Santa Cruz Spanish School
Santa Cruz Spanish School
5
About
Since 2006. The school is located at Our Hotel Arca de Noe - 1 minute away from the main public dock in Santa Cruz la Laguna. Our teachers are highly qualified and flexible. Students can share different experiences with other teachers! It is possible. Our courses are individually or in a small group designed for everyone. All materials provided by the school are free. Our school includes free WIFI and a great place for coffee or just relax. Though we offer structure, we are always ready to accommodate student's particular needs and desires. Our teachers are ready to help if a student feels the need to spend more time on any phase of the learning process...
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Marlene Z
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful setting, immerse in Spanish language and Mayan culture
    I highly recommend studying Spanish at this school. I spent 3 weeks, 4 hours per day with my teacher, Rosario. I already spoke a lot of Spanish, and she was able to adjust my lessons to exactly the level I needed, to help me improve my vocabulary and understanding. She was very friendly and personable, and I felt comfortable talking with her in Spanish for hours and hours. She was also very helpful in orienting me to the Atitlan, knowledgeably answering any questions about the Atitlan area. You study as you look out on this incredibly beautiful setting of lake and volcanoes. I had the honor to stay with a local Mayan family for these 3 weeks. The family welcomed me and included me in all of their daily routines. It was coffee processing season, and I even took part in processing the coffee in the family's micro-business. The family shared their knowledge and traditions with me, so it was like a double-immersion, both into Spanish (at school and around town) and into the Mayan culture, at home.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written December 14, 2023
  • Kirsten A
    Baarn, The Netherlands5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very good and nice personal Spanish school
    I enjoyed 5 days of classes at this friendly school. It is a small school at the lake, in the relaxed town of Santa Cruz. I had lessons in the mornings, 4 hours each morning. It bloody intensive, but that is what I was looking for: good teachers and good lessons. I also stayed at the hotel arc de Noe, which was very nice and convenient! I am just really happy with my experience over here. If you are looking to party, go to San Pedro. If you like to learn Spanish, come here. Besides learning Spanish I enjoyed myself in the weekend and afternoons with hiking (to San Marcos & cuij kortel), sunbath, wat at every local restaurant possible, a local maya sauna at Elena’s, visits to pana (la mariposoria), San Pedro (museo), San Juan (chocolate). 🧡
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written February 23, 2024
  • Liz R
    Elkhorn, Wisconsin1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Fantastic School and Learning Experience
    I studied Spanish for a week at Santa Cruz Spanish School and can highly recommend it. The setting was relaxed and beautiful and I enjoyed starting each day with a view of the lake and lovely gardens. My teacher, Pedro, used a range of teaching strategies that made learning engaging. He tailored the curriculum to focus on my personal goals and was skilled at listening and fine tuning my Spanish along the way. My favorite part was getting to have informal conversations about Lago de Atitlán and Guatemala, along with discussions of personal interests that generated cross-cultural understandings and learning. I returned home with a bucketlist of things to see and do in Guatemala in the future, including a return to Santa Cruz Spanish School. Hasta la próxima vez!
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written March 29, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


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Kirsten A
Baarn, The Netherlands5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
I enjoyed 5 days of classes at this friendly school. It is a small school at the lake, in the relaxed town of Santa Cruz. I had lessons in the mornings, 4 hours each morning. It bloody intensive, but that is what I was looking for: good teachers and good lessons. I also stayed at the hotel arc de Noe, which was very nice and convenient!
I am just really happy with my experience over here.
If you are looking to party, go to San Pedro. If you like to learn Spanish, come here.

Besides learning Spanish I enjoyed myself in the weekend and afternoons with hiking (to San Marcos & cuij kortel), sunbath, wat at every local restaurant possible, a local maya sauna at Elena’s, visits to pana (la mariposoria), San Pedro (museo), San Juan (chocolate). 🧡
Written February 23, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TexasYardbird
Austin, TX16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Family
I just wanted to pass on some of my thoughts regarding the school.

I was first introduced to your school in June 2017. I walked into it and briefly spoke to the administrator about the program.

I returned in June of 2018 to sign up for classes and the administrator remembered our conversation a year earlier….very impressive.

My son and I spent four weeks in the school, studying 20 hours per week.

It's a very professionally run organization. Every teacher we encountered was truly dedicated to their jobs.

The coursework was on par or better than other schools I have attended.

My background in Spanish: Learned it in college back in the 1990’s, studied in Antigua in 1994, and I have traveled all over North and South America. I found the curriculum to be diverse and completely applicable to a person with my level of Spanish. The school was quick to custom tailor and identify areas that I needed more work in. We then set out each day working on improving my Spanish.

My son has taken Spanish in school here in the US (7th grade). What impressed me about his work in the school was how quickly the teacher progressed him through everything he was taught in school here in Texas last year. They had covered his entire school year in a matter of 2 1/2 weeks. That was a good thing for my son as being a young student, reviewing things is always important. Further, his teacher had a very kind and nurturing personality which is important for a student such as my son.

The school administrator was ever present at the school, being a dedicated professional. Every day the students started off the day with a clean and presentable school. Her interactions with staff and students alike was always professional and courteous.

The first week i was there was a bit slow as tourist season had just started. Several teachers had afternoon students so in the morning they passed their time preparing for the afternoon students.

My teacher was excellent. Everyday he was well prepared. He really had an excellent understanding of Spanish Grammar. What I appreciate most about him was his dedication to identifying areas that I was deficient in and hammering me with drills and conversation in order to learn some of the more complicated grammatical structures. You need to understand that I have taken Spanish on a university level when I say this….He was on par with or better than many professors I had at the University of Texas. Further, in my occupation, I am an instructor as well. My instructor at the school was one of the top 10 instructors I have ever encountered.

All said and done, we had a wonderful time. They have an amazing team there at the school. We were sad to leave having made some friends and really enjoying our time spent with them.
Written July 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ogrunewa
Manhattan, KS128 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Solo
I studied at the Santa Cruz Spanish School for four weeks. The experience exceeded my expectations and I would recommend the school for anyone interested in Spanish at any level. My instructor was Eligio. I brought a Spanish textbook with me entitled, “Practice Makes Perfect Spanish Verb Tenses.” Every day I was given homework assignments from the text. The next class Eligio and I would review the homework. In addition, I would recount what I did the previous day. Then we would cover new material using a textbook provided by the school. I studied for fours hours each morning. Mid way through the morning we would take a break and after the break we would go through a question and answer session covering material from the morning lecture. I really enjoyed this approach because of the continuous practice.

The school focuses on reading, writing and conversation. My homework required me to write in Spanish. My discussion of the previous day’s activities helped me learn the past tenses. And the question and answer session helped me form basic sentences. I would go back and forth with Eligio taking turns asking and then answering questions from an extensive list of verbs that were on flashcards. The exercise is exhausting but it does get you speaking Spanish quickly. In addition, Eligio is a stickler for proper pronunciation which is especially important.

The school’s location is in a beautiful setting near the lake front. The only problem that I experienced was noise from the motor taxies as they ascended from the lake front to the village. After a while I became accustomed to the noise. However, if you have difficulty hearing I recommend that you request that your class be held in the upper classroom.

I opted to stay the entire time in a homestay. I stayed with the Cruz family in Santa Cruz which is a 20-minute walk from the school. You can take a motor taxi to and from the school, but I enjoyed the walk. Staying in the village was an excellent decision. I learned a lot about the local culture and the Mayan way of life from my family. I had the opportunity to practice Spanish during my meals. I enjoyed every meal in the homestay. However, it should be noted that the village is poor and may not be for everyone. You will find the village to be noisy, with many dogs roaming around, and smoke from the wood burning ovens. The village is very steep and if you have mobility issues you will find it easier to get around living near the lake.
Written January 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aland M
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
Me and my girlfriend had an amazing learning experience here! Elegio, our teacher, was patient, understanding and very kind. He could always provide us with sufficient explanations that made it all very easy for us. The rest of the staff were all also incredibly nice. We highly recommend this school!
Written December 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LisaLashes77
Berlin, Germany22 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Solo
I had a great teacher - Dolores - who was incredibly patient and very professional. She followed a plan and in two weeks I got a great basis for grammatical structure, past present and future tense and lots of conversational practise. Be warned - the lessons are totally in Spanish, so the few weeks I did beforehand on Duolingo held me in good stead to begin with. The lessons were held in the pretty gardens. My only complaint is that emails to the school were not always responded to quickly enough.
Written December 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex C
Brisbane, Australia2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Solo
From May to July 2012 I lived at Lake Atitlán, partially to work on my Spanish, so finding a good Spanish school was very important. I was very happy with my experience at the Santa Cruz Spanish School. Santa Cruz is a lovely place to be based, being away from the bigger commercial tourist centres around the lake, while still having a number of good hotel restaurants/bars, and easy access to all the outdoor activities you could want. All the staff at the school were very helpful and friendly, willing to assist and organise in anything you wanted to do while at the lake (or further afield). They are really trying to build the school up and improve the facilities, so will continue to offer more options, but the construction doesn't take away from current classes as these are all done outside in their grounds in nice areas amongst the trees. They have a great vision for the place and it will be interesting to see it all come together.
All the lessons were one-on-one, so move at your pace. While, I found the Spanish lessons to be a good mix of grammatical instructions, vocabulary building and conversation. Throughout my time there I had a single teacher, who I got along with very well, and during lesson breaks I would get to know some of the other teachers as well, who were also very personable.
It was a very relaxed environment, while everyone I dealt with, while being relaxed and friendly were also very professional in everything they did.
Although I organised my own accommodation, I know they are happy to help with this as well. Definitely get in touch with them and see how they can help!
Written August 2, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul B
Toronto, Canada33 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
My wife and I studied at the Santa Cruz Spanish School for a week in January. My wife took the Spanish Course for Tourists and was taught by Vanessa. Vanessa was patient, animated and an excellent teacher. My wife learned a lot of basic survival Spanish which she was able to use to great effect the following week. I am an advanced Spanish student and initially had problems as the assigned teached had never taught an advanced student and had some difficulties in adjusting. The director of the School, Rosa, identified the problem and taught me herself for the rest of the week. Rosa was an excellent teacher, identified the gaps in grammar, and worked on them with me. I would highly recommend the school for beginner and intermediate students but would recommend that you make it clear beforehand to Rosa if you are an advanced student and request her as your teacher. Paul
Written February 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

squidfisher
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
My boyfriend and I took a one week course here and I truely wish that we were able to stay longer. Our teacher was Vanessa, who was so awesome and kind. She was a great fit for us and we got along great. She's very kind and isn't hesitant to be goofy with us during the class, which I really liked. She spoke slowly and clearly so we could understand her and moved at a pace that suited us well. Something I liked was that she was great with working with us through any problem and made sure we really understood something before moving on, and if we didn't we would come back to it the next day. The setting at the school is nice and there are trails around the school that you can check out during your break times. I really recommend this place, the prices are great too and the staff is so friendly.
Thank you everyone at the Spanish School, we will miss you :)
Written January 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SonoranRovers
Tucson, AZ8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Family
We spent 5 days with this school. The kids, 7 and 9, had their own teacher who was lovely and kept them engaged and entertained. My teacher was great too and pitched to my beginner level well. Lots of interesting conversations. Colleen had a more advanced teacher who gave her well considered and more demanding curriculum. Great little community and a pleasant boat ride.
Written October 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roger S
Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Couples
I was a little skeptical about my ability to learn a new language. I am 67 and have never successfully learned a second language. However the teachers at the Santa Cruz Spanish School are very patient. After six weeks of five day a week classes, I can say that I am already able to have basic conversations with native speakers.

I have really enjoyed working with my teacher, Juanita. She is a great teacher and very patient. Believe me, I have tested her patience. Even after the 50th time of confusing para and por, she just gently reminds me of which one I should be using.

Santa Cruz is a wonder place to take Spanish. It is beautiful and the Spanish School is has a wonderful view of Lake Atitlan and the nearby volcanoes. There are a number of convenient and inexpensive hotels nearby.

The Santa Cruz Spanish School is a great value. I can't predict what your exact cost will be, because it varies by season and the number of classes to which you are committing. But I doubt you will find a more cost effective way to learn Spanish anyplace in the world. And when you aren't in class, you can enjoy visiting the different pueblos that circle one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. And interacting with some of the nicest people in the world.

One warning: The Santa Cruz Spanish School is not handicap accessible. For that matter, Santa Cruz in general is not handicap accessible. For that matter, very little of Guatemala is handicap accessible. To get to the school, you will need to climb a steep set of stairs and several hundred feet of steep hill. To get around Santa Cruz, you need to climb in and out of boats and walk on often uneven paths. The nearest major hospital is two hours away by what I can only imagine as a miserable ambulance ride. So be sure you are physically able to deal with being in a remote area. But it is one of my favorite places on earth, and I have been to many.
Written August 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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