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Yassine Echcherki

I'm originally from Sefrou, Morocco, which is located in the foothills of the Middle Atlas Mountains, Southeast of Fez. In 2010 I started my company Morocco Off the Beaten Track with the vision of bringing local Moroccans together with the rest of the world to encourage understanding and give the gift of worldly experience to all involved. My goal is to always provide a uniquely Moroccan experience, where my travelers can see, feel and taste what makes the Kingdom of Morocco special.

I have worked for the U.S. Peace Corps as an Arabic language instructor and culture trainer, as well as worked with different travel companies in Morocco facilitating and organizing cultural tours and programs. I have also conducted cross-cultural educational programs for several American organizations and taught French and Arabic at a primary school in Citta Del Castelo, Italy. In addition to speaking my native Arabic language, I'm also fluent in French and English.

At Central Washington University in Washington State, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing and I'm currently pursuing my Master's Degree in Data Analytics at the same university. I also volunteer and teach English to Syrian refugees in the greater Seattle area while providing them with localization and life coach services. I strongly believe that cross-cultural education and international learning opportunities are the keys to promoting peace and building a long-lasting friendship.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Morocco Off the Beaten Track operates mostly in semi-urban to rural areas. We generally want to give our travelers the opportunity to experience the real Morocco far from the touristy places, however can plan trips to the larger and Imperial Cities (Marrakesh, Rabat, Fez, Casablanca, etc.) if our travelers so desire. In our tours, we visit villages, meet artisans and farmers, and share food with local people. Our activities include community service, historical and cultural tours, hikes and treks, cooking classes, surfing instruction, 4x4 and camel desert trips, skiing and snowboarding, rafting, and rock climbing."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I started Morocco Off the Beaten Track to provide opportunities for travelers to learn about Morocco and to support local Moroccan communities by providing jobs and giving them the experience of interacting with people from other countries. The catalyst for this was my experience with the US Department of State Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). I was selected to participate in the MEPI Student Leaders Program at Montana State University because of the quality of my leadership experience and community involvement. This prestigious program brings young leaders from North Africa and the Middle East to learn leadership skills and to study democracy, human rights, and conflict resolution. In my time in the USA, I realized how little Americans knew about Morocco and how many misconceptions there were of the Arab world. I decided to found a travel company that could bridge the gap in understanding of Morocco and the US. I had experience working with travel companies in Morocco, and had traveled throughout the country myself, so I knew what it would take to start this company and how to create and facilitate outstanding programs for my travelers."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I will never forget the time I went with my friend to the desert dunes of Merzouga in Morocco. Prior to traveling there, I had not known that Morocco had deserts like this. It was endless rolling dunes of reddish sand, and it took us two hours by camel to reach the oasis we were staying at. At the oasis, I learned different ways to bake bread by the local Berber nomads and got to try their unique foods. Their hospitality was outstanding and was one of the more special things about the trip. In the evening we went to the largest dune in the area and got to see the silver shine of the desert in the moonlight. It was a breathtaking view and something I will never forget."

Featured trips & expertise

How kimkim Trips Work in Morocco

Planning the perfect trip to Morocco? Here's a quick introduction to kimkim, how our trips work, and what makes us unique. We'll go over how our itineraries are customized to your interests, and what to expect during your trip.

A blue-painted alley in Chefchaouen
Moroccan Cities: Tangier to Marrakech - 6 Days

This quick trip takes you through Morocco's best cities. Start in the north in Tangier and work your way south to the blue-painted streets of Chefchaouen, passed Roman ruins in Volubilis, and through the medieval medina in Fes. Carry on west to Morocco's capital, Rabat, before reaching modern Casablanca and finishing in lively Marrakech.

Jemma el-Fna Square comes alive at night in Marrakech
Moroccan Cities: Casablanca, Fes, Rabat & Marrakech - 5 Days

Sample Morocco's most popular cities, including Casablanca, Fes, Rabat, and Marrakech on this 5-day trip starting in Casablanca and ending in Marrakech. Venture back in time as you explore the medieval medina of Fes. Spend a night in the capital city of Rabat before finishing in vibrant Marrakech. Leave charmed having experienced Morocco's exceptional architecture, ornate artisanship, delicious food, and bustling souks.

Sunset over Chefchaouen in the north of Morocco
Northern Morocco's Cities: Tangier to Casablanca - 5 Days

This 5-day itinerary highlights Morocco's northern cities, starting in Tangier and finishing in Casablanca. Wander blue streets in Chefchaouen, explore Roman Volubilis and Imperial Meknes. Lose yourself in the medieval medina in Fes, and Visit modern Rabat and Casablanca.

The Dades Valley, Morocco
Casablanca to Marrakech: Imperial Cities, Hiking & the Desert - 10 Days

Explore Morocco's imperial cities, mountains, and desert with this balanced 10-day trip starting in Casablanca and ending in Marrakech. Wander medieval medinas in Fes and Marrakech, explore the modern cities of Casablanca and Rabat, and adventure along old caravan routes in the desert. Spend a day hiking in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains before ending the trip in Marrakech.

Recent trip reviews for Yassine

Janelle

Trip to morocco, Morocco - Nov 15 - Nov 26, 2018

Traveler: Janelle M. - Local specialist: Yassine Echcherki

We had a fantastic time in Morocco. We visited seven cities in a span of 12 days, accompanied by our Morocco Off the Beaten Track driver, Mohammed. We began our tour in Chefchaouen, then Fes, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Essaouira, and ended in Casablanca. Each city was uniquely different from the last and we were greatly pleased with the beautiful accommodations secured for us by the MOTB team. We met some wonderful locals while we were there, and felt so welcomed in a place so far away from home.

Basic morocco culture, Morocco - Oct 17 - Oct 24, 2018

Traveler: Linda D. - Local specialist: Yassine Echcherki

We enjoyed an unforgettable introduction to Morocco. The places we stayed were, without exception, all very lovely and well located, with full, nice breakfasts and excellent staff. Our driver was nothing short of wonderful. He was extremely helpful, offered what turned out to be excellent advice when requested, and took outstanding care of us. We realized the driver could not substitute as a professional guide, and there were a few times he could not provide answers to our questions,... read more

We enjoyed an unforgettable introduction to Morocco. The places we stayed were, without exception, all very lovely and well located, with full, nice breakfasts and excellent staff. Our driver was nothing short of wonderful. He was extremely helpful, offered what turned out to be excellent advice when requested, and took outstanding care of us. We realized the driver could not substitute as a professional guide, and there were a few times he could not provide answers to our questions, because of language difficulties, or just lack of really specialized knowledge. Yassine and his colleagues made certain that we were always well cared for, and they were genuinely concerned that we enjoyed ourselves.
If there were one aspect we would have done differently, knowing now what we do, we would have covered less, or else lengthened the trip. It was impracticable to cover the distances we did and still arrive at our destinations with enough time to do any exploring. We definitely needed another full day in Chefchaouen. We thought Essouaria was more important to visit than Volubilis, Moulay Idriss, or even Rabat. Ifrane was better just to pass through than visit. We spent proportionately more time in the car than we wanted. We did rely on the trip planners to know how long it would take to reach a given city, and travel times in general; despite cutting down on some of our original plans, we still could not cover everything.
In Fez, our cooking class was very enjoyable; we did not get as much benefit from the professional tour guide as we had hoped, however. He repeatedly remarked that he could not show us what he wanted to because we had come to Fez on a "holiday" (Friday), and that we needed to visit on a different day to see more activity. That was hardly anything we could have known in advance. He also disappeared whenever he "delivered" us to merchants he thought we should shop from. We loved the goats and the argan cooperative; Todra Gorge was excellent; we enjoyed the hammam in Marrakesh; and our overnight in the Sahara was probably the single most important experience.
Overall, the special attention we received throughout our trip, and particularly in Marrakesh, made us very glad we chose Kimkim and MOTB/Yassine and his team to make our arrangements.

Yassine Echcherki, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for traveling with us and your kind words Linda! I am so happy that you enjoyed your trip overall and that your interactions with your driver were so positive. I appreciate the feedback on the driving times and will make sure to be extra clear with other travelers in the future. I’m saddened that your tour guide in Fez did not met not only yours, but our expectations as well. This will be addressed with other tour guides that we work with in the future. I am so happy that you were... read more

Thank you for traveling with us and your kind words Linda! I am so happy that you enjoyed your trip overall and that your interactions with your driver were so positive. I appreciate the feedback on the driving times and will make sure to be extra clear with other travelers in the future. I’m saddened that your tour guide in Fez did not met not only yours, but our expectations as well. This will be addressed with other tour guides that we work with in the future. I am so happy that you were able to visit the Sahara Desert and stay in the tent! Your kind words are truly beneficial and mean a lot to all of us. I hope to see you visiting Morocco again in the future!

Trip to morocco, Morocco - Sep 21 - Sep 30, 2018

Traveler: Marion P. - Local specialist: Yassine Echcherki

We were a party of 6 from Australia. The booking experience with Kim Kim and Off the Beaten Track was 1st class. A great team effort congratulations to Yassine and his team.

When we arrived in Tangier the pickup details had not been detailed and I was surprised to find a driver whom I had not been given his name. Nabil - a lovely man. Nothing was too much trouble for him even though his command of English was patchy at times.

I will address each part of the trip keeping in... read more

We were a party of 6 from Australia. The booking experience with Kim Kim and Off the Beaten Track was 1st class. A great team effort congratulations to Yassine and his team.

When we arrived in Tangier the pickup details had not been detailed and I was surprised to find a driver whom I had not been given his name. Nabil - a lovely man. Nothing was too much trouble for him even though his command of English was patchy at times.

I will address each part of the trip keeping in mind one of our party had been unknown to 4 of us prior to the trip. (not a great idea) This man had not been forth coming with his health issues and the fact he suffered from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) meaning his ability to walk any distance or climb was severely impaired.

Accommodation: The accommodation was excellent in every stop - Tangier, Fez, Desert, Quarzazate, Marakesh and Casablanca. The Riads in Fez and Marakesh were beautiful and the hosts wonderful. Our Fez host went out of her way to help our impaired traveller. The desert speaks for itself and an experience all should have. Ait-Ben-Haddou in Quarzate is 6th century with the whole area under restoration. Sadly we arrived here after sunset and the "getting there" was a little troublesome in the dark. The property has no electricity and lit by candles - not that that is a problem however, not having been able to orientate ourselves in daylight did put a dampener on the night's experience. Next morning was a whole different scenario - a fabulous area and I could not recommend it more highly - just get there in daylight. Our unhealthy traveller just could not make it there and the host went out of his way to arrange alternate accommodation. The host himself was horrified that we arrive after dark.

Meals: All meals provided were great with hosts providing lovely meals on our arrival. Breakfast everywhere excellent

Travelling by Car: Nabil was an excellent safe driver. The 4x4 vehicle comfortable and well maintained. Our travel times were challenging for him time frame wise. Arrival times were really impossible given the state of the roads in some areas and the trucks, buses etc filling the roads. ( I might say some of this was my fault as I had tried to put so much into the trip and Yassine has gone out of his way to accommodate this - in retrospect I had been a little ambitious - an extra day would have made so much difference especially Fez to the desert) We were due to drive Marrakesh-Casablanca on the Saturday morning for a 11.45am flight to London. This truly was not possible - the road over the Atlas mountains is being rebuilt and consequently slow. I didn't know this at the time but given the time it had taken to get everywhere else I cancelled the last day in Marrakesh and added an extra night in Casablanca. The Kim Kim team did this effortlessly for us - thankyou it was the right thing to do.

Guides: The local guides in Fez *** , Quarzate *****, Marrakesh ****** Desert Experience ******
My only comment is that travellers need to understand the driver is not a tour guide as well sadly
and as a result we travelled a long way with no local commentary which would have been very nice. Nabil did his job so well and this comment is in no way a mark against him. He could not have done more.

The Experience would I do it again = Most definitely I could not recommend it more highly

Well done Kim Kim and Morocco Off the Beaten Track
Marion Patrick

Yassine Echcherki, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for such kind words Marion! It is truly our desire to make a trip valuable and an experience unforgettable, and I’m glad that we were able to do that for you. I will address the driving times for future travelers a little bit clearer, and I appreciate your feedback. I’m so happy that your experience in the desert was so wonderful, and even though there were so situations that none of us could control, I appreciate your flexibility with us as well. I surely hope to have you travel with us to Morocco again in the future!