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. 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.
Hotel rooms in Pátzcuaro 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, especially if you’re prepared to stay nearby and travel in to Pátzcuaro for the events.
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.
Morelia has an international airport (with an onward 45-minute road trip to Pátzcuaro) and can also be reached by luxury bus from Mexico City (bus journey time ~4 hours). Oaxaca is also accessible by air or by luxury bus from Mexico City (bus journey time ~6.5 hours). Buses to Morelia depart from the capital’s eastern and northern bus terminals; buses to Oaxaca City depart from the capital’s western and southern bus terminals. Read our guides to Flights and Air Travel in Mexico and Traveling by Bus in Mexico, for more details about these transport options.
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