"I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.  You gave me a forever within our numbered days, and I am grateful."

- Anonymous

DIA DE MUERTOS

A Celebration of Human Life 

From Mexico City to the Heart of Lake Patzcuaro 

Quick Info

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

HOTEL LOCATIONS

Condesa, Mexico City

Patzcuaro

Morelia

PRICE:  $35,000 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   

  • Visit Bazaar Sabado & Frida Kahlo Home

  • Enjoy a charcuterie picnic and glass of wine while floating through the hanging gardens of Xochimilco, where marigolds are grown

  • Visit Chapultapec Park & the Museum of Anthropology

  • Attend the Folkloric Ballet at Palacio de Bellas Artes

  • Explore Witchcraft Market & Basilica of Our Lady Guadalupe

  • Visit the ancient city of Teotihuacan

  • Learn about and contribute to our Muertos Altar

  • Enjoy a copper demonstration with the Perez Family

  • Visit several artist studios, for direct purchasing

  • Feast at La Catrina Fiesta & Costume party at Cielo Cocino Fusion

  • Embark on an enchanting full day tour on Dia de Muertos

  • Champagne Brunch and so much more!

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.  Modest 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

 

 

Day Two: Saturday October 24, 2020

 

Head to Fonda Margarita Restaurant for 8:30 AM. We will browse through the famous Bazaar Sabado from 10-12:00. Arriving in Coyoacan at 12:30 PM, we will have lunch and head to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul for 2:30 PM (Tickets purchased in advance). Around 3:30 PM, we will head for Xochimilco to board a boat and spend the late afternoon and early evening sunset relaxing in the canals. There is a sunset tour to Isla de las Munecas. The total tour, including time off the boat, takes four hours but passes quickly, among the beautiful greenery and tranquility. We will bring a cooler packed with a pre-prepared charcuterie dinner, and of course, ice to keep our beer and wine cold! The canal rides of Xochimilco are fondly referred to as “booze cruises,” and are a tradition among the locals on weekends.

Day Three: Sunday October 25, 2020

 

This morning we will enjoy breakfast at our hotel, before departing for Chapultapec Park. Visit Chapultapec Castle and the Museum of Anthropology. Enjoy free time. This evening, we will enjoy the Mexican Folkloric Ballet in the most impressive theatre of Latin America – Palacio de Bellas Artes.

 

 

Day Four: Monday October 26, 2020

 

This morning, enjoy breakfast at our hotel. We will visit some of the busiest (and most infamous) markets of Mexico City, including a massive food market and witchcraft market. From here, we will head to the Basilica of Guadalupe, to visit what is possibly the single most important of all religious locations of Mexico, given it is the birthplace of an intense and enchanting infatuation with Our Lady Guadalupe. Once you become familiar with Our Lady Guadalupe, you will notice how she permeates all levels of local life in Mexico – from the pious to those infiltrated into criminal gangs. We will depart the Basilica for our hotel in Teotihuacan, then for dinner at La Gruta Restaurant.

Day Five: Tuesday October 27, 2020

 

Awake early to beat the heat that ascends upon the peaks of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. We will spend the better half of our day here, as this is a massive site with two major museums. We will have brunch here, and can return to the same (excellent) restaurant for a late lunch before departing for Patzcuaro. The trip to Patzcuaro will take about 5 hours, so we should be ready to depart no later than 2 PM.

 

Please Note: There are hot air balloon rides available here. While some may prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground – you may decide this is something you really want to do!

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

 

Enjoy a leisurely day in Patzcuaro. 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

 

Have breakfast at 8:30 AM, then head to Santa Clara del Cobre for a copper demonstration starting at 9:30. By 12 PM, head to Quiroga for lunch at Los Molcajetes. Following lunch, we will depart for Juan Torres Art Studio and Estate in Capula. Visit the art market in Capula, then head home around the back of Lake Patzcuaro. Stop at Mezcal Palomas Mensajeras in San Juan Oponguio, then stop in Erongaricuaro to witness the plaza in the midst of preparations. Return to Patzcuaro for the evening.

Day Nine: Saturday October 31, 2020

 

This morning, check out of your hotel following breakfast. Visit a small but fascinating church in Tupatuaro, then head for the majestic UNESCO city of Morelia. Enjoy a free day here, but please be dressed and ready to have your make-up done by 5:00 PM. Make-up artist Topacio Tapia will come to transform you into Catrina’s for our party at Cielo Cocina Fusion. Your driver will pick you up by 6:45 PM to transport you to the restaurant. Cocktails start at 7 PM, with dinner served around 7:30. Our Catrina Party is a mixed-group party, so you will be in attendance with those you met at our Altar Party.

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!

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.

TRIP INCLUSIONS

Hotels – 11 Nights included

Hotels in Mexico City, Patzcuaro and Morelia

Meals – 9 Meals included

 

7 Breakfasts

1 Lunch

4 Dinner Parties

Transportation

All van transport from Mexico City to Morelia

Canal Ride in Xochimilco

Boat Rides on Lake Patzcuaro

Van transport from Morelia to Mexico City

V

Sights & Activities

Bazaar Sabado

Casa Azul (Frida Kahlo Museum)

Leon Trotsky Museum (Optional)

Xochimilco Canal Ride to Isla de las Munecas

Chapultapec Castle

Museum of Anthropology

Palacio de Bellas Artes Folkloric Ballet (Tentative)

Sonora (Witchcraft) Mercado

Basilica of Our Lady Guadalupe

Teotihuacan

Tour with Jaime Balderas

Altar Party at Jennifer's Casita (Rincon de Frida)

Copper Demonstration in Santa Clara del Cobre

Capula, Quiroga, Mezcal Palomas Mensajeras, Erongaricuaro, Tocuaro

Tupataro Church

City of Morelia Self-Guided Walking Tour

La Catrina Fiesta

Dia de Muertos full day & night tour

Champagne Brunch

The Last Supper

CIELO COCINO FUSION PRESENTS

La Catrina Fiesta

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!  

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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