Día de Los Muertos Celebrations 2018

In Cancún, Los Cabos, Play, Play, Play, Play, Playa del Carmen & Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, Stay, Stay, Stay, Stay by Suzanne Koch

A Latin American custom combining Aztec rituals and Catholicism, Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) was brought to the region by Spanish conquistadors as a way to celebrate the lives of the dead instead of mourning them. On Día de Los Muertos, the dead are awakened and take part in the parties to share the experiences with their loved ones. This is why calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls) are often portrayed in fancy clothes, enjoying life. Popular elements of the holiday includes candied sweets, parade masks, dolls and more.

Keep reading to check out the different ways many popular spots are celebrating the holiday (plus some Halloween parties too!) and where you can take part in the festivities.

Guests of Pueblo Bonito Resorts in Los Cabos and Mazatlan can enjoy a special Mexican buffet dinner on Nov. 2 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. of traditional Day of the Dead fare like pan de muerto, mole, pumpkin desserts and more. There will also be altar displays at La Nao (Sunset Beach), Mare Nostrum (Rosé), La Cordeliere (Emerald Bay) and Siempre (Pacifica). Guests can learn about the holiday and vote for their fave altar in the courtyard of the Sunset Beach chapel.

Celebrate Dia de Muertos at Úa Culinary Artisans at JW Los Cabos with a special buffet on Nov. 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be live music from 7 to 9 p.m. and an open margarita bar from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 for adults, $35 for teens and $15 for kids. 

Esperanza, an Auberge Resort is celebrating the afterlife on Nov. 2 from 6 to 10 p.m. at La Palapa. Enjoy family-style cuisine inspired by Mexican traditions along with live music, wine and more. Tickets are $79 for adults and $35 for kids 12 and under. 

Chileno Bay Resort invites you to experience El Día de Los Muertos with an art exhibition at La Plaza from 7 to 10 p.m. Then enjoy a six-course menu showcasing the eats of Comal’s chefs, resident mixologist and four guest chefs. Dinner is $90. 

From Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, Velas Resorts in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Riviera Maya will each create colorful altars for the dead. Velas Vallarta will feature one of the biggest Altar de Muerto in Marina Vallarta at 40 square feet. The resorts will also offer ofrendas, traditional recipes, tasting menus, special decor and more. Staff will be decked out as Catrinas and each resort will offer its own events and specials. 

Flora Farms will be hosting its 4th annual Day of the Dead Altar Competition that will benefit local charities, schools and animal shelters. Taking place Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the evening will also include a no-host bar, snacks, live music and entertainment in addition to the private party, viewing and altar unveiling. $25 entry donation. 

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort will host two days of festivities and vibrant Mexican traditions. From Nov.1-2, guests can enjoy a Catrina parade, Day of the Dead face painting, traditional Mexican food stands, an altar display, theatrical performances and cultural shows. 

Casa Calavera and OMNIA Dayclub are joining forces to throw a two-day celebration Nov. 1-2. On Nov. 1 starting at 8 p.m., Casa Calavera will have special altars dedicated to late celebs like Avicii, Anthony Bourdain, Joël Robuchon and Juan Gabriel. Staff will be dressed as La Calavera Catrinas and Executive Chef Alex Branch will design a special menu of authentic Mexican classics. There will also be bottomless margartias and palomas, unlimited beers and live mariachi performances. On Nov. 2 starting at 11:30 a.m., Hector will take over OMNIA for a Día de Los Muertos pool party which will deck out the dayclub in festive decor. 

Thompson Playa del Carmen is throwing an Angels & Devils party on Oct. 31 from 7 to 11 p.m., complete with a wine and food festival from international and Mexican star chefs. Let your sins entice you with unlimited wine, drinks and bites, while dancing to the music of Host DJ at the trendy rooftop terrace. Tickets are $95. 

The Resort at Pedregal is hosting an entire weekend of Day of the Dead festivities. A cocktail party will kick things off on Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. with live entertainment, drinks and Mariachis. Guests can enjoy an a la carte dinner on Nov. 2 with traditional Mercado de dulces, and live music from 6 to 11 p.m. at Don Manuel’s. To top it off, a cooking class at El Farallon and a spontaneous dinner at Su Cocina will take place Nov. 3. For more details, click here. 

Puerto Vallarta’s “Death is Alive” procession includes horses, mariachi bands, and more! Participants start their journey at the 5 de Diciembre cemetery. Then, they make their way down the cobblestone streets of El Centro to the Malecon and wind up at the main square. The Occidental Nuevo Vallarta is the perfect play to stay while enjoying the festivities.

Xcaret Park, steps away from the beautiful Occidental at Xcaret Destination, celebrates Day of the Dead as no other place in the Riviera Maya. Every year, the park hosts its four-day “Life & Death Festival.” Popular activities include theater, music, dance, food and face painting.

In Playa del Carmen, the Day of the Dead Festival is celebrated with a visit to the local city cemetery, a short distance from the adults-only Royal Hideaway Playacar. Pop in after dark to enjoy special cultural performances that explain the rituals and importance of Day of the Dead.

Every year, the city of Cancun holds its annual Day of the Dead festival celebration “Cena de Ánimas” (Dinner of Souls). Taking place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, it features altars, traditional food, artistic performances, handmade treats, and more. Even more, more than 450 artists participate in the festival. The daily parade starts at Avenues Chichén Itza and Tulum, ending in Parque Las Palapas. Located just a few minutes away from Downtown, the all-inclusive Occidental Tucancún offers guests comfort and affordable rates.

Head to San Jose del Cabo’s Art District to catch the vibrant colors of Dia de Los Muertos in altars, decorations and more. For a place to stay, consider nearby Barceló Grand Faro Los Cabos.

For the ultimate Halloween costume party, head to the The Carmen Hotel in Playa del Carmen where prizes will be awarded to the top 3. Taking place Oct. 31 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., first place winners will receive a roundtrip to Las Vegas, a catamaran tour for two with bottle included, two tickets to Kantun Chi Park and a bottle of Moët Chandon. No cover. RSVP to 984.803.2409

Club 01 in Playa del Carmen is hosting a Halloween party complete with music, a costume contest and partying. The free party is happening Oct. 31 from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

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