Main Claire's Itchy Feet logo

Best Places to Learn Spanish in Medellin Colombia

What’s the best country to learn Spanish? Some of the best Spanish schools are in South America, and Medellin is one of the best places to learn Spanish in Colombia. To study Spanish in Colombia, I highly recommend taking language classes and learning Spanish in Medellin. Learning Spanish in Latin America is ideal since it’s home to many of the world’s best Spanish schools.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know learning Spanish hasn’t been easy for me. I attended several schools in Guatemala, but deciding to learn Spanish in Medellin has been most successful. I’m convinced that Colombia is the best country to learn Spanish in.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Why Learn Spanish in Medellin Colombia?

When I was planning my Spanish learning excursion, I narrowed it down to two options: Guatemala and Colombia. From my online research about the best places to learn Spanish, I found that learning Spanish in Medellin was highly ranked. When the time came to decide, I chose Guatemala because I thought Colombia was too dangerous to travel alone.

Don’t get me wrong—I have no regrets because my nine months in Guatemala were unforgettable. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong on the safety front. Whatever you decide, don’t let preconceived notions about Colombia being dangerous deter you from visiting.

Today, it’s difficult for me to think of a reason NOT to study Spanish in Colombia. Ask anyone who has recently visited, and they will tell you how much they fell in love with the country. While Colombia has a troubled past, it’s quickly becoming a favorite among backpackers and nature lovers. Colombia has something for everyone, including some of the best Spanish schools in South America.

Colombia’s biodiversity is incomparable—where else can you explore white sand beaches, deserts, lost cities high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the Amazon jungle?

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Medellin Tours: Click here to check out the top Medellin tours
Best Medellin Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Medellin
Best Medellin Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Medellin

Colombian Adventures | Visiting a Coffee Farm outside Medellin

Why is Colombia the Best Country to Learn Spanish for Beginners?

Colombia is ideal for beginners since Colombians speak with a neutral accent compared to other South American countries. Colombians also speak relatively slowly (if you avoid the Caribbean Coast) and more clearly than other South American countries. Another reason to learn Spanish in Colombia is it’s one of the cheaper places to study, with budget-friendly lessons and a low cost of living.

While Colombia’s Spanish classes were more expensive than Guatemala’s, they were much better quality, which makes the extra cost worth it.

Need Transportation in Colombia?

I highly recommend booking Colombia transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and flights on their website—I love their customer service. I know them personally from my time living in Guatemala, and they genuinely care for their customers. If a delay occurs and you miss your bus, call them for help.

If you book through GottoGo, you will pay more than at the bus station, but it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Colombia.

Best Places to Learn Spanish in Colombia

Most Colombian cities have numerous Spanish schools—people often visit Bogotá, Medellin, Cartagena, and Cali. I suggest learning Spanish in Medellin—I studied at Toucan Spanish School Medellin.

Toucan Spanish School in Medellin - Learning Spanish in Medellin | The Best Place to Learn Spanish in Latin America

My Experience at Toucan Spanish School Medellin

While Toucan Spanish School Medellin wasn’t the first I attended, it was the first to offer group classes, which was a big bonus. I found the experience of one-on-one classes too intense as a complete beginner. I missed interacting with a group and the support of a shared learning experience.

Learning Spanish in Medellin | The Best Place to Learn Spanish in Latin America

I consider Toucan one of the best Spanish schools in Medellin because I had to take an assessment before starting classes. Toucan has a unique curriculum where you learn alongside others on your experience level.

There’s always a review on Mondays, making it easy to change classes and jump forward or back a week. You can also take multiple weeks of classes and pick up where you left off, knowing you haven’t missed anything, even if you take time off for sightseeing.

Toucan is also the most professional school I have attended—the teachers and staff were incredible, and I felt entirely supported in my learning.

Learning Spanish in Medellin | The Best Place to Learn Spanish in Latin America

What to Expect at Toucan Spanish School Medellin

The groups were small (typically, 6-8 people), with four hours of daily classes, five days a week. The group size and class length were perfect for me. Any longer, and my brain would have shut down!

Learning Spanish in Medellin | The Best Place to Learn Spanish in Latin America

Toucan has a reputation for being a “party” school, but that wasn’t my experience. Everyone in my class was serious about learning. Toucan is a social school with daily extracurricular activities, from salsa classes to cafe intercambios four times a week. I made several good friends, and while there were some parties, they were always on the weekend!

Many students took classes at DanceFree, where you can always find beginners dancing the night away.

Quick Tip: View my full Colombia packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Colombia Essentials shopping list here.

My Journey Learning Spanish in Medellin

Since I already had some Spanish experience, I began at week three (complete beginners start at week one of the 3-month program) and progressed quickly. This is partly because Spanish was much more familiar because I’d lived in Latin America for a year.

The first week was mainly gap-filling and reviewing what I already knew. About 70% of the class was taught in English at this stage. By the end of the week, I noticed a massive improvement in my confidence and ability to converse in Spanish.

Learning Spanish in Medellin | The Best Place to Learn Spanish in Latin America

I took four weeks, and classes were progressively taught more in Spanish. Our final week was entirely in Spanish, with just a few English words if we struggled to understand something. By the end of the four weeks, I was confident using past tense and a bit of future, and my present tense felt solid. I expanded my vocabulary and felt more confident speaking.

The level of grammar you learn is always a point of contention because most people want to know the language to travel and thus a practical course. Although the classes focus on grammar, which you need for classes, you usually cover that in the first two days while the rest of the week is spent practicing.

Toucan didn’t give me pointless rules—they made me use them! One thing I loved about the group classes was that we never stopped talking.

Toucan Tours

Toucan also has a cafe and tour desk in the same building as the school. I did several tours and enjoyed hanging out in the cafe after class. Most evenings, you can practice everything you learn in class at one of the intercambios.

Learning Spanish in Medellin | The Best Place to Learn Spanish in Latin America

Toucan Pros:

  • Small group classes
  • Option to take one-on-one classes
  • Daily extracurricular activities
  • Professional teachers
  • Discounted tours
  • Set curriculum
  • Emphasis on speaking
  • Social opportunities to make friends

Learning Spanish in Medellin With a Disability

As a dyslexic person, learning a second language has been (and still is) a painful process. I have no short-term memory, so I must review something many times before it finally sticks. If I could redo my four weeks, I would take two weeks, followed by a week off or a week of private/semi-private classes, before returning to group classes for my final week(s).

Group classes are excellent, but the teacher must keep the class moving—if you struggle to grasp a concept, getting the attention you need in a group setting can be challenging. Doing a mix of group classes, where you can practice talking with others, and one-on-one classes, where you can learn at your own pace, is the best way to study Spanish in Colombia.

If you can’t afford a week of one-on-one classes, take a week off to self-study, practice with locals, and sightsee. Sometimes, it helps to take time for everything to settle in so you can practice your new skills.

Alternative Options to Learn Spanish in Medellin

An alternative to Toucan Spanish School is Spanish Immersion School & Hostel. Here, you pay for lessons, accommodations, and meals and can choose the amount of weekly versus one-on-one classes you take. This is an immersive experience, and everyone you are staying with is also taking lessons, so it’s excellent exposure to Spanish.

The Olsa International School is a more conventional language school with incredible reviews. Many customers comment about the teachers’ passion for helping others learn Spanish.

learning Spanish in Medellin,spanish,medellin,toucan,learn spanish in Medellin,spanish school Medellin

Wondering where to stay in Medellin? I recommend staying in either El Poblado or Laureles, and here are a few of my favorite places to stay:

Parceros Med Hostel (I stayed here for a month and loved it!)
Los Patios Hostel Boutique
Purple Monkey Hostel
Hostal Medellin -Laureles
El Jardín de la 10 – El Poblado

You can also read my full Where to Stay in Medellin Guide here.

Medellin Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Medellin?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Medellin which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Medellin on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Medellin?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Medellin?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Best Places to Learn Spanish in Medellin Colombia: Final Thoughts

Colombia is the best country to learn Spanish, in my opinion, because of the many incredible schools. My number one tip is to learn some basics before you arrive so you aren’t as overwhelmed. This will also make your first week of learning Spanish in Medellin much easier. Download Duolingo and study for an hour daily if possible.

Learning Spanish in Medellin Best Place to Learn Spanish in Latin America

This post was proofread by Grammarly.


Friday 11th of February 2022

Bummer. I just looked the school up and it is permanently closed. I did love your tips as I struggle learning too.