Day of the Dead Festival
31 October - 10 November 2019
This is the perfect way to round off your experience in Mexico. Join the locals for the fascinating Day of the Dead celebrations, immerse yourself in indigenous culture and visit the most extraordinary Aztec ruins set in the lush jungle.
A bit of everything – don’t miss out!
THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER 2019 OAXACA B,D
Be part of the local festivities that mark the Day of the Dead – the day the spirits are invited to visit their relatives still on earth. This morning take a guided visit to the main market in Oaxaca, where all the restaurants, shops and local people purchase their products for the Day of the Dead celebration tonight.
After the market, head to the local cemeteries to observe how typical ‘Altares de Muertos’ are decorated with old belongings of the dead, seasonal fruits, special flowers and incense.
Head back to the hotel for lunch (own expense) and a powernap.
Later in the night go to a family home for dinner including traditional ‘Pan de Muerto’ (Bread of the Dead) and tamales.
After dinner travel to Xoxocotlan with local families. Witness how the entire town gradually fills the cemetery with flowers and candles, adorning the graves of their loved ones sitting patiently by the tombstones all night waiting for their loved one’s arrival.
FRIDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2019 OAXACA B,L
Have a sleep in this morning. In the middle of the day visit the pretty town of San Agustin Etla and its superb arts centre. Enjoy a local lunch before joining the famous comparsas, a carnival special to Dia de los Muertos where locals dress up in colourful costumes and parade through the streets. What an amazing experience!
Return to the hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2019 SAN CRISTOBAL B, L
This morning fly to Chiapas. Take a private boat trip through the spectacular Sumidero Canyon, its sheer cliffs towering 900 metres above you. Spot herons, vultures, egrets, kingfishers and perhaps a few crocodiles that also live In the river!
After lunch head to the gorgeous town of San Cristobal de las Casas.
The afternoon and evening is free for you to explore on your own.
SUNDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2019 SAN CRISTOBAL B,L
A fabulous morning learning about the indigenous Tzotzil Mayan people and their way of life. Visit the town of San Juan Chamula to see how the Tzotzil have blended their pre-Hispanic traditions with Catholicism to make some interesting religious rituals. Then visit the highland indigenous town of Zinacantan where people wear traditional red, blue and purple clothing embroidered with large flowers.
After lunch, return to San Cristobal for a guided tour of the historic centre. Then visit Casa Na Bolom which houses an NGO devoted to preserving the state's cultural and environmental heritage, and working with communities for its sustainable development.
The rest of the day and evening are free for you to do your own thing.
MONDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2019 SAN CRISTOBAL B
Today enjoy a full day exploring San Cristobal on your own. Wander the cobblestone streets, admire the gilded interior of the cathedral, discover (and maybe buy) beautiful Chiapis amber at the little museum, learn about local handwoven textiles and admire a 1,000 year old sleeveless tunic fashioned from tree bark, climb the stairs of Cerro de Guadalupe for breathtaking views, shop till you drop or just hang around the beautiful hotel.
TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2019 PALENQUE B,L
After breakfast head to Palenque, one of Mexico’s most spectacular Mayan archaeological sites. Have lunch en route. Before arriving in Palenque stop at Misol Ha Waterfalls for a refreshing dip in the jungle.
The afternoon and evening are at leisure.
WEDNESDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2019 PALENQUE B
This morning is devoted to visiting the mighty Mayan Temples of Palenque. The sounds of howler monkeys and parrots follow you through the jungle as you walk around this amazingly well-preserved site learning about Mayan culture. Imagine yourself living here in the golden days of the civilisation – preferably as a royal rather than a slave.
Enjoy some relaxation this afternoon at your gorgeous resort.
THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2019 B
Begin your homeward journey. Fly via Mexico City to Dallas where you stay overnight (plus late check-out)
FRIDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2019
Take the late evening flight to Australia, arriving in Sydney on Saturday 9 November.