Toucan Spanish School was one the largest independent Spanish schools in Colombia with schools located in Medellín, Cartagena and Bogotá offering popular Spanish classes for foreigners. Toucan Spanish School was one of the largest non-university Spanish language programs in Colombia and one of the largest in South America.
But Toucan did not survive the coronavirus pandemic in Colombia. Two Medellin Guru readers notified us that this school is closed. And we confirmed that this school is closed.
The Toucan website now appears to offer a partnership with Blink Spanish for Spanish classes.
Also, Toucan was more than a Spanish school as they offer a variety of cultural activities including salsa classes, tropical fruit tastings, language exchanges and volunteering. Also in Medellín, Toucan had a café, Coffee Museum plus offers tours. In Medellín, the company offers several activities and tours daily.
Note several of the below photos in this article were courtesy of Toucan Spanish School.
The Toucan Spanish Program
Toucan offered multiple levels of group Spanish classes weekly that start on Mondays and are 20 hours per week. If you are a beginner you will start in the beginner’s class. And if you have studied Spanish before then you will be asked to complete a level placement test.
In addition, private Spanish classes were offered at higher prices than group classes.
Toucan developed its own Spanish curriculum for its program. And students were given handouts in the classes. So, there is no need to buy books when taking classes at this school.
Also, Toucan signed an agreement with E-nable so that part of proceeds of all classes supported the 3D printing of arms for victims of Colombia’s internal conflicts.
Toucan Spanish in Medellin
Toucan’s school in Medellín was located on Calle 10 in El Poblado, near Parque Lleras. This Medellín school was Toucan’s largest school and it had over 14 classrooms. And several levels of Spanish group classes were offered here weekly.
The Toucan group Spanish classes in Medellín were four hours per day on Monday to Friday for a total of 20 hours per week. And group classes for Toucan in Medellín typically had 3-4 students and never more than 7 students per class.
Toucan Spanish in Cartagena and Bogotá
Toucan’s school in Cartagena was located in the historic walled city. The Toucan group classes in Cartagena are four hours per day on Monday to Friday, which is 20 hours per week like in Medellín. And group classes in Cartagena tend to have 3-5 students.
Finally, in Bogotá Toucan didn’t offer group classes, only private classes.
Toucan’s 2020 Spanish Class Pricing
Toucan offered group classes, private classes and private group classes.
The group classes have three or more students and are priced per week and you get a discount for booking more weeks of classes:
In Medellín, one week of group classes was for 600,000 pesos.
Also, there were free activities included with group classes, which include a welcome lunch, three language exchanges weekly, salsa class, fruit tasting, karaoke and discounts on tours and accommodations.
How to Get to Toucan Spanish in Medellín
Toucan’s school in Medellín was located a few blocks from Parque Lleras.
The nearest Medellín Metro station was the Poblado station on the A Line. Toucan was located about a 15-minute walk uphill from the metro station or about a 5-minute taxi ride from the metro station.
Taxis were another option to get to this school from your location. Just provide the driver the address below.
Address: Carrera 41A # 10-28
Phone: +57 4 311 7176
Hours: NOW CLOSED. Monday to Friday: 8 am to 6 pm. And they have a language exchange 6-9 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Toucan Café.
Also, Toucan’s Spanish school in Cartagena was located at Calle 38 # 10-02, San Diego and in Bogotá the school was located at Carrera 15 # 83-24, office # 409.
Museo De Cafe
Toucan Museo Del Cafe was the newest museum in Medellín, which opened on November 22, 2018 but this museum is now closed. This small museum had exhibits in English and Spanish showing the history of coffee in the world and the history of coffee in Colombia plus the process for making coffee.
This new museum was created by the Toucan Spanish School, which also had a café and offered several different tours in Medellín.
Museo Del Cafe was the only coffee museum in Medellín. And the museum offered a guided tour of the small museum. With the exhibits you could learn the process how coffee is made and can even sample Colombian coffee.
The Bottom Line: Toucan Spanish: A Popular Spanish School in Medellín
Toucan’s Spanish classes in Medellín were popular and this Spanish school in Medellín typically had 50-100+ students weekly in its classes.
However, this school is now closed. Evidently it was a victim of the coronavirus pandemic. This was a large Spanish school with locations in three cities. So, it had a lot of overhead. When the pandemic started, schools were closed and were not permitted to offer in-person classes.
Also, a downside of Toucan’s Spanish program was that it did not qualify for a Colombian student visa. So, if you took Spanish classes at this school you could not get a student visa like you can receive for other Spanish schools in Medellín such as Universidad EAFIT and OLSA.
We previously looked at the Spanish program at Universidad EAFIT and plan to look at other Spanish school options in Medellín.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.
Editor note: updated on December 6, 2020 with information that Toucan Spanish School is closed.
Thank you Jeff for this,
Could you please tell the differences between EAFIT Spanish program and Toucan school?
For some one who wants to study for one year, which school do you advice in terms of quality of studying Spanish?
With the Spanish classes at EAFIT you can get a student visa. At Toucan you can’t get a student visa. So people who take classes at Toucan typically are here for shorter duration. I took classes at EAFIT so I could get a student visa.
With discounts, Toucan group classes cost 26,250 pesos per hour (if you book 8+ weeks) and a EAFIT group classes cost 34,018 pesos per hour (if you pay in advance for 6 classes). So for longer duration studying, Toucan can be cheaper.
EAFIT’s Spanish program was certified by the Spanish Instituto Cervantes. I only have experience studying Spanish at EAFIT, which has a good program and is reportedly the largest university Spanish program in Colombia. Also, I have heard good things about Toucan from students who studied there.
Hi Jeff. Thank you for all the information you provide on your website/blog. Do you know of any used clothing/good stores in the area? I live in Costa Rica and we have clothing stores called Ropa Americana – basically bulk used clothing bought from the US and Canada. Anything like that in Medellin?
I am not aware of a store like Ropa Americana in Medellín with bulk used clothing bought from the US and Canada – but there are some used clothing stores in Medellín which you can find by a Google search for “tienda ropa usada medellin”.
Do you have any up to date information on covid and Toucan? Also, can you attend toucan with a tourist visa?
Toucan is now doing online classes since in-person schools are closed due to the quarantine, see: https://www.toucanspanish.com/online-classes/
Yes, can attend with a tourist visa.