Holidays are the perfect time to travel and explore new places, and even new languages. I am passionate about learning new languages, but it can be hard to do long-term immersion programs--the time sometimes isn’t there. Luckily, if we plan our holidays well we can get a nice break from our usual routine and get in some language learning. Spanish language holidays are a perfect way for us to go to a new place (say, Camino de Santiago?) and improve our Spanish with an immersive Spanish course abroad.
With Spanish language holidays you can really go in any direction: cultural, foodie, volunteer, historic, beach, nature, you name it. You only need to find a Spanish language course in the right setting for you (here’s a guide you can use). If you want something more planned, some companies also offer pre packaged Spanish language holidays for adults that plan everything for you. That can be a great option too if you don’t want to worry about deciding what to do and where to stay.
Before jumping into some great Spanish language holiday ideas, here’s two common questions people ask when deciding whether to do a short Spanish language trip during the holidays:
Taking a holiday to do a short 1 to 2 week trip and adding learning Spanish on top of that can sound like a lot, but fear not. If you’re new to Spanish, a 7 or 10 day course during the holidays will be a great primer into the language and give you a solid foundation to start. And if you already know some Spanish, doing an immersive Spanish language holiday will only propel you forward (and add some amazing memories).
It takes approximately 400 to 600 hours to learn Spanish according to the FSI. So if you do a 10 day trip and practice 5 hours a day, you’re already knocking off 50 hours of language learning coupled with an amazing trip. It’s way more hours than taking one hour lessons every day, definitely much more immersive, and undoubtedly more fun. So, maybe you won’t be reading Don Quixote overnight, but your progress in learning Spanish will fast forward like crazy. Of course, the more effort you put into the trip (trying to speak to locals, not relying on English), will also determine how much you learn in those 7 or 10 days of your Spanish language vacations.
If you’re unfamiliar, homestays are when you stay with a host family so you can practice your Spanish further by having to use it outside the course too. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the language and culture of the place you’re visiting. If you’re staying in one place during the whole time and you’d love to get familiar with the culture, a homestay can be a great way of getting a deeply cultural experience in a short time. And while it undoubtedly helps you practice more, it’s by no means a must do.
Some people would rather have their own space and down time. You may be also planning on moving around a lot doing day trips and want the flexibility of having your own space to get to later at night. That’s all perfectly fine, so don’t feel like you need to also do a homestay during your Spanish language holiday. It’s about having a wonderful holiday or vacation learning Spanish that suits your needs. Plus, if you’re visiting several places during that time, homestays can be impractical too.
The possibilities for Spanish language vacations are endless, so here are just a few ideas to get your travel juices flowing!
Oaxaca City is known to be a vibrant art center in Mexico. Many famed painters and sculptors have their roots in Oaxaca. It is also filled with beautiful folk art and handcrafts: barro negro, alebrijes, baskets, textiles, just to name a few types.
The wonderful part of Oaxaca is that you can be taking Spanish lessons during the morning and go out to artisan workshops in the afternoon to learn about these beautiful crafts. Many of the workshops are in the city or not far from it, so you can comfortably stay in Oaxaca the whole time during your Spanish language trip. It’s also a vibrant city with amazing food (you must try mole negro).
For your Spanish course in Oaxaca, consider the Oaxaca International Spanish School. It’s right near the center of Oaxaca, making it very accessible.
Pichilemu is a small beach town south of Santiago, Chile famous for hosting international surf competitions in the Punta de Lobos and Inifernillo beaches. If you want to give surfing a try, or already know how to surf, what’s better than a Spanish language vacation in one of the best surf spots around?
Pichilemu means “small forest” and you can also find great outdoor activities like mountain boarding, trekking, and birdwatching. If you’re more in the mood for something relaxing after your Spanish courses, visit one of the multiple spas it boasts.
For your Spanish course in Pichilemu, Huara Spanish School is an excellent choice. They offer Spanish + Surf packages, nearby homestays, and classes on traditional chilean weaving “Telar”.
Buenos Aires is an iconic cultural and literary capital of Latin America. It’s known for its art-nouveau architecture, exquisite cuisine, and numerous festivals. While soccer is extremely popular, Polo is just as popular in Argentina. Consider going to the Campo Argentino de Polo to see a match. Visit the Recoleta and Palermo neighborhoods, walk around Bosques de Palermo, or go to the Fine Arts Museum. Take some Tango lessons in the evening, sip some fantastic wine, or a stroll down the most visited cemetery--the Recoleta Cemetery.
InterBA Spanish Institute is a fantastic school right near the Recoleta Cemetery that offers excellent immersion programs. Close to numerous museums and in the heart of Buenos Aires, you will get a unique immersion experience in the Paris of South America.
Mexico City is by far the cuisine and culture capital of Mexico. You can find foods from all parts of Mexico (you must try tacos al pastor), and there’s a museum for everything. If you’re looking to go to Mexico for your Spanish language holiday and want to learn about its history and culture, there’s no better place than CDMX (as locals call it). The Palacio de Bellas Artes has a folkloric dance show every week, you can visit the Tenochtitlan ruins nearby, go to the Museum of Modern Art, and explore numerous markets.
You’ll be immersed in Spanish and the Lengua y Cultura Spanish school is an excellent school where you can learn Spanish. The school is in the Condesa neighborhood, a lively neighborhood with beautiful parks and unique boutiques. It’s right next to the Bosque de Chapultepec, so you can easily visit the National Anthropology Museum, and the Chapultepec Castle from there.
Book your Spanish Language Holiday Today
Check out the schools we mentioned in this article below and book your Spanish language vacation today!