Oct 10

10 best destinations to learn Spanish in Latin America



There is an old saying that the only way to truly learn a language is to speak it. This may sound obvious, but there is wisdom behind the idea. Learning a language is more that memorizing grammar rules, it is actually to become fully immersed in the traditions and the culture of the people who speak such a language as their mother tongue.

There are many things that one cannot grasp until being on the ground, interacting with people and  being exposed to real life situations. Spanish is one of the most spoken languages of the world and many want to learn to speak it because they need it in their jobs or as part of their curriculum or simply because speaking such a language opens new frontiers. It is not only about the classes, it is actually traveling that allows one to enter into full contact with people and their customs.


Surviving in a language can be fun when put into the right environment. With summer just a few weeks away students are again pondering which programs and where might serve them best. So we find it relevant to present here ten amazing destinations in Latin America for the purpose of fruitful language study. Besides being beautiful places, with amazing nature and very rich in history they offer a lot of advantages such as a good tradition of Spanish schools, friendly people, a great cultural heritage or they are truly affordable.


Antigua, Guatemala


Thousands of foreigners arrive each year not only to visit this beautiful colonial town but to spend here weeks or months learning Spanish in one of the many schools with already years of tradition. Antigua is an ideal destination to study the language. Guatemala is affordable and Antigua is an impressive colonial town with unparalleled history, very friendly people and astonishing natural surroundings. Two very good schools there are Antiguena Spanish Academy and Don Pedro de Alvarado Spanish school.


Montevideo, Uruguay


Uruguay is a small country with one of the highest standards  of life in Latin America. Montevideo is a small capital where locals know what is good. They value culture, culinary traditions and friendship. Montevideo is a good place to learn Spanish in a relaxed ambiance, knowing that every weekend there are many beautiful destinations to explore from Punta del Este, to the close city of Buenos Aires to the Colonial villages scattered around the country. University ORT offers a special program for college students who have completed six semesters of spanish and now want to perfect their grasp of the language. A good private school is La Herradura that as a plus offers volunteer programs.


Buenos Aires, Argentina


A city with so much to see. Some of the most friendly people, a real cosmopolitan capital, in a country with endless travel opportunities. It does not matter if you speak Spanish or not, but after minutes locals will see you as another porteño (some one from Buenos Aires) chances are that one will go back home not only speaking Spanish but playing soccer in a respectable level and dancing a good tango. Two excellent programs in Buenos Aires are run by COINED (Comision de intercambio educativo) and ILEE (Instituto de lengua Espanola para extranjeros).


Cuzco, Peru


Get ready for high altitude. This is a big city located in the heart of the Andes. A beautiful colonial pearl. It is not far from Macchu Picchu and many other Inca Ruins. Cuzco is witness to an impressive colonial past, and this is seen in its buildings and traditions. It is not hard to find in Cuzco excellent Spanish schools and certainly one will want to spend months here to explore all the richness of this ancient city. Proyecto Peru offers affordable Spanish courses along with volunteer opportunities, Enforex is another Spanish school offering very attractive programs in Cuzco.


Puebla, Mexico


Many Americans go to Mexico to learn Spanish. Since Mexicans are the majority of Spanish speaking immigrants to the USA it makes sense to try to learn their culture and traditions as well. Puebla is an impressive colonial city in a relatively safe environment with a strong tradition of Spanish language schools. Puebla is one of the most visited cities because of its impressive colonial patrimony and because it is located close to Mexico City. Two of the best Spanish programs are run by the Spanish Institute of Puebla (located in the historic center) and Livit Immersion Center.


Santiago, Chile


Chile is a beautiful country. Santiago is a capital that offers tremendous diversity. One can go from the beach to ski in the mountains in 40 minutes. Summer in the Northern hemisphere brings the opportunity to practice winter sports in Chile. There are good Spanish schools in Santiago and many others in Valparaiso. Chile may not be the most affordable destination in Latin America but it is certainly one that delivers amazing experiences to the visitor. Coined and Escuela Bellavista offer some of the most recommended Spanish immersion programs in Santiago.


San Juan, Puerto Rico


An idyllic Caribbean destination. An easy move for Americans who do not have to even cross border controls to arrive to this island paradise. There are many great schools of Spanish in a city with incredible history, excellent tourist infrastructure, great local traditions and infinite options for enjoyment. The Uniersity of Puerto Rico offers winter and summer programs open to all (minimum age 16), Isla is a well known private program.


Medellin, Colombia


A city that has undergone an amazing change, it is now one of the most beautiful metropolis of the Americas. Locals are charming and the city is really beautiful. More and more international visitors arrive here every year to learn Spanish in a very nice setting. Colombia is an affordable destination and Medellin itself is surrounded by many beautiful towns and villages where one is able to interact with the real local customs and I can assure you will not find there many people who speak English, so Spanish will be the only way to go. EAFIT is a very prestigious private university that offers excellent programs, another well recommended private school is Medellin Language Academy.


Costa Rica


A beautiful tropical paradise. It seems everybody wants to go to Costa Rica but it is not only for vacation, but to study Spanish. It is a safe place, with very friendly people always ready to interact. Costa Ricans are patient and always willing to start  a conversation with visitors. There are many Spanish schools especially in the area of Heredia and La Fortuna de San Carlos. Academia Tica is located in Coronado (close to San Jose) it is an internationally accredited institution with years of experience, there are  as well excellent Spanish programs by the University of Costa Rica.





We are a group of avid and discerning travelers enjoying real life trips, quests and adventures. This is the place to come for everything one needs to know before traveling. Our website delivers a vast range of practical information related to traveling including travel tips, suggested itineraries and overall, practical travel knowledge.


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  1. spanish lessons in barcelona

    I never planned to do a spanish course in Latin America because my sister recommended a school in Barcelona (Spain) and I decided to go there. It was a very great experience. But I think South America has to be a great place to study the language too.

    1. Yes, There are very good spanish schools in Spain. Actually many people really enjoy their experience in this country combined with the rich culture and the historical heritage of Spain.

      1. Alice

        I’m from Europe and therefore prefer a different continent. I went to Medellin Colombia to learn Spanish and I can’t recommend it enough. Latin America is completely different from Spain in culture, history, and how the language is spoken. It also helped that I studied at an immersion school (the one I went to is called Colombia Immersion), where I got to go on tours to get to know the area and got to go to events that helped me make friends with local people from Medellin.

        1. voyageur

          Glad you had such a great experience to share Alice.

          We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

  2. Christine

    Nice article. I have just one criticism. The author said that Mexicans are the main “Spanish” immigrants to the United States. It would be correct to day that they are the main Spanish speaking immigrants however , as they are not from SPAIN, rather Mexico, we cannot correctly call then “Spanish”.

    1. Dear Christine you are right. Thanks for visiting our page and thanks for the correction!

  3. Martha Oña

    Happy new year!
    This year is perfect to visit Ecuador, this was recommended by CNN in 2014.
    “A place to learn and have fun”.


  4. Abin

    Nice article. Would have been better if the author recommended some universities where they provide Spanish lessons to foreigners.

    1. We will try do that when we will be focussing in the different countries. Thanks for your suggestion!

  5. pierre pasquale

    Hi All

    I am looking to spend 1 or 2 months in spain or latin america to learn spanish.
    Please note that I am black. I have been to Spain on a few occasions or for very short stays (long weekends) and must say I had some funny “vibes”. My Spanish friends here in London all admit that Spain is racist so 1 or 2 months there? No thanks.

    Questions: which LatAm country is black-friendly and has good universities to learn Spanish?

    Ideally, black-friendly, not too expensive, few foreigners (I really want to learn Spanish so don’t want to speak any English while there). and good looking ladies 🙂


    1. Hello Pierre,

      The programs we mentioned here are professional learning environments where race, religion and all forms of identity are respected. It is our experience that one can find racism in any country, so it is not possible for us to point out one country being more divisive than another. We simply recommend to attend a program that fits your interest best and surround yourself with those who respect you in any given place.


  6. Proyecto Peru Centre

    Nice article and thanks a lot for mentioning us in the Cuzco part!
    Proyecto Peru

    1. Proyecto Peru,

      Thanks for reading, glad you liked it!

  7. James

    I studied Spanish in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Guatemala is one of the cheapest countries to learn Spanish but at the same time offers professional schools. Quetzaltenango is the second city of Guatemala where few people speak English, here you have to speak Spanish. A school I can recommend is Sol Latino. It’s a professional organisation that offers affordable private classes. Not only did I learn Spanish but my teacher also taught me a lot about their culture.

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      We have been in Quetzaltenango, it is indeed a very nice city and a wonderful place to study spanish.

  8. Nico

    Guys, you really missed QUITO – ECUADOR from the list…
    one with the most neutral accents, quiet, and cheaper than many others…

    lots of people coming directly to Quito for travelling southamerica.. seen by my own eyes.

    1. Hi Nico,

      We appreciate your recommendation. Our articles and comments are meant to create an atmosphere of intelligent discussion and exchange, so thanks for sharing your insights.

  9. isabel

    could some let me know what countries were mentioned. i can’t seem to view the list.

    i’m canadian and looking to learn spanish somewhere sunny next summer for about two months. some place with a lot of unique culture and a versatile/ generic version of spanish that can be used anywhere in the world (so not argentina).

    1. voyageur


      Actually the list was not showing with the slides, thanks for calling our attention to that. In regards to your question there are many diverse places to study Spanish and yes some have a more neutral accent than others. Guatemala and Costa Rica are beautiful tropical places that have neutral accents. Nicaragua is a fascinating emerging destination that may be more affordable as is Bolivia and Ecuador. Colombia is a very fun place where you will find more localized accent and expressions but great schools.

      We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

    2. luca

      hi isabel.
      i was travelling for more than a year in south america and ecuador-peru are probably the most neutral spanish spaking countries. if you have a couple of dollars more to spend i would suggest to go to the galaagos islands…there s a new school called galapagosla. if you wanna stay cheap then safe than go to peru or bolivia

  10. shawnjreed@gmail.com

    I am fluent in Spanish from having lived for over three years in Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Argentina. Personally, my favorite place in the world may be Ecuador. It is a beautiful and diverse country with friendly people and in the Andes mountains (not so much the coast) their Spanish is slow and easy to understand. I recommend everyone go there to study Spanish. I think Mexico has a very interesting culture, but in my opinion their accents are very ugly. Honduras is a beautiful but now dangerous country (I lived there 11 years ago when the drug cartels weren’t so into burying people they don’t like alive). I love Paraguay because of their very interesting culture and history. The country itself has very little to offer in regards to tourism, but the people are friendly and speak an indigenous language called Guarani (90% of the population is bilingual in Guarani and Spanish). I actually would like to return to Paraguay to continue learning Guarani. Now Argentina, the country I have lived in for the most time. Their Spanish in my opinion is beautiful. I found the people arrogant and too European. Still, learning their slang and trying to imitate what to me, especially the accent of Buenos Aires, is a funny and super animated accent was a lot of fun. And since their economy has crashed (again), Argentina is now cheap to live in.

    1. voyageur

      Thanks for sharing Shawn

      We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

  11. Cecilia Guerrero

    You are all invited to try our Online Spanish Lessons. Our Spanish Tutors most frequently use Skype for the Spanish lessons. Our schedule is very flexible for lesson days and times, and we will work around your availability. We offer FREE Spanish trial lesson. If you are interested in, or need further clarification, please contact us. Thank you very much for your interest in learning Spanish and I hope we get the opportunity to be your Spanish tutor in the future to help accomplish your goals.

    1. voyageur

      Thanks for sharing your info Cecilia

      We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

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