Day of the Dead Oaxaca Folkart, Food, and Festival

October 28 - November 5, 2019

Quick Details

  • Dates: Oct 28-Nov 5, 2019
  • Duration: Eight nights/nine days
  • Capacity: 11 maximum
  • Where: Oaxaca
  • Departing and ending point: Oaxaca City Mexico
  • Optional: Pay 50% deposit to reserve your spot | $1,397.50

 

Travel through Oaxaca and experience the local life

Traveling through Oaxaca City and rural villages, we meet a place through its people and their creativity! Visits with folk artists, village cooks and immersion in the festival of Day of the Dead is what this trip is all about.

This is the most colorful and fascinating time to be in Oaxaca. And whether you’ve been here before or this is your first time, our tour will open your eyes to the diversity of Oaxaca’s celebration of Dia de los Muertos, her ancient palaces and creative living cultures. We’ll visit traditional villages, prepare food side by side with families and be part of the unique, graveyard celebrations that are at the heart of this festival.

We’ll see Zapotec altars built in loving memory to the deceased and explore the ancient temples of Mitla. We’ll lose ourselves in a market full of marigolds, wander through a candlelit graveyard, visit weavers, potters, candle makers, and apron makers. And day in and day out it will be our pleasure to taste, sip, chew and smell all the flavors of this paradise of cuisine, from fresh made, steaming tortillas to home-cooked meals in grandma’s smoky kitchen.

From the lively markets to solemn small-town graveyards where the humble, old ways persist, we’ll experience this unique and touching fiesta where remembering departed loved ones and the blessings and pleasures of being alive are at the very center of the ceremonies. And go beyond, into the old world of Oaxaca’s village and the vibrancy of her beautiful, crowning jewel of Oaxaca City.

Highlights

  • Visits to Markets and Graveyards
  • Home visits with potters, weavers, woodcarvers
  • Hands-on mask making workshop
  • Tortilla, Chocolate and Tamale making
  • A tasting at a mezcal still
  • Chevron down What's included
    • A superb bilingual guide
    • 8 nights lodging double occupancy
    • Most meals as detailed on the itinerary
    • All local transport in private van
    • Entry fees, meal tips
  • Chevron down Not included
    • Flights before and after the tour are not included in the tour price. You can organize your flights separately at any point.
    • Insurance. Full Comprehensive Travel Insurance is mandatory for this tour
    • Additional Services
    • Visas
    • Travel and medical insurance
    • All services, meals other than those indicated above, alcoholic beverages
    • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
    • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc
    • Tips to tour guides
    • No past traveler Discount
  • Chevron down Itinerary
  • Itinerary

    Day 1, Mon 28th. BIENVENIDOS (D)
    We’ll all meet in the lobby of our hotel at 6PM today, introduce ourselves, talk about the upcoming trip and then head out to dinner. Bienvenidos, welcome to Oaxaca!
    Overnight Oaxaca City/Hotel Abu

    Day 2, Tues 29th. (B, L)
    We dive straight into the fascinating creative and human culture of Oaxaca. Pottery, weaving, flowers and artistic heritage are the focus of the day. Our journey takes us into the Ocotlan valley to visit the workshops of artisans who are at once traditional and innovative. We’ll also visit fields filled with marigold and cockscomb; flowers blooming in fields and so central to the Day of the Dead celebrations; bright adornments to please the sensibilities of the departed.
    Overnight Oaxaca City/Hotel Abu

    Day 3. Wed 30th. OAXACA CITY (B, L)
    We meet the fascinating city out our front door. The historic old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for its significant history and beautifully intact architecture. We will walk through the city today, learning stories both old and new about this vibrant, ever-changing yet rooted city. From ancient churches to contemporary artists, we will get a feel for this urban jewel. Then in the afternoon we give our legs a rest and stretch out our creative minds working with an artist in a hands-on paper mache workshop…the theme, day of the dead of course!
    Overnight Oaxaca City/Hotel Abu

    Day 4. Thurs 31st. MARKET AND ARTISAN (B, L)
    Zaachila has held Thursday market for ages. Today it will be especially exciting as last-minute purchases of flowers and food for the celebrations takes place. We’ll swirl through it all. There is no better place for people watching than a lively market, no better place for interesting encounters. We’ll follow with a visit to the town graveyard, known for its decorative crosses. Lunch will find us in an amazing private botanical garden likely as beautiful as any you’ve seen and a perfect setting to enjoy a home-cooked meal and soak in the peace after the bustle of the market. We’ll wrap up the day with a visit to the famous Oaxacan wood carving village of Arrazola and learn from an artisan family how with the most rustic of tools they create beautiful wooden figures.
    Overnight Oaxaca City/Hotel Abu

    Day 5. Fri 1st. TEOTITLAN (B, L, D)
    Teotitlan is a very traditional Zapotec village, famous for the wool tapestries woven here. By some estimates, there are over 5,000 weavers in this village of 8,000 people! Because of the income generated by this good trade people haven’t had the need to immigrate away from the village and so many of the lifeways are still intact and healthy and there is a rich ceremonial culture. We’ll spend the day visiting and learning. Our first stop will be at the home workshop of a ceremonial candle maker where you’ll likely see the biggest candle you’ve ever seen! We’ll learn how these beeswax candles are made and what they are used for. They are also weavers and we’ll learn how rugs are woven here. Afterward will visit the home of Maria and family and integrate ourselves into the goings at the house. We’ll help them prepare tamales and build a ceremonial altar for the ancestors, for today is the day, at the ringing of the church bells, when the souls of the departed return. In the afternoon, along with the rest of the village, we will find our way to Teotitlan’s graveyard and see how the people of the community welcome their ancestors home.
    Overnight Mitla/Hotel Don Cenobio

    Day 6. Sat 2nd. FOOD AND POTTERS (B, L, D)
    This is a day of home cooked meals- breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As much as anything else, these celebrations are about sharing food, and for us as visitors, this is where we get to try the traditional cuisine of Oaxaca. Breakfast will be in a Santa Ana, at the home of Dalia, where we’ll not only eat well but also see how traditional Oaxacan chocolate is made. Then we travel to a village where simple, lovely cooking pottery has been made for over a thousand years. The village is called San Marcos and we’ll meet a family of exceptional potters and learn how they work at this trade, passed from mother to daughter for so many generations. We’ll also learn how they make the huge corn tortillas called tlayudas and then get to eat them as we enjoy a home-cooked lunch at the family house. In the afternoon we visit two more households in the town of Mitla to see altars and learn about their significance. One of those two houses is Lucia’s, and we’ll go there at dinner time, to both look at the altar and enjoy a meal.
    Overnight Mitla/Hotel Don Cenobio

    Day 7. Sun 3rd. MITLA RUINS, MEZCAL AND NIGHT GRAVEYARD (B, D)
    We start our day visiting the ancient ruined palaces of Mitla (meaning Place of the Dead, and the namesake of this town we’ve been staying in) and learn some of the stories behind this ancient place. Then we visit a mezcal distillery to learn how this older brother to Tequila is made. Mezcal is found on every day of the dead altar because this delicious firewater is an integral part of any Oaxaca celebration. We’ll taste some while we enjoy a meal at the distillery. Returning to the hotel we’ll take a little downtime as we’ll be staying out later tonight. In the afternoon we’ll regroup to return to Santa Ana and Dalia’s house, where we had breakfast yesterday. With her and her family, we’ll head to the graveyard and see the candles on the tombs twinkle to life as people gather around the tombs of their departed relatives to celebrate their return. We’ll be in the midst of it, with food, drink, music and an unforgettable communion of the living and dead. This is what day of the dead is about.
    Overnight Mitla/Hotel Don Cenobio

    Day 8. Mon 4th. HIERVE EL AGUA, FAREWELL(B, L, D)
    Today we load up and move out. We’ll travel into the hills to visit a site of natural wonder called Hierve el Agua (The Water Boils). This is a fascinating mineral springs where the ground is as white as snow and the springs have created mineral cascades that look like frozen waterfalls. We’ll explore this beautiful mountain top area (bring a swimsuit if you want to dip in the springs, which in spite of the name are actually cold, and sunblock if you don’t want to burn) and hike (optional) below the rock formations and through the cactus forests.

    Then we return to Oaxaca City where you’ll have some free time before we gather for our final dinner and recall experiences from our travels.
    Overnight in Oaxaca/Hotel Abu

    Day 9. Tues 5th. ADIOS
    B/Hotel