Project Description

Welcome to our Spanish school in Cuenca! The most charming city in Ecuador!

Simon Bolivar Spanish School is located in the heart of the historic district of Cuenca, only four blocks away from the main square and the Cathedral. A comfortable and cozy house with several individual classrooms. Besides, the building has a patio for students to relax, read, drink a cup of coffee or surf the web.

The Simon Bolivar Spanish School in Cuenca is one of the top schools in town. It was highly recognized by Spanish students from all over the world shortly after starting its operations. All teachers have large career experiences, helping the students to immerse themselves in the Ecuadorian culture with a lot of motivation and energy.

In the afternoons, varied activities are offered complimentary to your Spanish Lessons in Cuenca, such as salsa, cooking or cocktail lessons as well as lectures about Ecuadorian culture, history, idiomatic expressions, among others. During the weekend, trips are organized to wonderful places around Cuenca, such as Ingapirca ruins or El Cajas National Park.

I found Cuenca to be a beautiful, old city. The views and mountains and rivers are lovely. The people of Cuenca are friendly and open. There was much to see and do and I wish I had more time to spend there. The Simon Bolivar School was excellent (…)

In Simon Bolivar Spanish School, the student becomes the main character in the learning process through innovative teaching methods, techniques, didactic materials and activities that are adapted to suit individual needs. We intentionally placed our teaching centers in well-known tourism locations.

We offer two options for accommodation: homestay or hostels. We have carefully chosen the different options we offer. You are of course free to find your accommodation. We would be happy to make reservations for you at any place in Cuenca.


Homestay in Cuenca

The great majority of students choose to live in a family since it’s a very enriching experience: it gives you the chance to practice your Spanish and learn local expressions while getting to know more about Ecuadorian culture.

Our families are carefully selected and all have experience with receiving foreign students at their homes. All families are located within walking distance from the school.

Accommodation includes:

  • Private room
  • Laundry once per week
  • Excellent atmosphere that makes you feel welcome form the very first minute
  • Some families have private bathroom for students. You can request one when you register.

We offer a range of different activities for each day, so you can combine them with your Spanish program. Weekday activities are included in your price for lessons.

You will be able to join group lessons in the afternoons: dancing, cooking, cocktail, Ecuadorian culture, soccer games. And we also organize visits to different places in Cuenca, to increase the cultural enrichment of the students, such as cultural events, parties, special topic lessons, among many others! You will have fun.

Weekend Trips 

Every weekend we offer trips out of Cuenca, either one or two days. We sometimes visit the National Park of El Cajas, where we walk around some of the lakes in the area. We also arrange mountain biking, fishing of trout in Andean lakes, visit local “fiestas”, visit the city of Guayaquil or go to the Jungle. Going on our weekend trips is a great way of getting to know other students and also more about our beautiful country! Here are some examples of weekend trips:

Gualaceo – Chordeleg

In addition to being an important market town, Gualaceo has some importance as a tourist resort and is a pretty location by Río Gualaceo. It is 25km due east of Cuenca. 

The Sunday market and the animal market are the main attractions. The market is not geared towards tourists (there are very few crafts for sale) but is colorful and fun to visit.

Ingapirca Inca Ruins

The Incan ruins of Ingapirca are considered Ecuador’s most important archaeological site. There can still be found many of the massive fortifications and temples of the Incas, which boast some of their finest mortarless stonework. A tour to Ingapirca will make you live a fascinating time that you shouldn’t miss while visiting Cuenca.

Every month we take our students to Ingapirca. The site is located at 5 ½ km east of Cañar, at 3160 meters. The central structure is an “usnu”, which is a platform probably used as a solar observatory. Next to it is “Cara del Inca”, an immense natural formation in the rock looking over the landscape. On Fridays, there is an interesting Indian market at Ingapirca.

El Tambo – Coyoctor

The Inca ruins of El Tambo Coyoctor are located right on the route of the Royal Road of the Incas or Qhapac Ñan, a segment of which is still seen, and along which guests can still stroll and perhaps visualize in their minds the chasquis or runners, carrying messages on knotted strings called quipus, at full speed in relay from one end of the Inca Empire to the other. Tambo Coyoctor is a massive rock outcrop, carved to form baths, showers and water channels believed to have been used in purification rituals before ceremonies of magic-religious significance.

Cuenca Festivals and Celebrations

Ecuador festival tours, visit indigenous and popular festivals. To visit a town during the celebration of a party is having the chance to know its people’s idiosyncrasy within their songs, their dances and their costumes. Is possible to discover their customs, their sadness, and their happiness. People in Cuenca celebrate their parties with overflowing enthusiasm, each participant dress the best clothes and the whole town gets organized in advance to have everything -including drinks and food for everybody.

Cuenca Streets & City Culture

Walking In Cuenca.- The city of Cuenca’s architectural and natural wonders are palpable in its streets, squares, buildings, and parks. Beautiful homes inside and out, beautifully decorated stores, delicious food, hospitable people… A trip to Ecuador should include what is known as the “Athens of Ecuador”.

When you walk in the streets cuencanas, you feel free. Its cobbled streets, the people are friendly and every building you see is very interesting and rich in history. Discover our city with your teacher; as part of your lessons you visit cultural sites, historical and of great interest. Sharing with our people and speaking Spanish.

Salsa Lessons

The music and the dance, particularly salsa and merengue, are the essence of the Ecuadorian culture; learning the language demands the learning of the culture in which it develops.

Salsa dancing has spread throughout the world and each day is gaining in popularity. If you are someone who would like to learn to dance the rhythm and get to become an expert, this course is for you. For those who are new to the pace, these lessons will be very useful. Step by step, you will become a good dancer and be admired by your friends and especially your partner. Practice different styles like Casino, Rueda de Casino, Son, “online” (on 1 / n 2), and Caleño.

The dancing lessons are conducted by a local salsa teacher! He teaches you how to dance Salsa, Merengue and other Latin American dances. Students often end up at one of the local “Salsotecas” to practice more dancing after the classes.

Music and Andean Instruments

Classes on Folkloric Instruments.- “The Music of Ecuador” or Ecuadorian music is always present in the various events arising in the area. This includes many types of traditional and popular music that have evolved throughout history in what is now Ecuador.

Little is known of the history of Ecuadorian music up before contact with European culture (1534), but basically, the traditional rhythms are influenced by indigenous Ecuadorians (Andean-Amazonian), European and African. The musical genres that emerged in Ecuador have two internationally recognized representatives: the pasillos and sanjuanitos. But actually, Ecuadorian music is wide and varied. Some other Ecuadorian music genres are Albazo, Bomba, Yaraví, Bomba del Chota, Capishca, Pasacalle.

Cooking Lessons

Learn with us how to cook the typical food of Cuenca, Ecuador. With natural ingredients and traditional techniques, it is the ideal activity for children, youth and adults. Simon Bolivar Spanish School in Cuenca offers completely free activities while you practice your Spanish and share the cooking classes with people of different nationalities and savor our traditional typical food.

Cocktail Lessons

Learn to prepare, step by step, the most popular and typical drinks of Cuenca, Ecuador. In this class, you’ll get to know the ingredients for each cocktail, history, and experience a new sensation for the palate and the spirit. The liquor most consumed is called “punta” (sugar cane spirit), being Zhumir the most popular brand. In village festivals or parties in the Andes, we prepare Canelazo, this is a hot preparation made with cinnamon. Chicha is a thick drink made with fermented corn, bananas, cassava, quinoa or chonta palm. It is generally prepared in the Amazon region and is said to help against kidney stones, occlusion, and colics.

Traditional Clothing Lessons

Ecuador’s prominent indigenous population has a beautiful traditional dress. Specific dress varies from region to region, although there are similarities across the country. Women’s dress typically involves a white shirt and a shawl with a long skirt. Their gorgeous long hair may be adorned with a scarf. Men do not use the traditional dress as often, although they might wear a fedora or poncho. The Chola Cuencana is part of the identity of Cuenca being the icon of the city. This character has been part of its history, and her wardrobe has become one of the most attractive and expensive clothes.

Fruit Tasting

The tropical weather Ecuador makes it an exceptionally fertile land. Between coastal and mountain weather, many types of excellent quality fruit are available and can be enjoyed throughout the year.

The main export for fresh fruits are bananas, pineapple, mango, and papaya. Other fruits like baby bananas, dragon fruit, lemon, uvillas, watermelon, among others are growing substantially. The center of Cuenca has a good number of persons engaged in the sale of seasonal fruits.

Simon Bolivar School in Cuenca is conveniently located in the center (el Centro) of Cuenca, with cafes, restaurants, museums, galleries, and shops nearby. Cuenca’s historic section and UNESCO world heritage site is all within walking distance.

The school has several private rooms for small classes, which offers a more comfortable setting for learning, and WIFI, as well as an outdoor patio and garden. The kitchen has free coffee brewing all day, and there are snacks and refreshments available.

Please come and join us.

About Cuenca

  • Name: Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca
  • Nickname(s): Atenas del Ecuador (Athens of Ecuador)

  • Foundation: April 12, 1557
  • Urban parishes: 15 urban parishes

  • Elevation: 2,560 m (8,400 ft)

  • Time zone: UTC−5 (ECT)

  • Weather: min 7°C max 25°C

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