11 Authentic Homestays Around the World

Welcome home | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel
Welcome home | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Electing to stay with a host family while traveling abroad is one of the most authentic ways to explore a new country and culture. Homestays are a great way to travel on a budget while having an incredibly rich and meaningful experience. This accommodation choice is a chance to interact and connect with people you might not have the opportunity to meet otherwise.

City by the sea in Peru

Stay in the bohemian district of Barranco with a welcoming Peruvian family that love to exchange their traditions with international travelers. Located only 15 minutes from the beach, the home is close to a number of family businesses and services, including Peruvian restaurants, wineries, markets, public transportation, and even a language school. The host family is very accommodating and warm, welcoming their guests to participate in family activities and meals. If you’re interested in getting to know the best surfing spots and want to get to know as much as possible about the local culture, you’re in luck; the son is a surf instructor and cultural guide. You’ll be in the perfect place to experience all Peru has to offer.

See Lima in true Peruvian style | Courtesy Intrepid Travel

House in the hills in Northern Thailand

Located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is a heavenly nature retreat. This homestay option is so exquisite that you might not even need to leave the area to have a fully immersive Thai experience. The hosts offer their guests a variety of wellness and outdoor activities, such as Thai cooking classes, massages, meditation classes, gardening lessons, waterfall, hot spring, and forest tours, and even ATV rentals. There is one double room available that can sleep up to two people and has its own private bathroom.

Treasures around every corner in Thailand | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Stay with friends in Cambodia

A group of friends share a spacious house in a safe and quiet neighborhood near Khmer Pub Street, between Angkor Wat and the touristic city center. They offer one of their rooms to passing travelers who are seeking a peaceful sanctuary to return to after a long day of exploring Siem Reap. All of the roommates are eager to share their culture, language, traditions, history, and local knowledge with you. They cook meals together and guests are always invited to join them.

Colorful culture in Cambodia | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Feel like family in Mexico

A family of four in Merida, Mexico, invites you into their beautifully restored colonial-style home on the southwest side of Centro Historico. This homestay is a 15-minute stroll away from the center of downtown, just steps away from places where you can eat and shop. You will have your own private room and bathroom and access to an impressively stocked kitchen (both husband and wife are professionally trained chefs), a pool, plenty of lounge areas, and bicycles to cruise around town on. Merida is a safe and culturally rich area of Mexico and the family loves sharing their local knowledge with their guests.

Local knowledge is priceless in Merida | © barbbarbarb / Flickr

Volcano views in Guatemala

Located just outside the capital city of Antigua, this homestay offers guests views of three volcanoes and green coffee plantations. You’ll be greeted by a host who loves playing tour guide and giving insights into Guatemalan culture and everyday life. The three-level condominium has a pool, plenty of shared living space, and a great roof deck patio. This shared home is close to a number of bars, cafés, and restaurants, as well as interesting cultural attractions and Spanish-language schools.

Volcano views and vibrant colors | © John Barrie / Flickr

Yoga in India

The Kaplana yoga homestay is located in an affluent residential neighborhood in Jaipur, India. This family-owned beautiful bungalow has four rooms for international guests. Each room is colorfully decorated, spotlessly clean, and has its own bathroom. The hosts offer their guests delectable meals that can be shared with the family or taken in privacy; a stay here can be as interactive or as private as you want it to be. One of the hosts is a yoga guru and holistic healer, and offers classes and holistic guidance to those who are interested.

Jaipur is a jewel | © Christian Haugen / Flickr

Pura vida in Costa Rica

Located a few hours outside of the capital city of San Jose in Santa Rosa de Pocosol is a rural homestay that is part of an agricultural community dedicated to raising cattle and growing bananas, plantains, pineapples, and tubers. It is also near an ecological reserve. You will enjoy three healthy traditional meals a day and can even learn how to prepare typical Costa Rican cuisine during your stay. The host loves sharing her culture and traditions with her guests, and is always happy to help with organizing tours and activities, including Spanish classes, tortilla-making classes, nature tours, bird-watching excursions, and horse riding.

Make new friends in the forest | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Como en casa in Cuba

Located in central Havana, just two blocks from the ocean, this homestay offers guests a wonderful opportunity to experience Cuba’s daily hustle and bustle. There are two guest rooms available, and the hosts, who love meeting international travelers, will treat you like you’re one of the family as soon as you arrive. You will enjoy authentic Cuban cuisine with the family and have access to the local insider knowledge about things to see and do.

The streets are alive with music | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Live like a Moroccan

This charming homestay option is located in the heart of old Medina in Marrakesh. The family guesthouse offers guests an opportunity to experience the traditional Moroccan way of life. The host loves sharing her culture, and will make you feel right at home by treating you to traditional Moroccan breakfasts, teas, and dinner upon request. There are three cozy rooms available, each with their own bathroom.

Spice of life | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Real life in Bali

This stunning homestay option offers an amazing opportunity to experience true Balinese life and culture with two exceptional hosts who are even willing to be your personal tour guides. The traditional Balinese home is just minutes from the beach, located on a quiet street in a safe neighborhood. Your hosts will take you to see live music and ancient temples, accompany you on walks through the rice fields, and even cook your meals upon request. There are four comfortable bedrooms with private bathrooms available.

Beautiful Bali | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Home in the heart of Egypt

This authentic homestay is run by a husband and wife who are also performing artists in Al Basatin in Cairo, Egypt. These friendly hosts can be as hands-on as you want them to be when it comes to your Egyptian adventure; they love getting to know and interacting with their guests. Their home is very close to the Egypt Museum and a number of other alluring attractions nearby.

A camel ride to the pyramids is a must | Courtesy of Intrepid Travel

If you are looking to have an unforgettable holiday experience, check out Intrepid Travel.

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