Real Day of the Dead Oaxaca

Real Day of the Dead Oaxaca

From $ 2,045 AUD

Description

Mexico’s throwing a party and everyone’s invited – even the dead! Travel from Oaxaca to San Cristobal del las Casas and pumping Playa del Carmen, taking in the after-dark antics of the famous Day of the Dead celebrations. Commune with spirits at a Oaxacan graveyard, wander through markets jangling with skeletons, and discover the ancient Aztec customs behind Mexico’s most iconic (and awesome) festival. After farewelling the dearly departed, explore mountains, check out some hidden Caribbean caves and then carve up the dance floor in Playa.

Trip Name
Real Day of the Dead Oaxaca
Last Updated
2020-06-03
Days
9
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Party it up with the locals and discover why the dead are the life of the party.
  • The Maya people and their culture are far from extinct! Visit the San Juan Chamula church and see it for yourself.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Oaxaca
Can you smell that? The heady aroma of spices, garlic, smoked meats and vegetables should alert you to the fact that you’ve arrived in the food capital of Mexico. A welcome meeting at 3 pm will get you acquainted with your fellow travellers and local leader – they’ll have all the best recommendations for places to eat and drink so you can dive in mouth first this evening. Please let us know in advance If you're going to be late to the meeting, we'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information, so please have all these details for your leader. Afterwards, join your leader on an orientation walk. The city is full of colonial arcades, leafy tree-shaded streets and colourful markets. You might want to fuel up to explore on tasty regional specialties – from cactus fruit to baked chili and lime grasshoppers and heavenly Oaxacan cheese.
Day 2 - Oaxaca
Today you’ll see all the different sides of Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival. Although Die de los Muertos is celebrated all over Mexico, Oaxaca is known for its particularly lavish celebrations, with festivities taking place up to a week before November 1st and 2nd. Your tour leader will take you shopping for an outrageously loud costume to wear at tonight’s festivities, then you can get your face painted or visit the giant sand tapestries at the Museo del Palacio (which are made just for Dia de los Muertos).
Day 3 - Oaxaca
November 1st is the most traditional and culturally fascinating day of the Day of the Dead celebrations. On this day families prepare altars for their deceased loved ones, which they display at homes and over graves at cemeteries. Start things off with a reflective visit to a local cemetery and see the many shrines created by the local families. It’s not unusual to see shrines decorated with the deceased’s favourite items (such as toys and trinkets), as well as alcohol, food and candles. Afterwards, soak up the unique festival vibes on a guided walk through town with your local leader, visiting local houses, markets and plazas to see all the different and colourful celebrations.
Day 4 - Oaxaca / Overnight bus
Today you're free to explore Oaxaca at your own pace. Perhaps head to the spectacular mountain top temples of Monte Alban just outside the city. Monte Alban was inhabited for 1,500 years by the Olmec, Zapotec and Mixtec peoples, and is an outstanding example of a pre-Columbian ceremonial centre. If you don’t feel like an excursion, you can also stay in town and take part in a cooking class. In the evening, catch an overnight bus to San Cristobal del las Casas. Don't worry, they have toilets, air-conditioning and seats that recline.
Day 5 - San Cristobal de las Casas
Roll into San Cristobal del las Casas in the early morning and be greeted by the town’s candy-coloured architecture. This highland town will be your home for the next two days. Hotel check-in isn’t until midday, but you’ll be able to store your luggage at the hotel and start exploring the city with your leader on an orientation walk. In the afternoon, pay a visit to the small town of San Juan Chamula and its church. Don’t come expecting your standard stiff service, though. The floor is covered with pine needles and the air is thick with the smell of incense. Shamans regularly come here to conduct cleansing ceremonies using firewater, ancient prayers and chickens. Photography is strictly prohibited as a sign of respect for traditional customs, but if you're lucky enough to catch a service the mental pictures will stick with your forever. Return to San Cristobal del las Casas in the evening and perhaps experience a taste of authentic regional cuisine at one of the many local restaurants.
Day 6 - San Cristobal de las Casas
Today is another free day and your group leader will be on hand to help you arrange some optional activities. The villages surrounding San Cristobal del las Casas are home to Tzotzil and Tzeltal groups, who maintain their tribal origins through their traditional costumes and customs. You can explore these villages and learn more about their way of life on an adrenaline-fueled mountain bike ride. Another option is a canyoning trip to ‘El Chorreadero’. This six-hour excursion ventures a kilometre inside a (dry) cave and follows a river through a number of cascades, pools and rappels. This is a memorable experience but not recommended if you’re claustrophobic or have a fear of heights. You can also choose to stay in town and check out the local museums, such as at the award-winning Museo de la Medicina Maya showcasing the history of indigenous healing techniques.
Day 7 - Playa del Carmen
Rise and shine! The glorious sun, sand and surf of Playa del Carmen is waiting for you. It will take half a day of travel by buses and planes, but it's worth it. A 1.5-hour drive will take you from San Cristobal to Tuxla Gutierrez Airport where you will board a flight to Mexico City. Get on another flight to Cancun and after about 2.5 hours in the air, another airport transfer will get you to Playa in the evening. If you have the energy you might want to check out one of the many bars and clubs that line the sandy shores.
Day 8 - Playa del Carmen
Pop on some swimming gear and get ready for a day of snorkelling. First up is Akumal, located a short drive south of Playa del Carmen. Every day dozens of sea turtles come here to munch on seaweed, which is prolific in the area. Spend up to an hour snorkelling with these amazing creatures before moving on to a nearby cenote (sinkhole) to swim in hidden water caves. Finish the day back in Playa del Carmen, maybe sipping an ice cold margarita by the beach.
Day 9 - Playa del Carmen
This Mexican adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are free to depart the accommodation at any time. If you’d like to spend some extra nights here, let us know at the time of booking and we’ll be happy to organise the accommodation for you. If you want to experience Playa del Carmen like a local, why not join one of our dedicated Urban Adventure one-day tours. Find out more at www.urbanadventures.com.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
30-10-202007-11-2020AUD $ 2,045-

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nts),Overnight bus (1 nt)

Transport

Plane,Overnight public bus,Private vehicle,Local bus

Map