Searching for a place to habla español outside of the U.S. that emphasizes authenticity and altruism with a little bit of adventure thrown in for good measure? Check out La Mariposa Spanish School, located in La Concepción, Nicaragua, where $480 gets you a week’s worth of lodging, three square meals a day, 20 hours of one-on-one Spanish language lessons and a serious appreciation of Nicaraguan culture and history. La Mariposa promotes ecotourism and volunteerism and offers a wide array of activities, such as hiking and horseback riding, with a schedule any college student would envy—study in the morning, adventure in the afternoon.
Go for the Spanish but realize that a better understanding of verb conjugations is the least of what you’ll acquire during your Central American sojourn.
Tired of lift lines and balking at the astronomical cost of lift tickets? Looking for an off-the-beaten-path ski adventure to share with some of your best friends? Ready to explore a new mountain range whose very name evokes the image of something wild, rugged and beautiful? If so, look no further: The Sawtooth National Forest in the heart of central Idaho is calling your name.
I’m not going to say I based the location of a friend’s bachelorette on a beachside, no-frills seafood joint I once read about, but I will admit I had margaritas and fresh ceviche on the mind when I reserved a house on Soliman Bay in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Located 12 kilometers north of Tulum down an unpaved road that first leads through a mangrove swamp before turning to run parallel with the water, Soliman Bay is a tranquil slice of paradise in an otherwise overdeveloped section of Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Which is to say, you wouldn’t stumble upon it unless you went looking for it.
At the end of this unpaved road, after the houses tapper off and the mangrove swamp increasingly appears as if it is going to overrun the path you are on, you’ll find Chamico’s.