Academia Columbus

Learn Spanish in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The Area & School

The town of Puerto Vallarta in western Mexico inside the Bahía de Banderas, boasts 300 sunny days each year, and allows easy access to mountains, jungles and beautiful beaches. The AC Spanish school in Puerto Vallarta is located in the heart of town, just one block from the blue waters of the Pacific. The campus is close to shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and the beach. The language school building features state-of-the-art class rooms, an on-campus cafe, and an open terrace used during class breaks and cultural events. High-speed WiFi is available throughout campus.

Spanish Courses

Standard 20 Spanish

Course takes a comprehensive approach to learning Spanish, focusing on conversation, grammar. 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 $205 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 $355 for one week


Shared Apartment

(Private room, no meals) The school offers tastefully furnished shared apartments 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 $215 / 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 $225 / week

Additional Details

The school will be closed on the following national holidays. No refunds are made for days missed due to holidays.

  • January 1 - New Year’s Day
  • February 5 - Constitution’s Day
  • March 16 - Benito Juarez’ Birthday
  • April 3 - Good Friday
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • September 16 - Independence Day
  • November 2 - Day of the Dead
  • November 16 - Commemoration of the Mexican Revolution
  • December 25 - Christmas

The school recommends students fly into Puerto Vallarta's international airport (Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International). The downtown area is about a 20 minute drive from the airport. Taxis ($30-45 USD) and buses ($8 USD) are available from the terminal, or the school can arrange private transportation directly to your accommodation for $55 USD.

Max Group Class Size: 8.0 students per class
Max Capacity: 65 students
Adjusted Price of INT 20: $10.93 per class hour

The school offers a selection of weekly activities that are inexpensive or free of charge. There is no need to sign up for these activities in advance, rather, students will be presented activity options at the beginning of each course week. Example activities include:

  • Salsa dance classes
  • Cooking classes
  • Movie nights
  • Language exchange socials

Weekend excursions cost between $50 and $250 USD and include:

  • Canopy tours (ziplining)
  • Scuba diving
  • Boat tours / fishing
  • Swimming with the dolphins
  • Guadalajara visit
  • San Sebastian visit

Classes are held entirely in Spanish at all levels. 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.

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