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Oaxaca day of the dead tour

OAXACA DAY OF THE DEAD TOURS 2023

To reserve your spot on this day of the dead tour in Oaxaca, a $500 USD deposit is required; refundable until June 30, 2023.

About | Meet Your Guides | Itinerary | Tour Essentials | Reserve Now | FAQ | Testimonials

  • 💀 Experience the biggest event in Mexico – dia de los muertos / day of the dead
  • 🏺 Visit Oaxaca museums and markets
  • 🪅 Explore the insane colors of Oaxaca City
  • 🙋 Expert tour leaders who live in Oaxaca
  • 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Small group (maximum of 12 participants)
  • 🌮 An extensive and local food tour
  • 🍲 Non-repetitive Oaxacan cuisines per meal
  • 🏨 Stay in a 3-star hotel (private Airbnb)
  • 🇲🇽 This is a cultural and adventure tour
  • 🤝🏻 Meet fellow travelers on the tour

Historically, the day of the dead is celebrated because the Mexicans believe that their departed loved ones come back (from the dead, literally) to visit them. With this, the ever-so-entertaining Mexicans put on a grand show for the deceased relatives and friends by putting on a glamorous altar. Candles, photos, and even food are placed on the altar as offerings (ofrenda).

We have been doing this customized Oaxaca day of the dead tour since 2018 and many of our clients have good feedback. We are not some travel agency but we are expats who are living in Oaxaca. We did these tours ourselves before promoting them to other travelers!

All our tours have been carefully vetted through our #SupportLocal project where we personally travel around Mexico and vet these activities. Our tours are limited to 12 people only to maintain the authenticity and closeness of the group. We do not do heavily commercial and non-personalized tours.

👋 Meet Your Tour Leaders

✈️ Flights to Oaxaca City are not included in this package. You can use the code MXINSIDER to get a 10% discount on all flights from the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia upon checkout on WayAway.. If you need assistance with flight bookings, our Mexico Insider Concierge will help you via our Whatsapp hotline.

🗺️ Itinerary

10:00 PM: Arrival in Oaxaca City

  • Private airport transfer to your hotel is included (air-conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking driver)
  • Water will be provided in the car
  • Your meals for the day are not included

Everyone must be in by 10:00 PM on October 27th. You will have to book your own flights to Oaxaca City so make sure you arrive on this date. If you need booking assistance, our travel experts will help you find the best flight at a good rate.

You will be picked up at the airport by our VIP drivers. They will be waiting for you at the arrivals gate holding a sign with your name. The car type is a Sedan (Toyota Vios or similar).

10:30 AM: Welcome brunch

  • Meet at the hotel lobby at 10:10 AM then walk to the restaurant as a group
  • Pay for your own drinks/food (a la carte orders). This restaurant serves seafood, chicken, beef, with limited vegetarian options (from US$25).

We will have a fun brunch at a rooftop restaurant in Oaxaca City. This is not included in your tour package so you have to pay for your meals and drinks on your own. During this time, you will meet your tour leader and we will answer all the questions you have about the tour.

12:00 PM: Oaxaca City walking tour

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing for the walking tour
  • Water will be provided during the walk

Go around the city and see all the colors of Oaxaca. This is a walking tour so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. We will head to the famous Andador Turistico in Alcala Street. We will give you all the time to do all your pictures on the Instagram spots that we visit. Lastly, we will head to one of the best markets in Oaxaca to have a snack.

3:00 PM: Snacks at the local market

  • 1 snack and a drink are included
  • Bring cash if you want to shop. Markets in Oaxaca do not accept credit cards

After the city walking tour, your expert guide will bring you to the biggest market in Oaxaca, 20 de Noviembre. Here, we will give you a traditional Oaxacan snack and drink. The guide will also give you tips on how the best food stalls to eat at inside the 20 de Noviembre Market

5:00 PM: Free time

Go back to the hotel, shower, take a nap, relax, and get ready for the evening.

7:30 PM: Tlayuda dinner

  • Meet at the hotel lobby at 7:10 PM then walk to the restaurant as a group
  • This dinner is included in the tour price

Tlayuda is one of the most iconic dishes of Oaxaca. Your expert guide will take you to the best tlayuda spot in Oaxaca, a street food cart that is flocked by many tourists and is also featured on Netflix’s Taco Chronicle.

9:00 PM: Drinks at a local bar (optional)

After your Tlayuda dinner tour, you can go back to the hotel or join the group for a round of mezcal at a local bar in Oaxaca City.

7:30 AM: Hotel pick-up

Breakfast is included in your accommodations. It is advisable to take your breakfast before the mezcal tour. Make sure you are at the hotel lobby by 7:20 AM.

  • 🥾 What to wear on this day: Comfortable shoes and no slippers. We will be going around the agave fields!
  • 🎒 What to bring: Bring cash if you want to buy authentic local mezcal. They do not accept credit cards
  • ℹ️ About this tour: Read the article | Watch Instagram Reel

9:00 AM: Arrive in the mezcal field + mezcal tour

The drive from the hotel to the mezcal field will take an hour. Once we arrive at the palenque, the local family will welcome you to their home and will give you a brief intro about how the day will go. We will transfer to the truck that will take us to the mezcal field and take a 15-minute ride from the local home.

The local family will keep giving you shots of mezcal while doing the tour. You can say NO if you don’t want to drink while on the tour but this is how the tasting goes.

10:30 AM: Plant your own mezcal

After learning about the many different types of mezcal and trying them, our local guide will make you plant your own mezcal. You will be asked to give your mezcal plant a name. Agave plants take at least 8 years to grow before they are ready for the distillation/fermentation process.

12:00 PM: Lunch at the agave fields

The local family will bring us a home-cooked lunch and we will dine in the middle of the mezcal field. They usually cook traditional Oaxacan chicken soup for our guests but please let us know if you have dietary restrictions.

2:00 PM: Learn the mezcal process

After lunch, we will head back to the local home and learn about the mezcal-making process. Our tour guide will explain the distillation/fermentation process. You will also get to learn about the old-school machinery they are using to make mezcal. After which, you will be taken to the tasting room where you can shop for your favorite mezcal type on this tour.

4:00 PM: Back to Oaxaca City / free time

We are expected to be back in Oaxaca City between 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM. You will be taken directly to the hotel. Take this time to shower, nap, and prepare for the evening.

7:30 PM: Dinner (Tacos de Lechon)

  • Meet at the hotel lobby at 7:10 PM then walk to the street food stall as a group
  • This dinner is included in the tour price

The guide will take you to a famous street food stall known for its tacos de lechon (pork). This street food stall in Oaxaca was featured in Netflix’s Taco Chronicle and it is the best tacos de lechon in the country!

9:00 PM: Drinks at a local bar (optional)

After your tacos de lechon dinner tour, you can go back to the hotel or join the group for a round of drinks at a local bar in Oaxaca City.

7:30 AM: Hotel pick-up

Meet at the lobby at 7:20 AM for the Hierve El Agua Tour. We will not be back in Oaxaca until 6:00 PM so make sure you’ve had enough rest the night before. The drive from the hotel to Hierve El Agua is about 1 hour.

  • 🥾 What to wear on this day: Comfortable shoes for mild hiking
  • 🎒 What to bring: Bring swimwear, a towel, and extra clothing
  • ℹ️ About Hierve El Agua tour: Read the article | Watch Instagram Reel

9:00 AM: Breakfast at a local eatery

  • This breakfast is NOT included in the tour price
  • Food choices: tacos and quesadillas (from $5 USD)

Before heading to Hierve El Agua, we will stop at a local eatery on the way for breakfast. This small eatery we are supporting uses comal, a griddle commonly used in Mexico and Central America.

10:30 AM: Hierve El Agua tour

We will start the tour by hiking the petrified waterfall. This is a 45-minute hike and it’s not difficult. Just to make sure you’d be comfortable, wear shoes during the hike. After the hike, we will head back and swim in the petrified waterfalls. You can enjoy the pools in your own time, drink, relax, and take pictures.

2:30 PM: Lunch at a local eatery

  • This lunch is included in the tour price

We will head to a local eatery to have caldo de piedra, a traditional Oaxacan soup where they use a very hot stone to cook the soup. You will love this food and most of our clients love seeing the rock soup-making process.

6:00 PM: Back to Oaxaca City

We are expected to be back in Oaxaca City by 6:00 PM. Rest, take a nap, and prepare for the evening’s festivities.

7:30 PM: Dinner (tacos and quesadilla tour)

  • Meet at the hotel lobby at 7:10 PM then walk to the street food stall as a group
  • This dinner is included in the tour price

We will take you to another street food stall featured on Netflix’s Taco Chronicle. This time, we will get to try quesadillas, tacos, and the famous green mole empanadas. These are street food that you won’t find anywhere else and we know the best spot in Oaxaca!

9:00 PM: Drinks at a local bar (optional)

After your tacos dinner tour, you can go back to the hotel or join the group for a round of drinks at a local bar in Oaxaca City.

10:00 AM: Museums and art galleries

  • Meet at the hotel lobby at 9:50 AM
  • All museum and gallery entrance fees are included in the tour price

We will visit major museums in Oaxaca like the Stamp Museum, Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños, and the Textile Museum. You will also get to visit 4 different art galleries including an outdoor art gallery in a public park.

1:00 PM: Lunch

  • This lunch is not included in the tour price

We will have lunch in a local, traditional Oaxacan restaurant where a mariachi band will play for us while we are eating and drinking. Prices in this restaurant start from US$5.

2:30 PM: Free time

Rest, shower, take a nap, and prepare for the evening’s festivities.

4:30 PM: Catrina make-up day

  • The make-up fee is included in the tour price

A group of make-up artists will be set-up in your hotel for your Catrina make-up. Make sure to have a picture from Pinterest of what you want your make-up to look like – our artists will be able to copy them!

7:00 PM: Mezcal and mole tasting

  • Meet at the hotel lobby at 6:30 PM to go to San Felipe (15 minutes drive)
  • This mezcal and mole tasting is included in the tour price

We will head to the neighborhood of San Felipe, Oaxaca for a mole and mezcal pairing at the Agave Institute. This is a school that specializes in mezcal/agave and they also give sommelier courses if you want to be a mezcal expert. Here, we will pair 7 different mezcals with 7 types of mole.

8:30 PM: Dinner (Street Food Burger)

After the mezcal and mole tasting, the guide will take you to a popular street burger joint in Oaxaca City that has been featured in various TV shows.

10:00 PM: Drinks at a local bar (optional)

After your street burger tour, you can go back to the hotel or join the group for a round of drinks at a local bar in Oaxaca City.

10:00 AM: Jalatlaco and Xochimilco Neighborhood tour

  • Meet at the hotel lobby at 9:50 AM

We will start this day in the Jalatlaco and Xochimilco neighborhoods of Oaxaca City – the most colorful area of the city. We will have a photoshoot and a quick stroll around the neighborhood. Most of our clients enjoy this tour the most!

1:00 PM: Oaxaca cooking class with lunch

  • This lunch and cooking class is included in the tour price

After our walking tour in Jalatlaco and Xochimilco, we will head to Santo Domingo Church to get to our next activity: Oaxacan cooking class! It will take place in another town (about 45 minutes away from Oaxaca City). Our locals will teach you how to make traditional Oaxacan food and we will have our lunch there.

5:00 PM: Free time

Rest, shower, take a nap, and prepare for the evening’s festivities.

8:00 PM: Cemetery tour

  • Meet at the lobby at 7:30 PM. The drive to the cemetery is 20 minutes

We will take you to the most local cemetery in Oaxaca where you will get to meet local families who will tell you about their dead. They will also share the traditions, cultures, and customs of dia de muertos. You will see the cemetery filled with lights and marigold flowers. Each grave is uniquely designed depending on the family’s customs.

9:00 PM: Dinner, drinks, and fellowship

  • This dinner/drinks is not included in the tour price

We will have street food dinner on the streets of the cemetery. You can have tacos, and beers, and try different snacks from the many different street food carts lined up outside the cemetery.

10:30 AM: Farewell brunch (optional)

  • This brunch is not included in the tour price

For those who are flying out in the evening, we will have a farewell brunch at a rooftop restaurant.

1:30 PM: Fly out of Oaxaca, end of the tour

🧭 Tour Essentials

🛏️ Booking your own accommodation? See our best recommendations: Luxury Hotels in Oaxaca City | Oaxaca Hostels | Cheap hotels in Oaxaca

💀 Reserve your day of the dead tour spot!

  • To reserve your spot on this day of the dead tour in Oaxaca, a $500 USD deposit is required; refundable until June 30, 2023
  • Once you pay the reservation fee, our team will schedule a Zoom call with you to get to know you (15-min chat)
  • Travelers who book between now and March 2023 get a 10% early bird discount
  • Gold Members of our Insider VIP travel get a 20% discount while Platinum Members get a 15% discount on all tours (early bird or not)
  • Subscribe to our unique tours and experiences newsletter to get a special discount code via e-mail.

✅ What’s included?

  • An expert tour leader all throughout (American and Mexican co-host)
  • All ground transportation
  • All airport transfers
  • 3-star hotel (choose between shared or single room)
  • Price without accommodations is also available in the packages
  • Breakfast is included in your stay
  • All dinners during the tours (street food tour)
  • Entrance fees to all sites and landmarks
  • Water throughout the trip
  • Catrina make-up for October 31st
  • Pre-trip assistance via Whatsapp or e-mail
  • Cheap flight booking assistance from our airline insiders
  • Discounts in restaurants and bars

❎ What’s NOT included?

  • Flights to and from Oaxaca City
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Travel Insurance (mandatory): you can book with SafetyWing for only US$40!
  • Passport/visa fees and COVID testing (if applicable)
  • Other expenses that are not listed above
  • Tips for the guides

❌ Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund until May 30, 2023
  • Refundable until June 30, 2023 with a 16% IVA charge ($80 USD)
  • 100% refund for Insider VIP Gold Members until July 15, 2023 and 16% IVA charge beyond this date

🙋 Frequently Asked Questions

Flights from the US and Canada go directly to Mexico City (Benito Juarez International Airport). From Mexico City, you can take another flight to Oaxaca City (Xoxocotlán International Airport). The flight time between Mexico City and Oaxaca City is under an hour.

You can also get to Oaxaca from Mexico City by bus (8-10 hours ride). You can book your tickets online at ADO Mexico (from US$35, one-way).

Lastly, you can get a 10% flight discount when you use our code MXINSIDER on WayAway.

The full amount of the Oaxaca day of the dead tour should be paid by June 30, 2023 (non-members) and August 15, 2023, for Insider VIP Platinum and Gold Members.

We will give you a list of hotels and accommodations we trust but the accommodations included in this tour is way cheaper. We get a 25% discount from our hotel partners.

When booking your own accommodations, please make sure they are near the Zocalo, Andador Turistico, Oaxaca Centro, or Santo Domingo Church.

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