Learning spanish in Costa Rica is a nice cultural activity and immersion is the best way to learn a lot in a short amount of time. Whether you decide to go to the beach, city, volcano or the rainforest there's always a good Spanish school in Costa Rica where you can have fun and live a unique experience.

An added bonus about learning Spanish while traveling is that the school can provide a lot of information and services regarding your travel options around the country.  Also, most of the schools offer homestay, internships and volunteering programs. Some even offer academic credits through U.S Universities.

Spanish accent from Costa Rica has been named "extremely pleasing to the ear" in a recent interview to the Director of the most prestigious institution for Spanish in the world.

Choosing a school can be a bit confusing given the amount of options available. It's important to take these issues into account:

 

  • Types of programs offered
  • Accreditations and experience
  • The type of setting you're looking for
  • The type of accommodation you're looking for
  • Prices (be sure to ask for discounts since many schools offer these)

 

Here are a few recommendations by type of location and in alphabetical order:

City/town setting: 

  1. Academia Tica Spanish School  - (in Coronado, San José) - Instituto Cervantes Accredited Center & DELE Exam Center. May be combined with travel, volunteering and internships. Courses include cultural activites and excursions. Contact email: info@academiatica.com
  2. CEIZA (In Heredia) A family-run Spanish language school in beautiful downtown Heredia, offering small group classes, private tutoring, airport pick-up, excursions and homestays. 
  3. Centro Panamericano de Idiomas - (in San Joaquín de Flores) - Instituto Cervantes Accredited Center & DELE Exam Center
  4. Conversa - Spanish immersion programs, on-campus and host family lodging options (in San José)
  5. Costa Rican Language Academy (in San Pedro, San José)
  6. ELEC Spanish School - (in San Isidro, Heredia) Costa Rican enterprise based on teaching Spanish language to foreigners in a simple, original and entertained way. 
  7. ILISA Spanish Language School (in San Pedro, San José)  Offers intensive Spanish language training for motivated adults by well-trained and experienced teachers in first-class facilities at a great location in beautiful and friendly Costa Rica.
  8. Intercultura Language School - (in Heredia)
  9. Instituto Chac-Mool Spanish School (in Turrialba) - Spanish immersion programs for adults and children, new classes of all levels begin each Monday. Homestays, excursions, and free tutoring sessions.
  10. Instituto Estelar Bilingue (in Liberia) - includes extracurricular cultural activities (dance, music, cooking, etc.), volunteer opportunities, bilingual trips, and the option to stay with a local family! info@estelarcr.com
  11. Intensa -(in San José) offer courses for kids, teenagers and adults. There are also business programs taught in companies, individual lessons, conversation clubs and Spanish courses for foreigners. info@intensa.com
  12. IPED Language Plus - (in Heredia) Premier Spanish immersion school in Costa Rica with small-sized programs for all levels while offering homestay and excursion options.
  13. ISLS Spanish Institute - (San Pedro, Heredia and Turrialba)
  14. Morpho Spanish School - (In Orosi/Cartago) Located in the beautiful Orosi Valley (ca. 1,5 h busride from San Jose), this school's speciality are intensive, small classes  (max 3 persons) with an English speaking teacher having more than 10 years of experience teaching Spanish; Homestays with local families and long-term rental options are available. Contact for your personal offer: morphospanish@gmail.com
  15. Personalized Spanish (In Tres Rios, San José).  Well rounded program that takes in consideration students' Spanish level, personal interests and learning style, at the same time that students are involved in the local culture through fun and free cultural activities. Small-size classes (1-3 people). Beautiful homestay accommodation/ privacy.  The school also offers weekend travel arrangement.
  16. Rancho de Español Language School  (La Guácima,  Alajuela) Spanish immersion programs for all levels focusing on conversation, homestay programs, typical cooking & latino dancing classes, customized tours and exciting itineraries to Costa Rica top destinations.
  17. SFL Program at UCR - (In San Pedro, San José)
  18. Spanish Abroad (Santo Domingo de Heredia) 
  19. Spanish School for Residents and Foreign Students (Escazú, San José) Many Students have improved their experience of life after speaking Spanish !! Short and Long terms Spanish Programs
  20. Universal de Idiomas - (in San José, downtown) Spanish immersion programs for all levels, offers you a warm and friendly atmosphere, which makes learning very easy. At the school you get to know people from all over the world and the school's host families will show you the culture and society of the country

On the Beach:

  1. Academia Tica Spanish School -  (in Jacó Beach) - Instituto Cervantes Accredited Center & DELE Exam Center. May be combined with surfing, travel, volunteering and internships. Contact email: info@academiatica.com
  2. AEC Spanish Institute - (in Dominical) - may be combined with surfing.
  3. Centro Panamericano de Idiomas (in Flamingo)- Instituto Cervantes Accredited Center & DELE Exam Center
  4. Coastal Spanish Institute - (in Tamarindo) - may be combined with surf or Scuba.
  5. IPED Language Plus - ( in Puerto Viejo) Spanish immersion classes on the beach with yoga and surfing activities available
  6. La Escuela del Sol - (in Cabuya) - may be combined with surf, yoga, fire dance or Scuba Certification classes.
  7. Langua Travel Nosara - (in Nosara) - Spanish, surfing, eco-volunteering and group travel
  8. Langua Travel Tamarindo - (in Tamarindo) - surf + Spanish, medical and family Spanish classes available
  9. Nosara Spanish Institute - (in Nosara)
  10. Samara Language School -  (in Samara) 
  11. Spanish Abroad - (in Tamarindo)
  12. Tamarindo Spanish School - (in Tamarindo) - may be combined with surfing.
  13. ISLS Spanish Institute - (Playa Dominical, Playa Tamarindo)

 

On the Internet:  (For those wanting a 'headstart')

  1. Centro Panamericano de Idioma - Any level.  Can start any given Monday any time during the year.
  2. Costa Rica Spanish Online School- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Conversation and PDF Downloads.
  3. Conversa Online Spanish Programs -  Live, one-on-one classes, group classes and self-study.
  4. Forester languages online Live, one-on-one classes, Beginner - Intermediate and Advanced Students
  5. Instituto Estelar Bilingüe - Skype classes for all levels with fun, experienced teachers
  6. Learn Spanish  Beginning, intermediate and advanced students  (free & fee based)
  7. Spanish Classes Online  - Beginner - Intermediate and Advanced Students. Study Spanish before to arrive to Costa Rica
  8. Spanish Live - Beginning, intermediate and advanced (free & fee based)
  9. Study Spanish - for beginning, intermediate and advance students   (free)