I loved Antigua! If you’re looking for a Spanish immersion course in a charming, inexpensive location, then choose Antigua, Guatemala! It’s a relatively small city with cobbled streets, a great colonial influence, beautiful architecture, and picturesque landscapes. It has even been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Perhaps what I liked most about Antigua from my very first moment here was its indigenous population. Their presence gives such a unique cultural atmosphere to the city. When here, you really must check out the Nim Pot Market, which showcases the distinct Mayan textiles and handicrafts from hundreds of nearby indigenous villages. The mission of this “retail museum” is to preserve Mayan cultural identity – and they are certainly doing a great job, as it attracts tourists, locals, and visitors from around Guatemala. You can spend hours just browsing through all of the magnificent Mayan creations – don’t be afraid to get a few souvenirs for friends and family back home!
The school is GREAT – right in the centre of old town Antigua. The staff at the school organize all kinds of after class activities – horse back excursions into the surrounding hills, bicycle tours, picnics, parties, film evenings, ecological trips and excursions – There’s so much to choose from!
The lessons take place around a central courtyard and there’s lots of personal attention for every student. The staff and teachers are all so friendly – You really feel welcomed and looked after!
After class, you can practice your Spanish skills by volunteering in a local hospital, orphanage, or community project (organized by the school); you can take part in a mountain biking or horseback excursion, take a tour to one of the three breathtaking volcanoes that surround Antigua; enjoy an afternoon with a relaxing Latin American film showing at the school, or even learn to dance the salsa and meringue in Latin American dance classes, which also take place at the school. Or if you’d rather, just explore the shops and cafés throughout the city.
If it’s an authentic Guatemalan dish you seek, give the “de todo un poco” (“a little taste of everything”) platter a try at La Fonda de la Calle Real – just make sure to bring your appetite because they really do serve generous portions of all of their delicious specialties!
One thing is for sure: the school in Antigua is a great place to study Spanish! It’s just such a welcoming and charming city and the school is really professional, but also very friendly – just the right combination if you ask me. Come and try it for yourself – I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Antigua – just like me!