We will start our trip in Mexico City, a place full of history, art and culture. Then we will head to the state of Oaxaca, home of the Guelaguetza, one of the largest cultural festivals in the world.
The “Alumbrada” is the nightly tribute to the departed with food, music and candles, usually held only once per year, either November 1st or 2nd. We will participate to the “Alumbrada” in Mexico City and the one in Morelia, observing how they are celebrated differently. The “Alumbrada” in Morelia is celebrated on November 1st, while on November 2nd the celebration takes place in Mixquic, just outside of Mexico City. We will have 3 days in Morelia and 3 days in Mexico City, including tours around the theme of the Day of the Dead. Check out our itinerary!
This is be an intense experience. If you are looking to make the most of this celebration, this is definitely the option for you.
We will meet at 7:00 am in front of Cerveceria del Barrio (Calle de Durango 192, Roma Nte., Mexico City) to avoid the traffic of Mexico City. You can sleep a little longer until our first stop to have breakfast on the way.
We will check in at the hotel and begin with a tour of the beautiful colonial historic center of Morelia.
Going to Janitzio Island on the Day of the Dead is what everyone does but not us! We will go there the day before, when the island is already decorated but less crowded.
Besides the island we will take a walk through the beautiful town of Patzcuaro in the afternoon to get ready for the big day…
Today is the big day! We will start the day with some workshops and explanations of the traditional offerings that we Mexicans leave to our ancestors. We will walk around the lake going from town to town, visiting also the town where the granny that was the inspiration for Coco, Miguel’s great grandmother in the Disney animated movie, used to live. Finally, we will arrive at night at one of the largest and most important cemeteries, the Tzintzuntzan cementery. We will enjoy the cementery by candlelight. Today the doors to the Afterworld are opened, and our deceased ancestors come to visit us. We will wait for them with incense, candles and food, since they are tired from the trip.
This day will be intense, as we return to Mexico City early in the morning to check in, take a short break and go to our second “Alumbrada” at the Mixquic cemetery. This day is a festival day in Mixquic. Food, drinks and musicians will make of this a day of celebration and a unique moment of celebrating Death.
If you have someone who is no longer in this world and you want to pay a tribute to him or her, this is the day to do it. If you don’t know how to do it, we will have something prepared for you.
We will start with a more leisurely tour of Coyoacan, the home of Frida Kahlo, known for its colorful markets and street art. We will close the day with a tour of the floating gardens of Xochimilco, that will be decorated for the Day of the Dead. A performance designed especially for us will be the perfect occasion to conclude our experience.
This is the last day of our experience. Breakfast is included at the hotel. If you would like to reserve extra days please check availability. Hope to see you again!
Know the sites we will visit!
Welcome to Patzcuaro, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Mexico’s captivating state of Michoacán. Step into a world where time seems to stand still, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of colonial architecture, vibrant traditions, and breathtaking natural beauty.
As you wander through the narrow cobblestone streets, adorned with colorful buildings and adorned balconies, you’ll feel transported to a bygone era. Patzcuaro’s well-preserved historic center is a testament to its colonial heritage, with architectural gems around every corner. Marvel at the grandeur of the Basilica of Our Lady of Health, its intricate facade standing tall as a symbol of faith and artistry.
But it’s not just the architecture that will captivate you. Patzcuaro is a town deeply rooted in its traditions and culture. Experience the magic of the annual Day of the Dead festivities, when the streets come alive with vibrant decorations and heartfelt celebrations. Witness the heartfelt rituals as families honor their ancestors, and join in the spirit of remembrance and joy that fills the air.
Venture beyond the town’s boundaries, and you’ll discover a landscape of unparalleled beauty. The glistening Lake Patzcuaro, surrounded by mist-covered mountains, beckons you to explore its shores. Take a boat ride to the enchanting Janitzio Island, where you can immerse yourself in the traditional fishing communities and marvel at panoramic views from its hilltop monument.
Patzcuaro is a haven for art and craftsmanship. Delve into the world of skilled artisans as you visit workshops and markets brimming with exquisite textiles, intricate ceramics, and delicate woodcarvings. You’ll find unique treasures that reflect the cultural heritage of the region, perfect for taking a piece of Patzcuaro’s enchantment home with you.
Indulge your taste buds in the local culinary delights. Sample traditional dishes such as the mouthwatering corundas, deliciously spiced carnitas, and the iconic uchepos, a local specialty of sweet corn tamales. Explore the bustling markets, where the aroma of freshly ground coffee and the vibrant colors of fresh produce will awaken your senses.
Whether you seek cultural immersion, natural beauty, or a journey through time, Patzcuaro is the destination that delivers it all. Let its charm, warmth, and authentic spirit enchant you as you embark on an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Mexico. Patzcuaro awaits, ready to unveil its secrets and create lasting memories that will linger in your heart long after you depart.
Welcome to Janitzio, a captivating island sanctuary nestled in the shimmering waters of Lake Patzcuaro. Prepare to embark on an enchanting journey that combines breathtaking natural beauty, indigenous traditions, and a glimpse into Mexico’s rich cultural heritage.
As you approach Janitzio by boat, be prepared to be mesmerized by its picturesque landscape. The island rises majestically from the lake, adorned with a tapestry of vibrant houses that climb the hillside, leading to the summit crowned by the striking monument of José María Morelos. The panoramic views that await you are nothing short of awe-inspiring, offering a painterly canvas of shimmering waters, verdant mountains, and the tranquil serenity of the surrounding islands.
Step ashore and allow the island’s allure to captivate your senses. Ascend the winding staircase that weaves through the charming village, passing by lively market stalls brimming with colorful handicrafts, intricately woven textiles, and locally crafted artwork. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, and feel the heartbeat of the Purepecha people who have inhabited this island for generations.
Janitzio is a place where time seems to slow down, allowing you to savor every moment. Wander along the narrow streets, lined with vibrant houses adorned with flowers and traditional artwork. The island’s rich cultural heritage is palpable as you encounter locals dressed in traditional attire, going about their daily lives with warmth and grace.
Observe the traditional fishing communities that have thrived here for centuries. Witness the skilled fishermen in their “papachos” (wooden boats) as they cast their nets, providing a glimpse into ancient fishing techniques passed down through generations. Their presence adds a touch of authenticity to the island, reminding visitors of its deep connection to the lake and its bountiful resources.
Indulge your taste buds with the flavors of Janitzio. Savor freshly caught fish, expertly prepared and served in charming lakeside restaurants. Let the traditional cuisine transport you to the heart of the region, as you relish the distinctive flavors and savor every bite against the backdrop of the shimmering lake.
If you have the chance to visit Janitzio during the vibrant Day of the Dead celebrations, prepare for an extraordinary experience. The island is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors, adorned with elaborate altars, marigold flowers, and flickering candles. Join in the festivities, as music fills the air and traditional dances honor the spirits of ancestors. It’s a profound and captivating celebration of life and remembrance.
Janitzio is an oasis of tranquility, where the embrace of nature and culture intertwine. It beckons travelers seeking a truly authentic and immersive experience, where the essence of Mexico’s indigenous heritage comes alive. Allow Janitzio to enchant you, leaving an indelible mark on your heart and soul as you create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
Welcome to the enchanting Tzintzuntzan Cemetery, a hidden gem nestled on the shores of Mexico’s breathtaking Lake Pátzcuaro. Prepare to embark on a captivating journey that will immerse you in the rich traditions of the Day of the Dead, a vibrant celebration of life and remembrance.
As you step foot on the picturesque island of Janitzio, accessible only by boat, a sense of wonder washes over you. Ascend the winding paths and stairways, and be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors that beckon you into a world where life and death intertwine.
Enter the Tzintzuntzan Cemetery, where time seems to stand still. Witness the magic as families lovingly decorate the graves of their departed loved ones. Marvel at the intricate altars adorned with vibrant marigolds, delicate sugar skulls, and flickering candles that illuminate the memories of those who have passed.
Allow your senses to be intoxicated by the fragrant aroma of copal incense, lingering in the air, and the gentle whispers of heartfelt prayers that echo through the sacred space. Discover the stories behind the photographs, personal mementos, and offerings of favorite foods and drinks that reflect the unique personalities and cherished memories of the departed.
But it’s not just the rituals that captivate you; it’s the stunning surroundings. The shimmering waters of Lake Pátzcuaro provide a breathtaking backdrop to this sacred place, creating an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility.
As you explore the Tzintzuntzan Cemetery, you’ll feel a profound connection to the cycle of life and the enduring bond between the living and the deceased. You’ll witness a celebration like no other—a celebration that honors the past, celebrates the present, and embraces the eternal.
Come, be a part of this extraordinary tradition, where culture, beauty, and spirituality converge. Tzintzuntzan Cemetery awaits, ready to weave its spell and leave an indelible imprint on your soul.
Welcome to the captivating Mixquic Cemetery, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Mexico City. Prepare to embark on an extraordinary journey that will transport you to a world of rich traditions and profound celebrations.
Step into a vibrant tapestry of colors as you enter Mixquic Cemetery, where the ancient customs of the Day of the Dead come to life. The air is filled with the enchanting scent of marigolds, their vibrant orange petals blanketing the graves, creating a mesmerizing sight that will leave you in awe.
Immerse yourself in the rhythmic beats of traditional music that fill the air, as families gather to honor their ancestors. Witness the heartfelt rituals and prayers that echo through the cemetery, connecting the living and the deceased in a profound and unbreakable bond.
Follow the flickering candlelight as it illuminates your path, guiding you through a labyrinth of beautifully decorated altars. Marvel at the intricate sugar skulls, delicate paper cutouts, and personal mementos that adorn the graves, each telling a unique story of love and remembrance.
As the night falls, the cemetery transforms into a mystical realm, where the boundaries between worlds blur. Be captivated by the ethereal glow of countless candles that cast enchanting shadows and create an otherworldly atmosphere.
But Mixquic is not just about the cemetery; it’s a town steeped in history and charm. Explore its cobblestone streets, adorned with colonial architecture, and discover a place that has preserved its cultural heritage for generations.
Indulge your taste buds in the flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine, savoring the culinary delights that Mixquic has to offer. Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the locals, who welcome visitors with open arms, eager to share their customs and traditions.
Mixquic Cemetery beckons you to be part of its captivating celebration, where ancient rituals and modern festivities merge seamlessly. Come, be a witness to this extraordinary cultural event that honors the cycle of life, and let it leave an indelible mark on your soul.
Visit Mixquic Cemetery and experience a truly unique and unforgettable journey that will immerse you in the beauty, depth, and magic of the Day of the Dead celebrations. Let the spirit of Mexico City’s hidden gem embrace you and ignite your senses with its vibrant colors, enchanting traditions, and heartfelt remembrance.
Welcome to the enchanting neighborhood of Coyoacán, prepare to be captivated by its irresistible charm, artistic legacy, and vibrant atmosphere that beckons tourists from far and wide.
Step into a world where history comes alive, as you wander through the cobblestone streets lined with colonial architecture. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Coyoacán, where pre-Hispanic roots merge seamlessly with Spanish colonial influences, creating a captivating tapestry of cultures.
Indulge your artistic soul as you discover the neighborhood’s bohemian spirit. Visit the iconic Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as Casa Azul, and delve into the vibrant world of this renowned artist. Explore the Diego Rivera Anahuacalli Museum, a masterpiece that showcases the genius of one of Mexico’s most celebrated muralists. Let their artistic brilliance inspire and ignite your imagination.
Stroll through the lively plazas that pulsate with energy. Lose yourself in the Jardín Centenario, the heart of Coyoacán, where the sounds of laughter and music fill the air. Take a moment to admire the impressive Church of San Juan Bautista, a magnificent testament to the neighborhood’s historical significance.
Coyoacán is a treasure trove for culture enthusiasts. Lose yourself in the maze of artisanal markets and handicraft shops that line the streets, where you’ll find unique and vibrant creations to take home as mementos. Engage with street performers and experience the bohemian vibes that have drawn artists and intellectuals to this neighborhood for generations.
Seek respite in the neighborhood’s lush parks and gardens, where nature provides a soothing escape. Explore Viveros de Coyoacán, a tranquil oasis with its serene pathways and breathtaking flora. Unwind in Parque de los Coyotes, where you can bask in the sunshine, enjoy a picnic, or simply soak in the ambiance of this idyllic green space.
And let’s not forget the culinary delights that await you in Coyoacán. Delve into the bustling Mercado de Coyoacán, a food lover’s paradise, where tantalizing aromas beckon you to sample traditional Mexican delicacies and savor the flavors of the local cuisine. From mouthwatering tacos to decadent churros, prepare to embark on a culinary adventure that will leave you craving for more.
Coyoacán is a captivating neighborhood that invites you to explore its history, embrace its artistic soul, and immerse yourself in its bohemian ambiance. Discover a world where creativity thrives, history breathes, and cultural treasures await at every turn. Let the allure of Coyoacán sweep you away and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Welcome to the enchanting world of Xochimilco, a captivating destination that promises an extraordinary experience like no other. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, rich traditions, and natural beauty of this unique neighborhood in Mexico City.
Step aboard a trajinera, a colorful boat adorned with flowers and decorations, and set sail on the legendary Xochimilco canals. Drift along the ancient waterways, surrounded by lush greenery and the tranquility of nature. As you glide through the canals, let the gentle rhythm of the water transport you to a world of serenity and enchantment.
Marvel at the ingenious floating gardens, known as chinampas, that line the shores. These remarkable man-made islands, created by the Aztecs centuries ago, are a testament to the ingenuity and harmony between humans and nature. Adorned with a cornucopia of vibrant flowers, fruits, and vegetables, the floating gardens paint a picture of beauty and abundance.
Immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry of Xochimilco. Engage with the friendly locals, who proudly preserve ancient traditions and customs passed down through generations. Join in the joyful celebrations of music, dance, and folklore that fill the air during festivals and events in the neighborhood’s lively squares.
Explore the Xochimilco Ecological Reserve, a sanctuary of biodiversity and natural wonders. Encounter an array of magnificent bird species as you embark on a birdwatching adventure, or simply revel in the tranquility of this protected oasis. Allow yourself to be captivated by the harmony between nature and humanity in this remarkable ecological haven.
For those seeking a touch of mystery, venture to the infamous Island of the Dolls. Step into a world where eerie beauty reigns, as hundreds of dolls dangle from trees, their silent presence creating an atmosphere of intrigue. Discover the legends and stories behind this enigmatic island and let your imagination wander in this hauntingly fascinating place.
Indulge your taste buds in the flavors of Xochimilco. Sample traditional Mexican cuisine, from delicious street food to authentic dishes bursting with flavor. Visit local markets and savor the freshest produce and culinary delights, immersing yourself in the gastronomic wonders of this neighborhood.
Xochimilco beckons you to experience its undeniable charm, cultural heritage, and natural splendor. Let its vibrant colors, floating gardens, and ancient traditions ignite your senses and leave an indelible imprint on your soul. Come and be part of a truly immersive journey where the past and present merge, and nature and culture dance harmoniously along the canals of Xochimilco.
Frequently asked questions and answers
Michoacán is renowned for its vibrant and authentic Day of the Dead celebrations. Over the course of three days, you’ll immerse yourself in the rich traditions and cultural festivities. You’ll visit local cemeteries adorned with colorful altars, witness the lighting of thousands of candles, and witness lively processions. You’ll have the opportunity to explore towns such as Patzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan, and Janitzio, where you’ll witness unique rituals, taste traditional foods, and experience the warmth of Michoacán’s people.
Absolutely! Throughout both tours, you’ll have ample opportunities for personal interactions and participation in Day of the Dead traditions. You can engage with locals, witness their preparations, and even join in the creation of altars or the painting of sugar skulls. In Michoacán, you can engage with families in cemeteries and gain a deeper understanding of their customs. In Mexico City, you can interact with artists, artisans, and fellow visitors who are captivated by this vibrant cultural celebration.
Yes, both the Michoacán and Mexico City tours will have knowledgeable guides who are well-versed in the history, traditions, and significance of the Day of the Dead. They will provide insightful commentary, answer your questions, and ensure you have a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of this remarkable celebration.
Absolutely! Both tours aim to provide a comprehensive experience of the Day of the Dead celebrations. You may have the opportunity to attend special events such as traditional music and dance performances, storytelling sessions, and cultural exhibitions. These events will further enhance your understanding of the customs and traditions associated with this festive time.
To fully embrace the Day of the Dead experience, we encourage you to immerse yourself in the culture and customs. You can prepare by familiarizing yourself with the significance of the altars, sugar skulls, and marigolds. Consider bringing a small offering or memento to place on an altar during your visits to cemeteries. Above all, come with an open heart and a willingness to engage with the local communities, as they warmly welcome visitors to share in their cherished traditions.
The weather during the Day of the Dead varies depending on the region and time of year. In Michoacán, you can expect mild to cool temperatures, with average highs ranging from 68°F to 75°F (20°C to 24°C) and cooler evenings. Mexico City experiences a temperate climate, with average highs ranging from 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) during the day and cooler temperatures at night. It’s recommended to dress in layers and bring a light jacket or sweater for the evenings.
Absolutely! Both the Michoacán and Mexico City tours offer fantastic opportunities to savor traditional Day of the Dead foods. In Michoacán, you can indulge in delicacies such as “atole” (a warm corn-based drink), “tamales,” and “mole” (a rich sauce) prepared with ancestral recipes. In Mexico City, you can taste “pan de muerto” (bread of the dead), “calaveras de azúcar” (sugar skulls), and various regional dishes. Be prepared for a delightful culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds!
Absolutely! Both Michoacán and Mexico City offer a treasure trove of Day of the Dead crafts and souvenirs that you can bring home as cherished mementos. In Michoacán, you’ll find intricately crafted pottery, handmade textiles, and beautiful artisanal masks. Mexico City boasts vibrant markets like Mercado de Sonora and Mercado de Coyoacán, where you can find an array of sugar skulls, papel picado (decorative paper), traditional clothing, and handcrafted jewelry. These souvenirs will serve as lasting reminders of your incredible Day of the Dead experience.
Absolutely! If you wish to extend your stay and explore more of Michoacán or Mexico City, we can assist you in making the necessary arrangements. Michoacán offers breathtaking natural landscapes, including the picturesque towns like Morelia and Uruapan. In Mexico City, you can explore world-class museums, visit the impressive pyramids of Teotihuacan, or venture to nearby towns such as Taxco or Puebla. Let us know your preferences, and we’ll help you tailor an unforgettable itinerary beyond the Day of the Dead tours.