Academia Columbus

Learn Spanish in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The Area & School

The school is located just a ten minute walk from the crystal blue waters of Playa del Carmen. This former fishing town is consistently ranked among Mexico's safest tourist destinations and best beach areas. Famous for its white sand, radiant blue waters, and European chic, Playa del Carmen is a favorite amongst vacationers, divers and beach lovers from around the world. The school is located inside a typical Mexican Hacienda and houses 10 modern, air-conditioned classroom on two floors overlooking a beautiful tropical garden. Sometimes, as a special treat, classes are taught outside under the sun. Free WiFi is provided throughout the school. Beyond the standard Spanish courses, more adventurous students can try our Spanish and diving courses. Playa del Carmen is one of the top destinations in the world for diving, and whether you are an experienced diver or a complete novice, you are eligible to participate in one of our Spanish + diving programs, beginning every Monday of the year. You'll get the chance to explore the Caribbean and swim with giant turtles, tropical fish, manta rays and more!

Spanish Courses

Standard 20 Spanish

20 lessons of group Spanish courses per week totaling 18 hours and 45 minutes. Small group courses are limited to a maximum of eight students per class, and are open to all levels of students.

Starts at $235 for one week

Intensive 30 Spanish

For students looking for a bit more academic rigor, the school offers the Intensive 30 program, which consists of 30 lessons per week totaling 28 hours and 20 minutes. Small group courses are limited to a maximum of eight students per class, and are open to all levels of students.

Starts at $395 for one week

Spanish & Mexican Cooking Course

Details In the Spanish plus Mexican Cooking course, students will take six afternoon cooking classes in addition to the Standard 20 Spanish program. Participants will have the chance to experience Latin American cuisine firsthand, visiting local markets and cooking a typical dishes with teachers from the school. This course will help students appreciate the local food and the art of preparing traditional Mexican meals. Students will learn about local food, discuss ingredients and cooking techniques, and participate in making and enjoying delicious local dishes...

Starts at $340 for one week

Dele Exam Prep 1:1 Private

This 4 week course consists of 20 hours per week of private, one-on-one Spanish courses focused on preparing students for the official DELE exam. All courses are taught by native speakers, and a variety of test taking strategies will be covered in addition to immersion Spanish lessons. Students will have the opportunity to work through DELE practice questions in the weeks leading up to the test. DELE Exam The DELE exam is the official Spanish language proficiency test, issued by the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, Spain...

Starts at $447.50 for one week

Spanish & Diving - For Experienced Divers

If you're already a certified diver, than you are probably familiar with Playa del Carmen's reputation as one of Mexico's top diving destinations. Join us for this one week course to learn Spanish and take your diving skills to the next level, while exploring the underwater magic of Mexico's reefs. Spanish Lessons During the mornings, Monday through Friday, students will attend immersion Spanish classes at the school from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Students will attend 15 lessons of group Spanish courses per week totaling 14 hours and 15 minutes...

Starts at $589 for one week

Spanish & Diving - Certification Course

Playa del Carmen, Mexico is one of the world's premier diving destinations. If you would like to start SCUBA diving, but don't have any experience, than this one week course is for you. Participants will take Spanish classes each morning (all levels welcome), and diving courses with Pro Dive Mexico in the afternoons. If you're already a certified diver, than check out our Spanish & Diving Course (Experienced) on the Playa del Carmen school page...

Starts at $734 for one week


Shared Apartment

(Private room, no meals) The school offers tastefully furnished shared apartments between 15-30 minutes walking from the school. Students will have their own bedroom while sharing common living areas with flatmates. The price of the apartment includes utility expenses, free WiFi internet, and weekly cleaning. Bedding is provided, but guests should bring their own towels. The kitchen is fully equipped for cooking but no meals are included in the price. Check-in begins at 12:00pm on the Sunday before a program begins. Students must check-out by 12:00pm on the Saturday after their program ends.

Starts at $235 / week

Host Family

(Private room, half-board) Living with a local Mexican family is the best way to learn a lot of Spanish in a short amount of time. You will converse with your host family, eat meals with them and truly be immersed in the local culture. Host family students are given a private room and their own key so they can come and go as they please. Half board (daily breakfast and dinner) is included in the price of the host family. On average, families’ homes are located 10-15 minutes walking distance from the school. Families are hand-selected by the accommodation staff and are very accustomed to hosting students from around the world. They can accommodate virtually any diet, allergy or preference. If you have any special needs, please indicate them on your registration form.

Starts at $245 / week

Additional Details

No classes are held on public holidays. Public holidays may be moved within the same week to create a long weekend. The government may add more public holidays later. If two public holidays fall in the same week, one day will be made up.

  • January 1st
  • February 3rd
  • March 17th
  • April 17th
  • April 18th
  • April 21st
  • May 1st
  • September 16th
  • November 17th
  • December 25th

Students are encouraged to fly into Cancun International Airport. Cancun international airport (CUN) is only 50 minutes north of Playa del Carmen and offers daily flights from Europe, Asia and North America.

The school can book airport pickup shuttles for students flying into Cancun for $70 USD per person each way.

Students are required to inform the school about their arrival details including day, time, and flight number at least one week before their arrival date. This is very important in order to ensure that someone will be waiting for the student in the accommodation. Students should arrive between 12:00pm and 11:00pm on the Sunday before their course begins. Students must check-out before 12:00pm on the Saturday after the end of their course.

Once in country, please use the following number to contact the school:

  • +52 984 87 32 100
Max Group Class Size: 5.0 students per class
Max Capacity: 80 students
Adjusted Price of INT 20: $11.75 per class hour

The school organizes a variety of activities that are open to participation from all students. Students will be presented with a list of available activities each Monday, and there is no need to reserve in advance. Weekday activities are organized at least three evenings per week and are usually free or between $5-10 USD. Some of these include:

  • City Tour Playa del Carmen
  • Mexican Cooking Classes
  • Historical Lectures
  • Drama Classes
  • Fiesta
  • Movie nights
  • Scuba Diving Programs (additional costs apply)
  • Weekend excursions (additional costs apply)

Academia Columbus uses a comprehensive approach to teaching Spanish based on the the Prisma Latinoamericano teaching materials as a base for all programs. This method has been specifically developed to cover the latest aspects of teaching Spanish to foreign students in Latin American countries. The method follows the guidelines developed by the Instituto Cervantes in Spain. After successful course completion (minimum attendance of 80%), all students will receive a course certificate.

Classes are taught by native speakers and focus on conversational Spanish, as well as grammar, reading and writing. Each student will take a placement test upon arrival and be placed in one of the 6 core levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (A1-C2). Classes consist of a combination of exercises, role-playing, conversation, and grammar.

Spanish courses are offered starting each Monday for those with some Spanish experience. Total beginners have specific start dates. (See registration tool for exact dates)