Mexico's Day of the Dead - Aztecs, Hot Air Balloons & Sugar Skulls - Awesome Experiences

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Mexico's Day of the Dead - Aztecs, Hot Air Balloons & Sugar SkullsMexico

From £0 per person for 6 nights (based on 2 adults sharing)*
Take part in Mexico’s most flamboyant festival, Día de los Muertos, on this adventure through ancient ruins and colonial cities, right to the heart of the country’s rich culture.

Perfect for:

Must-do Outdoor Experiences Unique Annual Events
Summary

Mexico

Day of the Dead is Mexico’s most iconic festival – a cross-country, colourful celebration of life and death where parades turn into all night parties, music rings out from city parks and village squares, and marigolds and sugar skulls adorn graveyards and plazas. Believed to be the oldest festival in the world, Día de los Muertos is a public holiday and a huge part of the country's national culture. Mexico is vibrant at any time of the year – but visiting during the Day of the Dead celebrations makes for a truly unforgettable experience.

   AWESOME ELEMENTS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE:

  • Join the Día de los Muertos party on the mystical island of Janitzio, celebrating long into the night
  • Fly high above the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacán by hot air balloon
  • Witness the cross-country battle for Mexico City's best Day of the Dead altar
  • Dine at the acclaimed Balcón del Zócalo with knock-out views over the centro histórico
  • Watch the famous play of La Llorona, performed by night on the bewitching Xochimilco canals

Dotd Summary

Take in some of Mexico's most fantastic Day of the Dead celebrations on this adventure. You'll start at Teotihuacán, the Mesoamerican archaeological complex packed with mesmerising ruins and impressive temples. You’ll be swept up and away for a hot air balloon ride over the remains of this ancient city, for incredible panoramic views of sunrise over the pyramids and far beyond. It’s the perfect way to get a feel for Mexico’s spiritual history before starting your Día de los Muertos celebrations. 

Next its time to head for Atlixco, where stunning Day of the Dead celebrations take the form of intricate floral carpets, before journeying to the mysterious island of Janitzio, seeing fishermen in candlelit boats performing traditional dances with their nets. You'll witness the colourful ofrendas laid out by families; traditional offerings laid out by families on the graves of their ancestors. The following day it’s time to party among the costume-wearing crowds of Mexico City, learning more about the culture from your private guide. Top off this truly Awesome Experience with a boat trip through the mysterious Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, to see a spectacular, neon-infused show featuring fireworks, costumed dancers and plenty of history, which is only put on once a year.


Please note: Mexico’s Day of the Dead is an annual holiday, therefore this experience is only bookable to start on 28th October 2018. 


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £450 per person and take approximately 12 hours outbound, 10 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times.

Experience start point: Mexico City (MEX). Arrive by 8pm on 28th October 2018.

End point: Mexico City (MEX). Depart any time.


All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

Mexico

Day One: Bienvenido a Mexico

On arrival at Mexico City International, you’ll be whisked away to your hotel near the ancient ruins of Teotihuacán, a mysterious 6th-century city that predates the Aztecs. Check in to Villas Arqueologicas Teotihuacán, ready to start your next day at the site.

Overnight at Villas Arqueológicas Teotihuacán in San Juan Teotihuacán

Meals included: None

Teotihuacan


Day Two: High in the Sky

We’ve decided that the best way to garner the sheer awesomeness of Teotihuacán (which means ‘place where men become gods’) is on an early morning flight in a hot air balloon. You’ll hop aboard at 7am, for unbeatable views of its empty temples and pyramids, washed down with an optional glass of sparkling wine. Upon landing, you’ll enjoy breakfast overlooking this ancient city, before exploring by foot. Next, you’ll make for Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage city filled with parks, fountains and fantastic buildings, as well as restaurants vending local classics, such as mole poblano (an ancient sauce made with chilli and chocolate). After hotel check-in, you’ll be able to taste regional delights during a restaurant lunch. Then it’s a short drive to Atlixco, a town where a famed flower industry has a profound influence on the Day of the Dead celebrations: during the festivities, the paths of its central square are carpeted with murals made entirely of flowers. You’ll see them from a special walkway above the blooms, and pass numerous flower-festooned altars around the city. You’ll also get to watch traditional dances from the Puebla region, complete with the quetzal bird and bird men who were once sacred to the Mayans and Aztecs, before returning to Puebla for the night.

Overnight at NH Puebla in Puebla

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Hot Air Balloon


Day Three: Walk back through time

Start the day exploring the cobbled squares and bright facades of beautiful Puebla with your private guide. Then make the short journey to Cholula, the oldest continually-occupied city in America. Its Great Pyramid (four times larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza and started around 300BC) is now blanketed by foliage and topped with a colonial cathedral, but you’ll have the chance to explore it through more than five miles of criss-crossing tunnels. Afterwards, you’ll head back to Mexico City to check-in to your hotel, before dinner on the terrace of the Balcón del Zócalo restaurant, which has incredible views over the centro historico and vends modern Mexican cuisine.

Overnight in at Hotel Zocalo Central in Mexico City 

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Puebla


Day Four: Chocolate and Sugar Skulls

Spend the morning on a private exploration of Mexico City’s most famous monuments, including the largest cathedral in the Americas, the Catedral Metropolitana, and the Palacio Nacional with its murals by the artist Diego Rivera. Then try Mexico’s most celebrated crop – cocoa – on a chocolate tasting with the country’s master chocolatier, the internationally-renowned José Ramón Castillo. Castillo takes inspiration from the Mayans, who discovered cocoa back in 900AD, as well as the Aztecs, who used it for drinks, tax – and even suncream. There’s time to walk off the sugar rush as you wander the atmospheric Panteón San Fernando, where many famous Mexicans, including Benito Juarez, are buried. Come nightfall, the streets begin to fill with children and teenagers dressed up for Day of the Dead. Soak up the atmosphere, on the way to a performance by the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, a famous troupe who bring dances from all over the country together in one incredible show.

Overnight in at Hotel Zocalo Central in Mexico City 

Meals included: Breakfast

Metropolitan Cathedral


Day Five: Day of the Dead

After breakfast, you’ll make for the beautiful, pink-stoned city of Morelia. Your guide will show you around, then there’s time to relax before you set off on the drive to Pátzcuaro and Mexico’s most famous Day of the Dead celebrations. Once there, you’ll journey by boat to the magical island of Janitzio, where the festivities last into the night. Here, the holiday’s colourful customs have been carefully preserved: watch fishermen set out onto the water in boats lit by candles, to perform a traditional dance with their nets; see the cemetery, heady with incense and flowers and busy with graves swathed in sugar-skulls and thousands of vibrant yellow marigolds. You’ll notice that this is a happy occasion, as the living pay their respects to their lost loved ones with a huge celebration of life. After an unforgettable evening, you’ll journey back to your hotel in Morelia.

Overnight at Hotel de la Soledad in Morelia

Meals included: Breakfast; pack dinner

DOTD


Day Six: Shows and Spectacles 

Leave Morelia after breakfast to spend the final afternoon of your adventure in Mexico City. After some time at your hotel, you’ll head out to the the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) for its Megaofrendas Festival. Every year, faculties are given a theme and asked to create their own Día de los Muertos ofrendas (altars) as part of a university-wide competition. See the results for yourself, then it’s off to the mystical canals of the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco (just outside the city), for a very special theatrical performance. The story of La Llorona references Mexico’s legends and history and has been performed annually on this night for more than 20 years, This electrifying spectacle of music, light and dance on the canal’s eerie moonlit waters makes the perfect finale to our Day of the Dead experience.

Overnight in at Hotel Zocalo Central in Mexico City 

Meals included: Breakfast; pack dinner

DOTD 2


Day Seven: Saying Goodbye

After check-out, you’ll have a private transfer to Mexico City Airport for your return flight home.

Meals included: Breakfast


Overall meals included: 6 Breakfasts; 1 lunch; 3 dinners


Accommodation

Your hotel option for this experience is:

Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback.

Please note that the actual hotel selection will be driven by availability at time of booking.


What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise
  • Hot air balloon flight over Teotihuacán pyramids with glass of sparkling wine
  • Tickets to La Llorona theatre performance and the Ballet Folklorico performance

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from the start/end point of our experiences
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here

Children: They must be aged 8 or older for the hot air balloon flight over the Teotihuacan pyramids.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £450 per person and take approximately 12 hours outbound, 10 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

Experience start point: Mexico City (MEX). Arrive by 8pm on 28th October 2018.

End point: Mexico City (MEX). Depart any time.

All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

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