Travel Through Latin America and Learn Spanish at the Same Time

Latin America with its hypnotic rhythms, exotic cuisines, verdant rainforests, ancient civilizations and tropical beaches offers a dizzying concoction of potential travel experiences. From hiking the Inca Trail to penguin spotting in Patagonia, Latin America is an exciting and memorable travel destination.

Spanish dominates Latin America, in fact there are more than 400 million Spanish speakers on the continent, so what better way to learn than to travel throughout Central and South America?

Immersing yourself in the culture and language is a guaranteed path to Spanish fluency. As you travel throughout Latin America you can take Spanish classes and organize home stays with local families before moving onto your next location.

The accent, pronunciation and slang used in different countries throughout Latin America are unique. By splitting your time up between various spots around the continent you will be exposed to a great variety of Spanish and your listening skills and vocabulary will thank you for it.

Peru is often said to have the most pure Spanish in all of Latin America. This is attributed to the fact that it was the headquarters of the vice-royalty in the days of colonialism and hence had a large population of nobility. The Peruvian accent is clear and Peruvians tend not to pepper their speech with as much slang as experienced in countries such as Chile or Mexico. The chief locations for learning Spanish throughout the land of the Incas are Lima or Cuzco. If you want to go off the beaten track Trujillo, Chiclayo, Piura, Arequipa and Mancora are also options for enrolling in language schools.

Moving further south Chile is a stunning country blessed with dramatic mountain ranges and the spectacular beauty of the wine growing regions in the south. Chilean Spanish is considered to be very fast and bedecked with a lot of slang, but there are plenty of language schools in the capital Santiago that can get you used to the rapid pace of Chilean Spanish. While sampling some of the delicious wine in the Viña del Mar region in the south you can also brush up on your Spanish skills.

Argentinean Spanish is known among native speakers for its lyrical accent. The huge numbers of Italian immigrants that came to Argentina in the 18th and 19th centuries have left their mark on the national accent. The main centers for learning Spanish in Argentina are Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Bariloche in Patagonia.

Heading north to Central America, Costa Rica with its white sandy tropical beaches holds a great deal of appeal. Costa Rica has set aside 20 per cent of its territory for national park lands where visitors can experience jungles rich in tropical flora and fauna. There are several Spanish schools set up in San Jose and some of them also run volunteer ecological programs alongside the language classes.

Mexico at the top of Latin America is also home to the largest population of Spanish speakers in the world. Perhaps for this reason it is also one of the widest users of slang in Latin America. Mexico has a ton of language schools for travelers in many different cities and pueblos. Whether you want to hang out in colonial Guadalajara or hang out on the beach in between classes in La Paz, Mazatlan or Puerto Escondido you can find the right combination for you.

Latin America has more than 20 countries with Spanish listed as an official language. If you want to immerse yourself in castellano and become fluent while enjoying some truly spectacular sites, several world heritage sites and even a world wonder or two, then start making plans today. Not only will you arrive home with fluent Spanish, but you’ll bring with you fistfuls of fantastic memories.

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