One of Mexico’s most important —and well attended— religious festivals is Day of the Dead, celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November each year.
Celebrating the continuity of life
Far from being a morbid event, Day of the Dead emphasizes remembrance of past lives and celebration of the continuity of life.
Day of the Dead is one of the most passionately celebrated events throughout Mexico, and especially so in smaller provincial towns and cities, although the places to be on Day of the Dead are the colonial town of Pátzcuaro (near Morelia) and Oaxaca City.
Plan your accommodations in advance
Hotels in Pátzcuaro tend to book-up during the summer for this event (some charismatic hotels are booked a year or more in advance), but late availability can sometimes be sought.
Hotel availability in Oaxaca is generally easier to come by (in part because there are more hotel rooms in Oaxaca), although most of the centrally-located hotels will book up early, leaving late-bookers to choose from the remaining rooms further outside of the historic center, or in nearby towns.
Alternative accommodations to hotels, offered by shared rentals in people’s homes, has added to the choice and supply of accommodations in Pátzcuaro as well as Oaxaca, which is especially useful for popular dates like Day of the Dead, although you can expect rates to be higher you might have to stay in a nearby town or village and travel in to the center of Pátzcuaro or Oaxaca for the events.
Planning your transportation
We recommend you plan your transportation options as flights and roads to Pátzcuaro get busy around dates leading up to and soon after Day of the Dead.
Getting to Pátzcuaro for Day of the Dead
The ancient highland town of Pátzcuaro is situated in the state of Michoacán, in the mountains west of Mexico City.
By air: If you’re planning to visit Pátzcuaro, the city of Morelia has an international airport with flights from Mexico City and various cities in the US. Check FlightConnections for current routes. The airport is about an hour’s drive by road from Pátzcuaro.
By bus: Morelia and Pátzcuaro can also be reached by luxury bus from Mexico City; the bus journey time is 5-6 hours. Buses to Morelia depart from the capital’s eastern and northern bus terminals.
Driving: If you’re driving to Pátzcuaro, tolled highways 15D and 14D will take about 4-4.5 hours to drive from Mexico City, depending on traffic.
Getting to Oaxaca City for Day of the Dead
The capital city of Oaxaca is situated in southern Mexico, about 285 miles south of Mexico City.
By air: Oaxaca City is served by an international airport with flights from Mexico City and various cities in the US. Check FlightConnections for current routes. The airport is about a 30 minute drive by road from the center of Oaxaca City.
By Bus: Oaxaca City can reached by luxury bus from Mexico City; the bus journey time is 5-6 hours. Buses to Oaxaca City depart from the capital’s western and southern bus terminals.
Driving: If you’re driving to Oaxaca City, tolled highways 150D and 135D will take about 4-4.5 hours to drive from Mexico City, depending on traffic.
Learn more about Day of the Dead in Mexico
We publish guides and articles to help you discover more about Day of the Dead in Mexico, as well as Pátzcuro and Oaxaca City.
- Articles to discover Day of the Dead in Mexico
- Celebrating life on Day of the Dead
- Meet the elegant Catrinas
- Altars and offerings for Day of the Dead
- Delicious bread and hot chocolate traditions
- The iconic flower synonymous with Day of the Dead
- Children’s Calaverita traditions
- Guides to Pátzcuaro and Oaxaca City
Experience Day of the Dead with Mexperience
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