“You learn better when at times you can relax your mind as well….” and that’s why we like to offer you a large range of activity options!
We offer activities to fit your plans; from one hour, full day to overnight excursions. Our social activities will give you opportunities to interact with your fellow travellers. The educational excursions provide occasions to learn about the specific products and historical sites that surround our locations and the adventurous excursions will give you an adrenaline rush!
Bird watching creates a great opportunity to do some exercise, be outdoors and breathe fresh air. It is not only a very relaxing activity, it also provides you with a private animal reality show and because you will be doing this with a local guide, you will be learning lots about the tropical forest and its inhabitants, not only about birds!
Visiting a Botanical garden is a relaxing activity that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty. You also will learn about the natural history of the country. You will see a large collection of plants and trees with their flowers, seeds and fruits as you have a peaceful stroll along laid out paths.
“Theobroma cacao”, also called cacao tree is a small tree native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America. Its seeds, the cacoa beans, are used to make cocoa mass, cocoa powder and chocolate. While cacao is no longer used as money, it plays a central role in cultures around the world today. Lot’s of people believe that chocolate is good for a happy and healthy life and global production of cocoa is climbing 2 percent each year!
Camping at “Gekui Pacuare River Camp” is at its best when it is part of a 2, 3 or 4 day rafting trip on the Pacuare. It can also be part of a hiking trip. Once at the campsite, you will live among the flora and fauna of this jungle paradise. You will sleep on elevated platforms that will put you in direct contact with the sights and sounds of the tropical rain forest. Candlelight family style dinners are a unique feature of your stay in our campsite.
Panama City’s Casco Viejo is a historic district of mansion-lined alleys connecting elegant colonial squares and historic buildings. It´s right now in the middle of a face-lift that will restore it completely to its former glory. Wandering along cobbled streets will take you back in time. Your guide will help you imagine what the city was like before the Panama Canal opened it up to the world!
The story of the grano de oro (golden bean) in Central America began in the 18th century and continues to this day. Coffee has played a pivotal role in the development of Costa Rica. It has shaped social, cultural and political institutions and is still one of country’s major agricultural exports. In Panama there are fewer areas that are favorable for coffee cultivation. However, in the area of Boquete (Panama), Geisha beans, one of the worlds best coffee beans, are cultivated and would be worth exploring!
Dinners, parties and going to the local bars and discos are a great way to get to know your fellow students, relax and have some fun. So don’t miss the get-togethers during the week and especially on the weekends! Panama City, Bocas del Toro and Puerto Viejo offer vibrant nightlife every day of the week. In Boquete and Turrialba it is generally more centered around the weekend.
At all schools, every Friday, we organize a potluck barbecue in which the school provides some drinks for all guests and all participants bring some food to share. Various international dishes are often sampled at these barbecues. It is a nice way to finish a week of studying Spanish, connect and celebrate!
Working out has many benefits, not only physical ones but also some related to improvement of your studies. It boosts brainpower (it increases levels of brain-derived protein in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking and learning). It also sharpens memory. With the availabilty of gyms nearby you can continue your workout routine while learning Spanish at our schools!
A healthy body is a happy body and one of the best ways to achieve this is to get plenty of exercise. Hiking is an economical way to increase your activity level, while offering plenty of health benefits. Hiking through a beautiful area in our unique locations can als calm your nerves and lift your spirits. Hiking with a group provides an excellent opportunity to learn about tropical ecosystems, socialize and exchange ideas with others!
Historical places create connections to our heritage that help us understand our past, appreciate our triumphs, and learn from our mistakes. Historic places help define and distinguish our communities by building a strong sense of identity and are are treasured by local people. As a tourist you should not miss these magical places and the intriguing stories that surround them!
Horseback riding in the past was the only way people travelled through the countryside. It´s a very special activity because not only is it enjoyable, fun and relaxing, but you also get an up-close view of the beautiful natural surroundings. While riding you can enjoy an abundance of flora and fauna. During a trip of a few hours you will establish a relationship with your horse and make you feel connected with nature!
Hot springs are formed by nature when ground water is heated by geothermal forces and brought to the surface, typically becoming diluted with cool surface water. However, the greatest pleasure comes not from the visual aspect at the spring, but from getting into the water for its therapeutic powers, not to mention that it feels really good and rejuvenates!
Once you get into dancing you realize what you have been missing .. you´ll remember you have a body, you have fun, it is cheap and you can meet interesting people. The hormone dopamine will be released and activate the learning centers of you brain .. so much needed to learn Spanish! You can learn salsa, merengue, bachata, cha-cha-cha and reggaeton. ¡A bailar!
What is a better way to study Spanish than learning all about the food, flavors and how to prepare tasty local dishes? Let’s combine the classroom with the kitchen and not only learn Spanish words for the ingredients and commands like ¡mezcla! but also prepare gallo pinto, arroz con pollo or bananas flambé and make sure you immerse yourself in the culinary culture of Costa Rica or Panama and enjoy some delicious food!
Mountain biking will keep you fit, make you breathe fresh air, get you to visit new places and make you become one with nature. Although a lot of roads maybe a bit steeper than you are accustomed to, you will be surprised how many trails we take you that you can easily do!
In Costa Rica & Panama a great deal of research is done in tropical agricultre, biodiversity and conservation, so you are in the right countries to learn about these topics. Furthermore, in Panama City there is a rich variety of museums where you can learn about the Panama Canal and the AfroAntillian Culture. The Gold and Jade museums are among several that can be found in San Jose, just a day trip away from Turrialba.
White Water Rafting or simply rafting, is a popular outdoor activity which makes use of an inflatable raft to navigate down a river. This sport is adventurous but not dangerous if you are under the supervision of an experienced guide. You will learn the use of safety equipment and the different skills and techniques that you will need to steer the raft properly and enjoy the ride. Rafting is a fun and exhilarating activity that you can only do in places with gradations, therefore Costa Rica & Panama are ideal places to experience the thrill of the river!
Kayaking in rivers and oceans is for anyone looking for an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors! In addition to being fun, easy and enjoyable, kayaking is also a great low-impact workout. You can combine it with going to the beach, fishing, camping, snorkeling or having a picnic next to the river or on the beach.
Getting to San Blas is like stepping into another world for a few days! The Guna Indians still live much the same way as their ancestors. They have their comarca within Panama, which means they have an autonomous territory governed by self rule. They make sure large scale tourism is not accepted. Pristine white sand beaches lined with palm trees, turquoise waters, stunning sun sets and a gorgeous underwater world make you want to stay there forever!
Scuba diving will give you see a window to a fascinating world seen only by a few. The underwater world is very peaceful and quiet so you can empty your mind and just let yourself be amazed. Scuba diving is not an extreme sport and the only skills you need are being able to swim and … breathe! Due to the unique nature of this sport, a specialized course is required to participate.
Sloths are originally from North America but now are only found in Central and South America. They hang onto branches while they feast on the leaves that other animals can’t reach. Walking on the ground is difficult for them, so they spend most of their time in the trees, eating and sleeping. The only times these mammals leave their tree is to use the bathroom and to take a swim (imagine .. they are excellent swimmers!!). The Sloth Sanctuary is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and research of sloths.
Much simpler than scuba diving, snorkeling is something you can do without much practice and it requires only minimal equipment. Also, you don’t need to be a strong swimmer to be able to see what’s underneath the surface! Something new is deep boarding. With your mask and snorkel on, you’ll be dragged along behind a speedboat on a rope, holding onto a clear plastic semi circle. By tilting the board up or down, you go under the surface or emerge from the water to take your next breath. Just another way to enjoy the underwater world!
Surfing is a highly addictive water sport and one of the most popular boardsports ever invented. There are over 20 million surfers in the world and the number is growing fast. Riding a wave is a breath taking experience that compels the surfer to forget about the daily struggles and reconnect with the present moment. The connection to the ocean and its elements, coupled with the mental, physical and often times spiritual aspects of the sport, lends itself naturally to healthy living. This, and the virtuous blend of salt, sand and sun have without a doubt a positive impact on the overall happiness of the surfer.
It’s so easy to be happy on the beach: beautiful views, the feel of the hot sun on you skin, a refreshing swim, an afternoon with friends. The beach is also a great place to truly unplug from your life because electronic screens don’t work that well in the sun! Costa Rica and Panama have stunning beaches on both the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts. Some are quiet with no facilities others are a bit more busy with small places to drink or eat.
A lot of us live in places where no volcanoes are found. Even though they can, at times, become active and erupt lava, we still would like to see one or even be walking on one! A volcano is active if it is erupting lava, releasing gas or generates seismic activity. A volcano is dormant if it has not erupted for a long time but could erupt again in the future. Once a volcano has been dormant for more than 10 000 years, it is termed extinct.
Sports that involve a bit of fear or excitement cause your body to release endorphins, dopamine and other neurotransmitters that are more powerful than lot’s of drugs! Climbing is a both a physical and mental challenge. The rock is like a puzzle that you solve through body movements and different techniques in order to reach the top. Try it and be ready to get hooked on climbing for life!
Few things in nature are as mesmerizing as a waterfall. The thunderous roar as water spills over cliffs and the light glistening off the spray is an example of sheer force. Costa Rica and Panama are countries where hundreds of cascading waterfalls can be found throughout the rainforest and mountainous areas. All great destinations for a day hike and a refreshing afternoon swim.
A wild animal rescue center is dedicated to rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals. Some wild animals are taken out of their natural habitat by humans in order to use them as pets or with the intention to save them. Once they are abandoned, wild animal rescue centers want to teach them and help them retain natural wild behaviors so they can be returned to their natural habitat. These centers are also great places for people to appreciate wild animals and become willing to participate in nature conservation and education.
Yoga is an ancient practice with origins stretching back thousands of years in India. It is designed to help achieve a more positive outlook on life and a focused, permanent sense of serenity and peace. Yoga is a fantastic workout. It gets you in touch with your body, improves your sleep, your posture, physical and mental strength. Well, you just have to start and find out for yourself how doing yoga can change your life!
Ziplining is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing and most thrilling adventure activities! Safely clipped in a harness, you glide from platform to platform by way of free-moving pulleys suspended on cables high above the ground. This is a unique and exhilarating experience!
Especially for students that want to travel, learn Spanish ánd visit 4 of our amazing locations!
Will Quaile, USA
Thanks for creating a great space in a beautiful place!
Patrick Busby, USA
The school and Avelina have been a pleasure. I hope to return someday and speak fluent Spanish. This has been a great experience for me. I have learned more than I expected too. I hope to return and continue my Spanish language education. Maribel and Avelina have been so helpful.
Lars Anderson, Sweden
Beautiful place and friendly people! thanks
Matias, Peter, Simon and Sören
Thank you so much for one of the most awesome weeks of our lives! We had so much fun and we are definitely coming back when we have learned how to dance salsa! Also thanks to Gaby, Tatiana and Adriana for teaching us Spanish; it means a lot! Hasta luego!
Martin y Ingrid fueron muy serviciales. Costa Rica es el país más hermoso que he visitado. Estoy emocionado de visitar los otros hostales y escuelas en Costa Rica y Panamá!
Otty y Antonio, Spanish
Estamos muy agradecidos por la estancia y la hospitabilidad que nos habeís ofrecido tanto en Bocas del Toro como en Turrialba. Spanish at Locations es sin lugar a dudas uno de los pocos lugares donde se siente uno en casa y en el paraíso!
Maria Elena, USA
I really enjoyed my stay over "Spanish by the River"it's the greatest location and school-hostel i ever say! Good people & good vibes. Loved the Rafting! Thank you all, Pura Vida!
Edortu y Xandra, Spain
Increíble y maravilloso la estancia; tanto Ingrid como sus hijos superamables. Nos dejó un gran recuerdo, nos sentimos como en casa desde el principio!
Loved it here: the staff, accommodations and views were spectacular. Thanks Fernando for the awesome breakfasts!
If you are looking for a good school to learn Spanish and have fun to discover some new places I can really recommend spanish@locations. Cozy hostels, fantastic outdoor classrooms, great teachers and people! Ingrid and her staff are amazing, I had a wonderful time in Turrialba and Puerto Viejo...for sure will come back!
Muchas gracias y Pura Vida!
Ross, New Zealand
Had a fantastic month learning Spanish at the schools in Bocas del Toro and Puerto Viejo. The teachers were brilliant, they were experienced and helped pair me up with those at a similar level. My Spanish is way way better now. There were also lots of free activities organised; bikes, kayaks, bbq, salsa, etc. Made our time there even better. Thanks a lot.
Pim, The Netherlands
I had an amazing time in Turrialba and Puerto Viejo. Both beautiful locations and great teachers. I really liked the interactive classes! Thank you all once again. Pura vida!
I will never forget this amazing experience and consider it to be one of the top experiences of my life. Staff and teachers were so accommodating and took excellent care of us. They are all very kind, interesting people who encouraged us to use our Spanish while there. Turrialba was special because I was able to do bird watching right there on the terrace while waiting for my class to start. Puerto Viejo had beautiful beaches and delicious restaurants!
Masha, The Netherlands
Ingrid, thank you so much for two very good weeks at Spanish By The Sea/ River. Good people and good vibes! I really liked the rafting trip in Turrialba (beautiful trip, campsite and good food!), of course the Spanish class and the locations . Pura Vida!
Have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. The Spanish lessons with Jackie were fantastic. I am really pleased with how much I have learnt even in such a short space of time. Ruby the manager has been wonderful and as friendly as can be! I would recommend this program to anyone!