Oaxaca, the capital city of the state, is an enjoyable juxtaposition of old and new, European and indigenous. This Mexican city, with its hip cafés, art galleries, and live music scene, has a bohemian feel while maintaining its colonial charm and links to its pre-Hispanic past. In the historic center is the charming Zócalo, or central plaza, which is always bustling with activity. Strolling around the city, you will discover narrow cobblestone streets and charming colonial buildings. Located on the outskirts of town are the spectacular ruins of Monte Albán, which was the ancient capital city of the Zapotec culture. Amazingly, the surrounding villages still retain the Zapotec language, centuries after the Spanish conquest. Oaxaca abounds with natural beauty – from the impressive Sierra Norte Mountains to the canyons and sweeping landscapes of the central valley. Aside from studying Spanish, you will have many opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside and witness firsthand all that Oaxaca has to offer.