Whether it’s the soaring mountain peaks, rushing rivers, lush rainforests, or gushing waterfalls, Honduras is a country everyone should have on their travel radar. Bordering Nicaragua to the north and El Salvador to the east, Honduras has plenty of untouched landscapes -- over one-fifth of the country's land is devoted to national parks!
From its underrated cobblestoned colonial towns to the spectacular Caribbean beaches of its Bay Islands, Honduras is slowly becoming one of the gems in the vastly under-explored heart of Central America.
Besides being an incredible and lesser-known travel destination, Honduras is an excellent destination for serious students of the Spanish language. With fewer tourists, there are plenty of opportunities for pursuing immersive language-learning experiences and gaining a rich understanding of authentic Honduran culture.
Generally speaking, there are three types of courses offered to language learners in Honduras: university courses, language immersion programs, and private tutoring.
Studying abroad through a university is a good option for students who are already pursuing a degree and want to earn academic credit while studying a language overseas. These students usually have a good grasp of Spanish and will be able to (temporarily) enroll directly in a Honduran university and take their classes for the whole semester or year at that university. Usually, these students will be enrolled in an advanced language class, as well.
Being involved in an immersion program is another of the most common ways to learn a language abroad. Usually, it involves 15-20 hours of class time per week and a mix of different cultural activities. Students are typically expected to have some prior knowledge of the language for the program to be most effective.
Lastly, and sometimes regarded as the most expensive option, private tutoring offers one-on-one time with a native speaker. Hiring a private tutor is an effective way of studying Spanish for beginners who want to get up to speed very quickly or advanced learners who want to focus on a specific topic or aspect of the language.
Why Learn Spanish in Honduras?
Honduras is a great destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in an authentic culture while adding valuable language skills to their resume. While learning Spanish and living in Honduras, you’re bound to be impressed by the easygoing personalities of Hondurans and gain a deep appreciation of their hospitality.
The image of Honduras as a more dangerous country has not been good for its tourism industry over the past two decades. However, the country is recovering much sooner than anticipated and is on its way back onto travel itineraries. Experience the most authentic side of Honduras now before the rest of the world catches on -- and prices go up!
English is not widely spoken in the country, even among locals who deal with tourists. Most private tutors in Honduras also have a low level of English, so it is recommended to have at least a basic knowledge of Spanish before arriving.
Typically, students considering direct enrollment in local universities will have to have an intermediate level of Spanish, but some schools do offer beginner courses.
Popular Locations to Learn Spanish in Honduras
With a population of 1.2 million, Tegucigalpa prides itself on being the eclectic cultural center of the country. Its vibrant atmosphere, mild climate, and young urban scene of creatives make Tegus (as it's called by locals) the place to be. However, the crime rate is relatively high, so you'll have to be cautious if you choose to live in the capital city.
Known as the “good time town" of Honduras, La Ceiba is a buzzing port city and the mecca for Honduran nightlife and party-goers. However, the humidity and heat in this region of the country can set you ablaze -- and you should always use extreme care when taking to the streets at night.
Choosing a Spanish Learning Program in Honduras
The most convenient way to learn Spanish in Honduras is by enrolling in one of the numerous language schools around the country. It’s not hard to find a language school, whether it’s in the capital city or partnered with a scuba diving company that allows you to earn a diving and language certificate at the same time. You’ll always have plenty of opportunities to join a language school -- especially those at a beginner level.
One of the more unique opportunities is the chance to bridge the language gap between native Hondurans and travelers like you. In Honduras, there are multiple programs that allow you to volunteer in poor communities –- often in secluded regions of the country –- teaching English to the Honduran youth while also earning an accredited Spanish language certificate. If you are the type of person who wants to make a difference while your traveling, this is an excellent choice.
Cultural Immersion in Honduras
Homestays are fairly common and easy to arrange in Honduras. While language programs are the most common way to learn Spanish in Honduras, a homestay can supplement any type of program to offer a very unique experience and provide you with a better grasp of the local culture. Homestays can easily be found online through a multitude of websites.
If you've decided how and where you'll study Spanish in Honduras, you can begin to budget for your trip. From costs and duration to language prerequisites and visas, it’s imperative to know what you’re getting into before you arrive.
Average Spanish Language School Tuition in Honduras
Learning Spanish in a country as rarely-visited as Honduras can work to your advantage. You’ll notice tuition rates of various programs throughout the country are a fraction of the cost of its bordering neighbor countries. Learning Spanish in Honduras is definitely worth the discount.
You can also hire a private local tutor in Honduras without burning a hole in your wallet. Expect to pay around $6-8 per hour for private lessons. The more qualified a teacher is, the more expensive lessons can be. However, rates are cheaper if you opt to pay upfront for a long-term duration of study.
At a language school, you can expect to pay around $150 per week for 20 hours of one-on-one lessons. If you opt to find room and board with the school, expect to pay about $250-$275 per week for accommodation, tuition, three meals a day, and all of the utilities you need at a location within walking distance of the school.
Scholarships for Learning Spanish in Honduras
There are many scholarships for students of foreign languages just a Google search away. Don't be discouraged by the high number of applicants for these generic opportunities. If you are diligent, it simply becomes a game of numbers!
If you are a U.S. citizen, there is funding for studying abroad in Honduras in the form of Pell Grants, private scholarships, and also university scholarships. Check with your home university to see if they may be able to help fund your experience.
Cost of Living in Honduras
Being a Central American danger zone for many years has reserved Honduras a very affordable reputation. Although prices can be very comparable to its neighbor, El Salvador, most of Honduras would be considered inexpensive when stacked side-by-side to the majority of Central America.
Hotels, of course, are the most expensive accommodation option. Homestays are common and could save you even more money as food is usually provided by the family you are living with. Hostels and guesthouses are also good options. Expect to pay around $8-$10 per night for a bed in a hostel and a little bit more per night in a guesthouse.
Visas & Other Relevant Information
Travelers from most Western countries may stay in Honduras for up to 90 days without a visa, provided they have a valid passport and an onward ticket. This includes nationals of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Most African and Asian nationals will be required to obtain a visa before entering. Please consult with the Honduras Foreign Ministry for additional information.