I just finished attending a language school in Arequipa called the Spanish cafe. It is located in La Case de Los Pinquinos, a hostal. It is owned by a Dutch woman named Saskia. It is really an unique way to study Spanish as the curriculum is totally flexible and catered to each individual's desires.
I did one hour of grammar the first day then did several activities all in Spanish. The first day we did a reality tour of the shantytowns of Arequipa and visited a quarry where poor people were working extremely hard to barely make enought to live on. I then did a city tour, all in Spanish.
The second day, several of us did a cooking activity in which we all went to the local market then cooked an excellent Peruvian lunch with our teacher, a trained chef. For those that do not know, Arequipa is the center of the excellent cuisine in Peru.
On the third day, I took a tour of the countryside surrounding Arequipa and visited areas where campesinos lived and worked in the beautiful areas near to Arequipa. We also were able to hike to see rocks with hieroglyphics from 10,000012,000 years ago. It was fascinating.
All of these activities were in Spanish and increased my ability to understand Spanish and to speak it. Additionally, it was so much fun to do these activities instead of just hanging out in a classroom all day.
There are so many other potential activities. See their website at
You can contact Saskia at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are looking for an alternative way of increasing your Spanish abilities, this is an excellent way to do it.. Even if you are not into doing Spanish, the tours can be done without going to the school. The best part of attending the school and doing the tours is how much fun you will have.