Mexico City: Day of the Dead (Original)
5 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Mexico City
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Mexico City, a buzzing capital replete with musuems, awesome eateries and elegant architecture. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. There are no other activities planned for this first day, so make sure to get out and explore if you arrive early. Perhaps start at Zocalo, the city's huge central square, where Aztec ruins and colonial architecture are within easy reach. The town has some beautiful parks and gardens worth visiting. Alternatively, the city, though often crowded and smoggy, offers a great variety of museums, galleries and architecture, along with exciting nightlife and delicious street food.
Keep in mind that this itinerary is designed to provide the best possible experience of Day of the Dead festivities. 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 (subject to availability).
Day 2 Mexico City
Set out on a walking tour of Mexico City’s historic centre, strolling past its main attractions including the Zocalo, Metropolitan Cathedral, Templo Mayor and Palacio de Bellas Artes. Jump on the metro to reach Mercado San Juan, where you have the option of picking up some lunch (not included). Hopefully there is time visit the altars set up by the University of Mexico (UNAM) in Plaza Santo Domingo. The afternoon is then free to explore on your own, or perhaps 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! In the evening, return to Mexico City to join in some street festivities and revel in the vibrant atmosphere.
Day 3 Mexico City
Today you'll visit the Anahuacalli Museum before a leader-led tour of the leafy Coyoacan suburb, including a visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum. Built of black volcanic stone, Museum Anahuacalli was established by Frida Kahlo's husband, Diego Rivera, to display his extensive collection of pre-Hispanic pieces (nearly 60,000) spanning nearly every indigenous civilisation in Mexico’s history. Both Diego and Frida were obsessed with death, which can be seen throughout their art. The Frida Kahlo Museum located in the house she lived throughout her life, contains a collection of her work, as well as artefacts, photographs, and personal items. Next up, there will also be free time to explore the Coyoacan market. Keep in mind, your leader may vary the order of these activities, depending on timing and the dynamic of the group. Later on, head out with the group for an optional evening of dinner and drinks in one of Mexico City's hippest neighbourhoods.
Day 4 Mexico City
Rise and shine bright and early and travel about 80 kilometres by private transport to Tepoztlan. This ancient Aztec city is considered to be the birthplace of the Mesoamerican god, Quetzalcoatl, making it 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, making it a mecca for artists and mystics. Tour the ruins with a local guide and take a one-hour walk to the pyramid. As the climb can be quite challenging, you can choose to stay and spend more time exploring Tepoztlan instead. In the afternoon, get your hands dirty creating your own traditional altar for Day of the Dead 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 and commemorate the lives of people passed over.
Day 5 Mexico City
Your leader will arrange a final brunch this morning so you can say farewell to your new friends. 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 (subject to availability).
All This Included
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 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!
Hotel (4 nights)
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.