Join in the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico City

Join in the celebrations of one of the world's most bizarre cultural institutions – Mexico's Day of the Dead – on this special festival-themed trip running over the Halloween period. Visit the museums of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and learn all about their fascination with death. Wander about the sacred indigenous site of Tepoztlan, attend a traditional Day of the Dead ceremony in Mixquic and see elaborate altars dedicated to the decreased. This fun-filled festival trip will leave you with a much enhanced appreciation for the Mexican way of life – and for the dead!

Start
Mexico City, Mexico
Finish
Mexico City, Mexico
Countries
Mexico
Themes
Festivals and Events, Short Breaks
Code
QVAD
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum in delightful Coyoacan
  • Fiesta the night away at a vibrant street party
  • Witness Day of the Dead ceremonies in Mixquic
  • Help to create a traditional Day of the Dead altar
  • Explore the historic town of Tepoztlan

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Mexico.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 11am on Day 1 (30 Oct).
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
After the meeting your leader will take you out for a walking tour of Mexico City’s historic centre including the famous Zocalo, Metropolitan Cathedral, Templo Mayor and Palacio de Bellas Artes. The tour will also include a stop at Mercado San Juan where you can enjoy some delicious local food for lunch (lunch not included).
Modern meets ancient in Mexico City - one of the world's largest urban centres. Although crowded and smoggy, D.F. (Distrito Federal) offers a great variety of impressive museums, galleries and architecture, along with exciting night life and delicious street food. Head to the Zocalo, the city's huge central square, to see Aztec ruins and colonial architecture or relax in one of the many parks, plazas and gardens.
This itinerary is designed to provide the best possible experience of the annual Day of the Dead festivities around Mexico City. As such, there is very limited free time to explore many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, including the Museum of Anthropology, Teotihuacan and Chapultepec Park. We recommend you stay a few extra days before or after the tour to make the most of this vibrant metropolis. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be happy to assist.

We will also be operating multiple departure of this tour in 2015 so it possible that more than one group will be at some locations or activities at the same time. However, each group will have a maximum of 12 passengers with its own dedicated tour leader.
This morning we visit the Museum Anahuacalli in the leafy neighbourhood of 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 civilisations 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.
Next, we'll take a guided tour of the Frida Kahlo Museum.
This museum was actually Frida's birthplace and where she grew up, lived with her husband and eventually died. The museum contains a collection of her artwork, as well as artefacts, photographs, and personal items.
Following the tour there will be free time to explore the Coyoacan market and pick up something for lunch.
Later, head out with the group for an optional evening of dinner and drinks in one of Mexico City's hippiest neighbourhoods.
First thing this morning we’ll head to UNAM (University of Mexico) to see its spectacular display of traditional Day of the Dead altars. This is a very popular activity for locals so hopefully we’ll avoid the long queues by arriving early.
This afternoon you may like to take an optional trip to Xochimilco (approx 28 km 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. 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 the girl's spirit. Local legends says that the dolls move their heads and arms and have even been known to open 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.
This morning we leave early and travel by private transport to Tepoztlan (approximately 80km away) to explore this fascinating town and the nearby Aztec ruins with a local guide.
Tepoztlan is considered the birthplace of the Mesoamerican god, Quetzalcoatl, and is therefore an important indigenous site. The town itself has a well-preserved historic centre and is surrounded by soaring cliffs, on the top of which is the Tepozteco pyramid. Many people still feel a kind of magic or energy about the town and it is a mecca for artists and mystics.
The one hour walk up hill to the pyramid can be quite challenging. If you don't feel up to it, you can stay and spend more time exploring Tepoztlan.
This afternoon we will go to see traditional altar building and/or lamp creating that forms part of the Day of the Dead ceremony. With luck, we'll be able to get our hands dirty helping to create these objects, and then participate in the ceremony that follows. 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).
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Check out from the hotel is at 10am. You may like to extend your time here and allow yourself a day or two more to take in some of the many palaces, churches and temples, or to sit and watch life go by in the Alameda Central. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be able to assist.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Private minibus
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nights)
Included activities
  • Mexico City - City Tour
  • Mexico City - Museo Anahuacalli
  • Mexico City - Frida Kahlo Museum
  • Mexico City - El Tepozteco Ruins guided tour
  • Mexico City - Tepoztlan altar making
  • Mexico City - San Andres Mixquic Cemetery visit

Dates

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Important notes

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Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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