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Home > Panama > Schools > Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro

Program Outline

All materials are included in both the group and private lessons. Private instruction is one on one, which makes it possible to structure the course to meet your individual Spanish language needs. The Group program has a maximum class size of 6 students. The emphasis is on Spanish conversational skills. When there is only one student at a given Spanish level, the program will be switched to two hours of private at no additional cost. There is a great language exchange program that you can join. It will help you quickly improve your conversation skills.

Lodging

There are three types of lodging; School Stay, Homestay and Apartment Stay. The school stay accommodation is in a private room with a shared bath, either on the school grounds or at a nearby house. Students can use the school’s kitchen to prepare meals. The school building has a spacious veranda with hammocks and study areas as well as a full kitchen. Space is extremely limited for private rooms, so please check on availability as early as possible. The school has a nearby three bedroom apartment that families and groups of students can rent. You can fit six students in the apartment and it is fully furnished with bathroom, kitchen and living area.

The home stay program is very limited, so it is imperative that we have as much advanced notice as possible. If you choose homestay be aware that the homes are very rustic and that only breakfast is included. Students will have a private room, but will share a bath. Students who come together can share a room at a host house. For students wishing to find their own lodging, there are numerous options available on the island. Per night costs can range from $10 all the way up to $150, it all depends on location and amenities. Average cost for a good meal (not including extra drinks) on the island is $3.50 for breakfast and $7.50 for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive laundry service is available to students in town.

Cultural

Bocas del Toro has a rich mix of various cultural influences. It is a place that appeals to people that are adventurous, love nature and culture and are looking for something different. Over the past decade, the town and surrounding island archipelago have become a popular tourist destination. Many foreigners have chosen to move to Bocas for its relaxed pace of life and low cost of living. A number of Europeans, Americans and Canadians now call Bocas home. They share the islands with the predominantly Afro-Caribbean local population. There is also a large minority of indigenous peoples in the area. Blend them all together and you have a unique language study destination.

Location

The school is located in the town of Bocas del Toro, on the Island of Colon, off the northwest Caribbean coast of Panama. The island and town was once the headquarters of United Fruit in Panama and is now the capital of the province of the same name. It still retains its typical Caribbean architecture and relaxed, slow pace. The school is not right on the water, but is just a block away. The classrooms are informal and outdoor. We use thatched roof ranchos in the tropical garden. Everything in town is walking distance from the school.

Local Color

There is a selection of small restaurants, some of them over the water, that serve typical Caribbean food with an abundance of fresh fish. There are also bars where you can enjoy a tropical cocktail or a Panamanian beer. On weekends there is great salsa and meringue dancing in the local Calypso dance hall or you might choose to go to another island to dance the night away.

PADI Dive Program

Bocas archipelago is an undiscovered gem for those looking to scuba dive in a pristine and relatively untouched underwater environment. We don’t charge an extra fee for making a reservation with our partner dive shop, in order to make sure you can start the course exactly when you want. Prices include materials, equipment, classes and dives. Prices, average amount of days and dives are as follows:

  • Regular Dive Courses:
    • Open Water (4 days, 4 dives) $195
    • Advanced (2 days, 5 dives) $195
    • Open Water & Advanced combination $380
    • First Aid (2 days) $85
    • Rescue $225
    • Dive Master $550
  • Other products of PADI:
    • Discover Scuba (1 day, 2 dives) $85
    • Review Scuba (1/2 day, 1 dive) $65
  • Newest product of PADI:
    • Scuba Diver Certification (2 days, 2 dives) $160 (This will get you ready to dive accompanied by a certified Dive Master or Dive Instructor)
    • Dive Tours, 1 day, 2 dives from $50 to $85 per day

Start Dates

We start every Monday with new courses. We don’t close the school for Panamanian Holidays, or for the end of the year. We do not offer refunds for people that miss classes. Students taking private classes can start their program any day of the week.

Main points about the Bocas del Toro campus:

  • Possibility of combining Spanish language study with PADI dive courses and other outdoor activities.
  • Bocas Archipelago is famous for both its beautiful miles of virgin coast line, the incredible underwater world, lush rain forest and its interesting culture due to the population mix of Afro Caribbean, Latino and indigenous cultures.
  • Great for people that love the outdoors: Mountain biking, hiking, sea kayaking, sea fishing, snorkeling & diving, swimming, knee boarding/water skiing, surfing, and wind surfing are a few of the possibilities.
  • Small school, private classes with attention for your individual interests.
  • School, lodging, town, beaches all at walking distance.
  • Free or inexpensive, special attractions:
    • Inexpensive canoe rental.
    • Free Conversation Exchange Program.
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