A traditional Mexican sugar skull.


All of the things to do at Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico

Published March 21st, 2017

Are you ready to add another epic experience to your festival bucket list?

Because the Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico is sure to be your next insane adventure and even better than that, Geckos Adventures have just created a fleet of brand spanking new trips featuring festivals from around the world.

Meaning all you have to do is sit back, get in touch with our travel experts to book the trip, sip the mezcal and enjoy the ride! Although Die de los Muertos is celebrated all over Mexico, Oaxaca is known for its particularly ornate celebrations, with festivities taking place up to a week before November 1st and 2nd.

Here are some of the trip’s highlights:

Day 1 - Markets

After an orientation walk you’ll head to the markets and find descendants of the Zapotec and Mixtec Indians selling their colourful woven blankets and shawls, making them a great place to shop for textiles as well as street food (tacos, anyone?) Get a taste of cactus fruit through to baked chili and lime grasshoppers and heavenly Oaxacan cheese.

Day 2 - Preparations

Time to go shopping for an outrageously loud costume to wear at tonight's festivities, get your face painted, or visit the giant sand tapestries at the Museo del Palacio (which are made just for Dia de los Muertos).

Day 3 - Traditions

November 1st is the most traditional and culturally fascinating day of the day of the Dead celebrations. Start things off with a reflective visit to a local cemetery and see the many shrines created by the local families.


#mezcalamoresexperience #mezcalamores #oaxaca #oaxacamexico

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Day 4 - Free day

The day is yours to explore Oaxaca. Take an optional day tour to the nearby Mitla Ruins, an important Zapotec archaeological site that was the main religious centre for the Zapotec people. You'll visit the mineral springs of Hierve el Agua and stop into a mezcaleria (mezcal distillery). In the evening you’ll catch an overnight bus to San Cristobal del las Casas.

Day 5 - Take me to church

Wake up in Cristobal del las Casas to explore the town’s pastel-coloured architecture. In the afternoon, pay a visit to the small town of San Juan Chamula and its rather unusual church. The floor is covered with pine needles and the air is thick with the smell of incense. Shamans regularly come here to conduct cleansing ceremonies using firewater, ancient prayers and chickens.

Day 6 - Free day

The villages surrounding San Cristobal del las Casas are home to Tzotzil and Tzeltal groups, who maintain their tribal origins through their traditional costumes and customs. You can explore these villages and learn more about their way of life on an adrenaline-fueled mountain bike ride.


A handstand on the very edge of the universe. At Hierve el Agua with my Papa

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Day 7 - Keep the party going

After a big morning of travel you'll land in Playa del Carmen. Take in the beautiful coastline of bright blue waters, white-powder beaches and an unmistakably European vibe. Spend the afternoon soaking up the last rays of the day before getting ready to experience the best nightlife in Mexico.

Day 8 - Swim with turtles

First up is Akumal, where every day dozens of sea turtles come to munch on seaweed. Spend up to an hour snorkelling with these amazing creatures before moving on to a nearby cenote (sinkhole) to swim in hidden water caves.

Day 9 - Adiós amigo

Time to say good bye and spend one last day here…..unless you decide to keep the party going a bit longer?

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Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.