Day of the Dead itinerary

Day 1 - 30th October 2013 
Hola! Welcome to Mexico.
You can arrive at any time on day 1 as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting tonight at 6pm.  We will then have dinner together as a group.
Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 – 31st October 2013
This morning we visit the Museum Anahuacalli in Coyoacan for a guided tour.  Built of black volcanic stone, this museum was established by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo's husband.  During his life he collected nearly 60,000 pre-Hispanic pieces which represent almost all of the indigenous cilvilisations in Mexico’s history.  Both Diego and Frida were obsessed with death which can be seen throughout their art. As such, the museum organises different activities and workshops during the Day of the Dead celebrations. 
In the afternoon we will enjoy guided tours of the Frida Kahlo Museum and the House of Hernan Cortez.  The Frida Kahlo Museum was actually the birthplace of Kahlo and was where she grew up, lived with her husband and eventually died in.  The museum contains a collection of both her and Diego’s artworks as well as artefacts, photographs, and personal items.  
Tonight is Halloween - nowadays, the Day of the Dead is influenced by this more American tradition. As such, there are a number of Halloween costume parties in town during this time. The idea is that the group will pick up costumes from a local costume shop (or they can bring their own) and attend a party.

Day 3 – 1st November 2013
This morning we travel by private transport to Tepoztlan (approximately 80km away) to explore the city and the Aztec ruins. 
After lunch we will make a visit to a school/group and participate/witness the traditional ceremony altar building and/or lamp creation. Ideally we'll participate and get hands on in the creation of these objects and the ceremony that follows. However the details need to be finalised and coordinated with local groups.
As part of the Day of the Dead people organise ceremonies at the cemetery for those not physically with them any longer. This tradition is particularly colourful and festive in the town of Mixquic – where we will visit.  The ceremony starts in the afternoon with families decorating the tombs and continues on well into the night with parties, music and tequila (of course). 

Day 4 – 2nd November 2013
This morning you will take part in a city orientation walk. The Zocalo (main square) is particularly colourful on Saturdays as people bring their altars for display. We will also visit the UNAM (University of Mexico).
In the afternoon, after lunch, we will take trip to Xochimilco (approximately 28km away) to visit the Doll's Island.  Doll’s Island (or Isla de las Munecas) is an island dedicated to the lost soul of a poor girl who drowned in mysterious circumstances.  Whilst populated by thousands of people, this small island is home to hundreds of dolls – many of them with severed limbs, decapitated heads and black eyes – who are said to be possessed by her spirit.  Local legend says that the dolls move their heads and arms and have even opened their eyes!!!
We will head back to Mexico City and in the evening we will join one of the many street parties that traditionally take place around the city.

Day 5 – 3rd November 2013
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is 10:00am.