List of Countries That Speak Spanish

List of Countries That Speak Spanish
Language binds people together through the spoken and written word. Each country around the world has (at least) one official language; Spanish is the official language in 21 countries. When you visit one of these countries to do your favorite outdoor activities, knowing how to speak Spanish will help getting around and asking questions easier.


Equatorial Guinea in Africa has Spanish and French as its official languages. Malabo, its capital, has Spanish colonial architecture. If you love swimming, visit Arena Blanca in the dry season; you can see thousands of butterflies at that time.


Spain is the only country in Europe where Spanish is the official language. Mountain biking in the Andalusia Mountains is a popular sport. Knowing how to speak Spanish will help you talk to the locals along the way and reading Spanish will help you understand the road signs.


According to the CIA Factbook, 92.7 percent of Mexico's people speak Spanish. Long a favorite of outdoor lovers, Mexico offers miles of beautiful coastline to pursue your favorite water sports and interior places to hike, bike and camp.

Central America

Most citizens of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama speak Spanish. Belize's official language is English, but only 3.9 percent speak it, whereas 46 percent speak Spanish. In Costa Rica, you can study Spanish at institutes and take guided tours of Arenal Volcano, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Manuel Antonio National Park or other places as part of your stay. Try paddling across Lago Coatepeque in El Salvador or white-water rafting on the Lempa and Paz rivers during the rainy season of May to October. Hike around the huge ancient Mayan monuments in Guatemala. If you learn some Spanish, you can talk with the local people. The Cuyamel Caves in Honduras are hidden, so you'll need a guide to see these pre-Colombian marvels.

South America

In South America, Spanish is the official language of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Argentina offers excellent downhill skiing on the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains from May to September. Hike on ancient Inca trails in Bolivia. Visit one of the world's most active volcanoes, Volcan Villarrica, in Chile or kayak on one of its world-class rivers. Bogota, the capital of Colombia, has car-free roads for biking. Stay at an eco-lodge in the jungle of the Oriente and canoe on the rivers in Ecuador. Speaking Spanish will help you on the guided tours of the Italpu Dam in Paraguay.


The three islands of Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico each claim Spanish as their official language. Cuba offers tremendous scuba diving at Varadero, Cayo Coco and Isla de la Juventud. Manati Park in the Dominican Republic features swimming with dolphins as part of its entrance fee. The park also has a reconstruction of a traditional village, a museum and shows with sea lions, parrots and horses. Phosphorescent Bay in Puerto Rico lights up marine life when the water detects movement.

Article Written By Ellen Kendall

Ellen Kendall has 15 years of writing and editing experience. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. Her book contributions include biographies and multi-cultural and Holocaust lesson plans. She has previously served as a real estate broker and interior designer and taught ESL in Korea and at Duke.

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