Day of the Dead in Michoacán

Explore Morelia, Patzcuaro, and craft villages of the Purepecha people
Overview

overview

Join a very small group for an unusual visit to Mexico's state of Michoacán (MEECH-wa-cahn). Begin in colonial Morelia, continue to the villages of the Meseta Purepecha, and enjoy a finale on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro, where Day of the Dead traditions are believed to be more dazzling, more beautiful, more colorful, and more elaborate than anywhere else in Mexico. Michoacán is similar in many ways to Oaxaca; they both offer breathtaking vistas, large indigenous populations, and strong arts and crafts traditions. Michoacán, however, has fewer tourists and you'll find an innocence, simplicity, and lack of pretension here.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: arrive morelia
    Morelia

    Arrive in Morelia on a direct flight. You'll be greeted and transferred to your lovely, centrally-located suite-hotel. Enjoy Mexican hot chocolate or other refreshments of your choosing, local-style, at the open-air portales located across from the Cathedral. This is a perfect setting for receiving your orientation to Michoacán.

    Meals
    Evening Snack
    Lodging
    Hotel La Soledad (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: explore morelia
    Sites of Morelia

    Your Michoacán guide will lead you on on a walking tour of Morelia, the capital of the state, where traditions in music, arts, and higher education run deep. The city is a colonial architectural gem, with stone streets and plazas, and one exquisite building after another designed around central courtyards and gardens. On the walls of the inner courtyard of the Government Palace, larger-than-life paintings by the famous muralist, Alfredo Zalce, tell a vibrant story of the people of Michoacán. You'll also visit the Cathedral, Temple of the Roses, the former Aqueduct, and the outstanding House of “Artesanias." A special evening will begin with a viewing of the illuminated cathedral, followed by an impressive welcome dinner at one of Morelia’s top-rated restaurants.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hotel La Soledad (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: patzcuaro
    Patzcuaro flower market

    In the morning, transfer to Patzcuaro. En route, you will pay a visit to the local farmers who have been cultivating their marigold fields since May for the Day of the Dead celebrations. In this lakeside community, you can smell the lake air and the rich earth that combine to produce a bountiful harvest of marigolds. You'll be invited to wander through the unending golden fields—an otherworldly experience!

    When you arrive in Patzcuaro itself, you'll be welcomed into your cozy B & B. Settle in for a three-night stay. The location could not possibly be better for imbibing the spirit of Day of the Dead. The flower market, a colorful hub of activity day and night leading up to the holiday, is right outside your front door. On a guided walking tour of Patzcuaro, visit the basilica, large and small town squares, and the House of Eleven Patios. The markets will be overflowing with Day of the Dead goodies, including food miniatures that locals buy for their family altars, and the dramatic, whimsical "Catrina" dolls—skeletons made of ceramic or wood and dressed in the highest of fashion. Enjoy a special dinner overlooking Patzcuaro.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    La Casita de Rosi (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: tzintzuntzan ruins
    Tzintzuntzan ruins

    After breakfast, you will travel to the lakeside ruins of the pre-Hispanic Purepecha empire in Tzintzuntzan. Little is known about the early Purepecha people, referred to as Tarascans by the Spanish, but it is believed that they are descendants of peoples from northwestern Mexico, known as the Chichimecas.

    After visiting the present day village and artisans of Tzintzuntzan, you'll travel to the community of Santa Fe de la Laguna to learn about the work of Vasco de Quiroga with the Purepecha communities. We will enjoy a lunch of regional cuisine prepared by a local traditional cook. The rest of the evening is at your leisure, before your overnight at the B&B.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    La Casita de Rosi (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: janitzio
    Gravesite vigil

    Rising before dawn, head out for an early morning boat journey across Lake Patzcuaro to the island community of Janitzio. Travel early in order to witness the Vigil of the Little Angels, where the souls of children who have died are visited. Following the return boat journey, the afternoon is free for you to stroll and shop in Patzcuaro, and to rest and relax for your nighttime departure to witness the all-night gravesite vigils that take place in the communities surrounding Lake Patzcuaro. Here, you will undoubtedly further your understanding of the Mexican views about life and death.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    La Casita de Rosi (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: santa clara del cobre
    Fields of marigolds

    This morning you will take a wonderful guided lakeside drive and tour to visit the artisan village of Santa Clara del Cobre, where the ancient tradition of hammered copper thrives to this day. In addittion to viewing copper artisians create their craft, we will visit one more gravesite during the day to see how this village celebrates with food and music! 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    La Casita de Rosi (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: back to morelia

    Today we say goodbye to Patzcuaro, but make a few stops on our way back to Morelia to visit regional churches. Then, we return to a place we have grown to love, Morelia,  for our final day to further explore the museums, galleries, shops, Music Conservatory and cafés of this colonial city. Later that night, we'll enjoy a Farewell Dinner. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hotel La Soledad (or similar)
  • Day 8: onward

    Say goodbye to Mexico. After breakfast, you will be transfered to the airport for your onward flight home.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$2,995
2 person rate: $3475 4 person rate: $3075 per person
Single Supplement:
$425
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Oct 28-Nov 4, 2015
Or Privately on Request
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Delightful hotels
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking
Group Size:
6-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
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activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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