Learn Spanish in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Video and Photos

Down the road from school
Down the road from school
Graduation day
Graduation day
Bluff Beach
students in Panama
students in Panama

About

Bocas del Toro is a funky, laid back archipelago, dotted with pristine islands of white sand beaches, coconut trees and crystal clear turquoise waters. Bocas attracts off the beaten path travelers in search of uncrowded beaches, first class surfing and scuba diving, a chilled and authentic nightlife, and endless opportunities of wildlife encounters both on land and under the Caribbean Sea.

Habla Ya Bocas del Toro holds accreditation from the Instituto Cervantes as well as being an Official DELE Examination Center, and is one of the most and best reviewed immersion programs in Central America, offering you everything from Group to Private Lessons, Medical Spanish or Spanish for Teachers.

Improve your Spanish, explore stunning beaches and make friends from all over the world. Habla Ya will take care of every single detail, setting you up in the most suitable accommodation according to your budget, as well as offering you loads of eco-adventure and volunteering opportunity.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 57 reviews
  • Instruction 9.6
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 8.8
  • Value 9
  • Academics 8
  • Support 8
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 57
Daneilia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent blend of adventure & study

​I took classes in all 3 Habla Ya locations and they were all excellent! Boquete however is the perfect blend of adventure and focused study. Kimberly is an EXCELLENT teacher, patient and consistent in reinforcing new and repeat concepts. I highly recommend any branch of Habla Ya, but Boquete was by far my favorite.​

The best part of Boquete is the balanced lifestyle of adventure and relaxation. There are many locals, alot of retirees and a good number of adventure-seekers without it feeling overwhelming. My best advice is to do the scenic tour on arrival - you get to see so much in 2 hours and it really gives you a good understanding of what all there is to do!

If you're there for a few days or more definitely do white water rafting, horseback riding, hiking, a coffee tour, try fresas con crema (yum) and visit Bambuda castle for sure!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My best advice is to do the scenic tour on arrival - you get to see so much in 2 hours and it really gives you a good understanding of what all there is to do!

If you're there for a few days or more definitely do white water rafting, horseback riding, hiking, a coffee tour, try fresas con crema (yum) and visit Bambuda castle for sure!
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Rae
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Experience

I had a wonderful experience learning Spanish with Habla Ya in Bocas del Toro! It was a great way to get a feel for local life since I still worked a full 8 hours a day and then studied for an hour every day after work. I stayed with a host family who was absolutely wonderful, made absolutely delicious food, and they were also incredibly patient while I learned. I arrived in Bocas without speaking any Spanish and by the end of my 6 weeks, my teacher Iraida was explaining the upcoming election and Panamanian politics to me while we only spoke Spanish. Needless to say, my understanding of the language has grown immensely. So thanks Iraida and Habla Ya!

Bocas del Toro is also s a wonderful place for all around fun. If you love the beach you'll love Bocas. It has incredible beaches and amazing diving. If you like adventure and want to learn Spanish, you should definitely spend some time in Bocas. :)

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I think I would stay for longer and I would try to avoid working. There's so much the area has to offer and I wish I could have dedicated more time to explore it.
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Sandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly recommended

Highly recommended language school! I studied several weeks at HablaYa at lovely Bocas del Toro and had a very great time! The school is well organized and they are offering various opportunities how to study spanish! The students are at every age and from all over the world. I decided to book a group class and I met many lovely people during my weeks. The staff & teachers (Lineth, Benita, Sergio ... ) are just incredible, very helpful, lovely and extremely nice and unique persons. They are not just teachers, they are your "friends and family"! Everybody is trying to give the best, to make your stay far away from home and the learning experience, easy and unforgettable! I felt very safe and very quick "at Home"! They are even organizing many activities "outside" the classroom and studying hours, which was always fun and a very good opportunity to catch up with them and all the other students (like Yoga, Volleyball, Movie Nights, Dinners, Tours around the beautiful island, Bonfire at the beach and many more things)! My special thanks goes to my lovely, wonderful and amazing teacher LINETH! She was always there for me and helped me so much to improve my spanish! She made me feel so secure and welcome from the very first minute. Her teaching style is a perfect mixture of: the basics with all the grammar, talking, playing funny games, laughing and telling very interesting stories about Panama, the culture and the peoples life! She even invited us to her hometown and her family, which was a great experience! I am proud to say, we are very good friends now and I am sure we will see us again, one time! Muchas gracias y hasta luego to my "Chi´s Lineth & Benita" and everybody else! Sandra

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Ken
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya Boquete March, 2019

I wanted to take a few minutes to compose a review of my experience in Boquete Panama and in particular, speak about Habla Ya, a world class Spanish immersion school that I keep returning to there.

Firstly, I’m a 63 year old Canadian and have lived in the U.S. for the last 28 years. During my formative years in Canada I had little interest in learning a second language and regrettably, while French was an option in the Canadian curriculum, taking it was not mandatory. After my relocation to the U.S. in 1991, I soon learned what a benefit it would be to learn another language. As almost half of the population of Phoenix and San Diego where I divide my time, are Spanish speaking, Spanish had to be my defacto choice.

Unfortunately, as an entrepreneur, my 30’s, 40’s and 50’s were dedicated to building my businesses and this left little time for anything, much less learning a second language. Secretly, during these 3 decades, I had a burning desire to learn the language and during the many trips my wife and I had taken to Mexico, I watched, listened and envied every non-native communicating in Spanish.

Now, fortunately I have an abundance of time and have diligently spent the last 3 years learning the language poco a poco! We’ve all heard metaphor, “slow and steady wins the race” and this is no more applicable than undertaking the exercise of learning another language. I’m completely dedicated and though I may be a little slower than the 20 somethings, I will achieve a level of mastery over this language. I can tell anyone who may be contemplating learning another language, the decision is not to be taken lightly. It’s grueling, frustrating and time consuming! So, why do it? Learning the language is no different than building blocks; you simply keep building on that which you’ve already learned. I’m by no means proficient but there’s very little that I can’t communicate to someone in a Spanish only speaking country. And this folks, is what keeps me going!

Now, to the school. I just completed my third trip to Habla Ya in Panama and each time keeps getting better. The first 3-week segment was in Bocas Del Toro, a quaint little beach town frequented by young and old from all over the world. The last 2 visits were to Boquete, a location I prefer due to its’ cooler climate, beautiful scenery and incredibly reasonable prices. Leidys was my profesora for levels A2 & B1 in Boquete. Leidys has been with the school for 10-years and I’ve found her to be excellent in her ability to teach new concepts and patient enough when certain concepts need to be re-explained. I’d recommend her highly!

The school is completely professional in every respect and there’s little wonder in my mind as to why they’ve earned their very favorable ratings year after year. From trying to accommodate the smallest request to meticulously organizing fun outings for the students, these people do it all!

YOU - QUIT PROCRASTINATING AND START LEARNING!

Sent from my iPad

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Raffaela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spanishcourse with Leidys in Habla Ya Boquete

We just had one week private Spanish lessons with Leidys and it was really great! Me and my boyfriend are having different Spanish levels and she managed that perfectly. She explained everything in Spanish though we could follow even with limited Spanish knowledge. She was a very helpful, enthusiastic and motivating teacher and we really had fun learning Spanish with her. The course was organized really good and we got great learning materials. In general the whole organization of Habla Ya was really great. Futhermore we enjoyed being in Boquete, as it is a very beautiful little town with an amazing landscape!

Raffaela and Lukas
We would higly recommend this language school to all people how want to everyone who would like to raise his spanish skills

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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

4 month Spanish classes in Bocas Del Toro, Panama

I started my time at Habla Ya with knowing almost no spanish and by the time I left four month later I was able to have conversations in spanish. Im really thankful for my time in Bocas del Toro, the environment is wonderful, the people are friendly and I love the culture and the ”no stress”-vibe. I’m especially grateful for my teacher Iraida Howard who is a great teacher with a lot of patience (which is helpful when you struggle with verbs, conjugations and thousands of palabras ;)), she’s also responsive to what you might need extra support with and her positivity and humor make the lessons fun and educational.
Muchas gracias por todo Habla Ya y mi profesora Iraida. Extraño Panama ya! Espero que pueda volver algún dia!

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Tabitha
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

sucessfull development of Travel language skills

I just finished 4 1/2 unplaned weeks of language school in Bocas. I got in, in the middle of the week and just could attend a on going class. In my second week i could switch to private classes in the afternoon. So many thanks to the frontdesk for the flexibility. With Lineth i got an amazing teacher who was always adapting properly to my language level in speaking und boosting it in such a short time to a new level! So I got really into spanish and got joy of using it, what made me take 3 weeks more of private lessons with Lineth. By arriving i couldn‘t even build one proper sentence, now am able to have a real conversation.

First i really would have prefered to take private classes in the morning, whats not possible, as the teachers have regular classes in the morning. but with classes from 3-5 you still have time to do something in the morning or learning a bit on your own. Some people take 4 hours of private classes per day-> for me 2 hours per day where perfect as its more intens (2 classes private are equal to 4 hours in a regular class)

ps. i cant t rate the housing as i did organise it on my own.

Jason
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great place to learn or improve your Spanish

A great place to learn Spanish. I initially only signed up for 1 week but added a second week because I was really enjoying it and learning a lot. Benita is an amazing and patient teacher who knows her stuff. Expensive but worth the money.

Bocas itself didn't have as great and as convenient beaches as I was expecting but it was still a really cool spot. Mamallenas was a nice hostel with an amazing back deck that you can swim from.

Now I just need to keep practicing to make sure I don't lose what I have learned. So far I have found it a lot easier to get around Central America with my improved Spanish.

And now I'm just rambling to get my characters up to 750. Not sure why they need so many characters to write a simple review. Need 6 more, there we go.

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Mark
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

My family and I spent two weeks at the Habla Ya Bocas del Toro campus. Our experience was great. My teacher Benita was outstanding. She did a great job of push us forward at a pace that kept things moving. She was always happy to change gears to meet our individual learning needs. This was my first time taking a Spanish class and my Spanish grammar improved significantly. It was a great experience.

My daughters (10 and 6) had classes with Yessica who was absolutely great

The town was beautiful and felt very safe. Important, traveling with a young family. We did a homestay with Romaldo and Viodelda who were lovely! They made an effort to help us practice our Spanish, and the food was incredible. It was a highlight of our trip! We would definitely recommend this experience!

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Mark
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

My family and I spent two weeks at the Habla Ya Boquete campus. Our experience was great. My teachers Alex and Leydis were outstanding. They were attentive and tailored the content to my learning needs. This was my first experience taking Spanish classes and I feel much more confident speaking now!

My daughters (10 and 6) had classes with Erian who was absolutely incredible - the girls were excited to be there, worked hard for the entire 4 hour class and picked up a ton of Spanish.

The town was beautiful and felt very safe. Important, traveling with a young family. We stayed nearby at the Isla Verde which was beautiful. The town is lovely with orange trees everywhere. Pretty much everything was walkable which was great too. It was overall a great experience and I would absolutely go back again.

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C
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

4 weeks in Bocas and Boquete

The highlights of this school are their dedicated teachers. Partly they did much more than necessary: Alex of Boquete introduced me e.g. to his family and friends and we spent a wonderful weekend together which enabled me to get an insight into local family life.
I also stayed with host families and had the chance to see a couple of different host families (because I changed locations and also through other students). All of them were dedicated and warm hearted, however, the standard (also the level of conversation, if you are an advanced Spanish speaker) differs. Some families really live in very basic conditions others not. If you are not satisfied, it might be worth to ask for a change. The difference between what a student pays (for accommodation at host families or classes) and what the families and teachers receive seems quite unfair, even when you take into account that the school has expenses for renting the location etc. and I can compare it to other schools that I have been to.
However, I would come again because the dedication of teachers and other staff as well as the warm hearted reception by the host families (in spite of the little money that they receive by the schools) was outstanding.

Martina
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time at habla ya with lineth

I studied at habla ya for 3 weeks and I had Lineth as my teacher. I was very happy that I could study with her for the whole free weeks. Lineth is a very great teacher. I learned a lot during the 3 weeks and the lessons never got boring with her. She doesn't just use the book during class, we also did a lot of talking, played games and so on. Like that i could improve my spanish a lot. It was also great that there were not many other people in my class, for 2 weeks we were 2 and one week I was alone. I would definitely love to go back to habla ya to study with Lineth!
I also liked Boca del Toro. There are many nice beaches to go to and very good restaurants which are quite cheap. Unfortunately, it has been raining a lot when I was there but I still had a great time.

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T
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya Spanish with Iraida!!!

A friend and I took a course with Iraida. It was excellent, and it moved at the perfect pace for my current level of Spanish. Iraida and all the staff were very accommodating, knowledgeable and friendly. I recommend taking one of their courses if you are ever in Bocas!!! We took a B2 Level series and worked on all of the tenses at one point or another. We focused on the last 7-8 tenses and worked on the subjunctive. It is empowering to have knowledge of all the tenses and to have the ability to use new lesser used terms (some local) for day to day activities. Iraida was very flexible, particularly when we had to miss a lesson. We were allowed to reschedule to make up the time we missed. If you come to Bocas, taking a course here is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the culture here. You will be able to immediately apply what you learn in the class when you leave the campus. ---------------------------------

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Christoph
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Una Buen Tiempo

I visited the Language School Hablaya four weeks in August 2018 and absolved a part of A2 and the full part of B1.

I had three weeks classes with Iraida and one week with Jessica.

Both are very patient and helpful when you have Problems with a theme.

The atmosphere in Class was really nice and it was a joy to learn.

The Classes are really various , its funny to play Scrabble in Spanish but also to read specific texts about various themes.

The Freetime was also nice I got to know the different Isles, did some Fiestas and tried new sports like Yoga.

The excursions were also nice like the Grave Tour were you could saw many bats or the visit of the Smithsonian Tropical Center.

I can recommend the language school to build or to improve your language Skills and Bocas is a beautiful place therefor.

Stephan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Learn spanish in panama

I had a great time in Bocas at habla Ya with teachers who really care about you. My teacher in group class was Yesika in the first 2 weeks and Iraida in my other 2 weeks and Benita in privat class. If you want to enhance your spanish skills or you just want to learn a new language I highly recommend to go there. Class is usualy in the mornings, which is really nice, because you have a lot of time to explore the island(s) afterwards.

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

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About Habla Ya Spanish Schools

Learn Spanish by the Caribbean Sea, in the cloud forest, in Latin America's most cosmopolitan city, or at the three of them! With locations in Panama's most exciting destinations by the beach (Bocas del Toro), in the mountains (Boquete), and in...