Learn Spanish - Cuba - 1 or 2 Weeks

Video and Photos

Dinner at Jakera
Dinner at Jakera
Shared Room
Shared Room
Rooftop Casa Jakera
Rooftop Casa Jakera
Spanish Lessions
Spanish Lessions
Jakera Cuba Team
Jakera Cuba Team
SPANISH TEACHERS
SPANISH TEACHERS
Dinner on the Rooftop
Dinner on the Rooftop
Roof of casa jakera
Roof of casa jakera

About

Learn Spanish in Old Havana – a UNESCO World Heritage Site bursting with atmosphere, music and dance. Homestay with Cuban Family in a vibrant maze of neoclassical buildings.

This program is based in ‘Habana Vieja’ – in the heart of the historic old Havana.

The area is a myriad of gorgeous neo classical buildings packed with local people living cheek by jowl. At street level there is a constant buzz with musicians playing their trade in the many fantastic bars to be found in this popular neighbourhood. The area is VERY safe, and you will quickly feel comfortably at home. There are lots of interesting shops and quirky art galleries here and most of Cuba’s cultural heritage.

You will stay in ‘Casa Jakera’, a licensed Casa Particulare, sharing a dorm room with other student clients. Either way breakfast and lunch are served at ‘Casa Jakera’ and this is the hub of program activities, including; Spanish lessons, group discussions and impromptu social gatherings.

Highlights
  • Learn Spanish - Each morning Monday to Friday from 09:00-11:45
  • Accommodation - Shared rooms (single sex) in Casa Particulares throughout.
  • Meals - Breakfast & Lunch included
  • Dance Classes and City tours available
  • Meet lots of other peoples participating to this program

Questions & Answers

Reviews

94%
based on 30 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9
  • Housing 8.8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 15 of 30
n/a
Janil
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What an experience!

From researching and travel planning to our arrival and departure we had an awesome time! Tim and his staff were professional and responded quickly to our concerns. Our casa particular & señora Amy (love love love) you'll become family before you leave. Casa jakera: awesome cooks, food was amazing! Met some new friends from all over the world! Classes were great and helped refreshen my Spanish speaking skills. Overall the city is beautiful the staff is awesome amazing music art food scenery. Loved the culture and can't wait to go back!

**Prices were VERY reasonable compared to other companies**

What would you improve about this program?
N/A
Default avatar
Leah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unexpected Kindness and Inspiration

Jakera Cuba is like a good home away from home; offering most of what you imagine a happy and healthy family would offer a family member and a guest. Cleanliness, comfortable mattresses, home-made healthy fresh food and support and inspiration to explore and be fearless locally because you know the Jakera team, and the kind and interesting and intelligent guests they attract, are there for you if you ask or they see you need it. Cuba, Havana was a last minute spontaneous trip to a place where I knew no one so I did have my concerns (but mostly about me) which were totally unfounded. Jakera's expert hospitality and the excellent courses and local dance classes coupled with my own fearlessness, discoveries and adventures made for my best adventure so far; sorry India and Sri Lanka I still love you and will return. Soon I hope to travel to Costa Rica with Jakera and hopefully see Panama too. 100% Jakera will be a fantastic experience and service.

Default avatar
Urvi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best way to experience Cuba:)

I found Jakera online and loved my two weeks there! I used the shared accommodation and shared my room with 5 girls, the staff kept it very clean, my bed was comfortable and we had air conditioning. I am a vegetarian and they did a great job accommodating me. The dance was my absolute favorite part, they give you many options to choose from. My Spanish teacher was awesome as were all the great friends I made! Highly recommend:)

Default avatar
Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Cuba Will Steal Your Heart

There are some trips that you remember fondly, some you might look back on as exhausting, and then there are those that actually change your life, heart, and perspective forever. Jakera's Learn Spanish & Volunteer is absolutely this last option. With a combination of a thoughtfully built and well-run program, and the setting of the absolutely unforgettable and unique Cuba, I promise you will find these 6 weeks too short.
The program was 2 weeks in Havana taking Spanish classes in the morning and then having a cultural activity in the afternoon (either a salsa class - my FAVORITE! - or an interesting cultural tour around important sites in Havana), then 2 weeks volunteering in a beautiful small beach town called Playa Giron (where the Bay of Pigs happened), and then the final 2 weeks back in Havana taking Spanish classes again and volunteering with local programs.
Housing both in Havana and in Playa Giron was in a central location, comfortable, clean, and community-building (without wifi and with travelers from all over the world, people build a close knit community so quickly and easily). Every single night people in the house would either sit on the terrace, play cards, talk for hours, go out dancing, go for a walk around the city, go for a drink, walk the Malecon, etc. No boring moments when there are always people around wanting to explore and experience Cuba with you!
The Cuban staff is AMAZING. They make you feel welcome, comfortable, invited, at home, and like family. The Spanish teachers are professionals who are well-trained in Spanish instruction and also always open to suggestions. They are helpful and warm, and they make you laugh constantly. The house staff will even also help you plan out travels you might want to do around Cuba on your own, after the program has ended!
The volunteer opportunities were varied and purposeful; construction, wildlife preservation, cultural activities with children, aiding art programs, and more. The program is still growing, so I know they will be continuing to look for even more ways to get involved although we already stayed quite busy!

I know people always want to hear about the "cons" as well, but I didn't experience many. The "cons" as far as I could tell were all things that were simply "Cuba," not the program. For example, the heat and humidity - not Jakera's fault, but certainly made work more exhausting in the summer months. At times the water or electricity would have a moment when it would go out, but it would always come back on before long. Also one volunteer program changed things on us at the last minute. But this is just Cuban culture - they don't adhere to specific schedules very often. The Jakera staff was always ready with a Plan B if this happened, and always kept a positive mood going.

Overall, I absolutely loved this program. I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to give back to the community and actually experience (not just pass through as a tourist) an entirely new culture while traveling. Cuba is a magically unique place. I have traveled a lot, and I can honestly say I've never been anywhere so special. Planning a return trip as I write this, and will go through Jakera again!

Default avatar
Hamish
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My first cigar

After a long 2 hour trip to Viñales,we had a spot of lunch, and got ready to go horseriding through the scenic valley there.The mountains were amazing,with lush green trees all around, contrasted with orange sand everywhere.As uncomfortable as the horses were, it was an enthralling experience to canter through such an amazing place as a way to go sightseeing. After a while, i started seeing these straw huts everywhere.I later learned from the tour guide they were tobacco curing houses, places for tobacco leaves to dry, to make into cigars. I heard we were going to see a cigar farmer,and we would have an opportunity to buy some. We all reached a small hut where a farmer gave us all a sample cigar, dipped in honey, because thats what they traditionally do there. I never had a cigar before that, however, i thought it was fantastic. we saw him roll them in front of us, and we then had them in the most amazing setting, it was a real ethnic experience. I subsequently bought 20 of them for 60 cuc, however no cigar experience could ever match that same feeling of my first cigar, in Viñales.

Default avatar
Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Visit to Cuba

Thought it was a great program and got to learn a lot of Spainish and loads about Cuban culture there is so much to experience in this amazing country the cars,the beaches,the dancing,the people who are kind and friendly. Everywhere you go there is fun reggaeton music coming from the bicycle taxis and cars and the colours and design of the buildings is both eyecatching and beautiful. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to have fun,experience a new culture or learn or improve upon their Spainish

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe more time in viñales
Default avatar
Donna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Affordable and Fun Travel Adventure in Cuba

When looking to go to Cuba, you have many choices but Jakera's was affordable and more people-to-people centered than most "tourist" focused trips. They organize your lodging ahead, you get breakfast & lunch, have a group hub in central Havana to study Spanish & meet with other travelers. The staff was awesome, esp. if you speak Spanish! I even wrote a book about my adventure: Cuba for Mama (on Amazon)

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps more organized volunteer projects - there were few when I was there. I came as an ESL English teacher but Castro'd decided the week before he didn't want Foreigners teaching Cubans English (eh?) so we teachers were relieved of that opportunity. It wasn't a failing of Jakera, but the Cuban political system is a real challenge.
Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lamparilla

It was great, the staff en the teachers are friendly and welcoming. The accomodation at Lamparilla was clean, beautiful, with rooftops. The staff is friendly and helps with questions. The spanish teachers are good and kind. The dancing at casa del sol is great, the teachers really help you to make progress and to have fun. The atmosphere of havana and of the jakera team made it a great experiece. Would definitley recommend jakera cuba!

What would you improve about this program?
It was perfect!
Default avatar
Kristín
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing adventure in Venezuela

I have now been here for 3 months now and wow has it flown by fast! This program is a wonderful way to see Venezuela and also a great way to find adventure and have fun. The thing I liked most was that you had so many chanses to challange yourself and do things you thought you never could. I would recomend this program to anyone!

Default avatar
Stephanie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic Way to See Venezuela in 3 Months

The 12 week Travelling Classroom is a whirlwind of experiences, and I had a great time seeing everything that Venezuela has to offer. Coming directly through Jakera is an ideal way to visit a country that has such tumultous reviews surrounding it. With Jakera, if you use your common sense, you will be safe. In my 12 weeks in the country I have done so many things; sea kayaking in Mochima, abseiling down a waterfall, climbing Cerro Negro in Caripe, flown to Canaima to see the staggering Angel Falls, camped for almost two weeks in Gran Sabana, summitted Roraima on six day trek, kayaked for a week and stayed with the Warao in the Orinico Delta, came to Merida and did paragliding, safari in Los Llanos, tubing, and finally travelled to Lake Maracaibo to see the lightning phenomenon at Catutumbo. I feel like I´ve got to know the country so well in these three months, and it has been a pleasure.

What would you improve about this program?
Having travelled solo in South America previously I sometimes found the program stifling - in Playa Colorada there is much to do and little options to do things on your own. However in Merida you have all the freedom you want. Also, relationship between staff and students should be re-evaluated in Playa, as I experienced much rudeness on occasion for breaking a rule, and later felt like this particular member of staff had a bee in their bonnet for me throughout the rest of my program, which felt very petty for what it was. If you prefer to do your own thing and don´t like the feeling of being in a school, maybe avoid. Otherwise, Jakera was great for what I had set out to do.
Default avatar
Arturo
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good experience, I Discovered the city and improve my spanish

The experience was great.
The city of Merida is safe and there is a lot of activities to do.
The staff in Merida is relly professional and competent and always here to help you.
I improved a lot my spanish for 2 weeks.
The only problem I had was to get to the city because it was a holiday period there was no plane to get there and I didn t know before booking my trip (I should be advised).
The other point I want to mention is the food : pasta almost everyday....and sometimes the noise at midnight...
In general It was good experience.

What would you improve about this program?
*Improve the food ( the diner)


Default avatar
Frida
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Travelling Classroom of spring 2007

I went to Jakera with no idea what was waiting.. Today, 8 years later, this is still the best experience of my life and its the first one i mention when someone asks me about my greatest experience. I still keep in contact with several of my fellow classmates and we have so many good memories together. I will not say it was easy, but that was also the charm.

Default avatar
Kasia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One danger posed by Jakera? It makes you fall in love with Cuba! :)

In Havana the day started with a lovely breakfast followed by a Spanish class. The afternoons were for the walking tours which were fun and allowed us to get to know the city a bit. Evenings were for madness- dancing and driving along the Malecon with reggaeton blasting in the background! It was my Cuba highlight! :)
I very much appreciated the flexibility within the program which allowed me to change my schedule and join my friends in Playa Giron for the voluntary work and diving.
I honestly can't think of any difficulties. I felt safe and well looked after. Besides, whatever might have been a difficulty to some was simply a challenge to me! :) I guess Cuba simply suits my character :)

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the form of the cultural excursions and use as a guide someone who is proficient in English. The guys made it fun and we really enjoyed the tours with them but with a little bit more of English we could have learnt more about the places we went to see.
Default avatar
Frída
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Venezuelan adventure - as good as it gets

I came to Venezuela with no knowledge of the country or the Spanish language. I leave with a smile on my face with new experience and a brand new language to learn even more about this amazing culture.

In this trip we travelled around the whole country, into woodlands and high mountains, carried our stuff in backpacks, slept in tents and hammocks under clear night sky and under roofs with the rain in our ears, drove around in the Green truck, jumped off cliffs and swam in the ocean, ate great food and drank a lot of beers and Cuba libres. Not saying this trip was easy, but I definitely learnt a lot about myself and how to stay in a group, how to stand by my opinion and enjoying the moment. Made friends for life and experience useful for whatever I will do in the future.

Couple of things:

Make sure you bring enough cash for everything (US Dollars), the staff in the office knows how much you will need. There are some additional trips (Angel falls and the trip to Isla Margarita is a must do), money transfer to here is not much fun. Dont expect to take money out of the cashier while staying in Venezuela because of poor exchange rate.

Bring A LOT of mosquito repellent, all vitamins and medicines you usually use, painkillers and everything you consider a regular thing in your home country. These days you can't find certain things in stores (medicine, mosquito repellent, and even simple things as milk and diapers..... The list is long)

Remember to bring a waterproof bag for all your electronics! And a good cover for your phone or camera for use while on the mountains or in the sea! And headphones.

Make sure you taste coco frío on the beach. They are amazing.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be good to simplify the staff and try to prevent personal problems of the staff of interrupting with the students experience.

Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Travelling with Jakera

2013 I stayed 8 weeks in Venezuela with Jakera, which was a great experience!! What I liked most, was that the Jakera team was very flexibel and always tried to make everyone happy! I think Playa colorada was the best place to get to know the country and the spanish language. I enjoyed the wonderful beaches over there and met a lot of lovely people from all over the world!!!!
Later I went to Merida, where I could continue my language studies more intensely and also made experiences in travelling in other parts of the country by myself.

Thank you for everything!!!! best wishes from Germany

What would you improve about this program?
I think it would have been a good Information if anybody had told me before I came to Venezuela that I would need cash and not a credit card!!

Location

Location:
Havana
Currency:
Cuban Peso
Weather:
Jan-Mar
82 F / 66 F
Apr-Jun
88 F / 70 F
Jul-Sep
90 F / 75 F
Oct-Dec
84 F / 68 F
Airports:
José Martí International Airport
( HAV )

Havana has always been a hotbed for tourism; however, with the bans on U.S. citizens, this has decreased. There are still a large number of tourists that go to this colorful city every year including U.S. citizens for more volunteer projects.

Interviews

Staff Interviews

About JAKERA Adventure Costa Rica - Cuba - Colombia

Jakera have been running student programs and delivering travel solutions to clients in Central & South America since the mid 1990’s. ​ We like to give our clients authentic experiences that bring you into contact with people and environments in your...