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Responsible tourism: Living la vida local

Some of the best travel experiences come from interactions with locals. Wherever possible we include the opportunity to interact with the communities we visit - and sometimes even stay with locals in their homes. Discover our top local-living accommodations.
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Berber villages houses in Morocco

Trekking in the High Atlas Mountains on the way to the highest summit, Jebel Toubkal, you'll walk through Berber villages and discover the generosity of these mountain people staying in their houses; life is simple and more rustic than what you may be used to, but you can gain a real appreciation for it. As you wander Tizi Oussem, you'll see the terraced farms and houses perched perfectly on the mountain side. Eating on the roof of the house here is the perfect way to appreciate village life and the spectacular mountain views.
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Family-run guesthouses in the Georgian Caucasus

What better way to end a day of rewarding cycling through beautiful countryside than with a delicious meal. One of the absolute highlights of staying at a guesthouse in Georgia is getting to try home cooking. There is an age-old proverb in Georgia that ‘every guest is a gift from God’, and you will be made to feel very welcome here. Pace yourself, though - the dishes keep on coming, and you certainly won’t go thirsty as the meals are accompanied by a generous supply of great local wine.
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Eco lodge with the Amerindians of Surama, Guyana

Staying in the rainforests of Guyana, you'll be looked after by those who know them best. The Macushi tribe, who are the forebears of most of Surama's inhabitants, have been living there for generations. Having grown up living in harmony with their diverse eco-system, the tribe's knowledge about the rainforest helps to sustain them, using plants for medicine as well as food. They are also experts at spotting and pointing out some of the shyer wildlife in the area, such as toucan or giant otter. Everyone in the village helps to look after guests in the eco lodge, splitting their time between hosting and farming. 
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Family caique cruise in Greece

Preserving long-held traditions, which might otherwise be lost to the modern world, is a real benefit of tourism. Sailing around the Greek Island of Evia aboard Thanos' caique is truly a rare experience; there are fewer than a hundred of these fishing vessels left and only one shipyard, with just a handful of people able to keep them sailing. Thanos will take you around his home island aboard the boat that has been in his family for generations; it's truly a family affair. Whenever you go ashore you'll be greeted by the locals and shown traditional Grecian hospitality.
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Stay in a mahouts village in Thailand

Set up by our partners, Mahouts Elephant Foundation, our mahouts trip extension gives you three days in the Thai forests, spent in the company of former captive elephants and their mahouts from the Karen hilltribe. Learn how the mahouts forage for food and fish from rivers, before spending an afternoon watching the elephants and seeing how they act as a family unit in the wild. Set-up to provide an sustainable income for the mahouts, as well as help protect the elephants, you'll discover a new-found respect for the watchful companions of the gentle giants.
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Agriturismo on the Amalfi Coast

Staying in Luna d'Agerola, a beautiful farm guesthouse overlooking the Tyrrenhian Sea, you'll be hosted by three generations of the same family. Over your week with them, you'll see them tend to their animals and organic vegetables (perfect for trying at the end of a day hiking), as well as tasting their home-grown wine and olive oils. The whole family pitches in, and you'll be more than welcome to join in too; they'll even give you a pizza-making lesson and, if produce is available, show you how they make their goat's cheese and limoncello.
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Casas particulares in Cuba

Casas particulares, Spanish for private accommodation, give you a first-hand insight into the lives of everyday Cubans. An ideal way for the host families to supplement their income, you'll find it's a great way for you to improve your Spanish as you chat to them over breakfast. They'll often tell you about the local area, including the best places for a bit of salsa or a good mojito, and tell you about their daily lives, whether it's schools, jobs or how they spend their free-time; you'll learn a lot about Cuban life.
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