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Small is beautiful: 20 delightful guest houses we love to share

Spain picos de europa casa lamadrid exterior

Picos de Europa, Spain. Views of high mountains unfolding from the terrace; the sound of cowbells echoing around the valleys; pink geraniums spilling over dark wooden balconies. Rural inns don't get much more idyllic. Stay in a few gems on a walk across the Picos de Europa.

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Spain catalonia La Garrotxa from Mas Can Batlle Chris Bladon 1

Catalonia, Spain. Inside, Albert and Christine’s old 'mas' farmhouse is full of their quirky character. Outside, the garden is a wonderful place to rest up with a drink and listen to the birds singing and the waterfall rushing. Visit on a driving holiday or on a walk from Girona to the Costa Brava.

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Castile ebro molino del canto javier valvanera

Ebro Valley, Castile. Valvanera and Javier's converted watermill on the edge of a medieval stone town takes everything great about a rural B&B and adds an extra 'B'. Bed, breakfast... and birds. Spend a day birdwatching in the canyon as part of a walking holiday along the Ebro River.

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Spain andalucia cordoba subbetica casa olea close up smoking chimney c diego

Andalucía, Spain. It might be run by Brits Tim and Claire, but everything about this idyllic guest house is rooted in Andalucía, from the food to the wine to the sea of centuries-old olive trees which surround it. Visit on a road trip or on a relaxed walking holiday from Córdoba to Granada.

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Spain andalucia finca la fronda night c hotel

Andalucía, Spain. Run by direct descendants of William Wordsworth, the setting for this delightful guest house would bring out the poet in any of us, tucked away as it is in the rolling forests near the Portuguese border. Visit on a road journey or on a walk through the hills of Aracena.

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Herdade do touril c hotel

Alentejo, Portugal. With warm sea breezes, a picture-perfect pool and tempting cocktails and gins chalked up on the board, Angela and Luis' farmhouse is the ideal place to relax after a day exploring the Costa Vicentina. Visit on a drive from Porto to Lisbon, or on a walk across Alentejo.

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Portugal Minho River casa ferreirinha c laurent pura

Minho, Portugal. Sistelo's great terraces might look more Asian than Iberian, but the vines, the people and beautiful granite farmhouses like this one firmly root them in Portugal. Wake up to breakfast delivered fresh to your front door. Stay here on a scenic walk in northern Portugal.

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Chile atacama copiapo wara hotel premium room interior c tom power

Atacama, Chile. Built for the filming of Los 33 - the story of Chile's rescued miners from the nearby San José mine, this beautiful 7-room guest house sits at the foot of the extraordinary Sea of Dunes. Visit on an off the beaten track journey to Atacama and Patagonia.

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Chile carretera Mirador Guadal1 A Millar

Patagonia, Chile. Beautiful scenery, delicious local food and the warmest welcome you could hope for - Stefan and Carolina's lakeside cabins are typical of the hospitality you find in remotest Patagonia. Experience it all as you drive down the Carretera Austral.

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Argentina patagonia estancia nibepo aike c hotel

Patagonia, Argentina. Over the border, this 100-year-old estancia is the perfect base from which to visit the famous Perito Moreno Glacier out of peak hours and truly soak up the rhythms of rural Patagonia life. Visit on a guided journey across Argentine Patagonia.

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Argentina ibera posada uguay c hotel

Iberá, Argentina. Nestled in the wetlands, this characterful inn is run by Rewilding Argentina - the team responsible for the recent reintroduction of jaguars and red-and-green macaws to Iberá. Stay here as part of a specialist Argentina wildlife holiday.

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Peru sacred valley casona de yucay c hotel

Sacred Valley, Peru. Tucked away in a sweet little village on the slow road to Cusco, this gorgeous old colonial manor house was formerly the home of Cusco's Treasurer of the Mint. Stay for a few days as part of a trip combining Machu Picchu and the Amazon.

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Peru arequipa colca lodge 1

Colca Canyon, Peru. With a pisco sour in hand, gorgerous views off to the mountains and natural hot springs bubbling away, this lodge is the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the wide and wonderful canyon. Visit as part of our ultimate Peru holiday.

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Ecuador amazon eden lodge from above c eden

Amazon, Ecuador. 100% owned by the Kichwa community, this small lodge is a lakeside wildlife haven. Giant otters live in the lake, oropendala birds build nests in one tree, a sloth often sleeps in another. Visit on a wildlife holiday to Ecuador and the Galápagos.

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Ecuador mindo cloudforest el monte lodge exterior

Mindo, Ecuador. No need for plastic bird feeders at Mariela and Tom's wonderfully relaxed cloud forest ecolodge - the fig trees attract dozen of hummingbirds just metres from the open terrace. A true gem that you can visit on an Ecuador wildlife holiday.

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Brazil Chapada Homestay Mountain Backdrop

Chapada Diamantina, Brazil. Amid the sweeping savannas and ancient tabletop mountains are some of the continent's most isolated homesteads. Even so, their owners welcome you with open arms, bountiful food and cold beer on a multi-day hike in Bahia.

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Brazil amazon cristalino lodge c hotel

Amazon, Brazil. Hundreds of miles away from the ever-brighter city lights of Manaus, this brilliant ecolodge in a vast private reserve is where you want to experience Brazil's Amazon Rainforest. You can do just that on our Brazil wildlife tour.

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Costa rica ostional luna azul c hotel

Ostional, Costa Rica. There are few better places we know to watch the sun go down with a drink from your terrace and then fall asleep to the sound of gentle waves than Andreas and Rolf's elevated ecolodge. Stay here as part of our ultimate Costa Rica holiday.

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Costa rica macaw lodge above c hotel

Pacific coast, Costa Rica. Pablo's ultra-eco friendly lodge has helped restore the forests of an important wildlife corridor and sustain a rare Scarlet macaw stronghold. As a bonus, it also has its own cacao plantation. Visit on our ultimate Costa Rica holiday.

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Nicaragua jinotega cloudforest bastilla lodge c vapues

Northern highlands, Nicaragua. You get a lovely place to stay in the bird-rich cloud forests. Young students are empowered to build a better future for themselves through employment. Everyone wins. Stay here on a lovely holiday through Nicaragua's natural treasures

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Spain picos de europa casa lamadrid exterior
Spain catalonia La Garrotxa from Mas Can Batlle Chris Bladon 1
Castile ebro molino del canto javier valvanera
Spain andalucia cordoba subbetica casa olea close up smoking chimney c diego
Spain andalucia finca la fronda night c hotel
Herdade do touril c hotel
Portugal Minho River casa ferreirinha c laurent pura
Chile atacama copiapo wara hotel premium room interior c tom power
Chile carretera Mirador Guadal1 A Millar
Argentina patagonia estancia nibepo aike c hotel
Argentina ibera posada uguay c hotel
Peru sacred valley casona de yucay c hotel
Peru arequipa colca lodge 1
Ecuador amazon eden lodge from above c eden
Ecuador mindo cloudforest el monte lodge exterior
Brazil Chapada Homestay Mountain Backdrop
Brazil amazon cristalino lodge c hotel
Costa rica ostional luna azul c hotel
Costa rica macaw lodge above c hotel
Nicaragua jinotega cloudforest bastilla lodge c vapues

One of the best ways to connect you with the people, cultures and cuisines of your destination is by staying in a majority of owner-run guest houses and inns. Here are 20 we love, with many more to be discovered on our exceptional and beautifully local holidays.

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