Day 1: October 29, 2019
Arrive Oaxaca (OAX), get settled at Hotel Victoria Oaxaca, and then a quick orientation stroll through the center of Oaxaca with maps—and a perhaps a drink! Then late afternoon and evening to relax on your own and begin to absorb the Day of the Dead vibe that makes Oaxaca so memorable.
Note that on this first day and every day, this trip is about experience and options. It is always possible for you to opt to rest, walk the streets on your own, sit on the plaza and take in the scene, etc. Then you can catch up with the group later as you choose.
Day 2: October 30th, 2019
Oct 30–This morning we will visit the vast Monte Alban ruins west of town. Then in the afternoon we will stroll through Oaxaca, visit the market and a chocolate mill– also the Santo Domingo ex convent. We will get a good introduction to the Day of the Dead culture, afterlife beliefs, ancestor worship, as well as some of the crafts that go along with the celebration.
Monte Alban is the ancient Zapotec capital that sits on a hill near town. It commands a panoramic view and was first occupied around 500 BC. The Oaxaca market will be buzzing as people from Oaxaca and surrounding villages come to buy food, flowers, and candles- all in preparation for Day of the Dead celebrations.
Day 3: Oct 31th, 2019
Lots of free time during the day to take in local sights- churches, museums, etc. as you like. In the evening various options all night to take in various processions, graveyard watches. At 2am there is the option to travel to nearby Santa Maria Atzompa to take in this small town cemetery ritual.
Sat 8pm is the procession honoring Our Lady of the Rosary starting at Santo Domingo. Then at midnight a “velada” at Xoxocotlan (where locals stay at decorated graves to receive the souls of the dead and dine with them). Then to Atzompa at 2am (the highlight!).
Day 4th: Nov 1–The morning is free to sleep late and relax. Then we travel to nearby Etla villages to take in the afternoon traditional parades called comparsas (that may remind you, a little, of Mardi Gras …). Then we are back to the market where we will buy our supplies to make our own altar – a beautiful, interesting and personal activity that should keep us busy during the rest of the day.
We will buy flowers, sugar skulls, candles, etc. in the big Central de Abastos market. This is where most locals buy their supplies as well.
Day 5: Nov 2nd— Day trip to the east of Oaxaca to towns where the intricate natural dyed wool carpets are produced, areas of small Mezcal factories, and the archaeological site of Mitla and perhaps Yagul. Along the way the cemeteries will be splashed with the colors of 1000s of Day of the Dead decorations.
You may opt to relax for the day and take in more of Oaxaca City. Mitla was once known as “Place of the Dead”. This site is known for its intricate stonework. Be sure to grab some mezcal to share at our final dinner tonight! Optional: Cooking class: learn how to make tamales, corn flower dumplings that are typically eaten this very day.
Day 6: Nov 3—This morning, one last stroll through Oaxaca, then we fly home. You have the option of staying longer here in Oaxaca or perhaps visiting the coast, or even Mexico City.
What to Bring:
- Comfortable walking shoes for city walks
- Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
- Small backpack for personal items
- Gratuity for guide (industry recommendation is 10-20%)
What’s Included in this Tour?
- All transportation from OAX
- Expert local guide
- Accommodation (shared)
- Airport Pick-Up & Drop Off
- All meals
- Entrance fees
- Ingredients for altar
- Champagne Surprises Throughout Tour
We will supply a list of what to bring and money needs you may have on the trip.
What’s Not Included?
- Gratuity for Tour Leader (optional)
- Cooking Class in Oaxaca
- Optional temezcal (Mexican sweat lodge) visit
- Travel Insurance
Do I Need Travel Insurance?
Yes, we recommend all participants to have insurance during our adventures. Check out World Nomads to get the process started.
How Much Money Should I Bring?
The amount of money you’d like to bring with you is totally up to you, but we recommend bringing $10/day to tip our tour guides + driver and an additional $20 per evening for dinner. $50/day will have you sitting pretty.
How Can I Connect to the Community?
We will set up a community page and exchange information with all of our participants, so you will be able to stay in contact, encourage + inspire one another long after the trip concludes.
Where will we stay?
Accommodation is in shared hotel rooms in the center of Oaxaca for three nights, and in a small boutique hacienda for the last 3.
How many people are needed to run this trip?
This trip will run with 4 participants, and will be capped at 8 total. We recommend waiting to book your airfare until closer to the date, we will confirm the trip has met participant requirement 30 days before departure.
Why book with us?
We’ve teamed up with Authentic Mexico Travel, the travel leaders of the region, to bring you to a destination that would otherwise be inaccessible this time of year. Dia de los Muertos is a sacred time for families and a huge travel period, meaning booking accommodation yourself is pretty close to impossible. We work with local guides to ensure your experience is authentic while also remaining incredibly respectful to those who are mourning and celebrating their loved ones.