While you’re out shopping for Christmas presents, why not pick up an amazing holiday for yourself as well? Luxury travel company Jacada Travel introduces an A-list of travel destinations. These thoughtfully designed itineraries ensure you make the most of your time off while exploring the very best the world has to offer.
Jacada Travel specialises in responsible traveling. It’s the only travel company of this size to carbon offset 100% of the trips, including international flights. It’s also the winner of the 2017 “We Are Africa Innovation Award” for its #MaskingUpForGorillas campaign and other initiatives.
Whether you have three, five or 12 days to enjoy, grab your boots or bikini and book a trip today!
5 days: Land of fire and ice, Iceland
If you are limited on time but still want to be blown away, Iceland is your go-to destination. This action-packed five-day trip showcases the highlights of snowy southern Iceland. Based in cool Reykjavík, Jacada Travel will take you snowmobiling across Iceland’s second biggest glacier and exploring a cave of shimmering ice. Watch the spellbinding colours of the Aurora Borealis dance across the sky. You’ll also get to soak in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon and witness the mighty wonders of Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfall in the Golden Circle.
Did you know?
- According to the oldest written sources on Icelandic history, the first permanent settlement in Iceland was in 874 in Reykjavík.
- The city is the northernmost capital city in the world and the only capital city anywhere with a large Atlantic puffin colony.
- As for animals, dogs were banned in Reykjavík from 1924 to 1984, with the full ban only being completely lifted in 2006.
Jacada itineraries from HK$38,420 (US $4,900) per person, excluding international flights.
12 days: Culture and luxury, Mexico
This 12-day itinerary allows you to soak in both the modern and ancient cultural history of Mexico while indulging in exclusive relaxation. Explore the bustling cosmopolitan capital with a local guide and sample authentic delights like tostadas, tacos and filled tortas. Explore the well-preserved ancient city of Teotihuacan in the valley of Mexico for a full-day tour, and spend three days in Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage City, visiting one of the many museums or the beautiful Ethnobotanical Garden.
You can even hike to the natural springs of Hierve el Agua or discover the Mitla ruins and artisan villages. The last stop will take you to Cuixmala. Sun-worship, horse-back ride, spot exotic wildlife and enjoy your meals from organic farms at this luxurious private reserve.
Did you know?
- Cuixmala estate is set on 25,000 acres of land, lagoons and beaches, and is home to over 270 types of birds.
- An unusual Oaxaca delicacy is chapulines, or grasshoppers barbecued with garlic or chili.
- Puerto Escondido, or the “Mexican Pipeline”, on the Pacific Coast attracts a crowd of surfers and body boarders every year to surf the legendary waves.
Jacada itineraries from HK $29,752 (US $3,800) per person, excluding international flights.
13 days: Beaches and waterfalls, Brazil
Looking for a hot Christmas? This holiday to Brazil is a great balance between relaxing on the beach and exploring. Begin your trip with a stay at the beach village of Buzios, often dubbed the ‘Saint-Tropez of Brazil’. Here you can enjoy many stunning beaches, a good nightlife and excellent restaurants. Your next stop is the breathtaking Iguazú Falls in the south before finishing your trip with a balance of bustling city life (and more beaches) in Rio de Janeiro. You’ll have plenty of time to really get to know Rio and enjoy all it has to offer.
Did you know?
- Buzios is a sun-worshipper’s dream, with 21 spectacular beaches along the coastline.
- Rio de Janeiro means January River, but the river is actually a bay.
- Rio’s famous 98-foot statue of Jesus perched on Corcovado Mountain gets two to four direct hits from lightning every year.
- Iguazu Falls is nearly twice the height of Niagara Falls and nearly three times wider.
Jacada itineraries from HK$44,800 (US $5,700) per person, excluding international flights.
Long weekend: Cultural Cambodia
If you are looking for a short cultural getaway in Asia, head to Cambodia for an exploration of the Angkor Wat temple complex, nestled just outside Siem Reap. You can also embrace the amazing culinary scene, or venture into the countryside for a leisurely bike ride. If you have more time, explore Kep or Tatai for fantastic nature encounters. Cambodia is warm year-round but the most popular tourist months are November to March. Christmas time is the perfect season to visit.
Did you know?
- Cambodians are so proud of Angkor Wat that they put it on the Cambodian flag in 1850. Afghanistan is the only other country that features a national monument on its current flag.
- Basic food was scarce during the Pol Pot regime, and bugs and ants were the main sources of protein. Nowadays, bugs, grasshoppers, worms, spiders, and snakes are part of Khmer cuisine and a must-try for adventurous tourists.
Taking photography to new heights
Travel blogger and photographer Lee Thompson was in Rio to cover the World Cup when he convinced the Brazilian tourism board to allow him to climb inside Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue.
He said of the experience: “I’ve never been afraid of heights or tight spaces, but experiencing acrophobia, claustrophobia and profound awe at the same time was something truly remarkable.”
Written By: Adriane Rysz