Exploring Oaxaca's Day of the Dead - 2023 – Heart of Travel

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Sneak Peek Trip Details

Day 1

Day 1

¡Bienvenidos a Oaxaca! Upon arrival at the airport, one of your eager tour leaders will be waiting at the airport to escort you to Casa de Sierra Azul, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the city. Following a quick ride through the colorful downtown sector, you’ll arrive at a stunning hotel filled with bougainvillea-adorned colonial architecture. After taking some time to settle in, we’ll meet up for a short stroll through the neighborhood, ending with a delicious welcome dinner at Criollo Restaurant. Criollo compliments Mexico’s culinary legacy with innovation and creativity, with regional ingredients and artisanal finesse that create a top-tier experience. Amidst coastal ceviches and rich moles, you’ll get to know your tour leaders and the others in the group as you raise a glass to the week of discovery to come.

Day 2

Day 2

On Day 2, the Oaxacan adventure continues! After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we head out of the city center for a guided tour of Monte Albán, a massive pre-Columbian archaeological site that dates back to 500 BC. Spend a few hours exploring the ancient ruins before heading to a firewood-cooked lunch at Tierra Mágica. After filling up on 100% Oaxaca cuisine made with lots of love, we’ll attend an Alebrijes-making workshop. These vibrant creations hold a significant place in Día de Muertos festivities, embodying Mexico's mystical spirit. Craft your personal magical animal masterpiece, connecting with tradition through vivid colors and imaginative forms. On our way back to town, we’ll stop to visit a well-known local artisan who makes black pottery, an iconic regional style, and receive a special surprise! After a full day, enjoy a free evening in Oaxaca to rest or explore at your own pace.

Day 3

Day 3

Day 3 begins with a trip to Capulalpam de Méndez, a small village tucked away in the mountains of Oaxaca. Immerse yourself in its charm as we wander cobblestone streets and meet friendly locals, learning about the indigenous traditions they still practice today. The journey continues with a stop in historic San Pablo Guelatao, the birthplace of Mexico’s first indigenous president, Benito Juárez. We then head to our friend Rogelio’s wood shop to discover the art of the molinillo, a traditional wooden whisk used by skilled chocolatiers to create the smoothest, most delicious hot chocolate. We’ll unveil traditional chocolate-making secrets and savor a home-cooked feast in the mountainside haven. With satisfied taste buds, we head out on a cultural stroll through the town of Capulálpam de Méndez, soaking in colonial architecture and indigenous heritage. Guided by Gabriel and local leaders, discover the town's healing traditions, herbal practices, and temazcal baths at the revered Center for Traditional Medicine. The center is led by cooperative midwives and, while there, you can indulge in massages, “limpias”, temazcal, cupping, and herbal baths. After an incredible day, we’ll enjoy a free evening in Oaxaca to rest or explore at your leisure.

Day 4

Day 4

The day kicks off with a captivating walking tour of the city, led by our charismatic local guide, Gabriel. This immersive stroll unveils stories of the city’s past and insight into how they are strung together to create the beautiful and fascinating tapestry that is present-day Oaxaca. In addition to each area’s historical significance, Gabriel shares his insider knowledge of the growing small business sector as he introduces us to his favorite local artisans, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs. Take some time to rest or continue exploring independently during our designated siesta. Meet up for a family-style dinner while you take time to craft your very own flower crown alongside local artisans and build our own altar for Día de Muertos. We then head out for a cemetery visit, where we’ll respectfully observe the tradition of this uniquely Mexican holiday and participate when invited.
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Oaxaca, Mexico

4 spots left!

$2,995

Deposit: $750
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What's Included

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  • 7 nights accommodation: Private room + bathroom inside 3-4 star boutique hotels.
  • 16 meals: Includes one beverage at each meal.
  • In-country transport: Ground, air, water as indicated on the itinerary.
  • Entrance + guide fees: For all activities included on the itinerary.
  • 24/7 access + support: Provided by bilingual Heart of Travel Tour Leader.
  • Whatsapp Concierge Line: 24/7 support from our in-office team.

Frequently Asked Questions

& our Heart-felt Answers

  • What do we mean by “Responsible Travel”?

    We define a responsible traveler as someone who takes the time to develop a basic understanding of the culture, history, language, and socio-political climate of the host country through pre-trip research and educational activities that engage them with the local community during their time in that country. In addition, the Responsible Traveler seeks to support small business development by shopping at small, locally owned businesses and supporting independent artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs through meet and greets, as well as interactive workshops, classes, and demonstrations. Finally, a Responsible Traveler strives to minimize the negative impact of their visit on the environment and always considers animal welfare when planning their itinerary.

  • What is the group size on a Heart of Travel tour? 

    Heart of Travel's small group tours are limited to between 8 and 12 people, depending on the trip. In the case of Spanish Immersion trips, we will take a maximum of 8 students/travelers. For most other Heart of Travel trips, we limit the number of students to 10, with the exception of trips during major holidays such as New Year's Eve or Día de Muertos. 

    *In the event that there is 1 space left on a trip and two people want to travel together, we may allow an 11th or 13th person on some trips.

  • Who will be my tour leader? 

    Once a trip becomes available for registration, a Heart of Travel Tour Leader will be tentatively assigned to the trip. You can find this information on the detailed itinerary available on Travefy.com or the Trip Plans mobile app. However, as our 2024 calendar continues to fill, we may need to make adjustments to the Tour Leader schedule, so Tour Leader assignments more than 4-months out from the trip’s start date are subject to change. All of our Tour Leaders are friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced and share Heart of Travel's passion for transformative travel, small business development, and meaningful exchange. They are fully bilingual, first aid certified, and passionate about education, cultural immersion, and small business development in Latin America. Each of our Tour Leaders offers a unique personality, perspective, and passion to share with you during the trip. Whether it's Pam with her sommelier and mixology knowledge, Eimy's trekking experience and passion for coffee, Chiva's love of marine life and environmental conservation, or Allie’s photography skills and interest in human rights, we know you'll have a wonderful trip with each of these incredible women as your Tour Leader!

  • What does double occupancy mean?

    Double occupancy spots are for people traveling with a companion OR for someone traveling solo who is open to being paired with another solo traveler of the same gender to share a room. When you sign up for a double occupancy spot, please indicate if you are traveling with someone and if so, who, and how many beds are needed in the room (1 or 2). In the event, there is an uneven number of double occupancy sign-ups, a trip participant may end up rooming with a Tour Leader for parts of the trip or will be given the option to upgrade to a single supplement if desired.

  • What does single occupancy mean?

    Single occupancy spots are for travelers who want their own room and bathroom. This applies to solo travelers who are not traveling with a roommate and do not wish to be paired with another trip participant. To secure a single occupancy spot, please select the "single supplement add-on" at the time of registration. If you have any special requests for your room please let us know. 

  • How does roommate assignment work?

    If you are traveling with your partner, please let us know so we can arrange a double room with 1 bed, typically a queen or king. 

    If you are traveling with a friend, please let us know so we can room you two together in a room with 2 beds, typically 2 full beds, however, in some destinations it could be two twins. 

    If you are traveling alone but would like to be paired with another solo traveler of the same gender, please provide us with any useful information about what you’d be looking for (or not) in a roommate, as well as anything we should know about you. Light sleeper? Early riser? Night owl? Do you snore? Are you sensitive to scents and fragrances? Do you have any allergies to take into consideration? The more information we have the easier it will be for us to match you with the ideal roomie to share this exciting adventure with! 

  • What are "additional nights"?

    Oftentimes travelers desire to add on an extra night of accommodation at the beginning or end of the trip. You can book additional nights through Heart of Travel by adding them to your cart at the time of registration. Likewise, they can be added later if you are unsure of your plans at the time of enrollment. Note the price is per room, not per person.

  • Will Heart of Travel help me book my international airfare?

    Heart of Travel does not book international airfare for trip participants nor are we responsible for changes or delays in your reservation or flight. However, we will be more than happy to research and provide information on suggested flights. Simply provide us with the airport code for any airports that work for you to fly in/out of and we will be glad to take a look! 

  • I have special dietary requirements – will they be catered to?

    Heart of Travel is happy to accommodate all dietary restrictions and preferences. However, in certain destinations (mostly remote rural areas or small villages) specialty options may be limited. Therefore,  while we will always find a way to accommodate you, some meals may feel a little repetitive. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements or allergies and we'll pass the information along to your Tour Leader, as well as all hotels and third-party providers. It is also a good idea to bring a card with your dietary requirements written in the local language in case you find yourself eating away from the group without the Tour Leader available to assist you.

  • What will the food be like on my trip?

    Food is undeniably one of the most thrilling aspects of traveling. While you may come across some familiar dishes, the true excitement lies in encountering new, intriguing, and sometimes bizarre culinary creations from around the world. We view trying this array of new foods as a sensory adventure. When you embark on any of our Heart of Travel trips, you can expect to immerse yourself in the local cuisine in all its diverse forms. From enjoying meals at cozy local eateries known as "comedores" to indulging in elaborate multi-course feasts crafted by up-and-coming young chefs who expertly blend traditional flavors with modern techniques, food plays a central role in our travel experiences. It serves as a tangible expression of a country's culture and soul. Alongside the native delicacies of the host country, our trips also include a few opportunities to dine at restaurants that offer an international menu and cater to a variety of tastes.

  • Can I drink the tap water in the countries I visit?

    Drinking tap water isn't recommended in most of the countries we operate in but is typically fine for brushing your teeth and taking a shower. While it can be challenging, we encourage you to avoid buying plastic water bottles during your trip and instead, bring a reusable water bottle. Your Tour Leader will indicate where you can refill your bottle with safe drinking water at the hotel and will also have purified water available in the van, so if you need a refill just ask! Likewise, you can look into getting a water bottle with a built-in filtration system, such as LifeStraw.

    *In the event of Cuba, sadly the use of single-use plastic water bottles is more difficult to avoid. We will do our best to provide free refills with safe drinking water during all Cuba trips, however, if it’s not available we will provide you with individual bottles and keep you hydrated for the entire trip!

  • Do I need traveler’s insurance?

    While Heart of Travel does not require travelers to purchase insurance, we highly recommend that they do. Those who choose to purchase traveler’s insurance are responsible for arranging this on their own, though we recommend booking with Insured Nomads. Regardless, we encourage you to look for a policy that covers medical expenses, injury, death, rescue, repatriation, cancellation, and curtailment. Likewise, if you are nervous about a last-minute cancellation due to a global pandemic, a personal health issue, or any other reason then we highly recommend looking into a “Cancel for no reason” policy. We recommend you take out your insurance at the time of booking and double-check the small print to ensure it covers all activities you are involved in. 

  • What types of vaccinations or medications will I need?

    In general, US passport holders visiting most Latin American countries do not need additional vaccinations, unless they have recently traveled to a high-risk country. However, we highly recommend referring to the Heart of Travel Welcome Packet specific to your destination country for the most up-to-date information. 

    LIkewise, it is always prudent to schedule an appointment with your general practitioner or a travel nurse clinic prior to your trip. They can provide personalized advice regarding any necessary precautions, such as obtaining a typhoid-fever shot, taking anti-malaria pills, or medication to mitigate altitude sickness. Your health and safety are our utmost priority, so seeking professional guidance ensures a worry-free journey.