The choice of destinations when it comes to choosing a language course is impressive. Beach, city, town, mountain, island, historical ruins – they’re all there. But it doesn’t get much more adventurous than packing your mosquito net and heading into deepest darkest jungle. Well, ok, you don’t have to be Indiana Jones, but when it comes to taking a language course a jungle location makes for an impressive postcard home.
So grab the Deet, pack your sunblock, wrap your dictionary in a waterproof and look no further…
1. Leticia, Colombia
Located in the far south of Colombia, at the point where Colombia, Peru and Brazil meet, Leticia is a hot and humid frontier town on the legendary Amazon River. Hidden in the rainforest, life here is peaceful and safe, yet fully geared to support those who arrive by flight or boat to explore the incredible flora and fauna of this precious part of the world. There aren’t many people who can say they learnt Spanish on the banks of the Amazon, but become one of them and you’ll be sure of a once-in-the-lifetime Amazonian adventure.
2. Boquete, Panama
The lush valley of Boquete is justifiably considered to be Panama’s eco-tourism capital. Located in the country’s western highlands, Boquete is found at 1,200m above sea level, nestled among the mountains and surrounded by pristine cloud forest. As such it enjoys an enviably sunny yet cool mountain climate, and is home to superb natural landscape that lends itself perfectly to a host of adventure activities. Try your hand at white water rafting, take a canopy tour, spot some exotic birds – including the famous quetzal – or immerse yourself in a hot spring…it is rare to have the chance to be at one with nature whilst indulging in your favourite activities, but in Boquete you have the best of both worlds.
3. Monteverde, Costa Rica
Monteverde – literally ‘green mountain’ – is a nature lover’s paradise set in Costa Rica’s central highlands. The reserve is alive with countless species of wildlife and vegetation, and organic farming and eco-tourism are prevalent. Founded by Quakers in 1951, the town is spread out along the cloud forest and has grown from a small settlement into a popular tourist destination: in an effort to keep this precious environment as it is, sustainable ecotourism and alternative energy are important issues here. Come to study Spanish in Monteverde and your classes will take place in a fully-equipped school surrounded by pine trees and with stunning views of the cloud forest and the Gulf of Nicoya.
4. Cusco, Peru
Although not in the jungle itself, Cusco is a much-loved city and gateway to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu which sits at 2,450m above sea level, high in the Andes mountains above the Sacred Valley. Surrounded by untouched forest and with breathtaking views, we feel it is deserving of inclusion in our list of top jungle locations; indeed, for many people, Machu Picchu is a highlight of any trip to South America. Spend some time learning Spanish in Cusco before embarking on the Inca Trail and you will have a chance to soak up the history and awe of this magnificent place. A truly memorable place to learn the language.
5. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio is one of the smallest but most popular National Parks in Costa Rica. It’s worth the 4-hour bus ride from busy, bustling San Jose to stand barefoot in the soft white sand, breathe in the warm Pacific air and explore the dense rainforest. The park’s 1,700 acres of land mass and 136,000 acres of marine reserve are a natural habitat to species including the white-faced capuchin monkey, two-toed sloth, black-collared hawk and white-nosed coati – perfect subjects to explore after your Spanish class, which may well take place in view of the ocean. And all this in the name of education…holidays don’t get much better than this.
Cactus staff have visited all of the above locations so feel free to quiz us if you have any questions!
Cactus offers Spanish immersion courses in 20 countries worldwide, including Spanish evening courses in the UK and in the US & Canada.