Spanish Courses in Quito, Ecuador
Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, has a population of approximately one million. It is situated in a beautiful valley that runs from north to south and is surrounded by high peaks. The nearest are the Rucu and Guagua Pichincha, jewels of Quito’s unique natural beauty. On sunny days, which is nearly every day, it is possible to observe the numerous peaks forming the Callejon Interandino or the Avenida de los Volcanes. The city rises 2,850 meters above sea level, with an annual average temperature 13 degrees centigrade. It was founded in 1534 by Sebastian de Benalcazar, the first Spanish capital city in South America. Quito was also the first to proclaim its independence from the Spanish Crown. Thus, it is nicknamed Luz de America, the light of America. It has a mild climate, despite of the fact that it is located only 22 km. south of the equator. The dry season in Quito is from May to October, and brief daily showers occur November through April. Nights are crisp, requiring a sweater or jacket, but the year round daily temperatures seldom vary from the upper 60s to the low 70°s F.
Over the centuries Quito has been fought over and control of the city has changed hands frequently. In the 15th century the Inca Empire controlled this city only to see the Spanish conquer it in 1534. Today the historic city center with its magnificent palaces dating back to colonial times has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is full of lively vibrant markets.
Spanish Courses in Quito at Don Quijote Quito
Important: Academia Columbus has merged with the Don Quijote conglomerate of Spanish schools and is now known as Don Quijote Quito.
Don Quijote Quito is situated in the modern part of the city which is characterized by numerous parks, modern office blocks and beautiful residential areas, as well as many historical buildings. There is a beautiful view from the roof terrace which overlooks the whole city. Don Quijote is located in Batán Alto, which is one of the nicest neighborhoods in the modern part of the city. Batán Alto is situated on an incline of the valley, and the school offers fantastic views of the whole city and the Pichincha Volcano which is located on the other side of the valley. You can also quite easily get to Mariscal, the tourist area of the city, by bus or taxi. There you will find numerous bars, restaurants, hostels and nightclubs.
The dynamic and experienced teaching staff at Don Quijote conducts lessons in 9 bright classrooms and is also happy to offer students the opportunity to take lessons on the terrace where you can enjoy the sunshine while studying Spanish, providing optimal learning conditions for students of all proficiency levels. Language courses begin every Monday for all language levels, except beginners (see starting dates below).
The Don Quijote Quito school provides tea, coffee and water free of charge. There are numerous shops, restaurants and bars within walking distance from our school. The school provides wireless internet free of charge for students who bring their laptops. Or, you can also access the internet in one of the nearby internet cafés for a small charge.
Please click on the following tabs for more information on our Spanish Courses in Quito:
Don Quijote – Spanish Courses in Quito
(All programs: Please add USD 100.00 Lingua Service Worldwide Application fee. See Application Procedures.)
Notes: Minimum age for enrollment: 16. Classes are 55 minutes long. Maximum of 8 students per group (average 4). In the exceptional case where there is just 1 student registered for a certain level, the number of lessons per week will be reduced to 60% of the total number of lessons. All prices for the Spanish Courses in Quito include: number of Spanish lessons as listed, Spanish level test on arrival, first day orientation, cultural activities offered at the school, learning materials (text books on loan), certificate of completion and local support.
Spanish Course Options:
Intensive 20 Spanish Course: (3-8 Students per group). The Intensive Spanish Courses are our standard program of 20 lessons per week of general Spanish. This means you will have 4 hours of class per day from Monday to Friday. The course is offered year-round at all 6 levels and is taught in mini groups with a maximum 8 and an average 3 students with the same proficiency level. Before the start of your language course, you will take a placement test which helps us to place you in the correct group. You will develop and improve all language skills (writing, reading, listening and speaking). Besides the language, you will also learn more about the culture of Latin America and the specific country where you are studying.
Intensive 25 Spanish Course: (3-8 Students per group). For students who want a more intensive course we offer our Intensive 25 Spanish Courses. You will receive 20 mini-group Spanish lessons plus 5 additional specialized classes of your choice each week. Students may choose Business Spanish, General Ecuadorean Culture, History or Art, or Oral Expression and Communication classes.
Combined Spanish Course: (3-8 Students per group plus one-to-one classes). The Combined Spanish Courses consist of 20 group lessons of the Intensive Spanish Course in mini groups plus 10 individual classes in the afternoon to address personal interests or difficulties in the language.
Private Spanish Courses: 10, 20 or 30 Private Spanish lessons per week, One-to-one training, all levels from Beginner to Advanced. With private lessons the content of the course as well as the tempo is personalized according to the student‘s needs and wishes. Therefore students are afforded the maximum amount of flexibility and individual support. Private Spanish courses start every Monday for all levels from Beginner to Advanced.
“Spanish and More” courses:
Intensive Spanish and Dancing: 20 lessons per week Intensive Spanish Course (see description above) plus 6 Salsa lessons (2 afternoons per week). Learn to dance Salsa and other forms of Latin American dance in our salsa dance classes with an experienced dance teacher! Join our Spanish & More course with Salsa lessons. This option allows you to study Spanish and at the same time learn one of the most exciting dances of our time: Salsa.
Starting dates 2016 and 2017: Every Monday.
Intensive Spanish and Cooking: 20 lessons per week Intensive Spanish Course (see description above) plus 6 Cooking lessons (2 afternoons per week). Experience Latin American cuisine, visit the local food market and cook a typical specialty dish together with your teacher! Our Spanish & More course with cooking lessons helps you learn to appreciate the local food and the art of preparing typical dishes. While you are studying Spanish you will learn the secrets of the local cuisine. Students will learn about local food, visit supermarkets and/or local markets, talk about the ingredients, and participate in making and tasting some of the most famous local dishes.
Starting dates 2016 and 2017: Every Monday.
Spanish Courses in Quito – Prices 2016 and 2017:
|1 week||2 weeks||3 weeks||4 weeks||Extra Weeks|
|Intensive 20 Spanish Course - 20 Lessons per week||$250||$435||$620||$805||$160|
|Intensive 25 Spanish Course - 25 Lessons per week||$350||$635||$920||$1,205||$265|
|Combined Spanish Course 20+10 Lessons per week||$420||$775||$1,130||$1,485||$330|
|Private Course 10 Lessons per week||$235||$405||$575||$745||$170|
|Private Course 20 Lessons per week||$395||$725||$1,055||$1,385||$330|
|Private Course 30 Lessons per week||$555||$1,045||$1,535||$2,025||$490|
|Spanish and More (Dancing or Cooking)||$345||$625||$905||$1,185||$255|
Starting dates for all group Spanish Courses in Quito 2016 and 2017: Every Monday for all levels including Beginners.
Holidays 2016: 1 January, 8-9 February, 25 March, 1 May, 27 May, 12 August, 9 October, 2-3 November, 6 December, 25 December. Group classes missed due to holidays are NOT made up, except when two holidays fall on the same week, in which case one day will be made up or students will receive a 10% discount for that week. One-to-one classes are always made up during the rest of the week.
Holidays 2017: 1 January, 25 March, 1 May, 26 May, 24 June, 29 September, 30 August, 8 October, 1 November, 8 December, 24-25 December, 1 January. Group classes missed due to holidays are NOT made up, except when two holidays fall on the same week, in which case one day will be made up or students will receive a 10% discount for that week. One-to-one classes are always made up during the rest of the week.
Don Quijote – Quito Accommodations
All our accommodations are carefully selected. Don Quijote understands that this will form an important part of your language stay and our staff personally inspects all accommodations guaranteeing their quality. Only when you feel comfortable in your accommodation will you be able to improve your Spanish skills properly. We especially recommend our host families to experience a total immersion in the culture of the country. Our shared apartments are also very popular with our students and offer you the possibility to cook for yourself as well as meet other people from all over the world.
Accommodation is booked from the Sunday before the course until the Saturday after the course. Extra nights are on request and will be charged for.
Host family stays provide an excellent opportunity to experience the culture of the country and its way of life. You will speak Spanish with your family, eat the local food and see how they live in the respective country. Friendships, which often develop, can last well beyond the duration of the stay. Our carefully selected host families have been welcoming students from all over the world for many years. You will receive a warm welcome, and have the perfect opportunity to use and improve your Spanish skills on a daily basis.
Families provide half board (2 meals per day) or full board (3 meals per day) depending on what suits you best. You will be given bedding, but must bring your own towels. All our host families live close to school, on average 7-15 minutes walking. If you are coming with a friend or partner, you are welcome to stay together in the same host family. Should you have any dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, allergies, etc.), please state those on your enrollment form, so that the family can prepare for your needs as best as possible. Host families are also happy to provide laundry service upon request. Families can wash and dry your clothes for no additional cost once a week.
Many students live in our spacious, comfortably furnished shared apartments near the school. Each one has two or more bedrooms, a living room with TV and an adjacent kitchen, and one or more bathrooms. The kitchen is fully equipped. They are cleaned and the bedding is changed once per week, but we kindly ask that you bring your own towels. Wireless internet access is available free of charge.
All apartments are within walking distance (about 15 minutes, guaranteeing a maximum of 20 minutes walking distance) of the school. You can choose to book a single room or a double room. Even if you are traveling alone, you can book a double room. In this case you would be sharing a room with another student from the language school (same sex, different nationality according to availability). This is a great way to get to know your fellow students from all over the world.
Don Quijote Quito – Accommodation Prices 2016 and 2017:
|Housing Description||One week||Two weeks||Three weeks||Four weeks||Extra Weeks|
|Host Families: (Single room / 2 meals per day)||$159||$318||$477||$636||$159|
|Host Families: (Single room / 3 meals a day)||$179||$358||$537||$716||$179|
|Apartment Share: Single room / no meals||$169||$338||$507||$676||$169|
|Apartment Share: Double room* / no meals||$119||$238||$357||$476||$119|
* Double room can only be booked by two students traveling together. Prices are per person.
Don Quijote Quito – Activities:
As an important part of Don Quijote philosophy ´Living and Learning Spanish´, they offer an extensive social and cultural program in all their schools, which helps you to learn more about the culture and country where you are studying. It is also a good opportunity to get to know your fellow students better and make new friends. Besides the fact that our activity program will provide you with an excellent insight into the diversity of Latin American culture, it will also allow you to contextualize what you learned in the classroom.
Don Quijote Quito offers activities which take place at least three times a week. The following are some of the activities that we offer on a regular basis:
City Tour: On your first day of school, you can participate in our city tour to start exploring the area where you are studying. We will show our new students all the important things that you need to know for your daily life: how to withdraw money, how to get around by public transport, how to shop affordably, where to find Internet cafés, and much more. After this introduction, you will feel at home in no time!
Dance Lessons: Discover Latin American rhythms like Salsa and Merengue with a dance instructor. Feel the energy and shake your hips!
Cooking Lessons: Have you ever tried “Ceviche” or “Guacamole”? You will prepare and enjoy the local culinary specialties together with your teachers and other students.
Lectures: During our lectures and discussions on historical, cultural and current topics of Latin America you will learn more about your destination and its history and culture.
Fiestas: Enjoy our traditional Latin American fiestas with local foods, drinks and dances together with our teachers, students and friends!
Movie Night: Like going to the movies? Come with us and enjoy a movie in Spanish or with Spanish subtitles in a movie theatre around town or in our own movie room.
In addition to our cultural program which is included in the course price, we also organize excursions to interesting destinations to learn more about the culture and the country. Most excursions take place on weekends and can be booked directly at school on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Some of these excursions include: visits to the Otavalo Indigenous Village, Equator line and Inca sites, the hot springs of Papallacta, the Indian market of Saquisili, Mindo valley and rainforest, and the Pichincha volcano.
Don Quijote Quito – Excursions:
In addition to their cultural program, Academia Columbus offers the possibility to participate in exciting excursions to interesting destinations. Most excursions take place on weekends and can be booked directly at school on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Some of the excursions offered on a regular basis are:
Otavalo (indigenous market): Otavalo is an indigenous village full of traditions, located north of Quito on the Panamericana. Departure will be early in the morning driving north from Quito to Otavalo. In the early morning there is a huge animal market where one can purchase anything from chicken and sheep to lamas. This will be our first stop. After this we will continue our trip to the most famous indigenous market of South America: Otavalo Market. Hundreds of merchants offer many opportunities to shop both for tourists and local people. A major attraction of the market is the area where clothing is sold. Here, tourists can purchase various famous souvenirs such as ponchos, traditional costumes, rucksacks, jewelry or hammocks. After lunch, our next stop is the “Peguche” waterfall, a few minutes from Otavalo and after this we will visit Cotacachi which is known as the ´Musical Capital of Ecuador´. Here we will explore the local leather workshops and then we will continue to Cuicocha lagoon, which is located in a crater named Cotacachi, which lies within the Ecological Reserve Cotacachi – Cayapas.
Mitad del Mundo (Equator and Inca sites): The Equator is located only 16 miles north of Quito. In the morning we will head into the direction of San Antonio in Pichincha, where the equatorial line and the complex ´Mitad del Mundo´ (the middle of the world) are located. The heart of the exhibition is a 100 feet (30m) high monument with an ethnographic museum, where you can learn many interesting facts about the indigenous cultures of the area. Especially fascinating are the many physical experiments in the Museo Solar (Intiñan museum) which only work directly on the Equator! It is an interactive museum with experiments, showing the culture and studies of the sun.
Papallacta (thermal hot springs in the Andes): The hot springs of Papallacta are located approx. a two hour drive from Quito in a wonderful Andean valley. Even the valley is 3,300 meter above sea level! On our arrival we are going to visit Papallacta and walk around the lagoon, which with its spectacular landscapes, is an ideal environment for ornithologists. Here you can find over 160 different kinds of species of birds, including the hummingbird, tangaras and occasionally the Gran Cóndor of the Andes. After this hike we will enjoy a typical lunch of ´trucha´ (trout), and in the afternoon we are going to visit the renowned Papallacta thermal springs. Here, you can relax in various pools, which are directly fed with water of volcanic origin, enjoy the magnificent views and experience the wonderfully restorative effects of the crystal clear waters at ten different temperatures.
Saquisilí (indigenous market): The Indian market of Saquisili is less well known than the large market of Otavalo, making it a more traditional and less touristy destination. This market is used mainly by Ecuadorians from the local area and therefore offers an ideal opportunity to see the Ecuadorian culture in all its diversity.
Cotopaxi National Park: This national park stretches around the 5,897 meter peak of the Cotopaxi volcano and is home to a rich variety of animal and plant species. There is even a herd of Lamas that are kept by the park’s entrance for scientific studies. Cotopaxi National Park tour is an exciting day that begins with spectacular views of the Andean landscape in the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Once inside the National Park you will hike up to the refuge that is located at 4800m / 15748 ft, time to rest will be good to refill your energy. Once done with the first part of the hiking you will continue a little more till you reach for the glaciers, a total altitude of 5000m / 16404 ft. On your way back you are going to stop again at the refuge to have a deserved lunch, followed by a down hilling to Limpiopungo Lagoon. You will return to the parking lot and take the way back to Quito.
Baños (picturesque village in the Andes): This weekend trip takes students to the picturesque Andean village of Baños.
Day 1: We are leaving from Quito through the famous ´street of volcanos´. We will pass the Cotopaxi, which, with its height of 5897 meters/ 19348 feet high is one of the highest active volcanos of the world. We will pass some cities of the Andes, like Latacunga and Ambato, known as the city of flowers and fruits. Once arriving in Baños you will have a little tour in the city visiting the church with the famous virgin and will be brought to the hotel later. After lunch, you will continue discovering the village and walk to the viewpoint “Luna run tun”. At night, after sunset, we are going to a viewpoint, where we can see Baños at night.
Day 2: After breakfast, we start our way to Puyo, where we are going to visit the different waterfalls of the region. First the Agoyan waterfall, and later Manto de la Novia-waterfall. Then we continue to Rio Verde, where we will find the most famous waterfall of Ecuador, the Pailón del Diablo, with approx. 100 meters/ 328 feet of height. On our way to the Pailón del Diablo, you will have the possibility to do bungee jumping or canopy. In the afternoon, you will visit the hot springs and then head off to Quito.
RUCU PICHINCHA: The Word “rucu” in quechua means “old”, it´s the ideal mountain to acclimate yourself, if you plan to go up more volcanos in Ecuador. On clear days, you have a beautiful view, including the majority of Ecuadorian volcanos: Cotacachi, Cayambe, Antisana, Cotopaxi, Illinizas, Chimborazo.
GUAGUA PICHINCHA: The word guagua in quechua means ´young´ or ´baby´, joven o bebé. The volcano has two big craters, one inside the other.
Mindo (tiny village in the cloud forest with 7 waterfalls): Mindo is a beautiful valley located northwest of Quito, behind the slopes of the Pichincha volcano. On our way to Mindo you will visit a special Volcano “Pululahua” near of the ´Mitad del Mundo´. After two hours of driving towards the Cloud Forest, you will arrive to Mindo where we will visit the Butterfly farm, where we can observe the process of metamorphosis that a caterpillar goes through to transform itself into a butterfly. There are 25 different kinds of butterflies flying in a 644 m² greenhouse. After lunch, we will continue our trip to cross over in the tarabita (aerial tramway), located at a height of 530 meters/ 1739 feet. We will hike in the Nambillo forest to visit the Nambillo waterfall which is located on more or less half an hour from the village. You will have the possibility to do canopy (ziplining) and later we will relax at the waterfall and refresh us in natural pools and the river.
Airport Pick-up: Airport pick-up is optional and available on request. One-way airport pick-up from San Jose airport to accommodations: USD 59
What former students have to say about this program: “My experience at Academia Columbus in Quito was enriching and rewarding beyond measure. I accomplished my goals regarding learning the language but I also came away with a better understanding and tolerance for a different culture.” – Sheila Smith, Teacher
“I loved Ecuador – volcanic mountains, deep blue lakes, forests, wild animals and exotic fruits. My teachers were very interesting and knowledgeable about all aspects of Ecuadorian culture. This was a wonderful introduction to an incredibly beautiful country!” – Denise Kemp, Student