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 46 - 60 of 63
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best time learning spanish

As part of preparations for a 3 month trip around Panama and Costa Rica, I have had the pleasure of learning a LOT of spanish at Habla Ya in Boquete. It has been a great experience and I also had a great teacher "Edwardo". Very good and pleasent teacher. It has been fun to practice my "new language" on the streets of Boquete. I have learned a lot of essential tools both with grammar but also useful phrases etc.

Yes, I recommend this program

great learning experience

I took 4 weeks of group lessons in Dec 2016 before traveling around and I learned a lot for such a short time. My teacher was Eduardo and liked the style of learning a lot, we had a good combination of learning grammar, training conversational skills and doing homework to practice the days topics. Learning in small groups of 4 or even less people most of the time was always fun and our teacher always adapted to the skills and specific questions of each of the students. For me it was a great experience, and I can only recommend the hablaya school and especially the location in Boquete.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Lifelong experience -habla ya ❤

Bocas was definitely one of the greatest experience i had in my life so far. I stayed at isla colón at the house of a lovely host family for four months. Three weeks of that time I went to habla ya, where I got to know many nice people from all over the world . I made good friends, who joined me on the trips in and around bocas and Panamá. However also the teachers and over all the receptionist (!!!) were awesome. I could never forget how I loved going to school every morning and got that " Buenos días guapa " to my ears :) .
As I was there quite a long time compared to the other tourists I also made good friends with the locals. So I had the chance to learn spanish by talking to them and my host family . The rest of the time I worked in an hostel to finance all the traveling. We often went to the other islands and enjoyed bocas by day and night. I would say it became my home... and it still is when I think about that unforgettable time I spent there with these super relaxed and "cariñosos" people. ❤️

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Yes, I recommend this program

Learn Spanish and have the time of your life - Habla Ya Spanish School

My stay in Panama was definitely one of the best experiences and choices yet.
After lingering in Panama City for 1 week and discovering Isla Bastimientos for another week, I started my 2 week Spanish Classes at Habla Ya Spanish School in Bocas del Toro.
Having been welcomed by César, the friendly director of Habla Ya's location in Bocas, I immediately felt at home. He gave us useful recommendations of good restaurants, nightlife, beautiful beaches, trips to do etc. The teachers at Habla Ya, especially my teacher Benita, are always in a good mood and assist you with any questions.
At Habla Ya being motivated to learn Spanish is easy in a relaxed, caribbean environment.
The classes are very small, only 3 students in my class which allowed us to advance rapidly and learn a lot in only 2 weeks. There is a good combination of learning serious grammar and being introduced to panamanian colloquial language and culture. Making friends there is easy in such a friendly and inviting environment among students.
Appart from the Spanish classes I made unforgettable memories in Bocas del Toro: hanging out at breath-taking beaches with friends, Catamaran Sunset & party tours, giant colorful starfish in cristal clear waters, adventurous boat rides around the beautiful islands, snorkeling trips, stunning nights with skies full of stars, monkeys hanging from palm trees, delicious cuisine, unforgettable nightlife adventures, open-hearted and friendly people, overwhelming botanical gardens.
If you love learning Spanish by the beach in a warm climate and making a lot of new friends you should go to Habla Ya in Bocas. It will be an unforgettable experience with many new impressions. Get a taste of the panamenian life-style! Hope to be back soon!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Would love to go back soon!

After a bit of travelling Latin America arriving in Bocas felt like coming home.
I got there by boat and first thing after putting my stuff in the hotel was going to Habla Ya where I was welcomed with open arms.

Habla Ya:
The atmosphere is open-minded and all people there have the same goal: Learning Spanish and travel. Making friends there is extremely easy and students and staff have a great, friendly relationship (Some you might even meet in your free time ;) ). From serious grammar and vocabulary learning to girl's talk (Kimberly! ;) ), cooking (Benita is the best chef!) and making fun while practicing Spanish, there is a great variety in the teaching / learning methods Habla Ya teachers are using, always considering the needs, moods and characters of the students. The groups are very small with (I think) up to max. 6 students. I was super lucky as for 3 out of four weeks there was only one other person with me in the group and the 4th week I was even completely alone, which meant 4h/day 1-1 lessons. Hence I learned a lot in a very short time. It was just great!
They are very flexible and helpful as well. After four weeks in Bocas and people constantly telling me how nice it is in Boquete, I decided it would be nice to experience the mountaneous region of Panama as well. The school checked if there is a class with my level available and made it happen that I could stay my last week there.

Bocas is a very small city and after a couple of days you realize you know already quite many people on the streets, because you met them at school,at your hotel, in one of the many bars and clubs or wherever else. There is a lot to do, from beaching, diving and surfing to clubbing or wildlife experience. Habla Ya supports with several guided tours (eg. the Katamaran tour or the Zapatilla tour of which both were just great) as well as offering Salsa classes and a lot of other options to spend your free time.

Compared to beach-style Bocas, Boquete is a little more quiet and temperatures are lower. You can hike the volcano or to several waterfalls, go rock climbing, boulder in a small canyon, enjoy the famous local coffee or just relax in a hammock. Overall people in Boquete enjoy the nature around them and are very active. My personal experience was that the first minute I arrived in Boquete, I met someone who I got to know in Bocas. It's amazing how fast you get to know the locals and make friends.

Until now I would count most of the people I met during my time in Panama as friends and I would love to go back rather soon.

If you decide for Habla Ya, it will be just an amazing experience! So have fun, enjoy yourself travelling, learning Spanish and experiencing the amazing panamanian lifestyle!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Learn Spanish and make friends

I´ve been in Panama for 3 month. The first month of my Panama-trip I spend in Boquete, just for learning Spanish at Habla Ya. My teacher and my host-family there was great. My last two month I spend in Bocas Del Toro, also for learning Spanish and make volunteering work and of course relax. :D I prefered Bocas because there you have much more sun and beaches and the sea. My teachers and my host-family there were perfect too. Also the man at the reciption. Everytime I had a question or a problem I went to Habla Ya or to my family and they helped me.
If you love learning Spanish at the beach, high temperatures with a lot of friends and a lot of party, you have to go to Habla Ya in Bocas. It was on of the best experiences in my life.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable experience

The teachers in Habla Ya know how to integrate you in the panamanian cultrure and they surely make you feel at home! Wonderful people, chilled and respectful!!
They offer you guidance and sicurity, help and advice for anything you need.
I have thousands of unforgettable memories of beaches, spanish lessons, friendships, adventures that only being there you can describe!
I recommend this destination trip and Habla Ya as your base point!
Only love

Yes, I recommend this program

Learn spanish at the best spanish school and make a great life experience

I've heard about Habla Ya Spanish Schools through the Internet. It had some good reviews so I decided to give it a try. I went to the Habla Ya School in Bocas del Toro and I took some private classes for two weeks. I had two different teachers and both were really friendly and professional. I could see that they like teaching, they had some fun games to organise the classes more creative. In private classes, it's easier to focus on what you specifically need if you already know some spanish like me. Now I can say, that I really learned what I needed to and I improved a lot. Besides that, I had a lot of fun during classes and I never was bored. Though I was taking private lessons, I had the possibilty to get to know the other students thanks to the activities offered at Habla Ya every day. From monday to sunday they offer different activities, for example tours to different places, riding the bike to the next beach, conversation classes for free with the teachers, sportive activities (Salsa dancing classes, Martial Arts,...) and many more. One activity I won't forget was the Catamaran Tour. We were about 20 people on a big Catamaran with good music, the whole evening dancing and having fun :) But I also liked the relaxed times, just hanging out with other students or going to eat somewhere. Bocas is a nice little town where you can find everything on the main street. Just one thing annoyed me was that I had to go to the bank about 3 times until I got some money. Sometimes on sundays the bank there runs out of money and you have to wait until the next day to get some. So my advice is, go to the bank early enough! But with every other issues or question I had, the guys at the reception at Habla Ya helped me a lot. I made my placement test with a guy called Ludo. He explained me everything about the islands very well and he could answer all my questions. In total I can say, Habla Ya Spanish school in Bocas is a very professional school which I can totally recommend, not the bank though :P

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Yes, I recommend this program

Learning Spanish in paradise

You want to learn Spanish? Your search is over, because Habla Ya in Panama is the right choice so go for it.
I did a 4 week course in 2012 already and went back in 2013. My skills were those of a beginner and after these 4 weeks I did not feel like this anymore. The classes are small which means that the teacher is really able to care about everyone, the exercises are fun and its not only theoretical. You will do lots of group activities which helps to improve quickly. The teachers are qualified and you can see that they want you to learn their beautiful language Spanish. In case of questions or whatever, you can always go to Cesar at the front desk and he will be happy to help (best guy ).
No need to be shy-in your group everyone will be at your level and everyone has the same goal so just participate as much as you can. You will become more and more confident.
Of course being in a host family also helps, because most of the times they do not speak a lot of English and you need to apply what you learned to be able to communicate.
I went to Boquete and to Bocas del Toro which I preferred. The atmosphere is just great, the beaches are fabulous, the people beyond friendly, the bars are awesome and it was just perfect for me. As it is only an island, you will get to know a lot of people and you will definitely get to know some salsa or reggaeton moves :)
Thank you to all of the staff to make my experience unforgettable. 4 weeks pass too quickly.
I can recommend it for sure!

Yes, I recommend this program

Habla Ya was my best decision!

Learning Spanish in beautiful Bocas already is great, but learning Spanish in Bocas with Habla Ya is an experience, I'll never forget and I would recommend to everyone who wants to learn Spanish to contact the school. My language skills got way more better after the course, a reason for that is that the teachers help you in any way and create a comfortable atmosphere. Also if you have any questions or suggestions, the people, working at the reception will listen to you and try anything to solve a problem or to make you enjoying your time at the school! I never experienced so much cooperativeness and dedication before and I am really thankful for that, because I never felt helpless, when I was insecure about something. The atmosphere at Habla Ya is familiar and the people are open, friendly and it's always a pleasure for me, visiting the school, even if I don't have classes anymore. I made so many friends, people from all over the world, different nationalities... Besides I worked voluntarily at a school and Habla Ya helped me to feel welcome in my project! By the way I don't think that it's possible to find a place more beautiful to learn than Bocas. I literally fell in love with the island and appreciate every day, to be such a lucky person to live here for a while.
To conclude, I have to say, that for me it was a personal gain to learn Spanish with Habla Ya and I would do it over and over again!

Yes, I recommend this program

time of my life

Thanks to Habla ya I had the greatest time ever! It felt like home the second I got there. My spanish teacher was super nice and patient and I learned a lot from her. The guys from Habla ya are amazing guys. I loved spending time with them at School, parties or on fun catamaran trips (which are offered by the School) and they became good friends! They helped me a lot with all kinds of stuff like getting a bike or where they sell the best food or which People to trust. Also my host Family was incredible... They were so caring and loving! I fell in love with them! I went hunting with my host mum for dead lizzards, we went to the beach with her Brothers boat and the rest of the fam and we shared various recipes we cooked for eachother...i'm still very close with my host mum and I hope to be able to go back in 2017. Habla ya was the best choice I could have ever made. I found a second family.

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Yes, I recommend this program

2 weeks filled with friends, adventures & Spanish :D

Alright, where do I beginn..

I first had the feeling that I made the right decision with Habla Ya when I sent them countless mails with hundreds of questions about the arrival, the hostels, how to get there, etc. Since I've never been to Latin America & Panama before, I was quite nervous when I got there. Plus I could only take the night bus & ferry that arrived the same monday as my course started, so I was nervous, super tired & had no idea what to expect. Still, they kept answering super quick & explaining & helping me with everything patiently.

When I first got to the school everyone was super friendly, they knew on the spot that I was new, the school is not too big & they know every single student. So I had my placement conversation & got placed in a class of 4 with the teacher Benita, who is a lovely, hilarious & passionate person! We had so much fun in class, not only did we learn a lot of Spanish, but also talked about personal stuff, got to know each other & got taught a lot about Panama & Bocas.
Somehow the 2 weeks went by pretty fast without realizing I was learning so much. Additional to the group course I took one private lesson per day, first week with Tonis, second week with Bladimir & Ricardo, where I learned even more, but it was also super intense being so focused on Spanish for 5 hours a day.

Apart from the courses there are daily activities to join, such as volleyball on the beach, family dinner at school, cinema nights, salsa lessons or day trips to the islands on the weekends.
We surely spent a lot of time with the teachers & even had a couple of great, crazy & fun days hanging out with them :D

Apart from the Spanish lessons we became a little family with everyone from school. The guys at the front office also always had an open ear (and an open door) for me & helped me out with my hundreds of questions, so they were pretty cool as well ;)

I had a really great time in Bocas, I love that little island with all its stunning beaches, diving schools, bars & delicious local restaurants. It's a vibrating island with warm & welcoming people! I felt super comfortable & safe in Bocas & am grateful that the guys from Habla Ya helped me arrange everything & were part of my incredible time in Central America :)

Yes, I recommend this program


Learning with Habla Ya took my Spanish to the next level, and I also made great friends and had so much fun. There is always a group going to the beach with or going out dancing. So, not only did I get to practice Spanish in a structured setting, but I also practiced it around Bocas casually. Also, my homestay family was very friendly and helpful. The meals they cooked for me were delicious. I actually ended up moving to Panama afterwards for a teaching job, and the Spanish I learned there helps me every day now that I live in Panama City. I know that without the classes I would not be able to communicate with the people well. If you want to speak better Spanish and have fun, go to Habla Ya!!!

Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent choice for Spanish education!

I enjoyed my visit to Habla Ya in Bocas del Toro so much in March 2016 I went back to Panama for another 4 weeks in July!! I was lucky to experience classes in both the Boquete and Bocas locations and although the quality of instruction is great no matter where you choose to study, each place has its own vibe.

In my opinion, Boquete is the better option if your main goal is to learn Spanish in a quiet setting conducive to studying. Yubal was my teacher and he is a model example of what Spanish education should be. I was so impressed, I continued taking classes with Yubal online via Skype after my stay in Panama ended. Plus, the ecotourism options are exceptional in Boquete if you really love nature and hiking.

Bocas is the place to be if you like to balance business and pleasure. Basically, mornings are spent in the classroom, afternoons on the beach and evenings at the bar enjoying (perhaps too much) tequila. There are also lots of opportunities to sign up for group excursions. Though not for the faint of heart, I highly recommend the trip to Isla Bastimentos to explore the bat cave. Of all the great things Bocas has to offer, I was most impressed by the customer service given by the guys in the reception office at Habla Ya. César truly went above and beyond to help me when my luggage was misplaced by the airline on my way to Panama. I am forever grateful for his help. They are also happy to help you set up living arrangements. ***Be sure to take their advice and stay at either a hostel of their recommendation or with a local family.

Most importantly, Spanish classes at Habla Ya have served me well and I highly recommend this school if you are looking to have fun while learning or improving your Spanish speaking skills!

Safe and happy travels!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Best time of my life!

I have done a four-week spanish course in Bocas del Toro, the paradise on earth! As I walked through the streets for the first time I immediately fell in love with this place and I knew that I would enjoy a lot - and I did! I was lucky to have the best host family I could imagine. They received me with open arms and made me feel being part of their family. Still now I am in contact with them (through skype, whats app,...) and I miss them a lot. So, during the week I went to Habla Ya every morning. I enjoyed school a lot, although it was sometimes hard to stand up because the nights are long in Bocas. But my teacher Adriana always was understanding when I came to school with a hangover ;) After the lessons there is so much to do in Bocas, for example going to the beach, doing a bike tour, snorkeling and diving, hanging around the streets, and so on. At 7pm every day I got a great dinner in my host family and after that I went out to meet my friends. There are partys almost every night with good spanish music and lovely people.
I can't find words to descirbe how much I love Bocas. After I finished school, I stayed there for two more months just to relax and work a bit. I just couldn't leave this place, my family and my friends there. I am sure that one day I'm gonna come back to visit all of them. I had an incredible time in Bocas - the best of my life!!