The Spanish school in Antigua
This is a medium size, Guatemalan run, very cosy school. The school has a great location, very central in beautiful Antigua. If you want to be sure you will meet lots of other students and have a good time while learning Spanish this is the school for you! We offer four hours of private classes a day, usually in the morning. You receive these private lessons in the courtyard under a palm tree next to the swimming pool! During coffee breaks or after school you can jump in the pool, relax in the courtyard or have a bite in the restaurant that is also part of the school. Even with private, one on one classes, there is plenty of opportunity to meet the other students. You see each other in the courtyard or restaurant before classes, during coffee breaks and in the afternoon during the joint activities. The school organises an activity most afternoons and it is your choice if you want to join or not.
The beautiful court yard of the school has a swimming pool and hammocks to relax in after your classes. At the school you have free internet access, -wireless too-, cable t.v., a ping-pong table, laundry.
When you do not speak any Spanish yet on arrival and you want to be picked up from the airport by someone who speaks English, we can arrange this (Gustavo, the owner, speaks English very well).
Every day, the school offers different activities such as: Latin American dances, visits to coffee- and nut (macademia) plantations, Churches and Cooperative, visits of nearby Indian villages, ruins and monuments outside Antigua. Often they organize sports events: ping-pong, volleyball and football.
Every Friday afternoon there is a 'happy- hour' for the students and teachers with drinks, music and dancing.
The host family
You will stay with a Guatemalan family where you receive three meals a day, except on Sundays. The local families where you can stay are all upper middle class and in general within walking distance from the school.
We can arrange an airport transfer for you on arrival: at the airport of Guatemala City you're picked up by a driver of the school who will bring you directly to your host family in Antigua ($ 30). Antigua is 45 kilometres distance of the airport of Guatemala City. The trip usually takes about 45 minutes.
Included in the standard package in Antigua
- Private lessons of 4 hours per day, five days a week.
- Accommodation with a local host family with 3 meals included (except on Sundays), in a single or shared room during the study period from Saturday to Saturday.
- Study material.
- Registration fee.
- Transfer from the airport of Guatemala to the host family in Antigua.
|Guatamala||Classes||hpd||1 wk||2 wks||3 wks||4 wks||extra week||extra night||transfer|
|Antigua||private||4||$ 290||$ 515||$ 740||$ 965||$ 240||$ 10||$ 30|
COUNTRY INFO GUATEMALA
Guatemala is one of the most culturally authentic countries of Latin America. There is a very high percentage of Indians in its population. Catholicism has been mixed with pagan rituals, like the use of sacrifices. The Guatemalan culture is in many ways very colourful and the Mayas still cling to their ancient traditions. It seems as if time has stood still here in certain places.
Guatemala is a country of contrasts; the Latinos have a modern western lifestyle, whilst most of the Mayas still live pretty much like their ancestors lived hundreds of years ago. They still wear their traditional clothing, brightly coloured hand-woven costumes, both in everyday life and on religious occasions like the many processions that are held here.
The landscape of Guatemala is beautiful and very diverse: there is jungle, rough mountains, hill forests, rain forests and high altitude lakes that are surrounded by volcanoes. Antigua, Panajachel at Lake Atitlán, the market of Chichicastenango and the old Mayan city of Tikal in the middle of the jungle are the main tourist attractions of Guatemala. These places are easy to travel to yourself or you can book organised tours from Antigua or Quetzaltenango. Guatemala City is worth a short visit but not really a must and most certainly a city where you will need to watch your belongings at busy bus stations or on public transport.
Guatemala is known as the country of eternal spring because of its mild climate.
- Climbing volcanoes.
- Mountain biking.
- Horseback riding.
- Sailing on the Rio Dulce or Lago de Atitlán.
- Visit Livingston: a Caribbean coastal town with African influence.
- Diving in Lago de Atitlán at ATI-divers in Santa Cruz la Laguna.
- River rafting.
- Bird watching.
- Weaving classes.
- Salsa dance courses.
- Visit the highlights of Guatemala: Antigua, Lago de Atitlán, Chichicastenango, Todos los Santos de Chuchumantanes and Tikal.
- Visit less known but there for more traditional Indian villages.
- An abundance of voluntary work in any field!
- Transport: collective bus ('chicken bus') or minibus for tourists on routes between highlights.
Antigua is the oldest, and according to many, the most beautiful town of Central America. Since many years, the language schools have welcomed large amounts of people from all over the world who want to learn Spanish properly in a short amount of time and still be able to enjoy a holiday at the same time. Many travellers start their trip of Latin America with Spanish courses in Antigua. This popularity is explained by the high quality and low cost of private Spanish lessons, their hospitality and, of course, the charm of the town itself. The formal capital Antigua was founded in 1527. The roads in this town with 30.000 inhabitants are paved with cobblestones. During the day it is full of colourful people that come there every day from the surrounding villages. The daily market and the cemetery are well worth a visit. Antigua still has numerous remains from the Spanish occupation, like churches and cathedrals from the 16th and 17th century.
There are many great restaurants and bars and it is very easy to meet locals, fellow travellers and students. The always busy 'Parque Central' (main plaza in Antigua) has an important social function: both locals and foreigners meet each other here and relax on one of the many little park benches. Antigua has an altitude of 1530 meters and is surrounded by three volcanoes. From Antigua you can make lots of diverse day or weekend trips using local transportation. You can do a weekend trip to Panajachel, for example, which is situated at Lago de Atitlán, or to Chichicastenango, which has the most famous crafts market in Central America every Sunday, when hundreds of Indians come down from the mountains to sell their self-made and very colourful products.
- Climbing volcanoes (Pacaya, Agua, Fuego).
- Mountain biking.
- Horseback riding.
- Salsa dance courses.
- Visit churches and cathedrals of the 16e en 17e century.
- Visit in a group the Cierro de la Cruz with a nice view of Antigua.
- Visit the daily market near the bus station and the cemetery beside.
- Weekend: visit Panajachel and the market in Chichicastenango.
- Weekend: visit the ancient Maya town Tikal in the Peten.
- Good places of entertainment.
- Voluntary work.
Many students over the last years have used the possibility to combine Spanish lessons in Guatemala with lessons in Mexico. You can book an open-jaw flight; you fly into Guatemala City and out of Mexico City or vice versa. We recommend you make the journey from Guatemala to Mexico by bus but if you want to combine Guatemala with Costa Rica or Panama you are better of flying.
Make sure to check the dates of local fiestas when making your travel plans. We highly recommend you to experience being present at any of the local fiestas. Every town has its own annual fiesta. The fiestas, often with a religious background, consist of hours or even days of dancing by the male population. They dress in traditional costumes and wear masks which depict a certain historic event.
In the week before Easter there are numerous processions in Antigua for example. The streets are dressed up with flower petals, laid out in beautiful motives like paintings. An absolute must do!
|Antiqua||Annual feast||25 July|
|--||Eastern||(2007) 5-6 April|
|--||Independence Day||15 September|
|Panajachel||Annual feast||4 October|
|Chichicastenango||Annual feast||21 December|
|Sololá||Annual feast||15 August|
|San Lucas Tolimán||Annual feast||18 October|
|San Marcos la Laguna||Annual feast||25 April|
|San Pablo la Laguna||Annual feast||25 January|
|San Pablo la Laguna||Annual feast||29 June|
|Santiago Atitlán||Annual feast||25 July|
|Quetzaltenango||Annual feast||15 September|
|Todos Los Santos||All Saints' Day||1 November|
|Annual feast||1 November|
|Flores||Annual feast||15 January|
Guatemala only has a rainy and a dry season. In Antigua and Quetzaltenango the rainy season lasts from June until October, the dry season from October till June. In rainy season the rains are heavy but usually short and mainly in the afternoons. Right after the sky turns blue again. The average day temperature is around 21ºC in the high lands, at night it cools down considerably. At the coast it's 30ºC during the day.
Come with Adiós Travel to learn Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala.