Boquete, with its alluring Caldera river flowing through its center, is an idyllic small town nestled in the Chiriqui highlands with a tropical but cooler climate.
Boquete is famous for high quality coffee production. In the surrounding area you find immense tropical forests, waterfalls, running rivers, hotsprings and natural rock formations. The Baru volcano, with an elevation of almost 3.500 meters, is the highest point in the country. A true paradise for active eco-tourists that also want to learn Spanish!
Relaxing in lush green surroundings
Spanish by the River – Boquete, one of our three schools in Panama, is located in the Chiriquí Highlands. In 2005, the school was founded in “Alto Boquete,” 5 minutes before downtown. You can relax in the garden or in the hammocks while studying or catching a sunset over Volcán Baru. In town you can find all the amenities necessary: hotels, apartments, supermarkets, organic foods, coffee shops, gyms, yoga classes, spas and massages, discos and dive bars. Boquete is recently becoming famous for its live music and funky venues.
The School & Hostel has accommodations for 10 guests. There are 3 teaching stations and and an office with two computers for student use. Wifi can be found in the office, the hostel as well as all the surroundings.
Who likes to study at Spanish by the River – Boquete?
Nature lovers, ecotourists, mountain folk, wanderers, extreme sports enthusiasts and the serious student will love Boquete for the relaxing learning environment and the rich outdoor culture of the town.
So why Boquete?
- Breathtaking mountains, stunning rainforests and amazing cloud forests.
- Small, safe, beautiful and inexpensive town with very friendly people.
- Tons of options for ecotourism to combine relax, adventure and learning.
- Best place to learn, tour, and sample world renowned coffee.
- World class hotels and restaurants.
All options for this location
It can easily happen that our own hostel is full or that you prefer to stay in Bajo Boquete instead of Alto Boquete where we are located. It can also be that you prefer something different, more private or with more luxury.
For this reason we have selected the best options in the area for you in the three categories: budget, middle-class or luxury.
A homestay is an essential part of an immersion Spanish course; only by mixing with the local people and having to speak the Spanish language you are going to do it and learn it naturally!
Maybe you are a bit hesitant but you need to know that our families are used to receving foreigners like you in their homes and making them feel comfortable even if you don’t speak Spanish. They will be able to communicate with you!
The hostel that forms part of Spanish by the River – Boquete in Alto Boquete is the perfect little retreat to live, study and space to return to after exploring the multitude of outdoor activities of the area.
Our backyard garden, fully equipped communal kitchen, open and welcoming environment and a maximum of ten guests at a time, all help to create a comfortable, relaxed and peaceful place to call home while in Boquete.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Make the most of your time in Boquete by helping the dogs and the two persons that run this rescue center
Besides working on your (related) Spanish skills, you will also be helping a local initiative to rescue dogs that have been mistreated or abandoned. Taking them to the monthly clinic is also part of the work. This project is perfect for people that maybe don’t have too much time since 1 day dedication is already highly appreciated.
Volunteering in a rescue center for wild animals provides an opportunity to learn about wildlife!
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. The rescue center takes care of the rehabilitation and reintroduction of these wild animals into nature! Most animals stay for a limited amount of time, until they are ready to return to the wild. Others will not be able to go back to the wild due to their poor physical condition. The center makes sure they have a comfortable and happy life!
Doing volunteer work with indigenous people opens your eyes to a different world!
In Costa Rica, indigenous people make up 1.7 % of the total population. In Panama, they make up between 5 and 8 % of the total population. Official discrimination does not exist in these countries, however education, health care and land property are sectors where they are still less favored. These are areas where volunteers can provide needed benefits.
Working as a volunteer in a medical clinic is beneficial for both you and the community!
It will not only help you build your medical Spanish skills, but also give you valuable insight into the unique healthcare challenges facing Costa Rica and Panama. You will build connections with healthcare professionals in these countries. Observing doctors working, taking vital signs and joining doctor meetings are just some of the activities that you might get involved in.
Orphans, street kids, and other at-risk children in Costa Rica and Panama are in need of love, care, and support!
There are many organizations that provide shelter for these children for short or long periods. We are allowed to provide volunteers in some of these shelters. Homework assistance, organizing sports, arts and crafts and teaching English are tasks that volunteers can undertake.
Helping adults with a challenge can be an educational and rewarding activity!
Besides working on your (related) Spanish skills, you will also gain valuable insight into the unique healthcare and educational challenges facing Costa Rica and Panama. Furthermore you will also build connections with local professionals and work on improving your résumé.
Speech therapy, special education, social work, physical/exercise therapy and physical education are valuable skills for the local providers.
Spanish speaking people often have a basic grasp of English grammar, but you can help them improve their pronunciation skills!
By providing conversational English classes you can greatly enhance the learning experience and the future prospects of thousands of children and adults. As you assist with the local curriculum, your students will enjoy learning about you and your culture. You will have the option to volunteer in a school setting or in some other community initiative.
Wow! Learn Spanish & enjoy nature in Panama which this package.
Best places and activities of Boquete (mountains) and Bocas del Toro (island) are included. At both locations you can add other activities for an extra cost or volunteer work. You can also arrive before or stay afterwards, paying $12 per night for a shared room at our hostel.
Combine Learning Spanish with your passion for birdwatching!
Wether you like to walk and chat or to search for that one special bird, we´ll make birdwatching a personal experience for you. Your specific interests are important to us. Two afternoon hikes with a specialized guide is included.
Combine Learning Spanish with your passion for hiking!
Learning Spanish and going on relaxing hikes make the perfect combination for a stress-free, educational experience. You can dedicate part of the day to learn Spanish and the other part to participate in two half day hikes in the surroundings of our fascinating locations.
Combine Learning Spanish with your passion for rock climbing!
Climbing is very much 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. Rock climbing is an extreme sport that involves gymnastic maneuvers using the body’s energy in the most efficient way. Two afternoons of climbing are included in this attractive package.
Combine Learning Spanish with your passion for whitewater rafting!
You’ll enjoy one full and one half day of whitewater rafting on two different rivers in the surroundings of our location. Of course we take your rafting experience into account to make sure you have a safe, enjoyable and memorable river journey!
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!