Escorted Group Tours – Day of the Dead Tour in Oaxaca

Region: 
Days: 7

Price:
$4,395 USD pp

Discover the colorful Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) in Oaxaca to experience the beliefs and traditions of life after death.

Learn about this often-misunderstood holiday in Mexico and explore Oaxaca as the community prepares to welcome the spirits of their loved ones back to earth. Be dazzled by the colorful and vibrant altars and explore the local markets to learn about the significance behind the traditional elements used to honor spirits of the deceased.

Highlights

Ofrenda and Altar Exhibitions – Visit various exhibitions, festival displays, and cemeteries to understand the cultural importance of Day of the Dead, expressed with the cempasuchil flower, bright colors, flickering candles, and adorned altars.

Oaxaca – Tour this Colonial UNESCO World Heritage city with its cobbled streets, colonial structures, and majestic churches.

Monte Alban and Mitla Archaeological Sites – Discover these sacred ceremonial sites remaining tombs, and geometric stone carvings.

Traditional Food and Beverage – Experience the art of mezcal production and taste the “Pan de Muertos” a special bread traditionally baked during the season of Día de los Muertos.

Artisan Route – Investigate some of Oaxaca’s indigenous towns where centuries-old traditions of handicrafts live on. Towns may include Teotitlán del Valle, San Martín Tilcajete, San Bartolo Coyotepec, and Santo Tomas Jalieza.

Cemeteries – Witness devoted families honor their deceased beloved with prayers, music, flowers, and candles in one of the beautiful graveyards, such as Xoxocotlan Cemetery.

Dates & Prices

Dates

This trip is programmed as a group departure preset for up to 14 people from October 28 to November 4, 2017. Programs and events may change slightly according to the festival calendar released later in the year.

Prices

Prices $4,395 USD per person for this group tour.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival Day to Oaxaca

Upon arrival to the airport, meet your guide who will coordinate your transfer to the lovely Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca. After checking in, relax and wander this historical property or stroll the city streets before meeting your guide for a briefing and welcome dinner at Casa Crespo. Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca (D)

Day 2

Discovering Oaxaca: An Exploration of the Historical Center

Your  guide will meet the group at the hotel and lead you through the colonial UNESCO World Heritage city of Oaxaca. Walking its cobbled streets, you’ll observe the vibrant squares, colonial structures and numerous churches, all the while learning about Oaxaca’s historical and cultural importance.

You will be guided through the central plaza (Zócalo) to the largest central market of Oaxaca, where you will learn about the different handicrafts of Oaxaca before sampling local fare, such as Oaxacan cheese and grasshoppers! Next you will head to the traditional chocolate mills to see how they operate and taste Oaxaca’s specialty chocolate.

During the day, the group will have time for lunch at a local restaurant to taste some characteristic dishes of Oaxaca’s rich cuisine.

In the evening guests will have free time to wander in the city center or go back to the hotel. Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca (B,L,D)

Day 3

Mezcal Tour and Mitla with “Pan de Muerto” Bakery

This full-day experience will take the group on an exploration of the art of mezcal production and a journey into Mesoamerica at the ceremonial site of Mitla. We will also stop at a bakery for an overview of the traditional bread baked around the country for Day of the Dead celebrations.

Starting in Mitla, explore its tombs and intricate mosaic work. Your journey then leads far from the regular tourist mezcal hotspots, where you will meet genuine, quality producers of the traditional liquor who will teach you about the different distillation techniques used to make mezcal, referred to as the elixir of the gods by the locals.

Before heading back to Oaxaca, the group will stop in a small pueblo famous for its production of pan de muerto – a special bread made only during the season of Día de los Muertos. We will visit one of the 20 bakeries in town, learn what the various bread shapes symbolize, and discover why it’s so prolific throughout this holiday as an offering to the deceased.. Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca (B,L)

Day 4

Observing Day of the Dead: Altar Offerings, Market Visit, and Cemeteries at Midnight

Prepare yourself for an eventful day full of new experiences that will bring you closer to understanding the history and intimacies of the Day of the Dead.

The day begins with a visit to the sprawling central market of Oaxaca, covering several city blocks. During the week of Day of the Dead, the market is full of vibrant, seasonal offerings, and you will have a chance to see the locals hurrying to buy fresh bread, marigolds, candles, incense, sugar skeleton skulls, and other traditional altar offerings for tonight’s observance. You will be captivated by the sights, sounds, and smells of the bustling market during this unique experience of seeing how Oaxaca prepares for this magical night.

After the market, our day continues to the local cemeteries to see how typical “Altares de Muertos” are prepared. Discover the significance behind each aspect of the altar, including what the levels, gifts, and offerings represent, and what the cultural beliefs regarding the connection between life and death are.

Later this evening once the sun has set, meet again to the highlight of our day: the Observance of Day of Dead at midnight.

First stop is San Miguel Cemetery, one of the many sacred places in Oaxaca, for an inauguration event where magic explodes in the form of ten-thousand candle flames, softly swirling and beautifully illuminating 2,000 niches of the cemetery. We will then continue toward the small village of Xoxocotlan to meet a local family and share dinner as special guests in their home. You will have a chance to try the traditional tamales, pan de muerto bread, and the special hot chocolate that accompanies it. After dinner, we will join the family on their visit to the local Xoxocotlan cemetery and help them decorate one of their ancestors’ tombs. After midnight, you will witness how the entire town gradually fills the cemetery with flowers and candles, adorning the graves of their loved ones and sitting patiently by the tombstone all night waiting for the spirits to arrive. Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca (B,L, D)

Day 5

Explore the Ancient Zapotec City of Monte Alban and other Villages for Comparsas and Tlayudas

Today, the group will visit Monte Alban, one of the oldest cities of Mesoamerica, known for its importance as a ceremonial center where more than 150 tombs have been found. A site of the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, it is still considered a sacred site by shamans today. Explore the site with our bilingual guide who will tour you around, explaining what we know about Monte Alban and what still remains a mystery.

After your visit, enjoy a traditional lunch in Oaxaca’s north valley and then witness the famous comparsas, a carnival-like event special to Día de los Muertos where locals dress up in colorful costumes and parade through the streets. We will walk with the locals for a while as we admire this enchanting celebration. To end the evening, we will drive back to Oaxaca and sample some warm tlayudas, a traditional food sometimes referred to as Oaxacan pizza. Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca (B,L, D)

 

Day 6

Teotitlán with Cooking Class and Day of the Dead Cemetery Visit

Departing from Oaxaca late in the morning the group will visit Teotitlán del Valle where Zapotec traditions live on in modern-day form within the woven goods. Visiting the town, whose church lies on visible remains of a Zapotec temple, you will meet a family of weavers, learn how the wool is processed and see how they use natural dyes like cochineal, violet and pomegranate to create a variety of hues. You will also observe the traditional Zapotec designs and glyphs that live on in their craft today.

Our experience will include a lunch and cooking class hosted by an indigenous Oaxacan family who will introduce us to local dishes. Not only will we observe our friends working in the kitchen, but we will learn hands-on how they cook with Nixtamal, a traditional ingredient for making corn tortillas.

After our interaction with the family, we will visit a cemetery to experience even more Day of the Dead traditions and get a firsthand look at how this indigenous town celebrates. Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca (B,L)

Day 7

Artisanal Route Around Oaxaca

This day is designed to immerse you in the rich traditions and cultures that make up the vibrant state of Oaxaca. The group will visit the homes of local artisans in some of the small pueblos, such as San Bartolo Coyotepec, Santo Tomás Jalieza, and San Martín Tiljacete, just beyond the Oaxacan city limits. Some of the area’s most recognized artisans and craftmasters will explain the techniques involved in making black pottery, alebrijes, and backstrap loom weaving. Find out how these artisans continue the traditions of making native crafts to this day. You are guaranteed to meet people who will forever leave an impression in your life! ” Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca (B,L,D)

 

Day 8

Departure Day

 

Dia de los Muertos Altar

Dia de los muertos parade

Dia de los muertos

Dia de los Muertos Cemetery

Markets of Cempasuchils

Oaxaca Market

Life and Death

Dia de los Muertos Traditions

Dia de los Muertos Traditions

Dia de los Muertos Traditions

Dia de los Muertos Traditions

Monte Alban

Colors and Culture of Oaxaca

Teotitlan del Valle

Teotitlán del Valle

Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

Colors and Culture of Oaxaca

Colors and Culture of Oaxaca

Colors and Culture of Oaxaca

Day of the dead Altar
Day of the day folklore
Day of the dead
Day of de day cementary
Day of the Dead cempasuchils in Oaxaca
Oaxaca Market
Dia de muertos
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Day of dead
Calaberita
Oaxaca, Ruins, Culture
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Magic of Oaxaca Teotitlan del Valle
Oaxaca Teotitlan Weavingfamily
Oaxaca Church
Oaxaca city
Mitla Oaxaca
Mitla Oaxaca
Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca
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