Life and death, reality and dreams, food and art: this is Day of the Dead – Día de los Muertos – a holiday that has been celebrated in many cultures for centuries. But if there’s one country that comes to mind when we think of the Day of the Dead, it’s Mexico. In this country, Day of the Dead festivities have been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. “The Day of the Dead celebration holds great significance in the life of Mexico’s indigenous communities,” UNESCO writes. “The fusion of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Catholic feasts brings together two universes, one marked by indigenous belief systems, the other by worldviews introduced by the Europeans in the sixteenth century.” In other words, Day of the Dead is Mexico at its best.
Despite its name, the holiday is a celebration of life not death. And as a result, it’s one of the most fun times of the year. Día de los Muertos offers an opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of departed loved ones with joy. Barceló Hotel Group’s sophisticated all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, including Royal Hideaway Playacar, Allegro Cozumel, Occidental at Xcaret Destination, Occidental Tucancún and Barceló Maya Grand Resort (comprised of Barceló Maya Beach, Barceló Maya Caribe, Barceló Maya Colonial, Barceló Maya Tropical, and the all-suite, AAA Four-Diamond Barceló Maya Palace), are perfectly placed throughout the Yucatan Peninsula to experience Día de los Muertos in an authentic and enjoyable fashion. See below for some of your best Day of the Dead options.
When is Día de los Muertos? Day of the Dead takes places officially on November 2 every year. But one Día is not enough! Día de los Muertos celebrations are held for several days over October 31-November 2. This is a major event in Mexico and everyone loves to celebrate.
Día de los Muertos Celebrations in Cozumel
The town of Cozumel, where the all-inclusive Allegro Cozumel is located, honors the deceased during Day of the Dead by creating elaborate altars. Thes called ofrendas – decorated with colorful folk art, candy skulls, marigolds and candles. Good to know: to Cozumel locals, the holiday is known as Hanal Pixán, a term that means “food for the souls” in the Mayan language. A fun and welcoming Hanal Pixán festival takes place in Benito Juarez Park where you can enjoy traditional handmade treats such as tamales and sweet bread – pan de muerto.
- Great offer: Discover some of the very best Cozumel all inclusive offers and packages that will get you to the destination for less. Learn more.
Festival of Life and Death Traditions at Occidental at Xcaret Destination
In the Xcaret Eco Park, a short distance from the all-inclusive Occidental at Xcaret Destination, experience the Festival of Life and Death Traditions, featuring the Hanal Pixán ritual, Mayan cuisine of the region, workshops, Día de los Muertos makeup, crafts, gifts and altars, visual arts exhibitions, theater, dance and gala concerts. It’s an incredible way to dive into the past, present and future of Dia de los Muertos. Don’t miss your chance to make your own Día de los Muertos skull!
- Riviera Maya travel tip: Xcaret Eco Park is a year-round must-visit attraction. During a visit, you’ll have the opportunity to swim in underground rivers, explore a teeming jungle, and descend into mysterious caves. You’ll walk amidst hundreds of fluttering, colorful creatures in the Butterfly Pavilion, and get up-close-and-personal with deer, jaguar and exotic birds. You’ll learn about Mayan culture during traditional ceremonies that bring the past to life. Learn more about
Cancún’s Festival del Día de Muertos
Each year, the city of Cancún – home of the all-inclusive Occidental Tucancún – hosts the Festival del Día de los Muertos “Cena de Ánimas” (Day of the Dead Festival, Dinner of Souls) October 31 through November 2. More than 450 artists participate in 16 programs that take place throughout the downtown area, creating an unmatched atmosphere.
Day of the Dead at Barceló Maya Grand Resort and Royal Hideaway Playa del Carmen
The all-inclusive Barceló Maya Grand Resort is offering a great way to enjoy Día de los Muertos without even leaving the property. Guests at the resort will have the opportunity to participate in the festivities wearing cempasuchil (a type of marigold flower native to Mexico) and enjoying such classic cuisine as “Death bread,” baked in the symbolic shape of the skull. You don’t want to miss the annual Playa del Carmen Day of the Dead Parade, which takes place on the famous Fifth Avenue (La Quinta Avenida) every year. Thousands come out for this colorful annual revel, which features incredible face-painting, intricate floats with dazzling designs, and plenty of food and drink. You may have seen the Pixar blockbuster film Coco? This is that movie come to life.
Day of the Dead is a fantastic time to visit Mexico. Start planning your Día de los Muertos adventure now.