OAXACA MEXICO: DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION
7 Day/6 Nights to Experience México’s National Celebration – Day of the Dead Holiday or Día de los Muertos
Experience this annual festive yet somber celebration where Mexicans all throughout México honor their family members who have passed on. This Mexican National Holiday is a jumbled mix of color, craziness, somberness, music, tranquility, dancing, art, parades, and wild costumes. Your five senses will all be stimulated as you attempt to understand the strangeness unfolding all around you.
Get ready to encounter scary masks, hang out at night in grave yards, climb around ancient ruins, watch pottery & textile artisans at work in their homes, imbibe in the spirits of Mezcal, wander traditional markets, and explore Oaxaca City as well as smaller villages in the surrounding valleys.
Yep, it’s going to be a fun time!
Your local guide will lead your small group of intrepid travelers each day on this most awesome 7 day immersion tour of cultural and historical discoveries in and around Oaxaca City.
Interested in extending the fun?
Join our optional 5-day Veracruz Extension Tour –
You have the opportunity to extend your vacation and sign up for an extra 5 day trip to explore Mexico’s gulf coast state of Veracruz. See More Options tab below for details.
• Day of the Dead Celebrations
• Colorfully Decorated Cemeteries
• Monte Alban Archaeological Ruins
• Mitla Archaeological Ruins
• Traditional Markets
• Mezcal Production
• Zapotec Villages
• Oaxaca City Tour
- ITINERARY OVERVIEW
- FULL ITINERARY
- DATES & PRICES
- TRIP DETAILS
- MORE OPTIONS
Arrive at the Oaxaca City Airport
Oaxaca City Tour
Giant Tule tree
Tlacolula traditional market
Mezcal production tour
Artisans of San Antonio Arrazola
Artisans of Bartolo Coyotepec
Explore a 16th Century Ex-Convent
Monte Alban archaeoloical site
Rural cemetery of Santa Maria Atzompa
Artisan pottery shops
Mitla archaeological zone
Artisans of San Morcos Tlapazola
Artisans of San Miguel de Valle
Alter in a Zapotec home
San Miguel cemetery in Oaxaca City
Depart from the Oaxaca City Airport
Travel day home
One of our staff will be waiting for you upon your arrival at the Oaxaca City Airport. You will then transfer to the Hotel Misión de los Angeles in Oaxaca City where you will check in. The rest of the day/evening is free to relax or explore on your own.
Day 2: (B,L)
Today is the day to get to know Oaxaca City. A local guide will lead your small group on a walking tour of the city which will include the major landmarks such as the Santo Domingo church, the government palace, and a visit to the Regional Museum of Oaxaca where you will see ancient artifacts from the Mixtec and Zapotec cultures.
You will also stroll the main city markets and see all the items for sale that relate to the Day of the Dead celebration. Lunch will be at a nice local restaurant. After lunch you will have the rest of the afternoon and evening to do more exploring on your own.
Day 3: (B,L)
After breakfast, get your wide angle lens out because you will need it to photograph the Tule tree. First off, it’s over 2000 years old! Even the ancient Aztecs wrote about it. The measurement of the base is about 160 feet in circumference. Yikes! It is one of the oldest living things on this earth.
After your photo opt with this magnificent tree, your group will continue your Oaxaca journey to explore the market in Tlacolula. This market is especially interesting in that there are so many participants who are dressed in traditional Zopotec clothing and many will be speaking Zapotec. Everything from shoes to produce to live animals to crafts from artisans are sold there. Flowers, bakery goods, and other items regarding the Day of the Dead celebration will be prominent on this day. You will have lunch in the “food court” area. OK, it’s not even remotely like the ones at the modern malls.
Nearby, you will learn how Mezcal (a “distant cousin” to Tequila) is produced. Sampling? OF COURSE! Then we will stagger, I mean head back to Oaxaca City for an evening free to explore and relax.
Day 4: (B,L)
Happy Halloween! Yes, you may see kids dressed in costumes trick or treating. It is a custom that has filtered into México from the US but has not taken over the real celebrations which begins this evening; the celebration of Día de los Muertos.
Today your group will travel to the town of San Antonio Arrazola. This town is known for the artisans who create brightly painted animals (Alebrijes).
Then it is off to marvel at the large XVI Century ex-convent in the town of Cuilapam de Guerrero. Here you will learn about its history and architecture.
Your final stop today will be to the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec where you will meet artisans who are known for creating unique black pottery. And of course, there will be time for browsing and shopping in their small stores.
The rest of the afternoon and evening is free to explore on your own and/or relax.
Day 5: (B,L)
The ruins of one of the earliest cities established in Mesoamerica is located just a very short drive from Oaxaca City. Monte Alban was inhabited over a period of 1500 years first by the Olmecs and then the Zapotecs and Mixtecs. Today, you will see that the structures built here are situated on several hundred artificial terraces which were created on a high ridge with a superior view of the surrounding valleys and hills.
After your tour of this very impressive archaeological site, everyone will travel a short distance to view a peaceful rural cemetery in the small town of Santa Maria Atzompa. It is a picturesque place with a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. Nearby, there are some local pottery shops for anyone who is interested in browsing.
Next, everyone will head into the town of Villa de Etla to have lunch at a local restaurant. Anyone up for barbecued goat? Afterwards, you can visit the main church and stroll around the town. The folks there really know how to celebrate Día de los Muertos with fun parades complete with costumes and lots of lively music.
Later, you will return to Oaxaca City and your hotel.
Day 6: (B,L,D)
First on your tour agenda this morning, you will head out to the Mitla Archaeological site. This is an appropriate place to visit on this day of exploration as the word, “Mitla” means the place of the dead or place of burial. This site was considered the “gateway” between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Your tour guide will fill you in on more details and of the significance of this place for the Zapotec and Mixtec people. Also worth noting is that unlike Monte Alban, which sits on a high hill, Mitla was built on a valley floor.
Next on your itinerary, everyone will travel to the town of San Marcos Tlapazola to see the artisans who specialize in making red clay ceramics. It is interesting to see the designs of some of the pottery decorated with roosters, pig snouts, other farm animals, and even dancing dolphins. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will visit to the village of San Miguel de Valle. This will be an interesting afternoon as your guide (Guillermo) is from this small town. He knows just about everyone! There, you will have the opportunity to visit some homes to see how they have created small alters or shrines to honor their deceased loved ones. You will also visit the home of a women who will show you the steps to making rugs and tapestries which are called, Tepetes. Depending on who else is home, you may visit some other folks in town who create embroidery items.
Your travel group will then return to your hotel for a little rest and a nice farewell dinner. Then later in the evening, get ready to visit one of the main cemeteries in Oaxaca City; the San Miguel Cemetery. It is huge with some very nice decorations on many of the grave sites. The main attraction of the evening will be to see 2000 lit candles, each one located in a small niche found in a cavernous mausoleum. Believe it or not, just outside of the cemetery entrance, you will encounter a big carnival complete with rides, lots of food, and crowds of people. Party! Party!
Day 7: (B)
After breakfast, you can relax until its time to take a taxi to the Oaxaca Airport for your flight home. If you are joining the group going on the extra 5 day extension trip to Veracruz, you will take off right after breakfast for more México adventures.
October 30-November 5
October 30-November 5
*Includes day of arrival & departure
$1597 USD per person / double
Single: +$330 USD
Tour Price Includes
Airport pickup in Oaxaca City, all ground transportation, private local bilingual guides, tours per itinerary including all entrance fees. 6 nights of hotel lodgings, drinking water provided each day, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 dinner
Tour Price Does Not Include
Airfare, transfer to Oaxaca Airport on day 7, additional activities & meals not listed in the trip itinerary, alcoholic drinks, trip interruption insurance, trip medical insurance, tips for your tour guides & any other helpful people
Trip Difficulty: Easy–Moderate
Group Size: 8–16
Suggested Minimum Age: 12
Arrival & Departure Cities: Oaxaca / Oaxaca (OAX)
Deposit: $350 USD per person