If you are longing to take a trip to South America, the good news is that there is a way to make your adventure even more worthwhile. Why not master Spanish during your travels? If you want to become fluent in the language, you can take a four-month trip to Latin America and explore the continent while attending Spanish classes. This article explores the possibilities of an itinerary that includes stops in Peru, Chile, and Argentina. You will become more and more comfortable speaking Spanish as you explore the various cities.
Starting Your Journey in Peru
Begin your journey with a one-way ticket to Lima, Peru. We recommend beginning your trip in Lima because the Spanish spoken in this country is amongst the easiest for beginning level speakers to understand. Connecting through Fort Lauderdale, Spirit has low-priced one-way tickets. The advantage of a one-way ticket is that it allows you to keep your options open while you are traveling. Once you arrive in Peru, there are countless entertaining activities. From surfing its Pacific coastline, to eating its famed seafood, to attending local festivals. Also reachable from Lima are the country's jungles, with new flavors and customs.
The next step of the trip would be to visit Cusco, Peru, which is just a one-hour flight from Lima. Cusco is a small city in the middle of the mountains. In fact, this region is over 11,000 feet high, so take it easy the first day you arrive to adjust to the high altitude. Because this area was the capital of the Incan Empire, you can explore ancient ruins, including Machu Picchu. This part of Peru also offers sports like rafting and hiking. For a relatively small city, Cusco has a suprisingly robust offering of live music and theatre.
Visit Various Cities in Chile
Once you have spent a few weeks in Cusco, the next stage of your journey could be visiting Santiago, Chile, which is just about 3 hours away. Santiago is South America’s most modern capital city, so there are many nightlife options including Irish pubs and salsa dancing. Santiago also is surrounded by some of the continent’s most renowned vineyards. If you are in Santiago the right time of year, you can even go snowboarding in the Andes.
Viña del Mar, Chile is about a 2-hour bus ride from Santiago. This is a resort with pristine beaches, so you can sunbathe and enjoy clean ocean air. From this location, you can easily access the famous historic port city of Valparaiso. Many visitors also seize the opportunity to visit poet Pablo Neruda’s quirky house in this area.
Spend Time in Argentina
From Chile, you can move onto two cities in Argentina, namely Mendoza and Buenos Aires. Check out mountainous Mendoza first, as it is just a 60 minute flight from Chile. You will find that this beautiful location in the Andes has a very friendly population. You can relax in this region and enjoy natural wonders which include horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking through natural parks.
Of course, your travels to South America would not be complete without visiting South America’s most famous city, namely Buenos Aires. This location is just a 90 minute flight or 14 hour bus ride from Mendoza. The variety of cultural activities in Buenos Aires are pretty endless and there are many Spanish language schools. And certainly don’t miss dancing the tango. Most visitors also spend time photographing the architecture and attending soccer games with Argentina's passionate fans.
Conclude Your Trip in the Location of Your Choice
By the time you get to the last month or your trip, there will likely be locations to which you are dying to return. So for the last four weeks, spend some time relaxing in your favorite destination while continuing your Spanish classes. It is important to be flexible and open to new possibilities. After all, isn’t that what travel is all about? Plus, you will have likely met new friends to visit in some of the different cities you have discovered. Recent student Jerry Wang stated, “Aside from learning the language of the countries, you will instantly have new friends in each location to help you get around and for advise on what to do.”
Don’t forget to pack light so you won’t have to worry about lugging around too many belongings. Remember that laundry service is cheap in South America. You want to be freed up to explore, and too many suitcases can definitely weigh you down.
So what would this total trip cost including classes? Budget about $2000 per month as this amount of money should allow for food, housing, Spanish school, and your travel expenses. As you can see, you can get a lot for your dollar when you study Spanish abroad.
We recommend signing up for Spanish language schools that provide classes in each city. That way you can spend about 2 weeks in each location learning the language. Alternatively you could search for a new school in each city, but that will add cost (each school will require a new application fee) and time. Ann Glotzbach recently stated in regards to her travels around South America, “Each school offered engaging professors, well organized teaching materials, excellent administrative support, comfortable classrooms, enjoyable cultural excursions, and diverse and dynamic classmates.”
With Spanish language schools in Argentina, Chile, and Peru, ECELA gives you a varied experience as you study Spanish abroad. For information on a multi-country experience => http://www.ecela.com/services_multi.php