If you're in Mexico City on November 1, don't miss the chance to take part in Day of the Dead, one of Mexico’s most cherished annual traditions. Visit a cemetery swathed in candlelight near Mexico City and stroll by gravestones and shrines ornamented with marigolds, food and images of skeletons ... More info ›
If you're in Mexico City on November 1, don't miss the chance to take part in Day of the Dead, one of Mexico’s most cherished annual traditions. Visit a cemetery swathed in candlelight near Mexico City and stroll by gravestones and shrines ornamented with marigolds, food and images of skeletons. Then float down the decorated canals of Xochimilco in a ‘trajinera,’ or colorful gondola, and pass by floating gardens known as ‘chinampas.’ It's a tour that only happens once a year — don't miss it!
Painted faces, colorful costumes, and graveside parties — all to remember deceased family and friends. Expect to find people celebrating these traditions in Mexico during Day of the Dead. It officially takes place on the first two days of November, but many revelers begin celebrating on October 31. The holiday is rooted in Aztec and Catholic customs, but has evolved into a celebration that appeals to people across Mexico.
On the evening of November 1, meet your knowledgeable guide at a central spot in Mexico City, near the Zocalo. Travel by air-conditioned van about a half hour out of the city to a cemetery that has been transformed into a commemorative wonderland, where thousands of lit candles cast an ethereal glow over marigolds, which are believed to form a spiritual path that the dead can follow.
Learn from your guide about the ofrendas spread about the cemetery: homemade altars, sugar skulls, pan de muertos (bread of the dead), and more. The ofrendas are believed to welcome the souls of the dead when they revisit.
After experiencing such a mystical and somber ambiance, return to reality on a ride to the southern district of Xochimilco in Mexico City. Follow your guide to a dock where you’ll step into a trajinera, a brightly colored gondola. Float down a network of waterways to see chinampas, aka floating gardens, and riverbanks decorated with colorful images of skeletons and skulls. As you float, listen to folklore about figures such as La Llorona, ‘the crying mother,’ whose guilt-ridden spirit haunts the waters.
After the boat ride, your guide takes you back to the meeting point near the Zocalo.