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Spanish Schools in San Pedro...

Level Contributor
29 posts
43 reviews
Spanish Schools in San Pedro...

I've been to CR before but never stayed in San Jose area; I'm not sure where San Pedro is in respect to the airport. ...

But, my question is this neighborhood safe?

I see there are a lot of Spanish Schools located in San Pedro. If I hadn't see the pictures of the buildings, I would think they were one in the same....Has anyone been to Spanish School in San Pedro; or in CR, in general? Thanks!

Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
12,945 posts
54 reviews
1. Re: Spanish Schools in San Pedro...

Student area around the university pretty safe for downtown if careful

www.travel.state.gov CR SJ for crime/safety issues

lots of good schools

Escuela De Idiomas my fav


Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
2. Re: Spanish Schools in San Pedro...

I would not say the San Pedro area is safe - there have been numerous crimes there, including crimes against students. There also have been robberies and muggings at the San Pedro Mall.

If you are going to be staying in that area, you should be very cautious. I would not go anywhere after dark unless it was with some other people. And during the day, just be very aware of what is going on around you. Don't wear your back pack on your back - an old (but effective) trick is for a thief to walk behind you and just casually unzip your backpack and start taking stuff out. This is why you will see many people with backpacks worn in front. Leave anything of value in your room and make sure where you are staying is secure.

Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
2,234 posts
1 review
3. Re: Spanish Schools in San Pedro...


In fairness to Qwo, he did say "PRETTY safe FOR DOWNTOWN IF CAREFUL", which in no way suggests that it is ABSOLUTELY safe. OF COURSE, any urban environment in a developing country city like San Jose is gonna have its risks and the safety precautions that you suggest are certainly well advised. HOWEVER, there are certainly many parts of San Jose that are far worse than San Pedro. ALSO, you make it sound like there would be a high probability that Livin would fall victim to crime if Livin went to school there, which I don't think is the case (provided those simple common sense precautions were taken).

For example, if I were going to school there (which btw I have) I probably wouldn't want to go out at night alone anyway simply because it would not be as much fun, but it is easy at those schools to find other students to go out with in the evening if that is what you want to do (and even if you DID go out by yourself, you'd probably be perfectly fine as long as you took cabs). As for safety at the San Pedro Mall, there have been robberies and muggings at a US mall near me too (in fact, a friend of mine almost got carjacked out in the parking lot a few weeks ago). Again, as long as you go there during the day when lots of people are about (which is the only time you would probably want to go there anyway), stay in the public areas and keep your wits about you, you'll most likely be perfectly fine.


To answer your qestions, here is my take. With respect to the airport San Pedro is on the opposite side of downtown. Basically, if you follow the main road through town (Paseo Colon and Avenida 2 which merges back into Avenida Central you will hit San Pedro about 2kms after you pass the National Theatre. Parts of San Pedro can be a little rough, particularly after dark around the edges of the Calle de la Amargura student entertainment area (not that means you should avoid checking out that area), however IN GENERAL San Pedro is as safe or safer as many other parts of SJ. Also, you should bear in mind that a lot or even most of these spanish language immersion schools that cite San Pedro as their location are not really located directly in San Pedro itself. One highly popular school that IS actually located in San Pedro (going SE from the church) is ILISA (http://www.ilisa.com). But many of the better schools are actually located NEARBY to San Pedro in some of the (usually nicer and safer) neighborhoods around there. For example, the school that I went to and would heartily recommend was the Costa Rica Language Academy (CRLA http://www.learn-spanish.com) and it is actually located in the more upscale neighborhood of Barrio Dent which is just before you get to the San Pedro Mall on the way from downtown. Intensa (http://www.intensa.com), another highly rated school is actually in Barrio Escalante even closer to downtown and equally as safe. Forester (http://www.fores.com), yet another highly rated school, is actually in Los Yoses, yet another nice neighborhood, just on the other side of Avenida Central from CRLA. COSI (http://www.cosi.co.cr) is actually closer to Zapote than it is to San Pedro. And, perhaps the best rated school "in San Jose", Personalized Spanish (http://www.personalizedspanish.com) isn't even in San Jose OR San Pedro but is located some miles BEYOND San Pedro in the suburb of Tres Rios.

Most of the other schools listed in Qwo's link are either not that highly rated or are located in other parts of SJ and its environs no where near San Pedro. Here is what I think is a much better link (www.123teachme.com/search.php…) because not only does it list more of the schools in SJ and the rest of CR, it even is good for studying study options around the world, provides comparative information (like avg class size, cost, etc.) before you even have to click the links for each school AND it includes independent reviews and rankings by people who have actually been to those schools (naturally each school's website is gonna try to make their school sound like this greatest thing since sliced bread).

Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
2,234 posts
1 review
4. Re: Spanish Schools in San Pedro...

BTW, Escuela de Idiomas is actually located in Desamparados which is way over on the south side of the city and nowhere near San Pedro and it does not get as high marks on that link I provided as either CRLA or Personalized Spanish

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
50,678 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: Spanish Schools in San Pedro...

100% agree with PROLIJO.

Please common sense and everything is going to be OK...

Good Spanishe school...INTENSA


Paris, France
Level Contributor
569 posts
30 reviews
6. Re: Spanish Schools in San Pedro...

University of Costa Rica is in San Pedro and has Spanish classes. Also, Instituto Britanico also has a good reputation and offers preparation classes and exams for the Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (basically a test of Spanish skills recognized by the Real Academia Espanola. Technically, Instituto Britanico is in Los Yoses, but it is a short walk from San Pedro Mall.

Hattie's description of the safety/crime situation in the San Pedro area is the most accurate. Anyone who has lived or spent a lot of time (i.e., months rather than a few days) in the area over the last few years would agree with her. You can be safe there, but that means not walking around alone at night by yourself (if you are with a big group it is probably OK otherwise use a cab) and, even during the day, not carrying much of value with you (leave the passport with reception at the hotel, no jewelery, watch in your front pocket, etc.)

7. Re: Spanish Schools in San Pedro...

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