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OAXACA DAY OF THE DEAD

Pack your bags, stamp your passport for adventure our Oaxaca Day of the Dead adventure tour. Experience the colonial city of Oaxaca and surrounding villages during their most precious celebration of loved ones deceased. Book your trip before it’s too late. Screenshot_2015-05-22-17-34-45-1-1

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Oaxaca to Veracruz Extension


Description


Annual Extension Tour!
Veracruz Expedition

Mexican Dancers

…And then they danced!

Olmec Head

Giant Olmec Heads

Extend the Adventure in Veracruz, Mexico

Trip Highlights
– Helia Bravo Hollis Cactus Botanical Gardens, Zapatitlán Salinas, Puebla
– Xalapa Anthropology Museum plus explore the Coffee Growing Region of Veracruz
– ATV Beach & Sand Dunes Adventure plus Sandboarding
– Port City of Veracruz Tour, including the harbor fort, San Juan de Ulúa


Details


Annual Extension Tour!
Veracruz Expedition

Oaxaca Landscape

Stunning Scenery

Early Mission

Fort of the Conquistadors

Extend the Adventure in Veracruz, Mexico
Detailed Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

Wednesday, November 4 (L)
After breakfast, you will say goodbye to Oaxaca City and travel north through the state of Oaxaca and cross over into the state of Puebla. There you will take a guided tour of the Helia Bravo Hollis Botanical Garden; a biosphere reserve to help preserve 53 different species of cacti. There are thousands of them as far as you can see. Later, after lunch, you will head north to the city of Orizaba, Veracruz and overnight at the Hotel Misión Orizaba.

Day 2:

Thursday, November 5 (B,L)
There are signs all around the city of Orizaba that say in Spanish, “Smile, You’re in Orizaba.” Yes, it a very clean and friendly city. One of the main
attractions is the Palacio de Hierro (Iron Palace) which was made by the same guy who created the Eiffel Tower. It was built in Belgium, dismantled, shipped, and rebuilt in the center of Orizaba. There are also small museums around town like the soccer museum, the beer museum (Heinekens & Dos Equis are brewed there). Also, you will ride up a cable car (Teliferico) to a nearby hill. On a clear day, you will be able to see the tallest volcano in North America (Pico de Orizaba, 18.500’).
After checking out of your hotel, you will travel to the city of Veracruz which is only a short 2 hour drive away. After lunch, one of the local guides will lead you on a walking tour of this historical port city known as the Gateway to México. It was and still is the most important Mexican port for large cargo ships importing and exporting goods, especially from the US, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. This is where the Spanish Conquistadors lead by Hernán Cortéz first landed and changed this land forever.
The city of Veracruz has a unique blend of African, Caribbean, Cuban, Spanish, European, and Indigenous mix not found in any other part of México. You will find this mix especially in the music and dance of this region. The Gran Hotel Diligencias, located right across the street from the main square in the center of the city will be you home from the next 3 nights.

Day 3:

Friday, November 6 (B,L)
San Juan de Ulúa fort was built in the harbor of Veracruz on an island in 1565 to mostly protect the city from marauding pirates. Today there is a road that connects the island to the mainland. You will get to explore this fort and hear all about its history as a fort and later, as a notorious prison.
Next, get ready for a fun adventure by the sea; ATV riding down the beach and up into another “sea” of tall sand dunes (2 hours). You can also try your skills at Sandboarding (skiing down the dunes on a specially designed board). Lunch will be at a typical local small restaurant on the beach.
On you way back to the city of Veracruz, you will make a stop to see where Cortéz built one of the first towns in the New World in the town of La Antigua. Parts of the administration building are still standing. Also, you will visit one of the first Catholic churches build in this new land. The evening is free to explore on your own in the city of Veracruz.

Day 4:

Saturday, November 7 (B,L)
Today you will travel to the capital city of the state of Veracruz, Xalapa. First on your agenda will be a guided tour of the modern Anthropology Museum. This will really give you a good idea of the ancient history of this area. Next up will be a quick tour of the city and then a short drive to the pre-Hispanic town of Coatepec which is located in the higher altitudes of Veracruz in the middle of the coffee growing region. Lunch will be at a nice restaurant just off the main square and of course, if you like coffee … shopping is a good activity in Coatepec as you will find some nice boutique stores. You will also visit the town of Xico which is near the waterfall (Texolo) made famous in the movie, Romancing the Stone with
Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Traveling back to Veracruz city, everyone will gather for dinner onboard a retired
Mexican Naval Ship in the nearby city of Boca del Rio.

Day 5:

Sunday, November 8 (B)
Travel day home from the Veracruz International Airport


Fees


Annual Extension Tour!
Veracruz Expedition
Optional: Extension Trip to the historic port city of Veracruz, México
Unspoiled Coastlines

Flight of Flamingos

Mariachi Band

Traditional Veracruz Music!

Trip Dates: November 4-8

(larger groups can be accommodated)
$979.00 (USD)

(double occupancy)

$979.00 (USD)
adult

Add: $979 USD per adult
Single Supplement: $140 USD
Includes: Tour guides, transportation, 4 nights hotels, 8 meals, all entrance fees & activities
Not included: Airfare, meals not listed above, alcoholic drinks, travel trip
insurance, trip medical insurance, tips for your main tour guides. See Terms & Conditions for details.


Extend the Experience
Veracruz, México
Offers!

Day of the Dead Tour


Description


 

Annual Event Tour!
8 days & 7 nights Explorer Oaxaca

Day of the Dead

Match Made in Heaven

Day of the Dead and Much More
Oaxaca, México Cultural Event

(October 28 – November 4 annually)

 

On this intimate small group tour, you will encounter scary masks, hang out at night in grave yards, climb around ancient ruins, watch pottery & textile artisans at work in their homes, imbibe in the spirits of Mezcal, wander traditional markets, explore Oaxaca City as well as smaller villages in the surrounding valleys, and experience the annual festive celebration known as Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead where Mexicans (all throughout México) honor their family members who have passed on. Also enjoy a horseback trail ride & a long zipline adventure.
Local certified English/Spanish speaking guides will lead you each day on a tour of cultural, historical, and geographical discovery in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Mexican Potters

Artisans at Work

Ceremonial Rememberance

Paying tribute to the departed

Face-painted People

No zombies were harmed making this Event

“I especially liked visiting the cemeteries at night where there were thousands of candles burning. music, and flowers everywhere.”

Mariel Aguilar
Tehuacan, Puebla

 


Details


Celebration in Cemetaries

Lighting the way of the Dead

Day 1:
Arrive at the Oaxaca City Airport
One of our staff will be waiting for you upon your arrival at the Oaxaca City
Airport. You will then transfer to the Hotel Misión de los Angeles in Oaxaca City where you will check in. The rest of the day/evening is free to relax or explore on your own.
Day 2:
Oaxaca City Tour
Today is the day to get to know Oaxaca City. A local guide will lead your small group on a walking tour of the city which will include the major landmarks such as the Santo Domingo church, the government palace, and a visit to the Regional Museum of Oaxaca where you will see ancient artifacts from the Mixtec and Zapotec cultures.

Carpet Merchant

Traditional Artisan Markets

Day of the Dead Art

It’s a Deadman’s Party

You will also stroll the main city markets and see all the items for sale that relate to the Day of the Dead celebration. Lunch will be at a nice local restaurant. After lunch you will have the rest of the afternoon and evening to do more exploring on your own.

Day 3:
Monte Alban Archaeological Zone
Artisans of San Anotnio Arrazola
Artisans of Bartolo Coyotepec
Explore a 16th Century Ex-Convent
The ruins of one of the earliest cities established in Mesoamerica is located just a very short drive from Oaxaca City. Monte Alban was inhabited over a period of 1500 years first by the Olmecs and then the Zapotecs and Mixtecs. Today, you will see that the structures built here are situated on several hundred artificial terraces which were created on a high ridge with a superior view of the surrounding valleys and hills. After your private tour of this very impressive archaeological zone, your group will travel to the town of San Antonio Arrazola. This town is known for the artisans who create brightly painted animals (Alebrijes). After lunch at a local restaurant, your Oaxaca journey continues to the large XVI Century ex-convent in the town of Cuilapam de Guerrero. Here you will learn about its history and architecture. Your final stop today will be to the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec where you will meet artisans who are known for creating unique black pottery. And of course, there will be time for browsing and shopping in their small stores. The rest of the evening is free to find a nice place for dinner on your own.

Celebrate Culture

Cultures, Customs, and Costumes

Day 4:
Mitla Archaeological Zone
Artisans of San Miguel de Valle
Artisans of San Marcos Tlapazola
Day of the Dead Celebrations …
– San Miguel Cemetery in Oaxaca City
– Xoxacotlan Celebrations & Cemetery
Happy Halloween! Yes, you may see kids dressed in costumes trick or treating. It is a custom that has filtered into México from the US but has not taken over the real celebrations which begins this evening; the celebration of Día de los Muertos. First on your tour agenda this morning, you will head out to the Mitla Archaeological site. This is an appropriate place to visit on this day of exploration as the word, “Mitla” means the place of the dead or place of burial. This site was considered the “gateway” between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Your private tour guide will fill you in on more details and of the significance of this place for the Zapotec and Mixtec people. Also worth noting is that unlike Monte Alban, which sits on a high hill, Mitla was built on a valley floor. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the village of San Miguel de Valle. This will be an interesting afternoon as your guide (Guillermo) is from this small town. He knows just about everyone! There, you will have the opportunity to visit some homes to see how they have created small alters or shrines to honor their deceased loved ones. You will also visit the home of a women who will show you the steps to making rugs and tapestries which are called, Tepetes. A stop at the local bakery will also be on the list of “must see” places. Not only will the fresh bakery smell great, you will see how they decorate the cookies and breads with Day of the Dead themes.

Cultural Artifact

Famous Oaxaca painted wood carving

After a nice lunch, everyone will head to the town of San Marcos Tlapazola to see the artisans who specialize in making red clay ceramics. It is interesting to see the designs of some of the pottery decorated with roosters, pig snouts, other farm animals, and even dancing dolphins.
Your group will then return to Oaxaca City, have dinner, and visit the San Miguel Cemetery. Picture this… thousands of lit candles illuminating the darkened night for the many families who are gathered around the individually decorated grave sites of their departed loved ones. This moving experience will definitely be something you will remember for a long time. Later, you will have the option of traveling to another cemetery (Xoxocotlan) to view the differences in details of the alters and of the celebrations from one family to another at the gravesites.
Day 5:
Tlacolula Traditional Market
Private Mezcal Production Tour
Day of the Dead Celebrations …
– Villa de Etla (Parade & Festivities)

Santo Domingo Cathedral

Santo Domingo Cathedral

The market in Tlacolula is especially interesting in that there are so many participants who are dressed in traditional fashion. Everything from shoes to produce to live animals to crafts from artisans are sold there. You will have lunch in the “food court” area. OK, it’s not even remotely like the ones at the modern malls. Nearby, you will learn how Mezcal (a “distant cousin” to Tequila) is produced. Sampling? OF COURSE! Then we will stagger, I mean travel to the town of Villa de Etla where we will see how they celebrate Día de los Muertos with a parade and other festivities. Later, more cemeteries to visit? It will be up to the group to decide.
Day 6:
Visit the Ginormous Tule Tree
Explore the Village of Teotitlan de Valle
Atzompa Archaeological Ruins Site
Tour the town of Santa Maria Atzompa

Horseback riding

Horseback riding

Get your wide angle lens out because you will need it to photograph the Tule tree. First off, it’s over 2000 years old! Even the ancient Aztecs wrote about it. The measurement of the base is about 160 feet in circumference. Yikes! It is one of the oldest living things on this earth. After your photo opt with the ole tree, your group will travel to the town of Teotitlán de Valle. This place is famous for the artisans who weave wool rugs using natural dyes. Interestingly, about 90% of the residence who live there devote themselves to local crafts. After lunch, you will go to explore the smaller archaeological ruins site of Atzompa which is near Monte Alban. It was like a suburb of Monte Alban where the upper class lived, including some of the priests, and Zapotec rulers. It has a very nice 360˚ panoramic view of Oaxaca City, the Etla Valley, and surrounding area. You will also visit the small nearby museum with artifacts from the ruins site. Then your group will head into the town of Santa Maria Atzompa to explore its markets and experience its Day of the Dead celebration. You will have dinner there at one of the local restuarants. Later, everyone will travel back to the hotel in Oaxaca City.

Day 7:
Horseback Trail Ride Adventure (2 hours)
Thrilling Zipline Ride
Farewell Dinner

Ziplining

Ziplining

What better way to enjoy your last full day in the state of Oaxaca then to go on a fun day of adventure. You will travel east into the highlands where you will meet your well-trained horse for a backcountry 2 hour trail ride. As you may know, horses were not introduced into the New World until Spaniard, Hernán Cortéz and his men brought them from Cuba in 1519. Of course today, you will find them everywhere in México for transportation, farming, and for hauling carts. After your trail ride, it’s time for a fast adrenalin-rush zipline ride. It’s the longest in the entire state. Think of it in these terms. You will be zipping over the countryside for more than the length of 10 football fields backed up end to end. After that, it will be time for lunch and probably a cold beer to celebrate your new accomplishment of “flying” in Oaxaca. Later in the evening, everyone will meet for a lively farewell dinner.
Day 8:
Depart from the Oaxaca City Airport
Travel Day Home
After breakfast, you can relax until its time to take a taxi to the Oaxaca Airport for your flight home. If you are joining the group going on the extra 4 day extension trip to Veracruz, you will take off right after breakfast for more México adventures.
¡Buen Viaje!


Fees


 

Annual Event!
8 Day 7 Night Cultural Celebration

( October 28 – November 4 )

$1,979.00 (USD)
adult
Group Size: 6 – 13
Minimum Age: 12
(larger groups can be accommodated)
$1,979.00 (USD)

(double occupancy)
Single Supplement: add $310 USD

Includes: Airport pickup in Oaxaca City, all ground transportation, all entrance fees, private local bilingual guides, tours per itinerary, 7 nights of hotel lodgings, purified water each day, 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners, tips to artisans who give demonstrations for the group

Not included: Airfare, transfer to Oaxaca Airport on day 8, meals not listed above, alcoholic drinks, travel trip insurance, trip medical insurance, tips for your main tour guides


Celebrate the Culture
Oaxaca, México
has to offer!

 

Uxmal

Uxmal, Mexico

Uxmal, Mexico

Uxmal is an ancient Mayan city located 38 miles south of Merida, the capital city of the state of Yucatan, Mexico. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it contains one of the most important archeological sites of the Mayans, including the Pyramid of the Magician and the House of the Doves. It is a popular tourist destination with hotels and a museum within walking distance to the site.

Tulum

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya city. It is a walled city on the cliffs along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. It lasted for almost a century as a Maya city after the occupation of the Spanish. It is beautifully preserved and very popular with tourists.There are three famous structures at the site. El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God.

Sian Kaan

Sain ka'an, Mexico

Sain ka’an, Mexico

Sian Ka’an is a biosphere reserve in the town of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Part of the reserve is on land and part is in the Caribbean Sea, including a section of coral reef. The reserve offers protection for the endangered species in the Riviera Maya and provides environmental education to the local communities to assist and train the residents working with ecotourism.

San Cristobal

San Cristobal de las Casas is located in the central highlands of Chapas, Mexico. It has been designated a “Pueblo Magico” (Magical Village) in 2003 and is considered the cultural capital of Chapas. The city attracts tourists with its native populations and numerous festivals and charming cobblestone streets. A large number of tourists have settled in San Cristobal which has expanded the local culture and added Italian, French, Thai, Indian and Chinese restaurants.

Cenote Dos Ojos

Cenote Dos Ojos, Mexico

Right in the Eye!

Cenote Dos Ojos is a flooded cave system located north of Tulum on the Caribbean Coast on the Yucatan Peninsula Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is known officially as Sistema Dos Ojos. Cenotes is the local name for the sinkhole entrances. The cave system encompases 51 miles and is still being explored. The name Dos Ojos refers to two large cenotes that resemble two large eyes into the underground.