Mexico's Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

National Geographic Journeys, Oaxaca to Oaxaca

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

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.”

What’s included

  • 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

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

Itinerary

Day 1 Oaxaca 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. Additional Notes: Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting. You will meet your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. This is a very popular tour which runs over 1 specific week every year, as a result, we have multiple groups at the same time enjoying the Journeys itinerary but each with their own CEO leading them. There may be other Journeys groups in the same hotel and you will be sure to see them at the various festivities over the week. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Oaxaca (1B) 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. Additional Notes: The schedule for this tour is very flexible. It allows the CEO to make the best use of your time and is based on the events and activities of the day. The CEO will go over the schedule with you. Included Activities: Oaxaca Day of the Dead Celebrations Orientation Walk
Day 3 Oaxaca (1B, 1L) 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. Additional Notes: The schedule of this tour is very flexible allowing for the CEO to make the most of your time. The CEO will go over the schedule with you. Included Activities: Oaxaca Day of the Dead Celebrations Oaxaca Culinary Experience
Day 4 Oaxaca (1B) Continue exploring the culture, spirituality, and festivities of the famed Day of the Dead festival. Additional Notes: The schedule for this tour is very flexible. It allows your CEO to make the most of your time in Mexico. The schedule is based around the events of the day. The CEO will go over the schedule with you locally. Included Activities: Oaxaca Day of the Dead Celebrations
Day 5 Oaxaca (1B) Continue exploring the culture, spirituality, and traditions of the famed Day of the Dead festival. Additional Notes: The schedule for this tour is very flexible. It allows for the CEO to make the most of your time in Mexico. The schedule is based around the events and activities of the day. The CEO will go over the schedule with you locally. Included Activities: Oaxaca Day of the Dead Celebrations
Day 6 Oaxaca (1B) Enjoy your last full day of the Day of the Dead festival. Additional Notes: The schedule of this tour is very flexible allowing for the CEO to make the best of our time based on events and activities on a day-by-day basis. The CEO will go over the schedule with you locally. Included Activities: Oaxaca Day of the Dead Celebrations
Day 7 Oaxaca (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
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