Another dimension of learning a language comes from traveling and interacting with native speakers. You can learn new slang phrases, proper pronunciation, and enjoy the benefits of complete immersion traveling abroad. This can help support your hard work from taking classes of language study – with the added bonus of making some new friends.
That said, while many Spanish speaking cities and landmarks are absolutely breathtaking, they are also well known. Usual suspects like Cabo and Cancun Mexico are magnificent for sunbathing and friendly accommodation. Machu Picchu in Peru is a popular historical landmark for hikers to view Inca ruins and South American history. Seville, Madrid, Barcelona and the like are famous spots in Spain for travelers to practice Spanish and get to know Spanish culture.
So in traveling to Spanish speaking hotspots, it can be a special treat to travel off the beaten path to places you may not know much about. Here are 3 lesser-known yet unbelievably fascinating Spanish-speaking sites to consider gallivanting next.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
On the Caribbean side of Panama, Bocas del Toro is a serene grouping of islands surrounded by clear aqua waters. Also known as an archipelago, locals and tourists cruise about the closely clustered islands via water taxi priced nominally around $1-$3 US dollars. Plenty of fun can be had simply taking in the impressive tropical scenery but if you feel like getting a little more active there is plenty to do to keep even the most active of tourist occupied. The island living choices seem limitless with memory making activities such as snorkeling, surfing, bird watching, forest trekking, sailboating and scuba diving. If you're not too exhausted from running around during the day, the nightlife is said to be lively revelry, allowing you plenty of opportunity to practice your Spanish while dancing under the tropical moonlight.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
On a bit of the cooler side, Argentina's Patagonia region provides a robust collection of sites to see. More specifically, Los Glaciares National Park is home to one of the most unforgettable tourist attractions in all of Argentina. Perito Moreno Glacier is a 97 square mile ice formation, and is the world's third largest reserves of freshwater. What's different about Perito Moreno is that the massive ice field is one of the only 3 Patagonian glaciers still growing. Given its massive size and growth, Perito Moreno stops the hearts of spectators with a never-ending show as they listen to the roar of the glacier grow while the gigantic chunks of ice naturally produce. At the same time, eyes are widened in amazement as the ice blocks of all different sizes dramatically fall to the waters below. Like a frozen waterfall, the newly freed blocks of ice then float into the peaceful waters as beautiful silent icebergs. This would be a great time to use those expressive Spanish exclamations.
Beautiful Nerja is a seaside town located on the Costa del Sol, in the Andalucia region of Spain. While some tourists are attracted by the beaches, fishing or city itself, Nerja is most well known for its tradition rich with history. For example Balcón de Europa, or Balcony of Europe, is a stunning promenade built out of the natural cliffside featuring spectacular views of the coast. Originally the site of a 9th century castle, the balcony was reconstructed in 1487 and is the main center for Nerja's shopping and cafe district.
Nerja also happens to be the home of one of Spain's most popular tourist attractions, a series of caverns buried under the city stretching just over 3 miles. Known as the Caves of Nerja, the caverns are a tangible demonstration of the city's rich history, complete with primitive cave paintings and ancient skeletons from those who lived before. Yet to connect the past with the present, one of the cave's chambers forms a natural amphitheatre where modern bands and musicians play concerts regularly today. If you do wish to visit this stunning city of Spain, you'll have to get a bit creative as no planes, bus or train can take you there. The bonus however is that while you travel in either by car or taxi from the nearest city of Malaga, you'll be able to practice your Spanish with your guide along the way.
Narrowing down a list of unbelievable Spanish speaking hotspots to 3 was definitely a challenging task and we know we missed many. That said we want to hear from you – what is your favorite Spanish speaking city? Share with us!
Be prepared for your trip; take a Spanish class at Beverly Hills Lingual Institute.