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 31 - 45 of 63
Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya is awesome!

I love these schools! I spent two weeks in beautiful Boquete with Leidys, and I can't say enough good things about her. She is a clear and concise teacher; you will grow leaps and bounds in a short amount of time! I also had my two sons, ages 12 and 7 in the program with Kimberley, Yeremy, and Alexander and they have very positive experiences.
We are currently in Bocas Del Toro and we are having excellent experiences here as well. We just finished our first week and have one week left. My teacher here is Sergio and he is also excellent. My sons have Jessica and Lynette and they both are growing and comprehending so much! We will have four weeks total in the program by the time we return home, and it will be difficult to say goodbye to the beautiful country and people of Panama. :)
If you want to learn a lot in a short amount of time come to Habla Ya! They do a wonderful job with their methodology and with their teacher training. I am planning on continuing with online lessons after I return home!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Spanish in Bocas

My wife and I attended this program for a month. We both had had previous Spanish courses in the US but had forgotten much of it. From day one it was all Spanish with the instructor (Iraida) who was very patient as I butchered the language especially trying to roll my rr's (which did get better). We used a mini group format for just my wife and I which worked best for us since we were at the same level (low ability). We also attended 2 hours of private instruction in the afternoon after a 3 hour break . My wife was focusing more on medical Spanish (with Sergio) and I was working on making the basics solid. We did finish our basic course and receive our first level certificates. We enjoyed Bocas and the school and hope to return for more instruction.

The office staff at the school in Bocas (Carlos, Cesear and Ludo) were always very helpful and very eager to assist us with anything we wanted to know about (such as places to tour in the area). I wanted to surf (surfed for many years) but getting a board and then transporting to the other island to surf was becoming a problem. The guys in the office put me in touch with Chapos (great beginner instructor and good surfer) so he and I went surfing one morning (I paid him as a guide service) and it was well worth it. The office guys can help out with private tours if you want too, since they are a great source of local knowledge.

Our only negative was our lodging (1 bedroom Bocas Condos) which was represented as quite and it was not. 2 dogs barked all hours of the night which made sleep difficult. Possibly the studio rooms on the opposite side of the building maybe ok. The building is secure and close to town. It seems that the staff in Panama City handles the lodging so there is no checking on the actual accommodations therefore the information about lodging may not be accurate. Muchas Gracias Iraida y Sergio.
Mike & Kaja

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing month in Bocas

I spent 4 wonderful weeks at Habla Ya in Bocas del Toro. Erian was my professor in group classes and he is amazing. He’s patient, kind, and fun. I learned a ton in a beautiful place and I can’t wait to return. Many thanks to Habla Ya!

Pasé 4 semanas maravillosas a Habla Ya en Bocas del Toro. Erian fue mi profesor en las clases del grupo y el es increíble. El es paciente, amable, y divertido. Yo aprendí muchísimo en un lugar muy bonito y no puedo esperar a regresar. Muchas gracias a Habla Ya!

Yes, I recommend this program

Un mes en el paraíso

Estaba 4 semanas en Bocas del Toro en HablaYa y nunca voy a olvidar eso tiempo. Me quede en una familia y tome el curso del grupo y una hora de clase privada.
*I spent 4 weeks in Bocas del Toro in Habla Ya and I will never forget that time. I stayed with a family and took the group course and a private class.

Me quede en la familie Ortiz. La madre Maribel es muuuy amable y simpatico. Me sentia como si fuera su hija. Ella cocino todos los dias comida muy rica. Ella siempre estaba bailando y cantando y por eso teniamos siempre mucho para reirse en la casa.
*I stayed in the Ortiz family. Mother Maribel is very kind and friendly. I felt like I was her daughter. She cooked very rich food every day. She was always dancing and singing and so we always has lots of laughs at the house.

Yo tenia la suerte de tener clase con la prima de Maribel, Benita Georget. Ella es una profesora muy amable. La clase siempre era divertido y todos los días me alegre de ir a la escuela. En la clase aprendí mucho. Como yo estaba en un nivel bastante alto, hemos hecho muchos análisis y conversaciones. Mi hora de clase privada también tenia con Benita. Siempre hablábamos mucho y si tuve una pregunta ella trato de explicarme con mucho paciencia.
*I was fortunate to have a class with Maribel's cousin, Benita Georget. She is a very kind teacher. The class was always fun and every day I was glad to go to school. In the class I learned a lot. As I was at a fairly high level, we did a lot of analytics. My private class was also with Benita. We always talked a lot and if I had a question she tried to explain me with a lot of patience.

Pero no solo en la escuela nos vimos. Los profesores tambien salieron con los estudiantes. Pasábamos nuestro tiempo libre juntos y por eso podia hacer amistades muy buenas. En Bocas del Toro se puede haver muchos cosas. Tiene muchos actividades organizada de la escuela y todos las playas son increíbles.
*But we did not just meet at school. The teachers also went out with the students. We spent our free time together and that's why I could make very good friendships. In Bocas del Toro there are many things to do. It has many organized activities from the school and all the beaches are amazing.

Entonces, aconsejaría a todos de venir a Bocas y pasar un tiempo increíble.
*I would advise everyone to come to Bocas and have an amazing time.

Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience! Great schools/options/flexibility!

I was a student at Habla Ya school in Boquete, Panama for two weeks. I loved it! The school is centrally located and there is a great coffee shop next door to help you stay on point! The office is well organized, the common space is comfortable, the schedule of extracurricular activities is diverse, and the classrooms are clean. I super enjoyed my time there! Leidys was my teacher and she is fantastic! She was always punctual, professional, positive, and flexible. My classmate and I had to spend part of one class at the doctor and Leidys made sure we spoke only Spanish with him. We learned so much and also made close friendships. I miss my time there so much! Thanks Habla Ya! Muchas gracias Leidys!

Yo era estudiante en la escuela Habla Ya en Boquete, Panamá por dos semanas. Me encanto! La escuela está en el centro y hay una buena café al lado para ayudarle a prestar atención! La oficina está bien organizada, el espacio común es cómodo, el horario de actividades extracurriculares es diverso, y las aulas están limpias. Me super disfruté de mi tiempo allí! Leidys fue mi profesora y ella es fantástica! Siempre fue puntual, profesional, positiva y flexible. Mi compañera de clase y yo tuvimos que pasar parte de una clase en el médico y Leidys se aseguró de que hablamos sólo español con él. Aprendimos mucho y también hicimos buenos amigos. Extraño tanto a Panamá! Gracias Habla Ya! Muchas gracias Leidys!

What would you improve about this program?
I had two teachers that took pretty different approaches so my experience was well balanced. I would only say that I would have appreciated a little more instruction in the use of colloquial language as that is what I will use more in my work when speaking with families. Overall, I felt that I got a lot out of it and would consider adding private instruction to my group course next time.
Yes, I recommend this program

Online Experience

I have tried many different approaches to learning Spanish. I decided that even though some of the web based applications and college courses may be helpful, nothing beats a face to face conversation with a native Spanish Speaker. I signed up for 20 hours of online lessons with Habla Ya since i am currently unable to travel for a foreign based immersion program. I was assigned Eliana Alejandra as an instructor. She was wonderful! My goal was not to be hammered with grammar lessons, but instead to practice every day conversations. We went over things that I had questions about and she was able to explain the answers very clearly and provide exercises for homework for my weaknesses. I feel like this class was very helpful. We would converse about whatever was going on at the time, about what I did yesterday or what I wanted to do in the future. It was very practical and I also picked up some new vocabulary along the way. I think the price is appropriate and I can't wait until I am able to travel to Panama to learn in person, face to face instead of using an internet connection.
**I put a 10 for housing only because this site requires a response. I did not physically travel to Panama**

What would you improve about this program?
The only problem I noticed was the quality of the internet connection at times. Obviously this may not be an easy fix as weather can affect internet service.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great learning experience

This is already my second time at Habla Ya in Bocas del Toro. The first time I came here to study Spanish in 2015 (for 5 weeks) and I liked it so much that I returned this year again :)
This time I took three weeks of group classes (level C1) with Benita. I would have loved to stay longer but it’s not possible because of work. I can only recommend this institution, the school offers a really good service, you feel very welcome, there is help whenever and with whatever you need, there is a lot group activities and it feels like being part of a big family.
Especially the lectures with Benita were definitely incredible. I would like to compliment her. She fills the lectures with various exercises like telling stories, reading, writing, grammar parts, interpreting texts, listening to songs, playing scrabble on a Friday. The content is put together in such a way that you won’t feel like sitting in a class room. It rather feels like sitting together for a coffee and discussing different topics but nevertheless you are learning a lot. Well... sometimes we were indeed drinking a coffee during class, Benita looks after her students in such a lovely way as a mama :)
Thank you a lot, Benita, for creating such a good atmosphere for learning!

What would you improve about this program?
Yes, I recommend this program

3 weeks in Bocas

I studied Spanish for a month in Bocas and Boquete. I spent 3 weeks in Bocas fell in love with the place and the people. Benita was my teacher in Bocas . I recommend that if you'd like to learn Spanish - Panama is a great option. If you like to go out at night and enjoy beaches Bocas is certainly for you. I would recommend you try Deep boarding, kayaking, visit Starfish beach, Isla Caranero, Mamallena hostel, try Captain Caribe for food - patacones anywhere and try and use the Spanish you learn as much as possible because you won't be in a position to use it like this again!

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Yes, I recommend this program

A time well spent

I was at the campus in Bocas del Toro for four weeks and took group lessons there.
The staff is super nice and competent, group sizes are comfortably small.
The group activities organized by the school were always fun, it is almost like a family feeling with the other students.
I want to specifically thank and recommend Eliana as a teacher, as she is a natural at teaching and motivating her students. By her loveable and cheerful nature she makes time fly as you learn more and more while having a great time.

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Yes, I recommend this program

6 weeks at Habla Ya in Boquete, Panama

In total I took 6 weeks of private lessons at the Boquete campus and could not be happier with the outcome! I took 6 hours of spanish a day and I was impressed with how effecient Habla Ya's lesson books are. Yubal, my professor, exceeded my expectations! He prepared interactive and interesting lessons. For 6 hours a day, I was impressed that Yubal always found ways to keep class focused on the subject and fun at the same time. It is helpful having a professor that is able to answer my questions in English, seeing that I am a beginner. I am so grateful to have Yubal as my professor!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing time at Habla Ya - Bocas del Toro

I decided I wanted to learn Spanish overseas but didn't want to study in Spain, I researched a range of schools in Costa Rica, Cuba, DR and Ecuador. However, the best school I found taking into consideration price, instruction and the overall country, the best option was Habla Ya.

I spent two weeks at Habla Ya, with group lessons in the morning (8-12) with Nicole. I thoroughly enjoyed my lessons with Nicole, she is a great teacher and she really challenges you and I was very pleased and surprised at the amount of progress I made in 2 weeks. Also, I had private lessons with Bendita in the afternoon, I loved my one-on-one lessons with Bendita during this time she helped me to review topics I was unsure about, work on my pronunciation and helped improved my ability to converse in Spanish.

Overall, Habla Ya is a great place to learn Spanish, meet other like minded individuals and you have the opportunity to explore a beautiful place.

My top tips are:
- Try to stay for at least 3 weeks - I only stayed for 2 weeks this was the moment I felt I was really making progress and would have benefited staying longer, even a week more.
- Home Stay - staying with a family really helped me improve my Spanish and the food was amazing!
- Take part in as many extra-circular activities as possible - they offer a range of activities including cave tours, salsa lessons etc.
- If you can invest in private lessons - my private lessons with Bendita really helped to improve my ability and confidence.

Yes, I recommend this program

2 Consecutive Years at Habla Ya

(This review applies to group classes)
Two years ago, I started an internet search for an affordable and well-reviewed Spanish School. I found Habla Ya and attended with my sister. I was so happy with the quality of my learning that I returned again in 2017.

Brief explanation of how it works: At Habla Ya's website, students take a language test for an initial placement. When students arrive at the school they're required to take an additional face-to-face language assessment. Then, students are placed in a specific group with other students of about the same ability. From there, each student receives a workbook and typically keeps the same instructor for the entirety of their study in Bocas.

I've been very pleased with the quality of my Spanish Education. My instructor this year, Eliana, made everyone in my class feel welcome, competent, and capable each day. She structured our lessons with the Habla Ya workbook, and we then applied our learning through various writing and speaking activities. Eliana defined unknown words/phrases/prepositions, and was very thorough with challenging concepts. In my group, we had students whose ages ranged from 22 to 59--she didn't teach to the highest, lowest, or middle level, she truly taught to each of us, attending to each of our differing needs.

I absolutely love this campus and the instructors and coordinators and los otros trabajadores que estan aqui. I read another reviewer writing from an educator's perspective and I, also an educator, can agree that this school is well stocked with caring coordinators who listen and well-trained professors who are creative and do their best to "tune in" to student needs. I love you, Habla Ya! Gracias por todos.

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Yes, I recommend this program

A great experience!

As a retired educator I carefully selected the language school I wanted to attend and I had high expectations. I was not disappointed with my choice of Habla Ya in Boquete. As a beginner I was placed in a class with no more than six students and given the materials I would need. I really appreciated my instructor Eduardo who used patience and humour to get the best out of his students. We were encouraged to speak in Spanish at all times but as Eduardo spoke English and French he was able to guide us along with clear explanations if we really needed them. The homework he assigned was appropriate and not too taxing. I liked the town of Boquete and timed my visit to take advantage of the Flower Festival and later the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival. I also attended classes in Boca del Toro but the mountain atmosphere of Boquete was my favourite.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have enjoyed activities outside of the classroom that required us to use our Spanish.
Yes, I recommend this program

Eli is the best

I had zero experience studying a second language going into the class but my profesora Eli made the class fun and relaxed. She was always super helpful and patient if you didn't quite get something the first time around. The activities the school organizes are always fun, particularly volleyball on the beach at sunset. I would also highly reccomend Chapo my surf instructor at the surf school mono loco. Habla ya also set that up for me and it was fantastic, Chapo, like Eli, made learning something difficult seem fun.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Eduardo is the best!


A great school, with a friendly and helpful staff and a central location in Boquete. Eduardo is the teacher to ask. He is very patient, speaks great English and teaches to match each student's rhythm and background. I learned more Spanish in Edward's class than in the other two classes I took before. Eduardo is dedicated to his students, and very intelligent, funny and speaks English very well, so there is no misunderstanding!


Una gran escuela, con un personal amable y servicial y una ubicación céntrica en Boquete. Eduardo es el maestro a pedir. Él es muy paciente, habla un gran inglés y enseña a igualar el ritmo de cada estudiante y sus antecedentes. Aprendí más español en la clase de eduardo que en las otras dos clases que tomé antes. Eduardo se dedica a sus estudiantes, y muy inteligente, divertido y habla inglés muy bien, así que no hay malentendidos!

What would you improve about this program?
Mas maestros como Eduardo!