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Oaxaca Day of the Dead Itinerary 2107

Day of the Dead Trip 2017

Date

 

Overnight City

Hotel Included Meals Activities Notes
October 27, 2017 Puebla Casa de la Palma or equivalent hotel Arrive in Mexico City (MEX), you get picked up by your guide, Patrick, and travel by van to lovely colonial Puebla. Enjoy the picturesque streets of Puebla during an afternoon/evening stroll. Meet out side of the big glass security doors near the Seven Eleven. There are good currency exchange places nearby in the airport.
October 28, 2017 Puebla Casa de la Palma B We drive out to three or four close-by towns that are appealing all year round, but especially during the Days of the Dead: Cholula, oldest living town of the American continent, where the most voluminous pyramid of the world stands; Atlixco, where we can plunge into the bright colors of the marigold wholesale market (marigold: the “flower of the dead” in Mexico); Huaquechula and Tochimilco, small towns that are famous for those absolutely stunning “pyramid altars” that are built at home for the beloved dead. The very elaborate “pyramid altars” are only built by those families that have suffered the loss of a family member no longer than one year ago; so, it will depend on the number of family deaths in Huaquechula and Tochimilco how many altars can be visited; the 28th is dedicated exclusively to the people who died in some kind of accident or violently. To be invited into the homes there and eat some mole with the other guests is a great human experience.
October 29, 2017 Oaxaca Casantica or equivalent hotel B In the morning we walk through the streets of Puebla and visit the yearly “Corredor de Ofrendas”– creative   Day of the Dead altars/offerings with historical topics set up in public buildings (town hall, house of culture, etc). Then we drive through the fantastic landscape of the dry Sierra Mixteca (with its cactus woods) to Oaxaca. [Note that there are many activities mentioned on this day as well as others. It is always possible for you to opt to rest, walk the streets on your own, sit on the plaza and take in the day, etc. Then you can catch up with the group later as you choose.]
October 30, 2017 Oaxaca Casantica B This morning we will visit the vast Monte Alban ruins west of town. Then in the afternoon we will stroll through Oaxaca, visit the market and a chocolate mill, also the Santo Domingo ex convent. We will get a good introduction to the Day of the Dead culture, afterlife beliefs, ancestor worship, as well as some of the crafts that go along with the celebration. Monte Alban is the ancient Zapotec capital that sits on a hill just west of town. It commands a panoramic view and was first occupied around 500 BC. The Oaxaca market will be buzzing as people from Oaxaca and surrounding villages come to buy food, flowers, candles- all in preparation for Day of the Dead celebrations.
October 31, 2017 Oaxaca Casantica B Lots of free time during the day to take in local sights- churches, museums, etc as you like. In the evening various options all night to take in various processions, graveyard watches. At 2am there is the option to travel to nearby Santa Maria Atzompa to take in this small town cemetary ritual. 8pm is the procession honoring Our Lady of the Rosary starting at Santo Domingo. Then at midnight a “velada” at Xoxocotlan (where locals stay at decorated graves to receive the souls of the dead and dine with them). Then to Atzompa at 2am (the highlight!).
November 1, 2017 Oaxaca Casantica B The morning is free to sleep late and relax. Then we travel to nearby Etla villages to take in the afternoon traditional parades called comparsas (that may remind you, a little, of Mardi Gras …). Then we are back to the market where we will buy our supplies to make our own altar – a beautiful, interesting and personal activity that should keep us busy during the rest of the day. We will buy flowers, sugar skulls, candles, etc. in the big Central de Abastos market. This is where most locals buy their supplies as well.
November 2, 2017 Oaxaca Casantica B Day trip to the east of Oaxaca to towns where the intricate natural dyed wool carpets are produced, areas of small Mezcal factories, and the archaeological site of Mitla and perhaps Yagul. Along the way the cemeteries will be splashed with the colors of 1000s of Day of the Dead decorations. You may opt to relax for the day and take in more of Oaxaca City. Mitla was once known as “Place of the Dead”. This site is known for its intricate stonework. Be sure to grab some mezcal to share at our final dinner tonight! Optional: Cooking class: learn how to make tamales, corn flower dumplings that are typically eaten this very day.
November 3, 2017 B Today we fly home from Oaxaca (OAX)–be sure to communicate your arrival and departure info to Dave. You have the option of traveling by van this day to Puebla to connect to Mexico City–contact Dave for info on this.