• Panama
    • Boquete

Program Details

Host Family Hostel Hotel Lodge


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes
Mar 02, 2020
Dec 18, 2019
0 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Learn Spanish in the wonderful country of Panama. Whether it be by the mountains, by the beach or in the city, Panama is the place for you.

- 3 Schools in Panama: get to know the campuses of Panama's top ranked network of Spanish schools.
- Boquete, Bocas & Panama City: travel guides to Panama's most exciting destinations to learn Spanish.
- Certifications: Instituto Cervantes accredited, Official DELE Examination Centers, Bildungsurlaub approved.
- The Team: meet our Spanish teachers and get to know the friendly faces at Habla Ya Panama.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • 4 hours of group lessons per day with the option to add extra private lessons.

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Program Reviews

4.86 Rating
based on 14 reviews
  • 5 rating 85.71%
  • 4 rating 14.29%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Instruction 4.85
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.8
  • Housing 4.85
  • Value 4.95
  • Program Selection 4
  • Pre-departure Help 5
  • In-program Support 4
  • Impact on Student 5
  • Value 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 14 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Week to Remember

We just returned from a week in Boquete, Panama where we attended Spanish classes at Habla Ya. I was placed in a class with Leidys, and was very glad she was my instructor. Leidys was genuinely kind and interested in my progress. She asked me about my goals and designed the classes around them. She only spoke Spanish but spoke very clearly and fairly slowly. She encouraged me to speak by selecting topics I could easily relate to. Leidys taught grammar exclusively in Spanish which I really appreciated. She never made me feel inadequate when I made mistakes, but was always supportive and encouraging. She made the classes fun and interesting by introducing different activities. The book we used gave me opportunities to study nightly. I’m continuing to use the book now that I have returned home.

Boquete is a charming town surrounded by incredible natural beauty. We rented a scooter on our last day and rode into the mountains. The scenery was breathtaking. We wished we had had more time to explore the hiking trails.

Our host family provided us the opportunity to use our Spanish. We had a comfortable private bedroom and bathroom. The family was kind and encouraging, and welcoming.

My husband had a different teacher and also had a great experience. We agreed you can’t go wrong with Habla Ya. If you are able to get into Leidys’ class, consider yourself lucky! Muchas Gracias, Leidys!

What would you improve about this program?
My only concern was that my classroom was a little small.
66 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya Boquete was a perfect place to learn Spanish

Habla Ya was a great experience for both learning Spanish and experiencing the culture of Panama. I speak some Spanish and wanted to improve my language skills for an upcoming trip to Ecuador. I spent two weeks at the school in Boquete and definitely accomplished my objective.
My teacher was Leidys Pitti and she was excellent. The classes lasted 4 hours each weekday and were conducted entirely in Spanish. This contributed to the total immersion concept and really worked quite well. Leidys also spoke very clearly and slowly which was a great help for improving my comprehension. She followed a structured lesson plan complete with workbook and examples on the whiteboard, but there was also plenty of free-flowing conversation about subjects in which I was most interested. Leidys was a joy to work with and you would be lucky to have her as your teacher.
Boquete is the perfect location to study Spanish. It's a pleasant little town in the mountains of Panama with plenty of restaurants, etc. Importantly, few of the locals speak English so I had to use Spanish. Luckily, everyone was patient and appreciated that I was there to learn their language. I stayed with a host family a short distance from town. The Del Cids were a wonderful, traditional, couple who also did not speak English. This provided a great opportunity to practice my Spanish and learn about the local Panamanian culture.
One final note about the Habla Ya school staff and policies. Every staff member I had contact with, whether the initial phone conversations with Tori, helping organize a tour with Ivan, and arranging my ride back to the David airport with Giselle, was great. They all made sure my experience went well.
I was scheduled and paid for group lessons. When I arrived, they felt I was not at the same level as the rest of the group, so I ended up with private lessons for no additional charge. This worked out great and demonstrates the school's focus on the needs of the students.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I was there in October. The town is about 3,500' high so it's cooler than the rest of Panama and very pleasant. However, it is very humid and doesn't get cool enough to need a jacket. Bring plenty of lightweight, short sleeve shirts, etc.
75 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya Boquete, Panama

I am 60 years old and live in Boquete, Panama. I just finished a 3-week, 5-hr per day, 5 days per week intensive Spanish course at the Habla Ya facility in Boquete, Panama. My teachers were Erian and Kimberly. I had one hour of private lessons, a lunch break, followed by 4 hours of group lessons. My teachers were fantastic. They did not speak English during the lessons, which greatly aided my listening comprehension. We had a set curriculum but there was flexibility to review aspects of the language that I was having difficulty with. Although I did not participate in the extracurricular activities offered through Habla Ya, we did activities outside the classroom to expand our understanding of the language and culture. I have learned another language and find that immersion is the best method for me. I highly recommend Habla Ya and if available, schedule classes with either Erian or Kimberly. Both are very energetic, knowledgeable and patient.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Anyone anticipating travel in Latin America should make an effort to learn Spanish. It will be received well and will provide insight into other cultures.
77 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Boquete is beautiful

My family of five settled in Boquete for 6 weeks to study Spanish at Habla Ya. We were split into classes by age and Spanish level. My husband had never studied Spanish before and so was put into a beginner adult group class. Similarly, my two younger children joined a beginner group class while my older daughter (13) was put into an intermediate group adult class with me because she already had a foundation in Spanish. At times, the school had very few students and my family ended up being the only ones in each of our “group” lessons. My oldest had a harder time because she didn’t fit into the schema that they’ve developed. She wanted to be with other kids her age but the classes were too basic for her. However, the school tried to accommodate our needs as best they could and the teachers really demonstrate that they care about student progress. I studied with Leidys Pitti for 5 weeks. She did a great job incorporating conversation into our daily classes and making note when we had an opportunity to practice new skills.

I am so glad we chose to study Spanish in Boquete because it was the perfect place to settle in for 6 weeks. The center of town is always bustling with friendly activity, people saying hello, shops, restaurants, and, lots of beautiful fresh produce at the outdoor market stalls. In addition, the weather in Boquete is refreshing and always the perfect temperature. On extra warm days, showers would come in and cool the air down to a comfortable range. We also met a lot of friendly people from the area and everyone was willing and generous about letting us practice our Spanish, even though they speak very good English themselves.

The kids loved the variety of extra activities that they could participate in around Boquete, such as white river rafting, zip lining, rock climbing, hikes, horseback riding, and swimming in the mini canyons. If you’re on a tighter budget, the hikes in the area are spectacular and only cost a small fee for the taxi ride to the trailhead. The food was also a highlight for us. We had some really spectacular meals both local food and other cuisines. The family favorite was Colibrí, a restaurant on the gardens of the hotel where we stayed (more about Isla Verde below). Colibrí agreed to teach our family a private cooking class after my husband talked to the chef about his and the kids’ interest. They thought the class was phenomenal and learned new techniques, and how to make some of the best food we’ve ever had.

The traditional Panamanian food of the area includes a soup called Sancocho, rice, beans, a meat, plantains, and a side salad. There were a number of local restaurants that served this food beautifully. Our favorite was Las Orchillas. The other cafe that we really enjoyed was called Sugar and Spice which had great breakfasts and salads for lunch.

Finally, the place where we stayed was absolutely perfect for us. We rented a large roundhouse at Isla Verde. The house was a single room with a loft. It was small but didn’t feel too tight or crowded for our family of five. The house was surrounded by beautiful gardens and fruit trees. The staff was extremely helpful all the time and we met some wonderful other guests from all over the world.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The school provides very technical language knowledge and practice. When I think of immersion, I imagine conversation and practice of communication in daily living. It is more geared toward academic linguistic skills. The program uses a system based on curriculum developed for 3-weeks of language skill development per book, at the beginner and intermediate levels. The teachers move systematically through the material at a weekly pace. If you are only there for a week, it may feel like you are learning a random section of information.
74 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent teachers, very fun environment

I completed one week of Spanish classes at HablaYa in Boquete and can understand the teachers and full sentences in 5 days of full immersion classes with four hours a day plus one hour of private lessons. The teachers are truly dedicated to each individual learning styles and needs. Bravo to the school and teachers, especially Pedro and Leidys!
I am truly grateful for a wonderful, fun, positive experience!
Beginning students will have no problem with the full immersion aspect of this program. It's easy to communicate with the teachers and fellow students each day. There is also an inspirational aspect to the way this program is designed as you meet new students from around the world who bring different levels of energy and perspective to the process.

What would you improve about this program?
The school would benefit from having an administrator to better coordinate and communicate to students and other staff about schedules and activities.
71 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya Spanish Immersion School Boquete

I wanted to take a few minutes to compose a review of my experience in Boquete Panama and in particular, speak about Habla Ya, a world class Spanish immersion school that I keep returning to there.

Firstly, I’m a 63 year old Canadian and have lived in the U.S. for the last 28 years. During my formative years in Canada I had little interest in learning a second language and regrettably, while French was an option in the Canadian curriculum, taking it was not mandatory. After my relocation to the U.S. in 1991, I soon learned what a benefit it would be to learn another language. As almost half of the population of Phoenix and San Diego where I divide my time, are Spanish speaking, Spanish had to be my defacto choice.

Unfortunately, as an entrepreneur, my 30’s, 40’s and 50’s were dedicated to building my businesses and this left little time for anything, much less learning a second language. Secretly, during these 3 decades, I had a burning desire to learn the language and during the many trips my wife and I had taken to Mexico, I watched, listened and envied every non-native communicating in Spanish.

Now, fortunately I have an abundance of time and have diligently spent the last 3 years learning the language poco a poco! We’ve all heard metaphor, “slow and steady wins the race” and this is no more applicable than undertaking the exercise of learning another language. I’m completely dedicated and though I may be a little slower than the 20 somethings, I will achieve a level of mastery over this language. I can tell anyone who may be contemplating learning another language, the decision is not to be taken lightly. It’s grueling, frustrating and time consuming! So, why do it? Learning the language is no different than building blocks; you simply keep building on that which you’ve already learned. I’m by no means proficient but there’s very little that I can’t communicate to someone in a Spanish only speaking country. And this folks, is what keeps me going!

Now, to the school. I just completed my third trip to Habla Ya in Panama and each time keeps getting better. The first 3-week segment was in Bocas Del Toro, a quaint little beach town frequented by young and old from all over the world. The last 2 visits were to Boquete, a location I prefer due to its’ cooler climate, beautiful scenery and incredibly reasonable prices. Leidys was my profesora for levels A2 & B1 in Boquete. Leidys has been with the school for 10-years and I’ve found her to be excellent in her ability to teach new concepts and patient enough when certain concepts need to be re-explained. I’d recommend her highly!

The school is completely professional in every respect and there’s little wonder in my mind as to why they’ve earned their very favorable ratings year after year. From trying to accommodate the smallest request to meticulously organizing fun outings for the students, these people do it all!


Sent from my iPad

70 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent program in a beautiful setting

This was the sixth year I’ve returned to Habla Ya. Like several other former students, it’s due to our excellent teacher, Leidys. She explains difficult grammar in ways that make sense and provides interesting exercises so students can understand and use information in real life, practical situations. In addition, she’s friendly, patient, positive, and has a good sense of humor. The program provides group or private lessons, at many levels, so students can decide what’s best for them. I’ve done both and they each have their advantages depending on your goals. Conversations help students improve speaking skills so they can progress in a short time. The administrative staff, Giselle and Ivan are very helpful at arranging for student requests, such as housing, activities, etc.

73 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Boquete - February 2019

I had such a great time in Boquete. Leidys was THE BEST teacher and I enjoyed both the instruction and the conversation in our classes. She was professional, but very personable and very easy to talk with, even though I struggled with my Spanish conversation skills. This was why I came to Panama! Boquete is a great place...perfect weather (not too hot, not too cold), lots of activities to do, amazing food and great people!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I had such a great time in Boquete. Leidys was THE BEST teacher and I enjoyed both the instruction and the conversation in our classes. She was professional, but very personable and very easy to talk with, even though I struggled with my Spanish conversation skills. This was why I came to Panama! Boquete is a great place...perfect weather (not too hot, not too cold), lots of activities to do, amazing food and great people!
74 people found this review helpful.

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