Airbnb Hospitality Around the World

“Whenever you go on a trip to visit foreign lands or distant places, remember that they are all someone’s home and backyard.”
― Vera Nazarian

If you follow my blog, you know that we are passionate travelers. However, the older we get, we find that our travels center more around Airbnbs. We used to be hostel and camper travelers and moved quickly from one location to another…but those days are gone. Now, we travel slowly centering our travels in an Airbnb for a week and take day trips from that location.

We love Airbnbs! They offer more space for less price, kitchens, and better amenities. They are generally in local neighborhoods, rather than tourist areas where the hotels are, so they are authentically fun. The property owners offer wonderful hospitality and since they live in the area, they can offer off-the-beaten track recommendations for restaurants and activities.  Plus, the wi-fi is free and fast.

We even thought we would sell our home on Ometepe Island and live in Airbnbs around the world like this couple...Airbnb: Retired Couple Travels World, Spends 1000 Nights in Airbnbs. 

Meanwhile, until we decide whether to make the BIG move, we are planning our next trip to Uruguay and Argentina…and of course centering our day trips around Airbnbs.

Some of our favorite Airbnbs around the world…

Cuenca, Ecuador. 

Juan’s place was in the center of the historic district of Cuenca. We were surrounded by gorgeous cathedral domes that lit up at night casting a blue hue into our windows. We ran out of propane for cooking, and Juan delivered a new bottle to us within an hour.

Cartagena, Colombia

We spent two weeks during the international film festival in this lovely apartment in the perfect location in the walled city.  Martha left a Panama hat for us to wear. Ron liked it so much, he replaced the old hat with a new one and packed the old hat to bring home. This place had the cutest little hobbit door to enter the loft bedroom and the bathroom was outside on a private terrace. We showered under the stars.

Patzcuaro, Mexico

We spent a month in Michael’s garden apartment. It felt so much like home, that we didn’t want to leave. In fact, after living in Patzcuaro, Mexico, we returned to Nicaragua with tentative plans to sell our place. That’s how much we love Patzcuaro.

Denarau Island, Fiji

This was our first experience in a gated community. Michael and Hiroko felt like family. They invited us to share meals with them and we even had a private Kava ceremony at their home. Michael is a history buff and we learned so many new things about the history of Fiji. He picked us up at the airport, too. Such a wonderful family!

Taupo, New Zealand

Denise and her husband were awesome hosts. They brought us ice-cream and wine! Their home is on Acacia Bay with a beautiful view of the lake from the front window of the apartment.  They recommended many wonderful places for us to go and gave us helpful tips about how to navigate driving on the left-hand side of the road. That was an experience!

Havana, Cuba

Since we couldn’t use our credit cards in Cuba, renting an Airbnb was convenient. We could pay for the Airbnb online using our credit card. Sissy’s grandparents lived in the apartment,unbeknownst to us.  It was funny when we first entered the apartment because we thought we rented the entire apartment for ourselves. She took us into the kitchen to show us around, and Ron opened the refrigerator. “No, no,” Sissy said. “This is my grandparent’s kitchen. They will gladly cook for you.”  Apparently all Airbnbs are like this in Cuba. Her grandparent’s lived in a little room beside the kitchen.

Antigua, Guatemala

I still get Christmas cards from Eduardo in Antigua. We rented a cozy cabin. Eduardo and his wife had three large German Shepard dogs that played with us daily and visited our cabin. We enjoyed wine and snacks and made good friends with another couple that stayed in the cabin next to us. In fact, they came to visit us on Ometepe Island.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I booked our two-week stay in Buenos Aires, today. I couldn’t resist this place because it is on Nicaragua Street and in Palermo Soho, a chic tree and park-filled community in Buenos Aires.

I believe that the Airbnb community benefits local economies around the world by supporting residents and local businesses and most importantly, encouraging cultural exchange. We have never had a bad Airbnb experience. We are always in someone’s hospitable homes and backyards.

What are your experiences with Airbnbs? 


22 thoughts on “Airbnb Hospitality Around the World

  1. We love both slow travel and AirBnB and have stayed in many apartments (over 30) over the years in many countries including the US. We learned the hard way to read the reviews on AirBnB and Trip Advisor and to only stay in apartments that had several reviews. The one really bad experience we had was arriving one evening in Cartagena and finding out there was only a set of boxsprings in the bedroom of our ‘swank’ beach apartment as well as no Wi-Fi as we’d been told. When we contacted AirBnB the next day and provided photos, they promptly refunded our money but booking another place was difficult and much more expensive as we were there during high season. A ‘live and learn’ experience! The places you and Ron have found look great and I can appreciate how some places like Patzcuaro have you contemplating a move. Many times an AirBnB stay leaves you feeling like you’ve lived in a city versus a visit. There’s something about shopping in a foreign grocery store and cooking your meals that adds another layer of experiencing a place like a local! Anita

    • I remember reading about your experience in Cartagena. It is great to hear that you contacted Airbnb with photos and they refunded your money. I often wondered what would happen if we experienced the same thing, which fortunately we haven’t. Good to know. I am really looking forward to staying in our Airbnb in Uruguay and Argentina, shopping in the local grocery stores and markets, and having a comfortable home base to return to after a busy day exploring. It does make one feel more like a local than a tourist. Thanks for your comments, Anita.

  2. Totally agree with you on Air B n B! At our age, unless it is an upscale Hostel we will pass. We also have had good luck with Home Away and We always thoroughly check the reviews on these sites and double check with Trip Advisor. A lot of them are reviewed on there as well.To see how well they respond, before we book them, we send an email with a couple of questions. If they are quick to respond we take that into account before booking.

    Here is a link to our experience for Montevideo: We stayed 8 nights but we would stay 5 next time out. Do spend an overnight in Old Colonia.
    A must stop, ( we ate here 3 times) is the Parrilla Restaurants at the Mercado del Puerto. Go early. It is an old train station. Very cool. Walking is very easy in Montevideo. Try to stay as close to the ferry terminal/Mercado so you can just walk to catch it and you will be centrally located for walking and biking or take the buses.

    Do take the ferry over to Buenas Aires! We also did a BA Bike tour. That gave us a lay of the land.
    The beef and seafood are incredible in both Uruguay and Argentina. The Beef is killer! Hope you like meat! The wines from Medoza are superb. Everywhere we travel we always do the city’s Free Walking tours. Never a disappointment. The metro is great. Get an STM card.
    Be careful with backpacks. Another travel blogger was hit upon the metro in BA. Be aware of the bird poop scam! We have a backpack alarm. Lound as heck! If they grab your backpack you hold on to the alarm. Get them on Amazon. We thought the people in both countries were very nice. BA is considered the Paris of SA. If you have been to Paris then you know how some Parisians can be.

    Also, Iguazu Falls are not to be missed. Stay at least 3 nites! You need two full days to see all the falls. Do the boat ride! It is a highlight! We flew on Latam RT from BA to the falls.

    We stayed here:;sid=5951e2c4d76932671e43e9a3b11de674
    Great place! Best food in Iguazu.
    If you have any questions:
    Also lots of info on our blog:

    We had a great 3 weeks in Argentina and Uruguay. So much so, that we are going back to Argentina in October of next year and do 2 weeks in Chile.

    John and Susan

  3. I’ve stayed in only one Airbnb a few years ago with our older daughter while visiting Napa. That place was a dream–an entire small apartment at the top of the home’s garage/part of the house with a separate entrance, kitchen, etc. The owners had the house built that way so that their children had a place to stay when coming home to visit and it worked perfectly for renting at other times. I’d be willing to try again, but I would also really read reviews carefully.


  4. I have had two pretty okay experiences with Air Bnb and expect to have more in the future, but the one I landed in in Mexico was a disaster. The host just seemed a little “off”, and his wife a little anxious (and they have a lovely baby). The house they are living in is rented, and not well maintained. The town is on the Gulf of Mexico and salt corrodes everything unless you keep up with the cleaning, which they didn’t. There were only a few other guests during my stay–a young man who got drunk, and only stayed one or two nights, a family who stayed a couple of nights, and a young woman with whom I made friends and whose company I enjoyed. We are still in touch. Unfortunately, I discovered, after I left the Air Bnb, that about $800-worth of electronics had been stolen from a carry-on whose lock had been jimmied. No way to prove it was the Air Bnb host, but no-one other than the couple had access to my room AND knew that that carry-on contained electronics (stupid me for even mentioning it!) The case was padlocked. I used items from it and put them back, at first, but then kept the computer fan out and hid it, with the computer, elsewhere in the room. So I didn’t open that bag again before I left. I filed a police report, but they say since I cannot actually prove it was this person who took my stuff, they can’t get a search warrant.
    So that has soured me on Air Bnbs. And then tonight, as I was about to go to bed, I read an email from my bank saying that a charge had been made today to a credit card I have with me, for an online Best Buy purchase. The plot thickens . . .

    • Oh No! I remember that horrid story! Did you read Dean’s comments? I wonder if it could have been one of the guests that was there? Maybe not since your credit card info was used and you still have the card. Yesterday, I was reading about Airbnb hosts who have had things stolen from their Airbnbs by guests, too. I really dislike hearing these stories, but it shows us that we have to be careful wherever we go and wherever we stay.
      Thank goodness your credit card company notified you! Such a shame!

  5. AirBnB’s are great but you must investigate them carefully! Debbie and Ron have stayed in mostly places where they have it all to themselves. But there are many that are actually illegal hostels. People rent apartments or houses and rent out all the rooms and don’t actually live in them! I like airbnb’s for the savings and security. If the hosts live there your things will be much more safe, other ones you could get robbed by some of the other guests. Also if the hosts don’t live there the other guests (which the majority of airbnb guests are young) could have a party or be noisy until late at night. If the hosts don’t live there there will be less things to use in the kitchen etc. So you can always ask the host questions before renting and my number one question is do they live there and how many rooms do they rent out? The idea situation is to rent a room in the home of a couple that do not have very young (noisy/crying) children or too many pets and only rent one room. So just investigate and travel safely. I typically rent for two nights and then make a deal with the host directly for more time and we both save the commission. Also if you rent for a week or especially a month and you don’t like it you are stuck! Maybe their neighbors like to have all-night salsa parties or they have barking dogs or roosters which is typical in the Latin countries.

    • Good points, Dean. We rarely stay in a private room in an Airbnb house, but the times we have, we have had good experiences. I never thought to ask if they live there. I assumed that if someone has a room for rent, they live in the house, too. I’m glad you brought that up.
      We always read the reviews carefully and that helps us determine if it is right for us. Plus, we research the location, too. And, like you mentioned, if you have any questions, notify the hosts before booking. You can save yourself a lot of trouble if you research and ask questions. Thanks for your input, Dean.

  6. We also rent our Cedar Grove Cottage in Gibsons, BC, through Airbnb:and we have met a lot of interesting people through it and whenever we travel we prefer Airbnb’s for longer stays as well.
    There is a bit of dilemma here in Vancouver, British Columbia, and in any popular place like Whistler or Nelson and even here on the Sunshine Coast. it’s a fact that many people these days opt to Airbnb their apartments or cabins rather then rent them out permanently. We have such an acute housing shortage here, due to the price of real estate, that many communities are now enacting laws limiting Airbnb’s. Also the hotel industry is complaining and pointing to the fact that Airbnb’s evade paying taxes and suddenly municipalities are starting to regulate, restrict and wanting a piece of the lucrative pie. Remember the good old days of Bed and Breakfast’s or Casas Particulares in Cuba?

    • Bruno, I wondered if anyone would mention the problems of Airbnb’s and I am glad you did. I wrote a post about Cuban Airbnbs and the problems the hosts were having because they don’t have bank accounts, so Airbnb has to go through middlemen in Cuba who screw the hosts out of their money.
      A number of cities throughout the world are trying to regulate Airbnbs, like you said, because they don’t pay the taxes that resorts and hotels pay. Kind of like Uber, too.
      I love B&Bs for short stays. And we really enjoyed the casa particulars in Cuba. The biggest problem was that we had to carry a lot of cash because we couldn’t use our credit cards there, We really liked the pensions throughout Europe, too. I wonder if they still exist or have all turned into Airbnbs?
      Next time we go to Patzcuaro, we are going to get your upstairs apartment with the terrace. Lol

  7. I love air b and b , and since I travel myself mostly , Ive rented in Nicaragua , Granada , Hawaii, Ecuador , Panama, Santa Maria in the Azores Island , Ubud , Bali, Costa Rica all over ….Miami ,Sarasota, North Carolina , South Carolina , Georgia , geez , Im sure I’m forgetting some places …anyway sometimes I mix it up depending on if I feel like being social or not .The owners of the air b and bs usually become my friends and give me company if I feel like it , whereas hotels and all..your always on your own . I like b and bs too , same thing cept in a b and b they do make breakfasts sometimes , depending on the place and you can chit chat with the owners other guests , if u like ..
    Im staying at a b and b in Ajijic and am excited to meet the owners as they’ve been there awhile and know many people in the area and they are realtors , so I know I will learn alot about this area . Im going to stay at an air b and b in Guadalajara in a few months as well..
    All in all , air b and b’s are fab , b and bs work too, and a cool hotel with a great bar area always is fun too if your into it.
    I love to travel and would if I could …24 -7..mmmmmmmm..
    Enjoy Buenos Aires and Uruguay ,,tho Uruguay is way more happening Dec – Feb.
    I adore all of Argentina and was very blessed to spend many years visiting amazing areas in that country,,mmmmm the food , the helado , the vino…. get ready to gain weight ,,hahahaha!!! The people think their —- doesn’t stink and you will see this ..hahahahahah. but they do have great taste in general!!!
    And are very very gorgeous..ewwwww the men .. sooooo hip and handsome….. and the women gorgeous ,, !
    Best looking people on the planet aside from Sweden I think… have fun!!!!

    • Oh Heidi, I enjoy reading your comments. They always make me laugh. You mention that it depends on how social you want to be, where you stay. Good point. It shows there is a large variety of Airbnbs throughout the world. Another thing I forgot to mention is that we try to stay with superhosts who are vetted. We never stay with hosts who have no reviews. It makes us feel more comfortable and safe.
      We try to avoid high season because the places are more expensive. That is why we choose March for Uruguay. Plus, we have to have an escape from the wicked heat in March in Nicaragua. Happy travels, Heidi!

  8. I too love AirBnB,have stayed at some great places in California,Costa Rica,Nicaragua and Colombia.I’m English and need regular infusions of tea so having a kitchen is key for me.

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