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Spanish-Speaking Countries of The World: All 21 of Them

Do you want to take a look into the eyes of Spanish colonization? In these countries, we get to see into the past, and each has its own story of resilience, uprisings, and inspiring growth. 

From the glaciers of Argentina to the deserts of Mexico, in this article, you’ll learn a little bit about every Spanish-speaking country (with pictures). 

If you enjoy this article, write a comment at the bottom and tell the Acquire The Language community which Spanish-speaking country is your favorite and why!

¿Estás listo? Empecemos (Are you ready? Let’s start)

cartoon mariachi player with a title that says "Where's Spanish Spoken?"

Where Is Spanish Spoken In The World?

Spanish is spoken officially in a total of 21 countries. These countries are:

  • Spain

  • Mexico

  • Colombia

  • Argentina

  • Peru

  • Venezuela

  • Chile

  • Ecuador

  • Guatemala

  • Cuba

  • Bolivia

  • Dominican Republic

  • Honduras

  • Paraguay

  • El Salvador

  • Nicaragua

  • Costa Rica

  • Puerto Rico (a territory of the United States where Spanish is co-official with English)

  • Panama

  • Uruguay

  • Equatorial Guinea (Spanish is one of the official languages)

Argentina - Buenos Aires

Picture of Buenos Aires Argentina

Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world. With tons of agricultural land, finding a delicious steak here is as easy as pie (sorry vegans). The Spanish in Argentina is known by many as “that dialect that kind of sounds Italian.”

While this is funny, and sometimes deeply true, this is not “the Argentine dialect of Spanish,” rather, it’s just the southern Argentine accent. This probably has something to do with a large percentage of their population (62.5%) being descended from Italian immigrants.

Their capital, Buenos Aires, also known as “The Paris of America” has incredible hotels, Airbnbs, restaurants, and sights to see.

While the Spanish they speak here is fun, beautiful, and expressive, it’s also worth noting that they use Vos instead of Tú. This means that there are other conjugations you’ll need to learn if you want to speak like an Argentine, but they’re even easier than the “normal” Tú conjugations.   

Bolivia - La Paz 

Picture of La Paz, Bolivia

Bolivia is a vibrant country that many don’t talk about. However, many magical things can only be found in this hidden gem. From the salt flats to their lush forests, how many insane things you see is 100% dependent on how much time you spend there.

Apart from Spanish being spoken, there are many well-preserved indigenous languages, most notably Quechua - which about 15 percent of people speak. The Spanish spoken in Bolivia is generally really easy to understand.

They speak slowly, clearly, and with a beautiful yet somewhat neutral accent. Lastly, like many other countries that use Vos, you can find both Vos and Tú being used, depending on which part of the country you find yourself in.

Learn about the Bolivian Spanish dialect

Chile - Santiago

Picture of Santiago, Chile

Chile is home to Easter Island's mysterious Moai statues and the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth. Santiago, the capital, is surrounded by the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, offering a stunning backdrop. Chilean Spanish is marked by its distinct pronunciation, and the country's commitment to astronomy is showcased in its world-class observatories.

Chile doesn’t need any “hyping up,” it speaks for itself as the most healthy economy in Latino America, with Santiago, being one of the most beautifully modern cities on the South American continent. However, before you come here, learn some of their slang and pronunciation differences. Chilean Spanish is famous for its differences and well, you’ll find out why when you hear it.

Learn about the Chilean Spanish dialect

Colombia - Bogotá

Picture of Bogota Colombia

Colombia, the second most biodiverse country, is a melting pot of cultures and landscapes. From the vibrant streets that inspired Disney movies to the lush Amazon rainforest, Colombia offers an extremely diverse environment.

The Colombian people are known for being beautiful and hospitable, so surely you’ll meet some friends if you go there. However, make sure that you understand how to speak in the Usted, Vos, and Tú forms because here, you never know which one you’ll be referred to as.

Bogota is an incredible capital city that has mind-blowing gastronomy, a warm culture, and beautiful sights to see. If you’re going to Colombia someday, make sure to check out the Gold Museum, where they display the collection of golden works of art from the Colombian indigenous people that were made before the Spanish conquest. 

Learn about the Colombian Spanish dialect

Costa Rica - San José

Picture of San Jose Costa Rica

Costa Rica, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is a haven of lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and diverse ecosystems.

Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest promise thrilling exploration, while the warmth of Costa Ricans, known as "Ticos," and their "Pura Vida" mantra create a welcoming atmosphere.

From zip-lining through canopies to embracing traditional culture, Costa Rica is a sanctuary for tranquility and exhilaration.

Every sunrise and adventure unfolds a unique masterpiece, inviting you to savor life's simple joys and create indelible memories in this tropical paradise. In this paradise, you can expect to hear Vos (You) instead of the Tuteo of standard Spanish.

Cuba - Havana

Picture of Havana, Cuba

Cuba, a Caribbean jewel, resonates with a vibrant history, rhythmic music, and a warm spirit. Havana's pastel buildings and vintage cars set the stage for a cultural journey.

The heartbeat of the island pulses through lively streets with salsa and rumba, inviting visitors to dance to Cuba's unique rhythm. Speaking of rhythm, make sure to brush up on your Cuban Spanish, which is very different in pronunciation and vocabulary (Ex - Don’t say Papaya… click the "learn about the Cuban Dialect link below to find out why).

While the Caribbean in general is a dream-like destination, Cuba stands out with its incredible culture and beautiful people.

Learn about the Cuban Spanish dialect

Dominican Republic - Santo Domingo

Picture of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean gem. Known for its ridiculously unique and beautiful beaches. Plus, the Spanish of the Dominican Republic is also recognized for its distinct pronunciation and expressive vocabulary.

From the colonial charm of Santo Domingo to the heights of Pico Duarte, this nation offers diverse adventures. Warm Dominican hospitality and delectable dishes like mangu and mofongo immerse visitors in a culinary journey.

Whether exploring historic streets or relaxing on Punta Cana's pristine shores, the Dominican Republic is a captivating blend of relaxation and adventure, promising cherished memories in every corner.

Learn about the Dominican Spanish dialect

Ecuador - Quito

Picture of Quito, Ecuador

Ecuador, meaning “Equator,” is a South American country that brings amazing forestry, beaches, colonial towns, and agricultural land together into one big masterpiece. From the historic charm of Quito to the vibrant markets of Otavalo, the country embraces a rich heritage. 

The Galápagos Islands offer rare wildlife encounters, while the Amazon Rainforest immerses visitors in a symphony of nature. With warm hospitality, delectable cuisine, and a commitment to sustainability, Ecuador promises an unforgettable fusion of adventure, culture, and natural wonders.

El Salvador - San Salvador

Picture of San Salvador, El Salvador

El Salvador is a vibrant country in Central America that has become extremely popular lately. This is due to the amazing transformation that they’ve gone through over the last 5 years. Before they were just the most dangerous place in Latino America, but now they are the safest.

To be honest, El Salvador is super high on my list of places to go soon, and I’ll probably make a trip to their enchanting capital San Salvador after I leave Mexico.

They’re known for surfing, having beautiful colonial towns and cathedrals, and a ton of volcanoes. Plus if you’re a Spanish-nerd like me - the Salvadorian Spanish will make you laugh and fall in love with the country instantly.

Equatorial Guinea - Malabo

Picture of Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea, nestled in the Gulf of Guinea in Central Africa, has recently emerged as a captivating destination. The country has undergone a remarkable transformation in the past few years, drawing attention to its evolving tourism landscape.

While Equatorial Guinea may not have been on the mainstream travel radar, it's now gaining recognition for its unique charm and cultural richness. Previously overshadowed by its oil industry, the nation's efforts towards diversification and sustainable development are reshaping its image.

Malabo, the enchanting capital, presents a blend of modernity and historical influences. Equatorial Guinea is celebrated for its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and a cultural fusion that reflects both African and Spanish influences.

For language enthusiasts, the distinctive Equatoguinean Spanish adds an extra layer of fascination. 

Guatemala - Guatemala City

Picture of Guatemala City, Guatemala

Guatemala, settled in the heart of Central America, is a country of enchanting landscapes and rich cultural heritage. In recent years, it has gained well-deserved attention for its diverse attractions. Once overshadowed by historical challenges, Guatemala now shines as a vibrant destination.

Antigua, its colonial jewel, boasts cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings, while the ancient ruins of Tikal immerse visitors in Maya history. Guatemala is also renowned for its vibrant markets, where indigenous traditions come to life through handmade crafts and textiles.

An interesting fact is that Lake Atitlán, surrounded by volcanoes and indigenous villages, is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

As a testament to the country's resilience and beauty, Guatemala has become a must-visit destination, captivating adventurers with its natural wonders and cultural tapestry.

Honduras - Tegucigalpa

Picture of Tegucigalpa Honduras

Honduras, nestled in the heart of Central America, is a captivating destination that has recently emerged as a traveler's delight. Despite its historical challenges, Honduras is now gaining recognition for its diverse offerings.

The ancient Mayan city of Copán, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands as a testament to the country's rich cultural legacy. Honduras boasts pristine Caribbean beaches, such as those on the Bay Islands, making it a haven for diving enthusiasts.

Honduras is also a significant player in the global coffee market, renowned for producing high-quality Arabica beans. The mountainous regions provide ideal conditions for coffee cultivation.

As the nation embraces sustainable tourism initiatives, Honduras is becoming synonymous with natural beauty, ancient history, and warm hospitality, inviting explorers to uncover its hidden treasures.

Learn about the Honduran Spanish dialect

Mexico - Mexico City

Picture of Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico is a really cool place with lots of awesome things to see! There are busy markets and super old pyramids to explore. The main city, Mexico City, is like a big playground with old neighborhoods and cool art. And guess what? The food is delicious!

You can try tasty street tacos and other yummy dishes. Plus, if you didn’t know, Mexico is the birthplace of Chocolate. Mexico has a mix of old and new stuff that makes it really interesting.

So, if you go there, get ready for a fun adventure with tasty food, old stories, and lots of cool things to discover! If you want my favorite time of year to go to Mexico - it would have to be at the end of October during the Day Of The Dead celebrations! 

The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday where families honor and remember deceased loved ones. It involves colorful altars, sugar skulls, and festive celebrations. If you can, you should definitely check it out someday.

Learn about the Mexican Spanish dialect

Nicaragua - Managua

Picture of Nicaragua

Nicaragua stands out as a fascinating destination, with its vibrant capital city offering a diverse tapestry of experiences. Amidst the city, bustling markets showcase the local culture, and diverse culinary delights await exploration.

Venture beyond, and you'll encounter picturesque landscapes featuring volcanoes and the serene beauty of Lake Nicaragua. The warmth of the people, coupled with the allure of well-preserved historical sites, adds a layer of charm.

For those seeking a blend of adventure, gastronomic delights, and cultural immersion, Nicaragua and its capital present an enticing invitation to explore and savor the unique offerings of this Central American gem.

Panama - Panama City

Picture of Panama City, Panama

Panama is a magical country, and during my 4 months there I absolutely fell in love with it. From the incredible biodiversity to the modern and yet somewhat calm Panama City, you can’t hate this country.

Delicious Spanish-inspired dishes, funny and welcoming people, and historical towns are just the start of what makes Panama a dream come true.

Plus, if you learn the language, Panamanian Spanish will be somewhat easy to understand due to their use of many English words in their day-to-day speech. 

Paraguay - Asunción

Picture of Paraguay

Paraguay is a cool place, especially its capital city. The city has lively markets with lots of local stuff, and the food is delicious. If you go outside the city, you'll find awesome landscapes and nature spots like Ybycuí National Park.

People there are really friendly, and you can see old places that tell cool stories. Paraguay is perfect if you want a mix of adventure, yummy food, and learning about its cool culture.

However, if you’re into the Spanish language, it will definitely come as a surprise that most people there speak Guarani, a native language. This goes way back to colonial times when the natives and Spanish got along and learned each other's languages.

So, if you're into exploring new places, Paraguay and its capital are definitely worth checking out!

Peru - Lima

Picture of Lima, Peru

Peru is a fantastic country, and its capital city is super cool too! In the city, you'll find bustling markets with lots of interesting stuff, and the food is incredible (and they take it very seriously). Fun fact: Peru is the birthplace of the potato and they still grow over 3,000 varieties in the country.

If you head outside, there are amazing landscapes, like the Andes Mountains and the ancient Machu Picchu ruins. People there are really friendly, like for real, I have never met a rude Peruvian yet!

Peru is perfect if you want a mix of adventure, delicious food, and getting to know a unique culture. So, if you're up for exploring new places, Peru and its capital are definitely worth a visit!

Learn about the Peruvian Spanish dialect

Spain - Madrid

Picture of Madrid, Spain

Spain is a country that once was so massive that it spread its language to over 20 modern-day countries. Spain is one of the most visited countries today due to their evergreen tourism sector.

With incredibly old buildings, Roman ruins, exquisite cuisine, pristine beaches, and beautiful cities, Spain is a must-see.

Amongst many other unique things that Spain has between its borders, there exists the oldest (still functioning) restaurant in the world that you can visit - which was founded in 1725! 

Uruguay - Montevideo

Picture of Montevideo, Uruguay

For those who don’t know, Uruguay is a tiny gem located near the bottom of South America. It shares a border with Argentina and Brazil. Inside these borders, you’ll find the country with the highest income per capita in all of Latino America!

With a stable banking system, relatively good infrastructure, and a beautiful capital city that lies next to a huge beach, this country is nothing short of a Latin American gem.

Uruguay is extremely progressive, however, so it’s only a gem if you like that sort of thing. For example, they were the first to:

  • Give laptops to all students in school

  • Legalize cannabis 

  • Ban salt shakers in restaurants

  • & legalize same-sex marriage

Learn about the Uruguayan Spanish dialect

Venezuela - Caracas

Picture of Venezuela Town

Venezuela was once the most stable democracy and economy in all of Latin America. However, this all changed within the last decades. As sad as it is, the country has been working hard to get back on its feet.

Even though these decades have been tough for the country and its people, the capital city Caracas is still a beautiful representation of the success that they found in the 20th century.

Apart from the governmental decay, the people remain resilient, smart, and extremely welcoming to foreigners. If you get the chance to go to Venezuela, make sure to tour the beautiful colonial towns - as Caracas was founded in 1567, leaving much history behind to discover.

Conclusion: All of The Spanish Speaking Countries 

Every Spanish-speaking country has things in common. They share a language, indigenous heritage, beautiful land, and a dark past with the Spanish government.

However, through the years the conflict has washed away and left these beautiful people to build their own countries, their own cultures, and their own futures. Latino America is more than just land, it represents a struggle of colonial powers vs a resilient people who want better for their families.

We’re lucky to be able to visit and learn about any of these countries, and personally, I hope that we both get to see all of them in our lifetime. Maybe you and I will meet sometime on a beach in Nicaragua, I can only hope!

Thanks for making it this far into the article, I hope you have a wonderful day, evening, or night (depending on what time it is for you). It was a pleasure as always.

Best regards,

~ Benji


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