Oaxaca City - Day of the Dead Celebration Tour
A Festival Infused With Quiet Remembrance & Wild Craziness
7 Day México Festival Tour
(includes day of arrival & departure)
from $1795 /adult • $1495 /child (10-17) + air
Single Supplement +$400
Each year between October 31st and November 2nd, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) takes place where Mexicans all throughout the country honor their family members who have passed on. This Mexican national holiday is a jumbled mix of color, craziness, music, reflection, dancing, painted faces, parades, cemetery visits, and wild costumes.
During the festive Day of the Dead tour in Oaxaca City, our five senses will all be stimulated as we attempt to understand the strangeness unfolding before our eyes.
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.
A local Zapotec guide will lead our group of intrepid travelers each day on this most awesome 7 day immersion tour of cultural and historical discoveries in and around Oaxaca City.
Join us on this most interesting, fun, and informative Day of the Dead Celebration Tour in Oaxaca City in the México state of Oaxaca.
- Day of the Dead Celebrations
- Colorfully Decorated Cemeteries
- Crazy Parades
- Ofrendas (alters commemorating the deceased)
- Monte Alban Archaeological Ruins
- Mitla Archaeological Ruins
- 16th Century Ex-Convent
- Traditional Markets
- Mezcal Production
- Local Artisans
- Zapotec Villages
- Oaxaca City Tour
*2023 Tour Dates
Oct 29-Nov 4 (Su-Sa)
$1795 per adult - double
$1495 per child (10-17 yrs)
* Includes day of arrival & departure.
** Prices in USD. Air not included in tour price.
Day 1: Welcome to Oaxaca City
After arriving at the Oaxaca City Airport, catch a taxi to the hotel in Oaxaca City where we will sleep for the next 6 nights.
Our tour activities start on day 2. The rest of the day/evening is free to relax or go exploring.
Day 2: Orientation / Tule Tree / Sunday Market in Tlacolula / Mezcal Tour (B,L)
This morning we will meet our host guide for breakfast where he will give us an overview of our upcoming itinerary and answer questions.
Our first stop on our exploration journey will be to witness something that is over 1400 years old. It happens to be one of the oldest living things on this earth.
Historical records show that even the ancient Aztecs wrote about the Tule tree!
Not only is it old, it's HUGE!
The measurement of its base is about 160 feet in circumference. Definitely, a wide angle camera lens will come in handy to photograph this massive, enormous tree!
Next, we'll continue on to explore the Sunday 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 as well.
We'll have lunch in the “food court” area. OK, it’s not even remotely like the ones at the modern malls. However, it will definitely be a cultural immersion experience.
Later, we'll learn how Mezcal (a “distant cousin” to Tequila) is produced. Sampling? OF COURSE! Then we'll travel back to Oaxaca City for an evening free to explore and relax.
Day 3: Oaxaca City Tour / San Miguel Cemetery (B,L)
Yes, we may see kids dressed in costumes trick or treating. It is a custom that has filtered into México from the USA but has not taken over the real celebrations which begins this evening; the celebration of Día de los Muertos.
Today is the day to get to know Oaxaca City. Our host guide will lead our small group on a walking tour of the city which will include the major landmarks such as the Santo Domingo Church and the government palace. Plus we'll get to witness preparations being made for the big celebration and items being sold in the markets for the Day of the Dead festivities.
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, we'll encounter a big carnival complete with rides, lots of food, and crowds of people.
Day 4: Two Artisan Towns / Ex-Convent Tour (B,L)
Today we will travel to the town of San Antonio Arrazola. This town is known for the artisans who create brightly colored sculptures of mythical creatures. (Alebrijes).
Then it is off to marvel at the large XVI Century ex-convent in the town of Cuilapam de Guerrero. Here we'll learn about its history and architecture.
Our final stop today will be to the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec where we 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.
Then we'll head back to Oaxaca City. The rest of the day and evening is free to enjoy more of the ongoing festivities happening there.
Day 5: Monte Alban Archaeological Site / Rural Cemetery / Celebration in Villa de Etla (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 we'll 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 our tour of this very impressive archaeological site, we 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 we can check out.
Next, everyone will head into the town of Villa de Etla to have lunch at a local restaurant. Anyone up for barbecued goat? Afterwards, we'll 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, we'll return to Oaxaca City and our hotel.
Day 6: Mitla Ancient City Ruins / Marcos Tlapazola Artisans / San Miguel de Valle - Zapotec Village (B,L,D)
First on our tour agenda this morning, we'll head out to the Mitla Archaeological site. This is an appropriate place to visit during the Día de los Muertos celebration 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. Our tour guide will fill us in on more details and of the significance of this place for the Zapotec and Mixtec people.
Next up on our exploration itinerary, we'll travel to 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.
Later we'll visit the village of San Miguel de Valle. This will be an interesting afternoon as our Zapotec guide (Guillermo) is from this small town. He knows just about everyone!
There, we'll have the opportunity to visit a home to see how they have created a small alter or shrine to honor their deceased loved ones. Also depending on who is home, we may visit a women who will show us the steps to making rugs and tapestries which are called, Tepetes as well as some other local artisans in town who create embroidery items.
In the evening we will all meet on last time with our guide to have a nice farewell dinner on our last night in Oaxaca.
Day 7: Travel Day Home (B)
After breakfast, our tour ends. At the appropriate time, a taxi can be secured for the ride to the Oaxaca Airport and your flight home or perhaps, on to our next adventure in México.
Itinerary schedule is subject to change.
Tour Price Includes:
• 7 days / 6 night guided tour (includes day of arrival
• Small group tour size of up to 10 travelers
• All ground transportation during guided tour days
• All activities as listed in the itinerary
• All entrance fees
• 6 nights of hotel lodgings
• 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 dinner
• All tips for all your guides & driver
Additional activities & meals not listed above
Trip interruption insurance
Group activities listed are subject to change.
Activity Level: Easy-Moderate
Maximum Group Size: 12
Suggested Minimum Age: 10 years
Arrival & Departure Cities: Oaxaca (OAX) / Oaxaca (Oax)
Deposit: $350 USD per person
A Reminder -
There is no need to fret over how much to tip and of having the right amount of Mexican Pesos at the end of your tour.
We take care of the tips for all specialty guides as well as your main host guide and driver.
If you would like to stay a few more days in this region either before or after your tour with us and would like some assistance in making those plans, contact us.
We can design an independent travel experience based on what you would like to see and do. We can help you to arrange local transportation, accommodations, and set you up with a local guide.