I’ve had a fascination for a long time with the Day of the Dead Festival which is celebrated in Mexico. I’ve also wanted to see more of that country besides the beaches, and Oaxaca (pronounced “wah-ha-ka”) has been floating on my periphery as a possible destination. Turns out Oaxaca is one of the best places to go for El Dia de Los Muertos!

I will be doing this trip solo so I’ve decided to use a tour group for overall safety and to get the full experience considering it will be the busiest time to travel there. The festival takes places annually from October 31 to November 2, but it is recommended to arrive a few days in advance to see all the preparations.

After researching options, I plan to book through National Geographic. They partner with tour operator G Adventures for this trip. The price was extremely reasonable considering the experience they are providing. They use locals for tour hosts and group size is a maximum of 16.

When To GoEl Dia de Los Muertos is Oct 31-Nov 2 every year. Arrive a few days early.
Getting ThereMost likely route is to fly into Mexico City and connect to Oaxaca by plane.
Things To DoThe tour with G Adventures includes a tour of the city, visits to markets and artist villages, access to visit cemeteries for candlelit vigils, building of your own altar to honor your deceased loved ones, cooking classes, tours of nearby ruins and free time for all the parades and festivities.
Days NeededThis is a 7 day tour.
BudgetVery reasonable – starts at $1600 which includes your hotel and breakfast daily. Other meals and alcohol at own expense but all tour excursions are included plus an upper-level hotel. $600 one time add on for a private room if you are a solo traveler.

There are not many companies with experience and reputation that offer this tour so it books up well in advance.

The are currently allowing you to book a reservation with no deposit required. I decided to go for it and booked for 2022!

I plan to fly to Cancun after the festival for a few days of recovery on Isla Holbox. Click below for the outline of my plan for that destination. I also researched Puerto Escondido and Huatulco (beach destinations south of Oaxaca) but neither quite popped for me.

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