Tico Lingo - Spanish School in Heredia, Costa Rica

Tico Lingo


Located two hours from the Pacific ocean and three hours from the Caribbean, Tico Lingo offers a complete Spanish immersion program curated by our expert Spanish professors. Utilizing groups of no more than six students per class, we submerse out students in 4-5 hour classes every day, Monday through Friday in a true, non-touristy Costa Rican expereince.

In addition to Spanish classes, Tico Lingo offers a Homestay program where students live in the homes with nearby families, share two meals a day with them, and continue to further practice their Spanish skills. Additional activities include Latin dance classes, yoga, cooking classes, culture tours, adventure tours, and memberships to our conversational club with English students.


50 metros sur del Gimnasio de la Escuela de Barrio Fátima, entre las calles 8 y la avenida 11 y 13
Provincia de Heredia, Heredia
Costa Rica


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Yes, I recommend this program

I absolutely recommend online Spanish classes with Tico Lingo. After the consultation call with Yenifer, I signed up for 10 hours of online instruction with Zulma. There were several class times that worked well for me and scheduling was easy! As I'm new to Spanish, Zulma gave me vocabulary to learn and taught me basic conversation phrases and skills. I loved talking with Zulma! Taking classes with Tico Lingo from home gave me structured lessons and made me excited to study. I look forward to taking classes at the school one day. For now, I plan to sign up for more classes online.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Learning to speak in all Spanish! Zulma was very patient with me and helped me be more confident in articulating my thoughts.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Not only did Tico Lingo show me the beauties of Costa Rica, I also had the great privilege to be emerged into Tico culture. For three weeks, I lived with Hellen and her beautiful family. Hellen was perfect, since she knew all about Celiacs Disease, and she ensures I never had any gluten. She made me feel safe and comfortable, which I feel is necessary when traveling to a different country. My conversational skills improved immensely while at Tico Lingo, and I am now a much more confident speaker. Lastly, I met people who I will be close to my entire life. If you are looking to be fully immersed into the Costa Rican culture, meet many amazing people, all while exponentially improving your Spanish, then tico lingo is for you.

What was your funniest moment?
To many! One of the students, Chris, who was from the Ivory Coast, and I got along very well. We had many laughs along the way!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Being a student at Tico Lingo and living in Heredia for 10 weeks was the best decision I ever made. I had two amazing teachers - both were quickly able to analyze my level of Spanish and adapt to teaching me what I needed to know in order to get better. You build relationships with everyone at the school, not just your teacher and classmates. It's like a family and everyone is so supportive.

My host family and I became real family. From day 1 they treated me like a son and I knew I could depend on them for anything.

Heredia is a cool small city that is very walkable. It's a great place to stay and attend school. If you're feeling adventurous on the weekend your a short drive away to awesome nature or San Jose, the capital city.

My advice to you is if you are thinking about becoming a student at Tico Lingo.. Do it!! You will not regret it.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
My first day was my most nerve-racking moment. Moving into a home with a family that doesn't speak my native language. The sudden realization that I'm far away from home. It's a natural moment of nerves that quickly passes.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I had originally planned to go to Costa Rica in June but wasn't able to due to the coronavirus outbreak. Tico Lingo gave me the option to use my deposit for online classes, and I'll admit I was a bit skeptical. I said sure, let's go for it, and the process was actually really smooth. Classes are all on zoom and they send me reminders before each class starts. My teacher picked up on my Spanish level almost immediately and I began improving my speaking abilities within the first few classes. I'm given a good amount of homework and could see myself continuing classes for the next few months! Love the experience! Ya hablo un poco de español y estoy lista aprender mas! :)

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Yes, I recommend this program

I have been wanting to learn to speak Spanish for a long time. I heard of the Tico Lingo immersion experience and would love to go to Costa Rica for the full experience but with the pandemic such travel has not been an option. When I heard Tico Lingo was offering an on line live learning experience I decided to give it a try. I have been taking classes remotely through Zoom over the past two months and it has been an amazing experience! My teacher Zaida is fabulous and makes the personal one:one learning experience both fun and effective. It has far exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend Tico Lingo to anyone wanting to learn Spanish quickly in a fun way!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I researched many Latin American programs and chose this one on the basis of its flexibility of curriculum, its location in a temperate climate (I don’t do well in extreme heat) in the country I know and trust, and on the basis of many positive reviews.

I had no personal knowledge of the school or of the individuals who created it prior to showing up.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

All I had to do was let the extremely capable staff know my preferences and certain uncertainties in my schedule and they took care of everything. I really wanted a private bathroom at my homestay, I wanted to be sure that certain dietary preferences were not a problem, and I wanted the ability to add private lessons to my group curriculum after establishing just how much energy I would have in a given day of school.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would advise other students who want to have private lessons, to arrange for them as soon as possible so that they have no schedule conflicts with other students.

This is a small school which is a great part of it’s charm, but there is a limit to the number of private lessons available at the times desired.

Having said that, I must add that I was able to get all the private lessons I wanted at the last minute. I just needed to be a tiny bit flexible with the times. Yenifer Who is the main person in the front office is a magician with schedules.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Each weekday has a four hour group class tailored to the level of expertise of each student group. I can only speak for myself, but my instruction with Freddy was spot on as far as what I needed to learn. For me, he was absolutely amazing.

I must add that the classes are flexible and in my experience adjust to the immediate needs of the student on any given day. These classes are not rigid with set milestones and specific examinations. Rather they are tailored to the individual needs of those attending each class.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I had no fears going into this, but I was apprehensive about my own ability to learn a great deal in six weeks. A combination of their extremely competent instructors, their broad curriculum, and my own personal interest made for a very successful experience.

My long-term goal is to be able to understand local speakers in the street. I am not there yet. Six weeks is not enough for 64-year-old man to get that fluent.

However, I am now 100% certain that that goal is within my reach over the next year.

What makes this program special?

The school establishes a culture of camaraderie, positivity, and just plain fun.

Everyone who works there and, quite frankly, every student I met, contributed to an atmosphere of Community and a sense of progress.

I specifically recommend Freddy, the head of curriculum, as a marvelous instructor in Spanish grammar. This is largely because he has a deep understanding of both English and Spanish and is able to clarify confusion unlike any Spanish instructor I have ever worked with. He is a gem.

I am making this recommendation as a beginner who needed to understand the grammatical structure of this language in order to infill that infrastructure with vocabulary and experience.

My experience was 100% successful in this regard.

I shall miss this place and I plan to return.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Yóbeth Cabalceta

Job Title
Spanish Professor
Born and raised in the beautiful and sunny province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Yobeth started working as a facilitator in a Spanish school during her college days. She developed a fond passion for teaching and quickly had an opportunity to work as a university professor after graduating college with a triple major in education, literature, and linguistics. As her interest in working with foreign students grew later in her career, she began seeking smaller, private schools that focused on intensive Spanish. Thus, she found Tico Lingo and continues to teach students from around the world.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I don't travel too often, I like to be close to family here in Costa Rica. Occasionally we take trips together out to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. I think that my favorite experience was observing closely the whales and dolphins on the coast of the south of Costa Rica. Incredibly beautiful animals!

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

In the world? Hmmm …I think that the whole rural zone is very underestimated in Centroamérica, Suramerica. There are still some indigenous peoples that live there!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Education is at the core of everything we do here. Definitively, it is necessary to allow for creativity in the classroom and social interaction between the students and the teachers. Learning between walls and cubicles as well as using unnecessary technology that distances students is really not our goal. We want all of our students to connect with our community personally and walk away with a comprehensive educational experience.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I feel that here at Tico Lingo I can apply and experiment with all the teaching techniques I've learned over my 30+ years of teaching Spanish. Normally large language institutes keep a very strict and authoritative program where students are inside a classroom all day reading textbooks and filling out worksheets. If I've learned anything over the years, it's that each student learns differently and a level of flexibility is necessary to truly connect with each student. Tico Lingo allows that! They let me experiment with new ideas in the classroom, take students out into the community, and teach in a format that is fun, cultural, and informative.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

Warmth towards students and teachers! We get to know each on an individual level that allows them to relax in a new place, soak up the good weather, and study their brains out while they are here.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Whenever I find out that they use what I've taught them. It's always fantastic to hear students students applying what they learn in the real world, especially when it came from me!