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Mexico's Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

Both intriguing and unusual, the Day of the Dead festival is both a celebration of ancestors and a huge party, and here is your backstage pass. Join us in Oaxaca, Mexico’s artistic heartland, for a seven-day adventure that gives a truly different perspective of the country. With street dances, painted faces, incredible ruins, picturesque landscapes all around, delicious flavours, and maybe a margarita or two, it'll be easy to get into the macabre spirit of "Dia de los Muertos.”

  • Duration: 7 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: CMDNG/155186
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Finishes: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Age requirement: 12 +
You will Visit
  • Oaxaca



Day 1: Oaxaca

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
El Día de los Muertos is a holiday in Mexico to honour and pray for loved ones who've departed. During this period in Oaxaca – centre-stage for Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico – cemetery vigils and street parades are not to be missed.


Day 2: Oaxaca

Take an orientation walk through Oaxaca with your CEO to familiarize yourself with the city. Spend five days exploring the culture, spirituality, and festivities of the famed Day of the Dead festival. There is free time to explore, visit the nearby ruins of Monte Albán or Mitla, take a cooking class, or relax in a café on the city's main square.
Take an orientation walk around Oaxaca with your CEO. Visit two massive markets located just off the “zócalo” (main square), here you'll find many local foods, ornaments, and Day of the Dead essentials for local families.

This tour includes visits to cemeteries in both Xoxocotlan and Atzompa to view the altars and families gathering as dusk turns to dark. The many candles placed around the altars and graves add to the ambiance. In addition, you'll view Day of the Dead parades in both Oaxaca and the Etla Valley. Participants in these parades dress in elaborate costumes and are serenaded by brass bands. Mezcal, served in small plastic cups, is frequently passed out to those watching the parades.

Day of the Dead takes place between October 31 and November 2 and is a celebration and remembrance of the deceased. Families will build private altars and bring large feasts to cemeteries, to be with the souls of the departed. It is believed that the souls will come back to visit and take part in the celebrations. Some of the “ofrendas” (altars) are very elaborate and include sugar skulls and marigold flowers. In most regions, the souls of infants and children are honoured on November 1. Adults are remembered on November 2. It is generally a festive rather than somber gathering.

The Oaxaca area is well known for its many artisans who make everything from pottery, to elaborate weavings, and mezcal (tequila's cousin). The group can also take an optional visit to a couple of the the nearby communities to see the artisans at work.


Day 3: Oaxaca

Explore the culinary delights of Oaxaca with a local host, who will take us to a nearby market, the chocolate grinding mills, and a tortilla making workshop. Continue on to a local family's kitchen and taste an array of Oaxacan cuisine, learn traditional cooking methods, and discuss the food culture in Oaxaca. There's also free time to explore the city and its surroundings.


Day 4: Oaxaca

Continue exploring the culture, spirituality, and festivities of the famed Day of the Dead festival.


Day 5: Oaxaca

Continue exploring the culture, spirituality, and traditions of the famed Day of the Dead festival.


Day 6: Oaxaca

Enjoy your last full day of the Day of the Dead festival.


Day 7: Oaxaca

Depart at any time.

    • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Oaxaca Culinary Experience, Oaxaca
    • Arrival transfer
    • Visits to observe cemetery vigils in the towns of Xoxocotlán and Atzompa
    • Oaxaca and Etla Valley Day of the Dead parades
    • Orientation walk and market visit in Oaxaca
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    • Hotels (6 nts)
    • 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch
    • Private vehicle, walking
    Group Leader
    • CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Take part in the Day of the Dead festival
  • Explore Mexico's artistic heartland
  • Experience the culinary delights and traditional cooking methods of this region
  • Visit the ruins of Monte Albán or Mitla