21 Spanish Speaking Countries (Some May Surprise You)

21 Spanish Speaking Countries (Some May Surprise You)

Did you know that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, right after Chinese?

Did you also know that there are more Spanish speakers in the USA than in Spain?

Perhaps you weren’t made aware of that interesting fact.

People usually think that there are only two Spanish speaking countries: Spain, and Mexico.

Not everyone remembers other countries in South America or so-called Latin America and which languages they speak.

Let’s see in which countries in the world have made Spanish their official language.

And no, it isn’t just Spain and countries in South America.

Some may even surprise you – hint: there are countries in Africa with Spanish as an official language.

Read carefully,

South America

Mexico

Endless sunshine and home of ancient cultures such as Olmec, Maya, and Aztec.

These are the things that come to your mind when you think of the United Mexican States.

Around 130 million people inhabit this country.

This country has a lot of cultural, historical, and every day exciting places and things to see.

Among the popular ones, we list The Mayan Metropolis – Chichzenitza, Teotihuacan, and marvelous beaches on the Gulf of Mexico – Cancun and Mayan Riviera.

Don’t forget to organize your time and visit the capital city of this Spanish speaking country –  Mexico City.

 

Colombia

The land of contrasts, Amazonian jungles, and Caribean coasts.

Today, this country has more than 45 million people, all proud of its history, legacy, and culture.

Countries like this one are worth visiting, and it is quite hard to decide the most popular places to visit.

However, if we had to choose, we would recommend visiting Cartagena, the historic walled city of Colombia’s Caribean coast.

Medellin, a small town with an open heart to all visitors, is surely our number two choice. It also has one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

Of course, don’t forget to spend at least one day in Bogota, Colombia’s capital city.

 

Argentina

Officially named the Argentine Republic, with around 44 million Spanish speakers, is the seventh-largest country in the world.

It has a diverse and rich cultural, artistic, and architectural heritage.

This Spanish speaking country and its capital Buenos Aires offer a lot of unique places to visit.

Here are the top three places in the capital.

  • Stunning Iguazu Falls with Iguazu National park on the border with Brazil
  • Los Glaciares National Park to see the most amazing Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Country’s most southerly city, Ushuaia or popularly called The end of the world, where you are not allowed to miss The End of the World Museum.

 

Peru

Maybe you weren’t sure about this, but in Peru, the home of several prominent Andean civilizations, there are thousands of tourist attractions.

The most famous and significant is, of course, Machu Picchu, the majestic City of ancient Inca, where you can take the tour by train or hike the Inca Trail, which lasts around four days.

In the end, or at the beginning (as you wish), you must visit Lake Titicaca and at least one small part of the Amazon, for example, Puerto Maldonado, the key jumping-off point for tours of Amazon.

This country, with around 32 million people and its capital city of Lima, will leave you breathless.

 

Venezuela

With around 28 million people, this Spanish speaking country with marvelous landscapes, beautiful waterfalls, beaches, and mountain tops has a lot to offer.

Among the most popular tourist attractions are listed Angel Falls, placed in the center of the country, with 979 meters as the highest waterfall in the world.

Organize your tour to visit Los Roques Archipelago, the most beautiful chain of islands, as well as Morrocoy National Park, which is located along the coast a two-hour drive from Caracas, the capital city.

 

Chile

Known as ‘pais de las poetas’ or ‘the country of the poets,’ this Spanish speaking country with around 17 million inhabitants, was the home of Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda.

Besides their museums, you should also visit Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia, Valle de la Luna and the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, and Easter Island with remarkable stone sculptures.

The capital city, Santiago, is, of course, a must-visit!

Anyway, did you know that Chile is the second biggest country of bread consumers?

 

Ecuador 

When you hear ‘Ecuador,’ the first thing that comes to your mind is undoubtedly Galapagos Island.

Well, that should be the first place to visit, too.

With around 16 million people, Ecuador is one of the fascinating nations in South America.

The capital city of Quito is a mix of Spain and Inca’s heritage and influence, which you should definitely visit.

The beautiful city of Cuenca or well-known Santa Ana de Los cuatro ríos de Cuenca should be on your list too.

Don’t forget to stop by in The Boardwalk of Guayaquil before you leave for the Galapagos Islands.

 

Guatemala

Mayan culture, colonial city of Antigua, and volcanic landscape.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, we’re talking about Guatemala.

The country with almost 15 million people, even though it is considered a small country, there is undoubtedly a lot to see, visit and enjoy.

For example, one of the most significant archeological sites of Central America is Mayan Ruins of Tikal, one of the most important Mayan urban centers.

Antigua Guatemala, one of the most beautiful cities, placed between volcanos, offers a unique glimpse of beauty,  is a must-visit.

Surrounded by mountains and valleys is the popular Chichi, or Chichicastenango, a large and colorful town, which is also near the Lake Atitlan. Don’t miss out on them, too.

 

Cuba

Every person in the world has heard of Cuba, its capital city Havana, and famous Che Guevara.

There is no need to explain further, except to make a lifetime journey to this magnificent country, meet friendly people, dance salsa in Trinidad, drink Cuba libre, and enjoy the Varadero beach.

 

Bolivia

A Spanish speaking country with around 10 million people, although small, has a lot to offer.

Its third most popular city La Paz and its ‘death road,’ a bicycle trail, Tiwanaku, one of the most and urban cities of Inca empire, Amazon rainforest and Madidi National Park, which offers safe jungle experience.

It would be a shame to miss out on visiting this country with a unique mix of cultures, festivals, colors, and adrenaline activities.

 

Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, as the capital city, Spanish as an official language, Merengue and Bachata, and around 10 million people, make this South American country worth visiting.

An endless beach of white sand gives you The Resort Destination of Punta Cana, or perhaps, Puerto Plata and Plata Dorada on the north coast, or chilling in “Playa Las Ballenas” beach.

The choice is all yours.

 

Honduras

If you plan to visit this second-largest country in Central America, we suggest visiting Copan Ruins Archeological Site, the most studied Maya city in the world, and its part as a unique temple- Hieroglyphic Stairway, Acropolis and the Museum of Mayan Culture. From the west coast of Roatan, Utila is the most famous of the Bay Islands, which you definitely should see.

The capital city, named Tegucigalpa, is a must-see on your tour.

 

Paraguay

In the heart of South America, with around 6 million inhabitants, you can find this small but incredible country.

Even though there are some smuggling and money laundry crimes, traveling there is generally safe.

The first on your list should be Saltos de Moray, a series of waterfalls that will take your breath away.

Then, there is Ita Letra, ancient petroglyphs, carved into caves in the Amambay Hills near Villarrica, and inevitable Ybycui National Park as a perfect escape after spending a few days in the capital city of Asuncion.

 

El Salvador

With almost the same name, the capital city of San Salvador is worth seeing, especially Tazumal, the most impressive Mayan ruins.

Beaches as Playa El Tunco, Playa El Esteron are great if you want to enjoy and relax.

Montecristo National park, with low valleys and high peaks, gives you the feeling of absolute freedom.

 

Nicaragua

One more small country with around 6 million Spanish speakers and its capital city of Managua, best known for its imposing volcanos and lakes.

Speaking of lakes, you don’t want to miss the chance to see Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua.

If you, however, crawl for the perfection of beaches, you should visit The Corn Islands, Playa Maderas, or perhaps The Pearl Cays, where you can act out your pirate fantasies.

 

Costa Rica

Even though this rainforested country’s population is around 5 million people, there are so many places to see and very open-hearted people to meet.

 If you are planning to visit this country, we assume you will first visit its capital city, San Jose, and see the urban way of its inhabitants.

Don’t forget to practice Spanish with them; they will be delighted.

Arenal Volcano, reaching around 1.700 meters with Arenal Observatory Lodge, is something you must visit.

Relax on tropical heavens as Dominical, surf in Tamarindo, and meditate in Mal Pais and Santa Teresa.

 

Puerto Rico

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the famous song ‘Puerto Rico’ sang by Vaya Con Dios.

While listening to it, you imagine beautiful palm beaches, calm waters lapping the sand, sunset on beaches, and small islands such as Culebra Island, Vieques, or perhaps Luquillo Beach.

Don’t let the feeling remain in your imagination, but pack your bags, go to the airport and, straight to Puerto Rico.

Even though San Juan, the capital city, can’t be called a city, you should still find some time to visit it, especially Old San Juan, which is like stepping back in some new era.

 

Panama

What to do in Panama?

First, take a short tour in the capital city, Panama City, walk the narrow streets of Casco Viejo, and feel the friendly and optimistic atmosphere.

Then visit the Panama Canal, maybe from Miraflores Rocks, very near to downtown Panama City.

And don’t forget to relax in Bocas del Toro and watch the sun goes down over the Pacific Ocean.

 

Uruguay

Such a small country, with around 3.5 million inhabitants, but with such a welcoming and big heart.

The football lovers surely are familiar with its capital city of Montevideo and the biggest football stadium in the world, Estadio Centenario, where the first World Cup ever was held.

A historic quarter, Colonia del Sacramento, natural water with thermal spas, water parks in Salto, and Paysandu for a relaxing trip is something we highly recommend.

Europe

 

Spain 

Perhaps there is no need to say anything about Spain.

Every person worldwide is familiar with this mesmerizing country, home of Gaudi, Salvador Dali, Cervantes, Picasso, Rafael Nadal, Penelope Cruz, and many more.

This country’s population counts around 46 million inhabitants, and so many places to visit, things to do, people to meet, food, and drink to try.

Visit Madrid, the capital city, but don’t miss Barcelona, Valencia or Bilbao.

Book a ticket to see Sagrada Familia, The Great Mosque of Cordoba, Guggenheim Museum, the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

One tourist visit won’t be enough, so prepare yourself to visit Spain several times.

Read more: The Only Spanish Culture Guide that You'll Ever Need

Africa

 

Equatorial Guinea

A tiny country, with around 1.2 million people, where an official language is Spanish.

Yes, you’ve read it right.

Don’t be surprised! Take a look at the ‘Spanish speaking countries map’ if you want to see it for yourself.

It can be strange to see the Bata Cathedral or neo-Gothic  Cathedral of Santa Isabela.

Still, this country, especially the capital city, Malabo, is a testimony of a long history and deep roots of European heritage.

A stunning place for birds and animal lovers is Monte Alen National Park and breathtaking Moka Valley.

 

Final thoughts

There are many, many more places to visit, things to do in countries that speak Spanish.

Before you decide to visit them, watch some Spanish YouTube channels or read Spanish blogs to learn more about their culture.

Your native Spanish tutors can also help you with all the details, including teaching you some basic Spanish words and phrases.
- Find a Spanish tutor here

If you already speak English, Spanish will be a piece of cake, as it is one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers.

If you're up for the challenge, Babbel language learning app is a convenient and easy way to get started.

Does Spanish differ in different countries?

There are many dialects of Spanish, but it is still one language.

Why Is Spanish so popular?

The Spanish language is quite easy to learn and that is why a great number of people use it.

How many people speak Spanish?

There are approximately 400-450 million people who speak Spanish.

Can I use English while visiting Spanish speaking countries?

You will probably make do with English, but it is more interesting to know at least a few common words in the country you visit.

Why is Spanish easy to learn for those who speak English?

Spanish and English have a lot in common as they both belong to Indo-European languages.

Releated Articles

April 17, 2024
What is the Easiest Language to Learn?
April 17, 2024
What is the best app for learning a language?
April 17, 2024
How to Say Hi in Spanish? Your Guide to Spanish Greetings

Daily learning tips directly in your inbox