Learn Spanish in Otavalo
They've been called the most successful Amerindian community in Latin America. The Otavaeños, with their famous craft market and thriving local economy, are waiting for you 2 hours north of Quito for an experience like no other. Learn Spanish in Otavalo today!
First class facilities
We've been around town for a while! Our school is an established destination for visitors to study Spanish in Otavalo, due in part to our first class facilities. These include:
- Comfortable, clean and cozy classrooms in a central location in Otavalo
- Access to shared computers, printers and a telephone
- WiFi internet access for those with their own devices
- A kitchen and refrigerator, which we also use for free cooking classes each Wednesday
- A video room for you to watch our collection of multimedia resources in Spanish
- A common room and patio for breaks and fresh air
- A large Spanish language library
Spanish school locationShow Ailola Otavalo on larger map
Guess what! By choosing to learn Spanish in Otavalo, you'll be within meters of the world famous Plaza de Ponchos, where members of the local indigenous community come each week to sell crafts, clothing and so much more. To get to our Spanish school, consider the following:
- From Quito, we'll arrange a private taxi to take you all the way to your accommodation in Otavalo, free of charge.
- We'll help you secure a homestay or private accommodation within walking distance to the school (5-10 minutes)
- If you're feeling particularly sluggish, you can always take a taxi! It will cost you around US$1.
- You'll study Spanish in Otavalo at our superb school location, just 250 feet from the Plaza de Ponchos.
School fact sheet
- Founded in: 1994, as one of the first schools to offer visitors the chance to study Spanish in Otavalo
- Distance to town center: You'll learn Spanish in Otavalo in the heart of town
- Free internet access/WiFi: Yes!
- Number of computers: 2
- Number of classrooms: 7
- Maximum class size: 6 students
- Low season: December and May
- Volunteering opportunities: Yes!
- Conversation sessions: Yes, and they're free!
Top-5 things to see and do
- Visit the craft market – Time to put faces to names at the renowned Otavalo craft market. Here you'll find members of the local indigenous community in all their entrepreneurial glory, dressed in traditional outfits and selling the same! Feel free to haggle, but always with a smile, keeping in mind Saturday is the best day to visit. Ask for the Mercado Artesanal or just follow your eyes and ears to Plaza de Ponchos!
- Rub for good luck – Locals believe the lechero tree on the outskirts of Otavalo contains magical healing powers. Hidden among a Eucalyptus plantation a short distance from Otavalo's town center, the hike to the tree is, in and of itself, worth the effort, allowing you to experience the best of Otavalo's splendid natural surroundings.
- Visit a local textile factory – The decision to study Spanish in Otavalo means you'll get an insight into the workings of one of Ecuador's most successful entrepreunrial communities. While you're here, we can help you organize a visit to a local textile factory, where the magic of the Otavaeños come to life in the form of world-class textile products.
- Test your taste spuds – The Food Market in Otavalo is where you can put your money where your mouth is. While you won't spend much, we're certain you'll need to try new, delicious and traditional flavors, in a town where the large indigenous community serves itself just as much as the tourists that pass through. The market is known locally as the Mercado 24 de Mayo – follow your nose!
- Witness living traditions – A short walk from Otavalo's town center is Peguche Waterfall, a popular natural attraction that acts as the site of an important traditional cleansing ceremony, held each year on the eve of Inti Raymi (late June). During the ceremony, members of the local indigenous community bath in the waters below this 60 foot-high waterfall, preparing themselevs spiritually for the festivities to come.