Discover Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

Discover Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

Día de Muertos is a magical time in Oaxaca when the living reunite with their loved ones who have passed on. Join us on our small group tour of the sights and attractions of Oaxaca and some of the celebrations particular to Day of the Dead.

Decorated grave for Day of the Dead

When folks farther north are bombarded with images of pumpkins, witches, and ghosts, in Oaxaca we prepare for one of the most important celebrations of the year, the Days of the Dead. This holiday is a unique blend of the native custom of honoring deceased ancestors and the Christian celebrations of All Souls and All Saints days.The people here believe that the souls of those who have passed on return on these specific dates to visit with their living family members. In order to honor these guests, a special altar is set up in each home with food, water, and things that were enjoyed by the deceased. Some people believe that if they do not set up an altar, the souls that return will chastise them. It is also customary to decorate the tombs in cemeteries, and candlelight vigils take place on the nights of October 31st, November 1st, and 2nd.

Although the customs of Day of the Dead may seem to some as somewhat morbid, in practice it is a lovely custom — at times solemn, at times celebratory — of remembering those who have gone before. It serves as a reminder for us of what Oaxacans have always known – that as long as we remember our loved ones, they are never really gone.

Read about what you can see and do on Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, or join us for our Day of the Dead tour.

Day of the Dead Small Group Tour

Travelers on this tour will experience the best of Oaxaca’s attractions including archaeological sites, colonial architecture, indigenous markets, and handicraft villages, as well as participating in special Day of the Dead activities. Trip highlights include:

  • Touring the ancient Zapotec capital at Monte Alban and learning about the Pre-Hispanic roots of Day of the Dead
  • Taking a guided walking tour of Oaxaca City to learn about its history and landmarks
  • Strolling through local markets to encounter a vast array of chiles, herbs, and other regional ingredients
  • Meeting with master artisans and seeing how they produce their crafts
  • Enjoying Oaxaca’s regional cuisine and locally produced mezcal
  • Traveling to nearby villages to witness the decoration of gravesites and observing the vigil
  • Participating in a comparsa, a carnival-like celebration with fantastical costumes, music, and dance
  • Visiting a local Zapotec family in their home to learn about their way of life and how they celebrate this important holiday

On this extraordinary journey, travelers will have the opportunity to witness these special celebrations first-hand and take part in the festivities. They will learn about the history of the Day of the Dead holiday, how it has changed over time, how it is observed today and the significance of the celebration for the people of Oaxaca.

Package includes lodging, expert guide service, comfortable and secure ground transportation in Oaxaca, admission fees to museums and archaeological sites, all group events included in the itinerary, daily breakfast, and other meals per itinerary. For more information or to reserve your spot on this tour, please contact us.