It's too bad tripadvisor won't list Banos Spanish Center as an attraction in Banos de Agua Santa- This school (the oldest in town) offers Spanish (or English) classes, salsa lessons, cooking classes and amazing homestay programs for tourists and longer-term residents. It is certainly worthy of a place on tripadvisor...
After some time, my Spanish greatly improved and I felt as if I'd gained a family in Ecuador. I lived with Liz, the owner of the school, and her family... I was blown away by the quality of homestay (she sits down to eat with you 2x/day to encourage additional conversation) - her home is fantastic.. huge comfortable rooms with every amenity and more... gorgeous garden and very convenient location.
The course was 1 on 1 with a great instructor who knew how to balance between written and more academic work and just straight conversation. I'm speak at a more 'conversational level' and it was easy for the instructor to gauge my level and work with me the way in which would be most effective. I met kids as young as 8 in class at Liz's school taking classes... mainly tourists and visiting medical students- Liz speaks fluent English and German, knows everyone in town and is a wealth of knowledge, character and joy. Her programs are thoughtful and certainly aim to pull the Spanish out of you while you enjoy lovely, safe and exciting Banos.
There are a few other schools in town and I know they all get great reviews, but after spending so much time with Liz (and having my request for her school to be listed on Tripadvisor rejected!) I felt like I needed her school to have a presence on tripadvisor as well. I was absolutely blown away by the quality and Liz's efforts to make my time in Banos truly unforgettable....so unforgettable, in fact, that I plan to go back each year to spend a week there!
Please PM me with any questions about the school - i am happy to answer and talk more about my experience at the school and with the homestay program.