Hanal Pixan: Day of the Dead in the Yucatan – 5 days

From £1255 pp

Mexico, Yucatan

5 days

Join a Group of 6-12 People

Hanal Pixan: Day of the Dead in the Yucatan – 5 days

From £1255 pp

What You'll Do

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

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

Operates October 30th, 2022 & 2023

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: this Hanal Pixan tour is designed to provide an experience that explores the different facets of this celebration. This week will explore how the Mayan people celebrated the Day of the Dead, how Hanal Pixan celebrated today, and the food that is typically eaten during Day of the Dead celebrations.

You will 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 the towns of Coba and Valladolid, the Day of the Dead celebrations in Merida, a cooking class, exploring colonial cities and archaeological sites, cenote diving and visiting haciendas.


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

Learn how to cook 'pib', a special kind of tamale prepared in Yucatan for Day of the Dead celebrations.

Explore three different stunning cenotes.

Enjoy one of the wonders of the world - 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

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 the delicious 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.


Tonight you will stay at the beautiful Hotel Okaan.


Lunch included.

Chichen Itza, Cooking Classes and Cemetery

Today we’ll have an early morning; first we’ll grab a coffee or tea on the go, and 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. This will be followed by a cooking class in the Mayan community where we will learn about making ‘pib’, a special tamale 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 tonight to be provided at Villa Mercedes, with beautiful architecture and an outdoor pool. Its spacious, renovated rooms offer comfortable relaxation in the heart of Merida.

Breakfast included.

Outdoor Swimming Pool

Cenotes and Day of the Dead Celebrations

Nearby Merida there are very interesting arrangement of cenotes, natural sinkholes considered sacred by the Mayans. 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 – then, we’ll be able to 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 display.


Villa Mercedes


Breakfast and lunch are included today.

Hotel Exterior

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 you with an interesting look into the important role haciendas played as cultural, social, and economic hubs. You will then continue the journey to visit a cave system, another striking encounter with the Mayan underworld. After lunch (not included), you 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.


Villa Mercedes


Breakfast included.

King Bed With Terrace

City Tour of Merida and Farewell

As the Day of the Dead celebrations fade away, you will enjoy a morning city tour around the colonial city of Merida, and learn about its history, its relationship with the Mayan people and the Spanish colonizers, and marvel at its beautiful architecture. The tour includes a visit to the Regional History Museum. After lunch (not included), we will travel back to Cancun.


Breakfast included.


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 Traveler 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
  • Private vehicle for the group with A/C (highway fees, parking fees and driver expenses included)
  • Licensed English-speaking guide


The active level of this tour is moderate. The Calcehtok cave excursion on day 4 can get your clothes wet and/or muddy, and this is the part of the tour that pushes the active level of the tour to moderate – we recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes and a change of clothes.

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

This is a group tour departing from a designated gathering spot in Cancun. Accommodation in Cancun is not included, nor is transportation from your hotel or airport to meeting point.

The tour departs at noon on the first day of the tour. We strongly recommend arriving into Cancun at least one day before departure.

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, specially in the smaller communities or cemeteries.

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