and a beautiful bathroom with both a large two person shower and deep tub. I’ve seen reviews of people complaining that you have to throw toilet paper in the garbage can, but the garbage was always cleaned so it wasn’t an issue at all. I applaud the Fazenda for working hard to protect the environment. Though we were given a nice snack upon our arrival we went and had a late lunch in the dining room. We were always given a little nook that was to itself so that we could have a romantic private dining experience. Our only dining guest was the occasional friendly cat that would come by for a visit. Lunch was served either in the dining room, the porch, or in the front yard under the trees. Our lunches and dinners ranged from zucchini soup, seasoned beets, okra, carrot, green bean, and potatoes amongst other things. We had great vegetable crepes, baked chicken, fish, shish kabobs, pork chops, and the best steak we’ve ever eaten. The desserts were incredible (pies, orange cheesecake, puddings, caramel drizzled bananas, apple tart (which I had to get seconds of)). Our meals were often prepared by Helo, who was a fabulous cook. She knew enough English to translate for us what we were eating (we weren’t familiar with some of the local vegetables and soups) and was so friendly to us. We were not given a rigorous schedule and were allowed to do as we pleased when we pleased. Dinner was served over a wide period of time, giving you the flexibility to eat when you wanted. Dinner was always several courses and was far more than we could ever eat. It always included a plain lettuce salad, generally a type of soup, a main course, side dishes, and a fabulous dessert. We were asked on several occasions by Marcel, if we were okay eating a certain meal prior to them preparing it. An added bonus was that we had no cell service on the property or phones in our rooms. This was the ideal place to get away and disconnect. This disconnection proved to be part of what made the Fazenda so great. Therefore don’t come here if you plan on keeping up with your work e-mails, skyping friends, or watching YouTube, because it’s not going to happen. You’ll be all the better because of that too. We realized on the first night that the crickets would serenade us to sleep every night and that was all we needed. Some have complained that the cost of activities or meals was expensive, but by going through Jacada everyone was included, therefore we didn’t have to worry about cutting back on certain things or not doing certain things. If we wanted a snack, we got a snack. If we wanted to go on an extra trail ride, we did so. Prior to our daily activities we would have a wonderful breakfast outside on the porch, which always involved the freshest fruits, eggs, and the most wonderful coffee and juice ever. The key to the meals is that everything is freshly grown and made on site and doesn’t have any chemicals or preservatives. We fell in love with horse riding, which we did nearly every day and in fact was the core reason we extended our stay at the Fazenda by an additional day. My wife’s horse was Catazuza (which she requested each day) and I rode two horses, one whose name was Paradiso. We were accompanied by our fabulous guide Juliette, who was so great to allow us the liberty to free ride since we are experienced riders. We on various days took trail rides that took us through the mountains, other farms, the rain forest, meadows with grazing cows, farmers homes where we were greeted by their dogs, little fields and valleys, and a perfectly hidden little gem of a waterfall, which was an awesome place to swim and relax under the falls. We even got to ride through the town of Catuçaba, which was a lot of fun on horseback. On two occasions we had picnic snakes that Marcel or a member of his staff prepared for us and had ready for us to enjoy. The tranquility of the rides was heavenly. Whether it was the parakeets singing and flying around us to the locals that we met on their farms, there was a sense of peace and old world charm you just don’t get back in the states. It seems that each day we had snacks around 11am and then around 2pm we a full lunch. Even on the day we took our hike to Nuclo Santo Virginia (one of the forests in the Atlantic rainforest), our English speaking guide Fabrico, led us several miles into the forest before he unpacked a wonderful picnic for us to enjoy on the rocks of the river. We never ever were hungry that is for sure. We loved the lunch that was prepared for us at the lake. We spent the afternoon there and loved that the staff had prepared us blankets to tan next to the lake and a completely stocked guest house with additional snacks and drinks. Granted with as much as we had at lunch we didn’t need any snacks. We were given the option of having a driver come back and get us, but we chose to walk the 2/3 mile walk back to the Fazenda as it was so pretty. On one afternoon Marcel and Juliette arranged for us to go on a cattle drive, so we helped herd the cattle up the mountain from the Fazenda to a mountain top pasture. We were able to ride along with the cowboys and help herd the cattle past a school bus and keep them on the path. On this afternoon we went from there straight to the mountain top for our sunset picnic. Juliette laid out our wine and snacks and allowed us time to watch the sun set as the clouds came over the mountain and engulfed us with a wonderful breeze and beautiful surroundings under the really unique architectural designs. Juliette was so kind that she let us stay later than we probably were supposed to, so we ended up coming off the mountain by the moonlight and arriving back at the Fazenda long after dark. This was probably a highlight of the trip and an experience my wife will never forget. We loved hearing the horses clip clopping on the cobblestone as we came back to the Fazenda that was already lit up by the gas lights that the staff refilled each day. We took an independent hike around the property one day. The only drawback, which wasn’t a real problem, was that the directions weren’t very clear, so we made a wrong turn, but after climbing under a fence or two we got back on the right path. You did go through pastures with high grass and bulls and cows, but none of the ever posed a problem and to me just added to the experience. We stopped back by the lake and grabbed some water and snacks and chilled out before we came back to the Fazenda for lunch. Marcel arranged for Nilton to drive us to Sao Luis do Paratinga for an afternoon of self-touring. Though it would have been helpful to have a guide, the town really wasn’t big enough to warrant one. Nilton didn’t speak much English, but we agreed to meet back on the town square at a certain time and he gave us his card with his phone number in case we had any problems. The town was a nice little town, but didn’t have much to offer, so I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you just want to be amongst the local town people, and walk around the shops. The drives to and from the Fazenda were always neat (though a bit fast, winding, and bumpy) we always enjoyed the various things that would greet us in the road ranging from horse riders to free roaming cattle and mules. For our final night the Fazenda arranged for us to go to a rodeo in Lagoinha. Our driver took us to the rodeo, which didn’t start until 11pm. He helped us get through the entrance since no one there spoke English and he waited until the parking lot until we were finished. Marcel even met us there to make sure we were okay and had a great time. It was very safe and there were lots of families there. It was an awesome date night and we had so much fun watching the bull riding and then dancing at the concert they had afterward with a live band. Fazenda Catuçaba was a heavenly place and all the people (Marcel, Emily, Juliette, Nilton, Fabrico, and Helo) made it the greatest place we’ve ever stayed. Marcel is a second to none, top rated, hotel manager. He had to get over burdened as he was one of the few people who could speak English, and all of the guests seemed to speak English and utilize him for translation, but even though he was there at 8am until 9pm (and in the case of the rodeo until at least 2am) he never seemed upset, always worked hard to make sure we were taken care of, and always told us when we asked about something, “yes, it is possible.” He was a true pleasure and great asset to the Fazenda. We spent three days at Pousada Picinguaba as the second part of our honeymoon after spending five days at Fazenda Catuçaba. We had a great driver who took us from the Fazenda right to the Pousada. The Pousada is located at the end of the road out of Ubatuba. This quaint little fishing village wasn’t bustling with tourists and traffic and had just one street in and out. The road ended at a place where the fishermen bring their daily catch and there was a little elevated walkway that took us to our house. We had a very private 3 bedroom and 3 bathroom house nestled on the winding pathway under the trees above the beach. The views were amazing and the hammock on the porch was luring especially thanks to the sound of the waves and the birds nearby. The house was filled with lots of books to read and a nice music collection. The refrigerator was filled with various drinks that we enjoyed. Some have complained that the cost of activities or meals was expensive, but by going through Jacada everything was included, therefore we didn’t have to worry about cutting back on certain things or not doing certain things. If we wanted a snack, we got a snack. If we wanted to go on an extra excursion, we did so. On a few afternoons we would order off the menu and the staff would bring us snacks of shrimp, rice, refried beans, grilled vegetables, pasta, bread, and various desserts of fruit and chocolate (so a snack was actually a full-fledged meal). On our first afternoon we took a kayak out on the water and watched the fishermen pull in their days catch in their nets, as well as see some sea turtles come up and greet us. We weren’t as pleased by the meals at the Pousada as we were at the Fazenda, but they were still good. Some of the more exotic seafood wasn’t our thing (baby octopus and fish soup for instance), but it was buffet style next to the pool so you did get all you could eat. We didn’t care as much for the fish that we had each night, but again it was still nice dinners and the desserts were always A+ (loved the key lime and chocolate tarts). I presume that the lighting was only by small candles on each table to keep from having issues with mosquitos, but it did require us to use the flashlights on our phones to see what we were eating. That being said we never had any issues with the mosquitos. We have read where they were a big issue with others, but maybe the time was just right for us (April 12-15). We even told the staff they didn’t need to turn down the mosquito nets on our bed each night because they were no issue. It was really nice coming in from dinner each evening and having our beds prepared, shutters closed, and the air conditioning nice and cool. The master bedroom having its own air conditioning system with a remote control thermostat was a huge plus for us. They also were quick to remedy any problems we had. We were billed for two drinks that we had received one evening, but after explaining to them that they were not what we thought they would be and were not made to our liking, they didn’t charge us for them. That was very kind of them because it really was a “lost in translation” sort of thing where we asked for what we called a Strawberry daiquiri, only to find out after making one they don’t have strawberries and the drink they made us had salt along the rim and more of a tequila like taste. The biggest highlight of staying at the Pousada was the half day excursion on their large schooner. We were taken for a wonderful trip by our captain to various beaches and islands. The young waiter that accompanied us made sure that we were completely taken care of and had all we wanted to drink. He was even able to point out certain things about various places we passed by. We absolutely loved the first island we stopped at. We were given the option to swim to shore or be taken by a small motor boat, which we did. We were able to lie out and tan on the sand and also go snorkeling. The snorkeling was really good because we saw lots of neat fish and some corral. The water was so clear you could always see the bottom. On this island there were probably no more than 7 other people there when we were, but beyond that we were by ourselves. We were taken to another island where we got to walk around on the sand and play in the water completely alone, until the captain called us back to the ship for lunch. We had wonderful sandwiches and salad. The only thing we didn’t like was the cold fish, but that was just us. They had by far the best watermelon I’ve ever eaten. We did feel slightly rushed on the cruise, but we were able to get the captain to stop at one last beach where we collected sand dollars. The Pousada arranged for Rosa to take us to Paraty for a half day excursion with a great English speaking guide that had been reserved with Paraty tours. It was a neat town preserved in its original form. We had Italian for lunch at a nice little restaurant that our guide took us to. The Pousada also provided us with a wonderful massage the last evening we were there. We had to leave around 4:00 in the morning to get to an event near Sao Paulo and the staff made sure they took our luggage to the car and even prepared us some sandwiches to eat along the way. Our driver to our next location drove us the five hour drive safely and after dropping off my wife took me to pick up my rental car and then proceeded to work with the rental car agency to make sure that I was taken care of and had the right car. Throughout our journey we were given messages from our travel specialist at Jacada, Emily Opie, asking if we were doing well, and if there was anything we needed. Even though we went elsewhere on our trip for an event that lasted five days, Emily made sure that we had a car pick us up to take us to the airport to get home. We arrived at the pickup spot an hour late, but our driver was there waiting for us patiently and knew that we were pressed for time, so he drove extra swiftly to ensure we got on our flight. He even was very helpful in ensuring that we got our rental car returned and that they car agency we used for the few days we were independently travelling didn’t take advantage of us.
This had to be the most seamless experience I have had traveling. Emily and Susanne where always available to answer questions. We went to 4 different areas in Argentina and Chile. Upon arrival in each city, there was always some one to greet us and take us to the hotel. The guides we had through out the trip were A+. The guides got us through the airports without having to wait in line. Stella our guide in Buenos Aires was great and spent 2 days with us. Eduardo was our guide in Mendoza the wine region, took us to 6 winery's which he knew all the owners. We were treated first class. In Santiago our guide was Alvaro. he knew Santiago like the back of his hand. We went on a walking tour of the city. The main reason for the trip was Patagonia. The hotel (Tierra Patagonia) was unbelievable. 5 stars. I would uses Jacada, Emily and Susanne again to plan a vacation. Not a bad find for a search on the internet. Thanks again for a trip of a lifetime.
Our entire trip was extremely well coordinated, we had many change/transfer points and they well all done timely and by highly professional folks
We took a family trip (4 of us) to Belize arranged by Emily from Jacada. As is typical for Jacada, everything was perfect. From the unique resorts (Table Rock and Victoria House), to the incredible excursions planned for us, the vacation was amazing. Every detail was taken care of. Having Emily from Jacada plan your vacation is completely stress free. We will definitely use them again.