"In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing."

- Robert Green Ingersoll

DIA DE MUERTOS

A Celebration of Human Life 

From El Bajio to the Purepecha Plateau 

Quick Info

Start Location:
End Location: 
Dates:
Duration:
Group Size:
Age Group:
Hotel Locations:
Physical Rating:
Mexico City
Mexico City
Oct 23-Nov 3, 2020
11 Nights/12 Days
6 Min / 12 Max
N/A
5
Easy
*Private van from Morelia - Mex City Included

HOTEL LOCATIONS

Mexico City

San Miguel de Allende

Tacambaro

Patzcuaro

Morelia

PRICE:  $38,000 MXN
Price per person is based on shared accommodations for two.  If you are travelling with a friend and prefer a room with two beds, we can adjust your price.  Contact us about single supplement.

Witness Mexico's most significant Cultural Observation 

INTRODUCTION

Dia de Muertos is an auspicious and magical time of year, when indigenous peoples engage in ancestor worship.  This sacred observation is one that involves an intensity of preparation and planning, which we will witness in the week leading up to November 1.  We ask our guests to read through the cultural protocols for this tour, out of respect for the locals and the fact that they welcome us to observe their annual ritual.

 

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO EXPERIENCE & EXPLORE   

  • Explore San Miguel de Allende

  • Shop for talavera pottery in Dolores Hidalgo & learn about the War of Independence

  • Sample wine at Cuna de Tierra & Dos Buhos Winery

  • Visit UNESCO Sanctuary of Jesus of Nazarene, fondly referred to as Mexico's own Sistine Chapel

  • Soak in the medicinal waters of Atotonilco hotsprings

  • Explore Canada de la Virgen Otomi Archaeological site with Dr. Rosana Quizo Ennis

  • Attend copper demonstration

  • Altar Party to honor loved ones who have passed

  • Patzcuaro & Island of Janitzio

  • Visit Alberca de Tacambaro for picnic by legendary lake

  • La Fiesta de La Catrina at Cielo Cocina Fusion, Morelia

  • Dia de los Muertos Celebration around Lake Patzcuaro

  • Champagne Brunch & Last Supper in Morelia

BE CONSCIOUS OF LOCAL CULTURAL PROTOCOLS

  • Please dress modestly for touring traditional villages.  Shorts and skirts should be no shorter than just above the knee.  Mdest neck-lines also recommended.

  • Reserve La Catrina face paint for our parties - it is not a local indigenous practice to dress up for cemetery visits.

  • Ask permission before taking close-up photographs.  During Night of Muertos, please do not use your flash.

WHAT MAKES YOU A GOOD FELLOW TRAVELER

 

  • Punctuality - crucial for fluid travel

  • Flexibility - always expect the unexpected

  • Participation - including one daily group photo

  • Consideration - we all have different strengths, fears & phobias

  • Cooperation - the rules are made for all of us, including you

  • Respect - for local customs & protocols

  • Diplomacy - agree to disagree about politics & religion​

  • Confidence - know your limits 

TOUR OVERVIEW

Day One: Friday October 23, 2020

 

Arrive in Mexico City – Check into Hotel. One of your guides will greet you at the airport and assist you with getting a radio taxi to your hotel. Once everyone’s flights are confirmed, we will organize dinner plans.

 

 

Day Two: Saturday October 24, 2020

 

This morning you will depart Mexico City at 9 AM for the UNESCO Centro of San Miguel de Allende. Have lunch, then enjoy a walking tour of this colorful city.

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION

DIA DE MUERTOS ORIGINS

Autumn has long been considered an auspicious time in many cultures around the world who acknowledge the changing colours as trees shed their leaves and the last of the crops become ripe for harvest. This is a transformative time of year when many living things enjoy their final moments before winter sets in. This fragile line is a promising window between the world of the living and the dead – a time when the veil between the two is so thin, it becomes near invisible.

 

As this is a holiday of national importance, there are many preparations that take place behind the scenes, such as growing enough flowers to supply countless cemeteries throughout the land. Traditional altar frames must be constructed, to be later decorated with an abundance of flowers. Grand arch-frames are also adorned with flowers and raised in key places, as doorways between the living and the dead. The cemeteries must be cleansed and cleared, to make way for a fresh and elaborate display of flowers, candles, food offerings, photographs and other elements significant to this observation. As Dia de Muertos draws near, the locals are in full action, creating beautiful flower-petal pathways from their homes to the cemeteries, erecting their altars on the graves of their loved ones, and preparing to light the candles. To imagine – all of this is happening as the annual cycle of the most important indigenous crop is coming to a close, with the corn harvest. To call this an important and busy time is an understatement.

 

There are a number of different flowers associated with Dia de Muertos. Most of them have a very strong scent, as it is believed this is pleasing to the souls of the ancestors. The most prominent flower is called cempasuchi – which is known in English as marigold. The Nahuatl root of this word is cempohualxochitl. Cempohual is in reference to the number 20, and when combined with xochitl, the word for flower, cempohualxochitl translates as “flower with 20 petals.” Due to the bright yellow hue, reminiscent of the sun, marigolds were of significant importance to the sun worshipping Mexica. These flowers have been used for funerary rites and to adorn tombs since pre-Hispanic times. It is interesting to note – in 2016, the marigold harvest of Mexico was worth an estimated 80.4 million pesos (SIAP).

 

Terciopelo Rojo is also known as the cockscomb flower. Red in colour, this flower grows in various conditions and can last up to 8 weeks. It is unclear as to whether or not this flower was used in pre-Hispanic times, as it is most conflated today as representing the blood of Christ. There is much evidence of Christianity in modern Dia de Muertos celebrations, including crosses on graves, and this red flower is used to adorn the cemeteries, creating a beautiful contrast of colour with the bright yellow and orange marigolds.

 

Other flowers made their way from the Mediterranean and Asia to the cemeteries of Dia de Muertos. Hoary Stock, or Alheli Blanco, is a white flower often placed on the graves of young children. Baby’s breath is sometimes arranged together with hoary stock. Chrysanthemums from Asia are also used by some during Dia de Muertos, and this is directly connected to All Souls Day celebrations from Spain.

 

Other important elements Dia de Muertos include water, salt and fire. Some say glasses of water are left to quench the thirst of the spirits, while others say it merely represents the underworld. Salt is connected to purification, and the flames of lit candles are important for lighting the way through the darkness. Some leave seeds for the dead – as an offering for prosperous crops in the afterlife. Baskets of food are also left for the ancestors, and are often comprised of fruits, pan de muertos, and other favourite foods of the deceased, such as different sweets, tamales, or even a can of beer with a package of cigarettes.

 

In 2008, Dia de Muertos was officially inscribed in UNESCO’s protection as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Day Three: Sunday October 25, 2020

 

This morning we will enjoy breakfast at 8 AM, departing San Miguel de Allende by 9 AM for the Pueblo Magico Dolores Hidalgo, where we will browse through talavera shops and stop at the Plaza to see El Grito, where Father Hidalgo’s Cry of Dolores sparked the War of Independence on September 16, 1810. From here, we will visit Cuna de Tierra Winery for charcuteries snacks and wine. Our last stop will be Pueblo Magico ghost town Mineral de Pozos, to visit Exhacienda Santa Brigida, which is also an old, picturesque mine site. We will also stop at Casa del Venado Azul to meet Luiz Cruz, who makes beautiful prehispanic instruments. We will return to San Miguel de Allende for dinner.

 

 

Day Four: Monday October 26, 2020

 

This morning we will depart San Miguel de Allende at 9 AM to visit the UNESCO protected Sanctuary of Jesus from Nazarene. This church is covered in beautiful paintings from floor to ceiling, earning it a respected reputation for being Latin America’s very own Sistine Chapel. We will head for the nearby hotsprings for an early morning soak, and enjoy lunch before departing for a short tour of the Dos Buhos Winery. We will return to San Miguel de Allende around 3 PM for an afternoon of free time.

Day Three: Sunday October 25, 2020

 

This morning we will enjoy breakfast at 8 AM, departing San Miguel de Allende by 9 AM for the Pueblo Magico Dolores Hidalgo, where we will browse through talavera shops and stop at the Plaza to see El Grito, where Father Hidalgo’s Cry of Dolores sparked the War of Independence on September 16, 1810. From here, we will visit Cuna de Tierra Winery for charcuteries snacks and wine. Our last stop will be Pueblo Magico ghost town Mineral de Pozos, to visit Exhacienda Santa Brigida, which is also an old, picturesque mine site. We will also stop at Casa del Venado Azul to meet Luiz Cruz, who makes beautiful prehispanic instruments. We will return to San Miguel de Allende for dinner.

 

 

Day Four: Monday October 26, 2020

 

This morning we will depart San Miguel de Allende at 9 AM to visit the UNESCO protected Sanctuary of Jesus from Nazarene. This church is covered in beautiful paintings from floor to ceiling, earning it a respected reputation for being Latin America’s very own Sistine Chapel. We will head for the nearby hotsprings for an early morning soak, and enjoy lunch before departing for a short tour of the Dos Buhos Winery. We will return to San Miguel de Allende around 3 PM for an afternoon of free time.

Day Three: Sunday October 25, 2020

 

This morning we will enjoy breakfast at 8 AM, departing San Miguel de Allende by 9 AM for the Pueblo Magico Dolores Hidalgo, where we will browse through talavera shops and stop at the Plaza to see El Grito, where Father Hidalgo’s Cry of Dolores sparked the War of Independence on September 16, 1810. From here, we will visit Cuna de Tierra Winery for charcuteries snacks and wine. Our last stop will be Pueblo Magico ghost town Mineral de Pozos, to visit Exhacienda Santa Brigida, which is also an old, picturesque mine site. We will also stop at Casa del Venado Azul to meet Luiz Cruz, who makes beautiful prehispanic instruments. We will return to San Miguel de Allende for dinner.

 

 

Day Four: Monday October 26, 2020

 

This morning we will depart San Miguel de Allende at 9 AM to visit the UNESCO protected Sanctuary of Jesus from Nazarene. This church is covered in beautiful paintings from floor to ceiling, earning it a respected reputation for being Latin America’s very own Sistine Chapel. We will head for the nearby hotsprings for an early morning soak, and enjoy lunch before departing for a short tour of the Dos Buhos Winery. We will return to San Miguel de Allende around 3 PM for an afternoon of free time.

Day Five: Tuesday October 27, 2020

 

This morning we will depart San Miguel de Allende at 10 AM for the ancient Otomi site Canada de la Virgen. Here, Dr. Rosana Quizo Ennis has conducted extensive research based on astronomical alignments and archaeological assessments. We will enjoy a prehispanic lunch at the nearby museum before hitting the highway for Pueblo Magico Patzcuaro. We should arrive in Patzcuaro around 5 PM.

 

 

 

Day Six: Wednesday October 28, 2020

 

Meet for breakfast at your hotel by 8:30 AM. Jaime Balderos will meet you there at 9:30, and take you on a fantastic tour (TBA) around the Lake Patzcuaro region.

Day Seven: Thursday October 29, 2020

 

Visit Isla de Janitzio this morning, returning for lunch. Altar Party starts at 6:30 PM. Our Altar Party is a mixed-group party, so there will be other guests touring with other groups in attendance. Please bring a photo of a loved one who has passed. The frame should be no larger than for a 4x6 photograph, as we will have many photographs to place on the altar. If you can think of a non-parishible candy or small item that is meaningful to the person you are honouring, please bring that for the altar.

 

 

Day Eight: Friday October 30, 2020

 

This morning you will head to La Alberca de Tacambaro, which is a beautiful emerald green lake cupped in the cone of a volcano. Enjoy hiking in this beautiful natural habitat, and learn the legendary indigenous story from this sacred place. You will return to Tacambaro for Carnitas and an afternoon exploring this adorable, non-touristy Pueblo Magico. If you would enjoy spa treatments at your hotel, please let us know in advance.

 

 

Day Nine: Saturday October 31, 2020

 

This morning, enjoy a lovely breakfast at your hotel before departing for La Ruta del Mezcal. You will visit Las Vinatas de Mezcal in Madero Etucuaro, including the fields where the agave plants are grown. Depart here for Morelia on time to meet make-up artist Topacio Tapia, whose team of artists will transform you into Catrina’s for La Catrina Fiesta at Cocino Cielo Fusion.

CIELO COCINO FUSION PRESENTS

La Fiesta de La Catrina

October 31, 2020 - Doors Open at 6:30 PM

Welcome to our 3rd Annual La Catrina Fiesta!  We are pleased to be working with Eddie  Alvarez & Alejandra Martinez Alva , and their fabulously talented, hard working staff at Cielo Cocina Fusion again this coming year!  Cielo Cocina Fusion is rated #1 for fine cuisine in Morelia, offering dishes that will leave your mouth watering for days.  Our party is scheduled for October 31, with cocktails starting at 6:30.  Entertainment commences at 7 PM, followed by dinner at 7:30. 

 

YES!  THIS IS A COSTUME PARTY! 

Local professional face painter Topacio Tapia is going to transform everyone into Catrina's, so all you need to worry about is your outfit.  We recommend dressing up for this occassion, though casual is certainly fine, depending on your comfort level.  Catrina is associated with extravagance, hence traditional portrayals of men clad in suits with ties, and ladies cloaked in beautiful gowns, a French Chapeau en attende, and long gloves.  As we are travelling, it may be difficult to get too fancy - but classic attire with some appropriate accessories would certainly work!  

Day Ten: Sunday November 1, 2020

 

We will enjoy a leisurely morning, with a departure of 11 AM. Please be prepared for a very long tour, as we may not be back in Morelia until 3:30 or 4 AM. That said, you will be amazed by how the day passes quickly, for this experience is one so full of color, culture, experiences, scenery and variation, you will wish it didn’t ever have to end. (If you do need to rest, you’re more than welcome to stay on the bus and sleep. If you are nervous staying on your own, one of the guides can keep you company.) We are not disclosing our plans for this day yet, as we like to keep this day a bit of a secret! It does include boat rides on Lake Patzcuaro, which will be a mixed-group experience (as the boats fit from 36-45 people)
 

Day Eleven: Monday November 2, 2020

 

Due to coming home so early, we have booked brunch for Noon at Lu Restaurant. Enjoy this day on your own, and be ready for your carriage to our Last Supper at 6:45 PM. Our dinner reservation is at San Miguelito Restaurant at 7 PM.

 


Day Twelve: Tuesday November 3, 2020

 

Everyone departs this morning. Please confirm your flight times with us, so we can make sure you get to CDMX airport on time!

TRIP INCLUSIONS

Hotels – 11 Nights included

Hotels in Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Patzcuaro, Tacambaro and Morelia

Meals – 7 Meals included

 

2 Breakfasts

1 Lunch

4 Dinner Parties

Transportation

All van transport from Mexico City and back

Boat Rides on Lake Patzcuaro

V

Sights & Activities

Walking tour of San Miguel de Allende

Visit Talavera shops in Dolores Hidalgo

Stop at El Grito, an important historical church
Sample wine at Cuna de Tierra

Explore Santa Brigida Mine & Exhacienda

Visit Casa del Venado Azul Instrument maker Luis Cruz

Time Travel to Otomi Canada de la Virgen Archaeological Site

People watch in Patzcuaro

Enjoy Altar Party for our loved ones

Eat Carnitas in Tacambaro

Hike around Alberca de Tacamagaro lake and enjoy a picnic

La Fiesta de la Catrina at Cielo Cocina Fusion in Morelia

Dia de los Muertos Tour around Lake Patzcuaro

Champagne Brunch

The Last Supper

RESERVATION & CANCELLATION POLICY

TO SECURE YOUR RESERVATION

To secure your reservation, we require a 25 % non-refundable deposit.

We require the balance 3 months prior to departure.

Please download, print, read and bring Waiver with you.  All waivers must be signed before our tour begins.

TO CANCEL YOUR RESERVATION

If you cancel 2 months prior to our departure, we will retain 50% of the total cost.

If your cancellation falls within the 2 months prior to our departure, we will retain 100% of the total cost minus hotels that allow us last-minute cancellation, minus cost of activities that are covered on a per/person basis (such as a gondola ride, museum entrance fee, dinner party*, etc) This will vary, depending on the tour

* Most breakfasts on our inclusions list are part of your hotel reservation. If we cannot secure a refund from the hotel, we cannot refund the meal

EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

 

Please send this to your emergency contact person, in case they need to reach you.

Jennifer Bjarnason

Mexican Cell +52 443 639 2782 (Oct - Apr)

Canadian Cell 001 778 585 1882 (Apr - Oct)

Whatsapp: 001 778 585 1882 (Year Round)

Email: info@soulofmexicotours.com

YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT

It is important for us to have an emergency contact for you, in the event that there is an accident or medical emergency.


Please send us the full name, phone number and email for your emergency contact or next of kin.

MAKING PAYMENTS

  • We will invoice you using Square Invoicing. This is a secure system that allows you to use a

  • credit card without having to divulge your information.

  • If you prefer to use Paypal, we can invoice you using Paypal.

  • If you have a Canadian bank account, we accept e-transfers.

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