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Hanal Pixan: Day of the Dead in the Yucatan

from £800 pp based on two people sharing

Mexico, Yucatan

5 days

Join a group of 6-12 people

Hanal Pixan: Day of the Dead in the Yucatan

What You'll Do

Experience Day of the Dead celebrations with an immersive mix of culture, nature and food.

Operates October 30th, 2021 & October 30th, 2022

Hanal Pixan, roughly translated as “Food of the Souls”, is the Day of the Dead celebration in Yucatan. 

Take this Day of the Dead tour for an immersive mix of culture, nature, and food: the Hanal Pixan tour is designed to provide an experience that explores the different facets of this celebration – how did the Mayan people celebrate Day of the Dead? How is Hanal Pixan celebrated today? What food is typically eaten during Day of the Dead celebrations? 

Learn about the connection between the Mayan people and the Hanal Pixan celebrations by visiting archaeological sites, small towns, cenotes, haciendas and participating in local Day of the Dead Celebrations.

 

This well rounded tour includes visits to cemeteries in two small towns; Day of the Dead celebrations in Merida; a cooking class; colonial cities; archaeological sites; cenote diving and haciendas.

Experience
Highlights

Witness and take part in Day of the Dead celebrations in three different locations

Learn how to cook “pib”, a special kind of tamal prepared in Yucatan for Day of the Dead celebrations

Explore three different cenotes

Enjoy “sunrise” entry at Chichen Itza

Your Local Host:

Alex and Team

Alex and his team take you to see the less visited, more authentic side of the country. Even if you’re staying in a big resort area, we have designed our tours to focus on unique experiences.

Wander through cobblestone streets, watch craftspeople in their workshops (or participate in craft making!), taste the food, and learn how to make it. Visit the natural wonders of Mexico, and marvel with our rich culture.

Having worked in tourism in Mexico for 50+ years, we have curated our experiences to show you only what we love the most.

Experience Itinerary

Welcome to the Colonial City of Valladolid

Meet at our pickup location in Cancun to depart towards the colonial city of Valladolid, where we will have a first encounter with traditional food from the Yucatan peninsula and learn about the city: a once thriving hub of commerce and agriculture and a key player in interactions between the Maya and the Spanish. After a tour of the city, we will continue towards Chichen Itza, where we will spend the night in a hotel just outside the archaeological site.

Accommodation

Hotel Okaan

Chichen Itza, Cooking Classes and Cemetery

Today we get up early and grab a coffee or tea to-go to enjoy early access to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza before the crowds arrive. We will visit the main areas in the site, as well as the sacred cenote, where we will learn about the connection between this world and the world beyond, along with the Mayan beliefs surrounding death. We will then head back to the hotel for a full breakfast, followed by a cooking class where we will learn about making how to make the pib, a special tamal made in Yucatan especially for Day of the Dead celebrations. We will then continue driving inland towards Merida, the White City. On the way, we will stop to visit the altars at a small town’s colorful cemetery and learn more about the Day of the Dead tradition.

Accommodation 

Casa del Balam

Cenotes and Day of the Dead Celebrations

Nearby Merida we can find a very interesting arrangement of cenotes, natural sinkholes considered sacred by the Maya. We will visit three different ones and learn about the different kinds of cenotes, their connection to the Mayan underworld and their relevance for religious purposes. We can of course dive into them. We will then head back to Merida, where we will witness the Day of the Dead procession, the peak of the festivities in Merida; full of colour, music, and food. The procession ends at the main square, where we can participate in the celebrations and admire the altars displayed.

Accommodation 

Casa del Balam

Hacienda, cemetery and caves

Our journey today takes us south to visit another aspect of bygone life in the Yucatan peninsula: haciendas. The impressive Yaxcopoil Hacienda will provide us with an interesting look into the important role haciendas played as cultural, social, and economic hubs. We will then continue the journey towards Uxmal, famous among all archaeological sites as a great example of the Mayan architecture. After lunch, we will visit the traditional cemetery in a small town, where every November 2nd people visit the graves of their loved ones and bring them offerings.

Accommodation 

Casa del Balam

Our journey ends

We will head back to Cancun at the arranged time.

Location Information

This tour starts and ends in Cancun.

Getting there

Please note that prices for the holidays do not include flights. We recommend using www.skyscanner.net to check flights.

Nearest airport:
Cancun International Airport

Located in the eastern-most part of Mexico, the Yucatan peninsula holds a wealth of places to visit: the resort destinations of Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen; the less visited beaches of Progreso, El Cuyo and Sisal; countless cenotes (natural sinkholes) and caves; a dense jungle perfect for hiking and bird watching; a myriad of little towns where the descendants of the Mayan people still speak their native language, and carry on with their traditions; and of course, the dozens of archaeological sites left behind by the Mayas.

 

  • Extended Traveller insurance, valid for the entirety of the tour (5 days)
  • 4 overnights in well located, locally rated 4* hotels
  • 4 breakfasts at the hotels, including taxes and service charges
  • 2 lunches at local restaurants including taxes and service charges
  • Entrance fees according to described itinerary
  • Tips for porters and maids at hotels
  • Private vehicle for the group with A/C (highway fees, parking fees and driver expenses included)
  • Licensed English-speaking guide
  • Small group tour (max 12 guests)

FAQs

The active level of this tour is easy.

Guests are recommended to bring light, comfortable clothes; walking shoes; sunblock; insect repellent; hat; sunglasses; bathing suits; a small backpack for day excursions.

Day of the Dead celebrations are very important for Mexicans, and we will make visits to cemeteries when people are paying respect to the Dead; please proceed with respect and ask permission to take photos or record videos, especially in the smaller communities or cemeteries.

People with claustrophobia are recommended to refrain from going into cenotes.

Sunrise entry to Chichen Itza is subject to it being reinstated by the time the tour happens (currently not available due to covid).