I did extensive research on Spanish classes when I first moved to Lima. I read reviews; I compared prices; I talked to friends, and I sat in on classes.
Since I was on reporting trips every other week and learning a lot on the road, I didn’t end up taking a class. BUT, perhaps you can benefit from my many hours of research:
A friend of mine swears by these classes. He’s says they’re quick, informative and, most importantly, effective. He’s been going for about a year now, I believe, and loves it. This one ended up being way too far away from my house to consider as an option, but check it out!
Hispana Spanish Language School
I would highly recommend Hispana Spanish Language School. The staff were very efficient, helpful and approachable. The professor was a woman from Cusco, and the lesson plan doubled as a Peruvian culture course. We learned learned about politics, Lima’s landmarks and foods. The curriculum was tough—there were often words I didn’t understand—but it’s a friendly atmosphere, and the professor welcomed my questions. I learned quite a bit from just one class, and, if I’d had time, I would’ve signed up for courses here.
This school is more expensive than the others I looked at. They also expected me to pay in U.S. dollars, which is a bad deal 1. Because I need U.S. dollars to travel 2. Because the exchange rate is forever growing in North America’s favor. However, their customer service is amazing. They got back to me very quickly and answered all my questions, which often doesn’t happen here. And, if you sign up for their mailing list, they frequently offer discounts.
A friend recommended this organization, but I didn’t have a good experience with the staff. They weren’t friendly or helpful, and they insisted on placing me in a Beginner class. When I explained (in Spanish) that I know numbers, colors, verbs, etc., they didn’t listen. So I sat in on a class and wasn’t impressed by their teaching style. The class itself wasn’t very structured, and I felt like the professor (a very nice individual!) took things too slowly, wasting time. I could’ve bumped myself up a level and taken classes in Intermediate, but meh.
In summary: I’d recommend going with Hispana or ICPNA. Enjoy!