Learn Spanish in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Video and Photos

Down the road from school
Down the road from school
Graduation day
Graduation day


Bocas del Toro is a funky, laid back archipelago, dotted with pristine islands of white sand beaches, coconut trees and crystal clear turquoise waters. Bocas attracts off the beaten path travelers in search of uncrowded beaches, first class surfing and scuba diving, a chilled and authentic nightlife, and endless opportunities of wildlife encounters both on land and under the Caribbean Sea.

Habla Ya Bocas del Toro holds accreditation from the Instituto Cervantes as well as being an Official DELE Examination Center, and is one of the most and best reviewed immersion programs in Central America, offering you everything from Group to Private Lessons, Medical Spanish or Spanish for Teachers.

Improve your Spanish, explore stunning beaches and make friends from all over the world. Habla Ya will take care of every single detail, setting you up in the most suitable accommodation according to your budget, as well as offering you loads of eco-adventure and volunteering opportunity.

Summer Promo: get a FREE weekly tour when you book 5 weeks or more of Spanish classes!

Learn Spanish and have the vacation of your lifetime:
- Hiking
- Daily Yoga Lessons
- Surfing Courses
- PADI Scuba Diving License
- Rock Climbing
- Ziplining
- Whitewater River Rafting
- Horseback Riding
- Island Hoping
- Sailing
- Caving

Questions & Answers


based on 63 reviews
  • Instruction 9.6
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 8.9
  • Value 9.1
  • Academics 8
  • Support 8
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 10
  • Program Selection 7
  • Pre-departure Help 9
  • In-program Support 7
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 16 - 30 of 63
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

My family and I spent two weeks at the Habla Ya Boquete campus. Our experience was great. My teachers Alex and Leydis were outstanding. They were attentive and tailored the content to my learning needs. This was my first experience taking Spanish classes and I feel much more confident speaking now!

My daughters (10 and 6) had classes with Erian who was absolutely incredible - the girls were excited to be there, worked hard for the entire 4 hour class and picked up a ton of Spanish.

The town was beautiful and felt very safe. Important, traveling with a young family. We stayed nearby at the Isla Verde which was beautiful. The town is lovely with orange trees everywhere. Pretty much everything was walkable which was great too. It was overall a great experience and I would absolutely go back again.

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Yes, I recommend this program

4 weeks in Bocas and Boquete

The highlights of this school are their dedicated teachers. Partly they did much more than necessary: Alex of Boquete introduced me e.g. to his family and friends and we spent a wonderful weekend together which enabled me to get an insight into local family life.
I also stayed with host families and had the chance to see a couple of different host families (because I changed locations and also through other students). All of them were dedicated and warm hearted, however, the standard (also the level of conversation, if you are an advanced Spanish speaker) differs. Some families really live in very basic conditions others not. If you are not satisfied, it might be worth to ask for a change. The difference between what a student pays (for accommodation at host families or classes) and what the families and teachers receive seems quite unfair, even when you take into account that the school has expenses for renting the location etc. and I can compare it to other schools that I have been to.
However, I would come again because the dedication of teachers and other staff as well as the warm hearted reception by the host families (in spite of the little money that they receive by the schools) was outstanding.

Yes, I recommend this program

Great time at habla ya with lineth

I studied at habla ya for 3 weeks and I had Lineth as my teacher. I was very happy that I could study with her for the whole free weeks. Lineth is a very great teacher. I learned a lot during the 3 weeks and the lessons never got boring with her. She doesn't just use the book during class, we also did a lot of talking, played games and so on. Like that i could improve my spanish a lot. It was also great that there were not many other people in my class, for 2 weeks we were 2 and one week I was alone. I would definitely love to go back to habla ya to study with Lineth!
I also liked Boca del Toro. There are many nice beaches to go to and very good restaurants which are quite cheap. Unfortunately, it has been raining a lot when I was there but I still had a great time.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya Spanish with Iraida!!!

A friend and I took a course with Iraida. It was excellent, and it moved at the perfect pace for my current level of Spanish. Iraida and all the staff were very accommodating, knowledgeable and friendly. I recommend taking one of their courses if you are ever in Bocas!!! We took a B2 Level series and worked on all of the tenses at one point or another. We focused on the last 7-8 tenses and worked on the subjunctive. It is empowering to have knowledge of all the tenses and to have the ability to use new lesser used terms (some local) for day to day activities. Iraida was very flexible, particularly when we had to miss a lesson. We were allowed to reschedule to make up the time we missed. If you come to Bocas, taking a course here is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the culture here. You will be able to immediately apply what you learn in the class when you leave the campus. ---------------------------------

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Yes, I recommend this program

Una Buen Tiempo

I visited the Language School Hablaya four weeks in August 2018 and absolved a part of A2 and the full part of B1.

I had three weeks classes with Iraida and one week with Jessica.

Both are very patient and helpful when you have Problems with a theme.

The atmosphere in Class was really nice and it was a joy to learn.

The Classes are really various , its funny to play Scrabble in Spanish but also to read specific texts about various themes.

The Freetime was also nice I got to know the different Isles, did some Fiestas and tried new sports like Yoga.

The excursions were also nice like the Grave Tour were you could saw many bats or the visit of the Smithsonian Tropical Center.

I can recommend the language school to build or to improve your language Skills and Bocas is a beautiful place therefor.

Yes, I recommend this program

Learn spanish in panama

I had a great time in Bocas at habla Ya with teachers who really care about you. My teacher in group class was Yesika in the first 2 weeks and Iraida in my other 2 weeks and Benita in privat class. If you want to enhance your spanish skills or you just want to learn a new language I highly recommend to go there. Class is usualy in the mornings, which is really nice, because you have a lot of time to explore the island(s) afterwards.

Yes, I recommend this program

Learning Spanish is fun!

My spanish course at Habla Ya Bocas del Toro was all together a very good experience. Everyone, especially Iraida, my teacher, was lovely and very helpful. Iraida was very attentive to each students’ needs and used a pace that was very helpful. Every day of class was so much fun.
The atmosphere at Habla Ya was very good. The lessons are from 08.00h-12.00h so you have enough time to enjoy the day at the islands.

Yes, I recommend this program

Great Immersive experience

I live in Costa Rica, struggling with my limited Spanish, and a friend recommended Habla Ya in Boquete, Panama as an alternative to some of the more expensive alternatives locally.

I contacted Habla Ya and they quickly make arrangements to accommodate my need for private classes at their school in Boquete. I chose 30 hour a week private lessons and full immersion with a Panamanian Family for three weeks. The staff at the school took care of everything including finding the family, directions for getting to David from the border, and transport from David to Boquete.

Once at the school they quickly put me to work with my instructor Alex Cano, and his associates. During my first lunch break, they transported me to my host family's house, introduced me to my new "roommate" and let me drop off my luggage.

Habla Ya uses a brilliant technique of daily lessons along with constant practice, daily and hourly. After my 2nd class I was not allowed to use English at all anymore which forces you to start thinking in Spanish immediately. An average class would consist of greetings and conversational speaking about your day and previous night. The instructors pretty much let you talk about anything you want as long as it's in Spanish. If you break into your mother tongue, the instructor will quickly move you back towards the lesson or prompt you to change languages. So there was constant pressure to stay "on point" but you had plenty of freedom and encouragement to talk about anything you wanted. But they were happy to engage with you on any topic.

The class would end with some sort of homework which generally was based on the lessons for the day.

At the end of the day (which was about 3pm local time for me) you were allowed to continue using the wifi or school facilities for as long as the place was open. There were plenty of restaurants, stores, tourist attractions, and markets within easy walking distance (including a modern public library). Reception would help me with anything I needed from finding coconut oil to taking a tour of the local volcano, Baru.

The host family in Boquete consisted of an elderly lady who rented out space to among others, her son and his wife. She was nice, cooked me two meals a day and regularly engaged me in conversation (especially at meal time)….oh yeah and she also did my laundry.

Boquete itself, is beautiful. The air is fresh and sometimes cool but everything is within easy walking distance and taxi's are very inexpensive (less than a dollar for places in and around Boquete itself).

I would definitely recommend the school for any aspiring to learn Spanish. It was a wonderful experience that improved my Spanish dramatically. Thanks to Alex and the entire staff at Habla Ya Boquete!!!

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Yes, I recommend this program

This is an excellent school and an excellent place to visit!

Boquete and Bocas were great places to visit. Lots of fun activities to keep one busy. The school was awesome. My two teachers were terrific Leidys and Benita. They made learning fun! Would likely recommend the area and the teachers!! I did white water rafting in Boquete that was an absolute blast. The rapids were fierce and there were plenty of them. Need to be in decent shape to do this trek. Also did zip lining which was a lot of fun. My family in Boquete was great. They only spoke Spanish which was perfect because it forced me to have to speak the language. My family in Bocas spoke English and although they were extremely nice and I enjoyed my stay, the next time I do immersion I'm going to require that they don't speak any English, it's better that way because it forces me to speak the language.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Bocas Locos

I will never forget my experience at HablaYa in Bocas Del Toro. Iraida was my teacher for 3 weeks and now I call her my friend! I took the beginner group course for grammar/conversation, and private tutoring for medical terminology. Iraida was so patient and planned each class very thoughtfully. She tailors her teaching methods to each individual and never seemed to mind repeating herself a few times before we understood what the task was. I don't know how she didn't get frustrated haha but she is a very good teacher. You can tell she is passionate about sharing her language and culture. Before I came to Bocas, I could not say more than "Hola, Que paso, Me llamo Chelsea" , y ahora puedo hablar con mi amigos en espanol! My goal was to be able to have a conversation for at least 30 minutes in Spanish, and I am very happy with my progress. The only regret I have is that I was not able to stay longer. I hope to visit HablaYa again and recommend this school to everyone!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya in Boquete--Awesome Experience!

I attended Habla Ya in Boquete for three weeks. Alex was my Spanish teacher. He is extremely knowledgeable. He is an excellent teacher. He challenged me and encouraged me to improve each day. I looked forward to coming to his class. He was fun and engaging. He explained things and gave great examples so that I could understand things clearly. Alex has a huge heart and a passion for teaching. My experience at Habla Ya was fantastic!

Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful teacher!

We did a two week course at the Bocas campus with an amazing teacher Iraida! We had very very little Spanish and were in the most basic course that was perfect for our needs. There were 3 people in the class for the first week and then it was just us! We completed almost the 3 week course in 2 weeks, iraida tailored everything to our needs! She is possibly the most patient person on the planet, she corrected our mistakes gently and consistently. We had lots of fun in the lessons, playing games and going on an excursion one day. Absolutely loved our time there, made so by our teacher! Would recommend.

Yes, I recommend this program

Learn Spanish in Bocas!

I had an excellent experience learning Spanish in Books del Toro at Habla Ya. I took group classes for 3 weeks with Erian my first week and with Iraida the second and third weeks. The group class sizes were always very small with about 3-5 students in the class including me. The teachers were very qualified and prepared for class. The classes included many opportunities to practice speaking, which is what I wanted the most out of class. I had learned Spanish previously in high school and university but I felt I had forgotten many of the verb tenses I had learned. The pace of the classes at habla ya helped me to relearn what I had forgotten and the extensive practice using them in conversation helped me to use them more naturally in conversation. I feel much more confident in my speaking ability after taking these classes. Thank you so much!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya - Boquete campus

Habla Ya is the 7th Spanish school I’ve studied at in Latin America. I’m happy I chose to study at the Boquete campus. The town itself is beautiful and I had a great walk to and from my homestay through the lush scenery every day. My teacher, Alex, made class fun and lively. I could tell the other teachers, like Laidys and Erian, were also effective teachers. I was most impressed with how helpful and lovely Giselle was in the front office. She helped arrange a great weekend trip for us with one of the many tour agencies in town. Julio, an Habla Ya Travel Consultant, helped us plan our weekend in Panama City even though we were not taking classes at that campus. The staff, other students, my homestay family - they all made my time in Panamá unforgettable!

Yes, I recommend this program

Fun way to study Spanish

Last week I studied Spanish in a small group (1 or 2 others) with an amazing teacher, Iraida. She was my age (23) and we were able to have many conversations (in Spanish of course) about her life and experiences and ours (also all from different cultures). I believe that in a week time I have improved my Spanish in a way that I am now able to make full sentences in numerous situations, and my vocabulary has improved a lot. Lastly I really enjoyed playing games in class to study Spanish in a fun way. Thanks Habla Ya and especially Iraida!!

What would you improve about this program?
I thought it was really nice as it is