One of the most common reasons that people come to the “White City” is to take Spanish lessons in Sucre. In fact, it’s got a reputation as one of the best places to learn Spanish in all of Latin America.
We’re gonna run you through why learning Spanish in Sucre is such a great idea. We’ll cover the city itself, the cost of lessons, and whether you should go private or head to a school.
Plus we’ll give our recommendations on the best Sucre Spanish school and a suggestion for an awesome private tutor.
Reasons to Learn Spanish in Sucre
If you’re struggling to settle on the right location to take your Spanish to the next level, here are some great reasons why Sucre should be top of the pile.
Sucre’s Accent is Extremely Neutral
One of the biggest considerations around where to learn Spanish should be the area’s accent.
Invariably you’ll pick up the particular pronunciations of whatever location you learn in. But some of the accents in South America are pretty wild to say the least.
But not only are some accent’s pretty out there, some locations have their own local dialects.
There are quite a few examples of places that are renowned for this.
In Chile they speak really fast with a sing-songy intonation. It’s some of the most difficult to understand Spanish in the world.
In Buenos Aires, they have a particular vernacular known as “Porteño” with totally unique words and phrases. As a country Argentina also shares some very unique pronunciations with neighbouring Uruguay, another place with a difficult to understand accent.
Sucre in Bolivia, on the other hand, is well known for its very neutral accent and standard dialogue. People also speak relatively slow here making them even easier to understand.
There are Highly Qualified Teachers
Not everyone who teaches Spanish is qualified to do so, meaning your tuition might not be to the necessary standard.
Sucre, however, has a great tradition of producing highly qualified Spanish teachers, partly because it’s Bolivia’s university capital.
Most Spanish teachers here have trained specifically for the job and take it extremely seriously. It’s their full time career and they’re focussed on doing it to the best of their abilities.
We’re not talking about online TEFL qualifications here, most of these guys are university educated in teaching.
This is super important if you’re serious about getting to grips with Spanish. It’s a complicated language with lots of hard to grasp technical aspects.
Having a teacher who understands this and can explain things in ways that are easy to understand is vital.
The City of Sucre is Gorgeous
Nicknamed “The White City” owing to its beautiful arrangement of picturesque colonial buildings, Sucre is quite simply gorgeous.
Spreading out from the central square, Plaza 25 de Mayo, Sucre’s narrow streets are a treasure trove of enchanting architecture.
Charming churches, stunning squares, huge time-weathered wooden doors, intricately carved bay windows and terracotta roofs are par for the course.
It has some awesome vantage points as well where you can enjoy incredible views from above. Many of the churches have accessible rooftops, while La Recoleta’s arches frame perhaps the best aerial view of the city.
To say that Sucre is picturesque is an understatement, it’s one of the most attractive cities in South America. And don’t just take our word for it, it’s a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
You’ll Find Tonnes of Fun Things to Do
Most tourists spend just a couple of days in Sucre, often passing through on their way to Uyuni or La Paz. However, Sucre is a great city with more things to do than it’s usually given credit for.
The architecture is one of the main draws and there are plenty of fantastic buildings to visit. Key examples include Casa de la Libertad, Catedral Metropolitana, Convento de San Felipe Neri, and Universidad San Francisco Xavier.
But there’s so many more awesome things to do in Sucre than just admire the beautiful colonial buildings.
Parque Cretacico with its wealth of perfectly preserved dinosaur footprints and informative tours shouldn’t be missed.
There are lots of exciting markets to visit where you can get your hands on virtually anything you need. Mercado Central has incredible fruit and veg amongst other stuff. Mercado Negro is full of tailors sewing top notch suits and dresses.
Campesino is a mind-blowingly vast collection of interconnected shops and markets that you will undoubtedly get lost in. But what you can’t buy here isn’t worth having, from clothes to electricals, imported foods to building equipment.
Then there’s Tarabuco Market. A short day trip from Sucre, it’s as much a weekly event as a market, a meeting place for people from miles around. You’ll be wowed by the wide diversity of spectacular traditional indigenous clothing on display.
Sucre has a large number of fascinating museums that chart its long and distinguished history. Top ones include Museo del Tesoro, Casa de la Libertad, and Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore.
There are also plenty of great treks allowing you to explore the surrounding areas. The most famous one is the incredible Maragua Crater trek. Along the way you’ll be treated to stunning scenery as well as dinosaur footprints and ancient cave drawings.
Low Cost of Living
Bolivia as a country has one of the lowest costs of living in South America. This makes it an ideal place to base yourself as you get to grips with the Spanish language.
You can secure decent accommodations in a central location for just a couple of hundred bucks a month. If you’re staying centrally you’ll rarely need to spend on transport. But buses are just a couple of BOB and taxis cost $5BOB per person for virtually any central journey.
A 3 course set lunch at a decent restaurant can set you back as little as $20BOB (£2.25GBP, $2.90USD). Meanwhile, you can get a 6 course feast at a top-rated restaurant with drinks paired to each course for around $100BOB (£11GBP, $14.50USD).
Fruit and veg in the markets is extremely reasonably priced making preparing your own food super cheap.
All of this means you can live extremely well in Sucre for under $5,000BOB (£560GBP, $725USD) per month.
Sucre Has a Pleasant Year-Round Climate
The weather in Sucre is pretty decent all year round meaning it’s great to visit at any time. Daytime temperatures hover at around 21°C (69.8°F) with most days being sunny and warm, regardless of season.
At night time is when temperatures tend to drop owing to the relatively high altitude. Expect average lows of around 9°C (48.2°F) after sundown.
There are two seasons in Sucre, dry and rainy. The dry season runs April to September, while the rainy season goes from October through March.
Despite that, it’s pretty dry and sunny most of the year with just a couple of months of rain.
Still, it doesn’t rain every day, it’s more like a giant thunderstorm or two a week. And these are like spectacular electrical shows in themselves, with impressive lightning displays and deafening booms of thunder.
The coldest temps are across June and July. But while at night you’ll need a coat, the days are still pleasant and warm enough for just a t-shirt.
All in all, the weather in Sucre suits the majority of people regardless of when you visit. There are no real extremes and more often than not the sun is shining.
Options for Taking Spanish Lessons in Sucre
There are numerous different ways to learn Spanish in Sucre. Personally we’d highly recommend going for private lessons with an independent teacher. But depending on your needs, there are plenty of alternatives.
Here’s the lowdown:
Private Spanish Lessons in Sucre With an Independent Tutor
If you’re truly focussed on learning Spanish in Sucre in the shortest time possible, private lessons are the way to go. And an independent tutor is the best idea if you go down this route.
With 1-1 tuition tailored to your level, learning style and individual needs, you’ll advance much quicker.
There are lots of private Spanish tutors in Sucre and you’ll see adverts all over cafe notice boards.
One of the benefits of having an independent private tutor is being able to choose where you do your lessons. Many people opt to take them in cafes, with Cafe Condor a popular choice.
Alternatively you can request your Spanish tutor to come to your accommodation, whether it’s an apartment, hotel or hostel. This makes it super convenient as you don’t even need to leave the house.
Plus, if the thought of being in a classroom setting fills you with dread (it does me), it will feel a lot more relaxed.
You can also choose exactly when you take your classes and fit them around your diary.
In a Sucre Spanish school with group classes, they run on set schedules giving you little flexibility. They aren’t always able to provide group classes at every level, either, as they require a minimum group size.
Another great thing about getting a private Spanish tutor in Sucre is that you’ll pay them directly.
With lessons in a Sucre Spanish school, only a percentage of what you pay goes to the teacher. And, in fact, it’s quite a small percentage. The school owners get the vast majority of the money.
This is important because we’ve heard anecdotally that some schools don’t provide the best conditions for teachers.
If you do want private lessons, we’d highly recommend going with an independent teacher over a school.
Group Lessons in a Sucre Spanish School
There are, however, plenty of reasons why you might want to take group lessons in a Sucre Spanish school.
Perhaps you’re travelling solo, or want to make some new friends. Group lessons are a great way to acquire a ready-made squad.
You can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll find a great mix of like-minded people in your class. They likely be fellow travel lovers with a similar outlook on life.
One of the best things about taking group lessons is the extra curricular stuff you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in.
Most of the schools organise activities ranging from games of wally (Bolivia’s answer to volleyball), to cooking classes. This gives you plenty of time to interact with new amigos, all while practicing your language skills in real-life settings.
Group classes tend to be best for total beginners or those with very limited Spanish. They’re also pretty time-intensive, with most schools offering minimum packages of 20 hours per week.
Sucre Language Homestays
Another fantastic option to learn Spanish in Sucre is to organise a homestay. There are lots of options for this and they’re great value while enabling you to immerse yourself in the culture.
Essentially you stay with a family in their home and get to experience the city like you live there.
The deals usually include a meal or two in the price. Not only will you get to sample home-cooked Bolivian food but they’re the perfect opportunity to practice speaking.
There are various options for booking homestays in Sucre. You can organise them via many of the schools, a good option if you’ve chosen a school. You can also find them on both Airbnb and Booking.com.
If you’re looking for somewhere other than a homestay in Sucre, we’ve got some great recommendations for that too further down.
Ok, so online lessons aren’t something we’d recommend taking up during your time in Sucre. However, they’re definitely a consideration for when you leave.
Lots of students want to carry on pursuing their dream of learning Spanish afterwards. Bagging a Spanish teacher who does online lessons will provide you with some important continuity.
It will save you time and money as they’ll already know your level and preferred style of learning. Plus you won’t need to waste time building a relationship with someone new.
It’s basically the same as having 1-1 private lessons, all you need is a decent internet connection.
We don’t know of any schools that offer these but they’re certainly possible with private teachers.
Private Spanish Lessons Sucre
We have a great recommendation for a private tutor providing Spanish lessons in Sucre. We personally take lessons with her and have done on and off for quite some time.
When we first arrived in Sucre we didn’t really know where to begin with finding a teacher. Fortunately we got lucky and were recommended her by the owners of the homestay we were in.
Our teacher, Naira Lopez, is from Sucre, highly qualified and extremely patient.
She puts lots of time and effort into planning great lessons and consistently comes up with new fun activities. This is important for us as learning Spanish has the potential to be a dry, text-book led exercise.
While the lessons are fun and engaging, Naira still likes to push us and places enough focus on technical details. For us, it’s the perfect balance between enjoyment and learning.
Most importantly, our Spanish is improving week by week.
If you want to get in touch with her you can email her directly on nairitalr @ gmail.com – just remove the spaces.
Alternatively you can Whatsapp message Naira on +59177112110. She speaks perfect English so you don’t need to message in Spanish if you’re not comfortable doing so yet.
Best Sucre Spanish School
We haven’t personally attended a Sucre Spanish school, since we prefer to learn in 1-1 lessons. However, we have spoken to friends who have attended different schools and to teachers who have taught at them.
This has given us a good insight into the best school to take Spanish lessons in Sucre. There are a couple that come highly recommended.
Sucre Spanish School is the one of the oldest and most respected institutions in the city.
Me Gusta is another that we’ve heard has good teachers and a good curriculum.
Both schools are centrally located and easy to find.
Cost of Spanish Lessons Sucre
Spanish lessons in Sucre start at around $35BOB ($5USD, £4GBP) per person per hour. And no, that’s not a typo.
This is a ballpark figure of what you’ll pay for private Spanish lessons in Sucre. It’s also the starting price for group lessons at a Sucre Spanish school.
For private lessons at a Sucre Spanish school you’re looking at around $45BOB (£5GBP, $6.50USD) per hour.
Where To Stay In Sucre
Sucre is one of the most popular places to visit in Bolivia, so there are plenty of great places to stay.
However, this also means that the very best accommodation gets booked up quickly. We’d suggest booking well in advance to avoid missing out on your first choice.
Here’s our pick of the best places to stay in Sucre for every budget.
Affordable Luxury: Hotel Boutique La Posada
Just 200m from the main square, staying in this gorgeous colonial building is a real treat. The rooms are spacious and all have private bathrooms and WiFi. There’s a cracking restaurant and bar on site, with room service also provided.
Reviews consistently point out how helpful and friendly the staff are. Breakfast is included, there’s parking available and a lovely terrace to chill out on. Choose from single, double, king and family rooms.
Mid Range: Casa Verde B&B
This popular place to stay in Sucre is a rare find. Why? Because along with it’s beautiful patio, it also has a swimming pool. All rooms have private bathrooms and hot showers.
A good breakfast of fresh fruit and eggs is included and there is a large shared kitchen for use at lunch and evening times. Plus it has a great central location, just a few blocks from the main square.
Cheap and Cheerful: KulturBerlin
This is the hostel that all backpackers passing through Sucre gravitate to. The tastefully renovated huge old house has a well equipped shared kitchen and also a courtyard and terrace garden.
There’s usually something going on most nights of the week so it’s a great place to meet people. And there are a variety of rooms to choose from whether you’re after a dorm, a private room, a family room or even a loft studio.
Don’t Forget Your Insurance
Sucre is one of the safest, most tranquil cities in Bolivia. But unexpected things do happen and it’s simply not worth risking it.
Our go to insurer is World Nomads, we like them for their no bullshit approach and awesome cover.
Get yourself a free, no obligation quote now:
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Travel lover, professional writer and football (soccer) obsessive, James loves nothing more than getting outside and exploring little known corners of the globe. He’s also very partial to a drop of Guinness.