Instituto Jovel was founded in 1993 by one of its current directors and in 2007 moved to its current location, two and a half blocks from the central plaza. We have our own beautiful building with gardens and fountains, right in the colonial center of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Our aim at Instituto Jovel is to make your stay with us as successful and pleasant as possible.
That means: offering high quality language classes, providing home stays with Mexican families where you feel comfortable and giving you any assistance you need regarding travel, leisure and other personal needs.
We pride ourselves on our friendly and relaxed study atmosphere and do our best to make your time with us as fun as it is educational. All of our teachers are native Mexican Spanish speakers, specially-trained as second language teachers; they are also fluent in English, necessary sometimes to explain specific concepts or problematic structures. The combination of linguistic/cultural immersion with high-quality Spanish classes results in rapid Spanish language acquisition at every level.
In addition to the Spanish classes, students have the opportunity to participate in cultural workshops and activities, in an intercambio program with members of the community and optional excursions to nearby places of interest. Accommodation options include staying in the home of a local family, in a posada, in a comfortable apartment or at a hotel.
San Cristobal de Las Casas can be easily reached by either plane or bus. The closest airport is located in Tuxtla Gutierrez, a one hour drive from here, with several daily flights to and from Mexico City. There are also direct bus connections from Cancun and Mexico City.
Arriving by plane: Airlines that fly into Tuxtla Gutierrez are Mexicana and Interjet. Once you arrive at the airport in Tuxtla, you can either take a bus or taxi to San Cristobal. We also offer airport pick-up service for an additional fee of US$ 60.00 USD for one person and $80.00 USD for two people, bringing you here to the school, to your host family or your hotel/posada. For further information, please contact us.
Arriving by bus: Upon arrival in Mexico City or Cancun, you can take a direct bus to San Cristobal. Busses take about 14 hours from Mexico City and 18 hours from Cancun. Busses are comfortable and there are several options daily. You can buy tickets on-line at: www.occbus.com.mx or www.adogl.com.mx
San Cristobal de Las Casas lies in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, high in the mountains surrounded by pine forests. With its cobblestone streets and red-tile roofs, San Cristobal is a mix of 16th century Spanish influence and a vivid, colorful indigenous culture. Here you will find not only beautiful colonial churches, cathedrals and other buildings, but also the largest indigenous market in northern America, where the Maya people from surrounding villages come daily, in their colorful traditional clothing, to sell fruits, vegetables and crafts.
In San Cristobal you can choose from a variety of vegetarian, Mexican, Italian and Asian restaurants, and European-style cafes or eat local foods in small eateries all over town. You can visit indigenous villages during the day (each village has particular style of traditional dress) and at night you can listen to live music in different restaurants and bars.
It is cooler in the highlands of Chiapas than in other parts in Mexico: during the rainy season (May to early November), the climate is mild, usually with sunny mornings and rain in the afternoons or evenings. During the dry season (November to May), the days are beautifully sunny and warm, but the nights can be chilly.
You can get to San Cristobal by air, bus or car. There are regular flights from Mexico City and Cancun to Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas. It is a little over an hour by bus or taxi to San Cristobal. We offer pick-up service from the Tuxtla Gutierrez airport. There are also direct overnight buses from Cancun and Mexico City to San Cristobal. Buses in Mexico are comfortable, plentiful and convenient, but let us know if you need more information on how to get to us.
We at Instituto Jovel are happy to help you plan day trips to the surrounding villages and archeological sites and also weekend trips to the jungle, which can include visits to waterfalls and boat tours. There are many, many places to visit!