Dia de Los Muertos Celebrations

In Cancún, Los Cabos, 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.

Join Thompson Beach House Playa del Carmen at C-Grill on November 1 for a one-of-a-kind dinner party to commemorate El Dia de Los Muertos 2017. The night starts from 6 to 7 p.m. at Cinco at Thompson Hotel located in the iconic Calle Corazon. Guests will enjoy an hour of open bar with specially themed cocktails and artisanal Mexican beers and wines while a team of face painters will work their magic to make sure you look the part for the upcoming dinner. The Cena de los Muertos guests will form a procession and head down to a transformed and candlelit C-Grill to enjoy an authentic and traditional four-course menu prepared especially by Executive Chef Pedro Abascal as well as live entertainment from a mystery guest. $60-$800

In celebration of Día de Muertos, Vidanta Riviera Maya will offer a special Mexican buffet paired with live entertainment and a Día de Muertos show on Thursday, November 2. The special buffet inspired by traditional Mexican fare will be available for dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Restaurante del Lago, and entertainment will begin at 7:15 p.m. with a Joy Squad contest and DJ before the show kicks off at 8 p.m. Guests can make reservations while on-property through the concierge.

Celebrate this Dia de los Muertos at the luxury, all-inclusive resort, Marquis Los Cabos surrounded by traditional decorations of beautiful flowers, candles, and an altar to recognize the rich tradition of this holiday. The hotel will host a series of events with catrines and catrinas and a pre-hispanic fire show, mariachi music along with Mexican food. In honor of the event, a historical video projecting the meaning of Dia de los Muertos will be broadcast throughout the property to enhance the enduring cultural celebration.

To properly celebrate the traditional Latin American custom, The Resort at Pedregal is throwing a multi-day festival with parties, feasts and more. Taking place from Friday, October 27 to Sunday, October 29, guests can enjoy an authentic celebration including popular calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls) imagery, specialty cocktails and dinner parties that draw inspiration from Mexican folklore, and a Mexican Tianguis flee market at Don Manuel’s restaurant with unique food, wine and spirits.

Flora Farms is hosting its 3rd Annual Day of the Dead Altar Competition on October 31 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and will include a private party, viewing and altar unveiling that will connect local businesses with local charities. Each winning charity will be awarded $1,000, $500 and $250. Guests will have the opportunity to vote for the most traditional, most original and popular and the best mix of traditional and original. There is a $25 entry donation, all of which will be divided among the charities. There will be a no host bar and Flora Farm snacks (included in the entry fee) will be served as well as featured entertainment. All 15 altars will be exhibited at the farm from October 31 to November 6.

From October 30 to November 2 celebrate the lives of the departed at Rhythms of the Night for an elaborate 3,000-year old Mexican celebration complete with “Catrinas,” altars, a traditional Pan de Muerto, traditional cuisine prepared by an award-winning chef and a candle-lit celebration.

Enjoy Pan de Muertos at Andaz Mayakoba, an authentic Mexican pastry as a gift to those who have passed. Pastry Chef Daniel Moreno is creating Pan de Muerto stuffed with pistachio cream and Pan de Muerto stuffed with coconut cream. Pistachio harvest usually begins in early October making it a perfect ingredient to include in this iconic and traditional dish. For coconut fans, Chef Moreno mixes the coconut frappe with hazelnut butter creating a unique flavor.

On October 31, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., the E-WOW Suite at W Punta de Mita will be home to a special performance by Meketrefe as part of the hotel’s Hallow-INK party. Meketrefe is the mastermind behind INK.INC who will have a pop-up tattoo parlor on site from October 29 to November 2 where guests (hotel guests and non-hotel guests) can get inked. During the Hallow-INK party, scare-inspired munchies and cocktails will also be available.

Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués‘ hotel staff will create altars that guests will have the opportunity to judge on November 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Mexican hot cocoa and traditional Day of the Dead bread will also be available.

For a relaxing way to celebrate the holiday, Remede Spa at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is hosting a ceremony on Arecas Beach known as the Warrior Dance, which is a way that ancestors used to connect with the spirits. Taking place  November 2 at 5:30 p.m., this ceremony involves indigenous dances which is a form of meditation in movement represented in spectacular handmade indigenous costumes and prehispanic musical instruments showing the beauty of the cultural legacy. $45. Book by October 30 by calling Remede Spa Concierge at 329.291.5847

Visit any of the Pueblo Bonito Resorts in Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan to find “altares de muertos” (Mexican tradition of setting up an altar decorated in remembrance of the deceased loved ones) in all the properties, plus special dinner celebrations including a special dinner at Cibola Restaurant in the Montecristo Estates Luxury Villas in Cabo and special dinner buffets at Mare Nostrum at Pueblo Bonito Rosé Resort & Spa, La Nao at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort, Siempre at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort, La Cordeliere at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa and Las Palomas at Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán.

Enjoy Dinner at The Chapel on November 2 at One&Only Palmilla as the resort decks out their iconic chapel as a big altar and serves up a delicious buffet with plenty of traditional Mexican eats like pozole soup, quesadillas, rellenos, taquitos, mole, churros and plenty more!

Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun will host their annual Día de los Muertos dinner celebration and shrine competition for their guests to experience the magic of the holiday. Beyond serving delicious authentic Mexican cuisine, this special dinner will be adorned with dozens of Cempasúchil flowers or Mexican Marigold known as the Day of the Dead flower, as well as various burning candles that capture the spirit of this holiday. To wrap up the celebration, guests are invited to enjoy and vote for their favorite altars, built and decorated by the hotel’s employees, that fully encompass the tradition of celebrating and honoring the lives of the dead.

Traditions are highly cherished at Live Aqua Boutique Resort Playa del Carmen, especially when they originate from authentic Mexican culture. During the Day of the Dead, the resort transforms their coffee deli into an elaborately decorated Day of the Dead sanctuary. Here, guests will find the extraordinary Cempasúchil flowers adorning every corner of the room, as well as the quintessential shrines that honor the dead on this celebratory day. Guests are in for an extra special treat, as the resort’s chef will be demonstrating how to make and decorate their own sugar-coated skull to further immerse guests in this fun tradition. 

Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun hosts a jam-packed Día de los Muertos celebration day with elaborate activities, where guests are invited to participate in the typical decoration of the altars of the dead, while enjoying delicious treats served by employees embodying the colorful and unique characters of the holiday. The hotel features an incredible parade that showcases all the typical customs of the holiday, as well as their popular activity involving guests creating a female skeleton figure, known as a Catrina, with colored rice.

To keep up with one of Mexico’s most important holiday, El Día de los Muertos, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun hosts an elaborate Day of the Dead altar at their renowned restaurant, Viña del Mar. The hotel invites guests to honor the traditions of the occasion by serving typical foods such as pan de muertos (bread of the dead) a sweet and doughy bread drizzled with a sugary glaze with crossbones branded on the crust. The restaurant will also de adorned with emblematic decorations such as Catrinas, which are costumed female skeletons created by 19th-century political print maker José Guadalupe Posada, as a parody of Mexican upper-class females.

Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All-Inclusive & Spa embraces the symbolic celebration of El Día de los Muertos with several activities including the creation of an elusive altar of the dead that boasts the typical elements of the holiday such as colorful flowers, painted skulls and candles. The resort also hosts a grand dinner where guests can enjoy delicious treats such as pan de muertos. To conclude the exciting festivities, a colorful parade of the typical characters of the Día de los Muertos holiday is held for guests to enjoy at the pool.

Fiesta Americana Villas Cancun will host a beautiful and festive dinner for guests to immerse themselves in the typical traditions of the Day of the Dead. Guests can expect to be served delicious treats such as bread of the dead and enjoy the spectacular decorations and altars set up around the resort to honor the holiday. Guests are sure to be mesmerized by all the bright colors displayed as they get to know this special Mexican tradition.

The Carmen Hotel is hosting its first Halloween costume party on October 27 from 5 to 11 p.m. The event will feature DJ Gerardo, Augustin Suizer, Biofunk and JC Ananda along with awards for the best dressed. The first place prize is a Tommy Hilfiger outfit plus a trip to Vegas and a special edition bottle of tequila. Second place will receive Retrosuperfuture glasses and two Xplor passes and the third place winner will receive a free night at The Carmen plus a special edition bottle of tequila. No costume, no entry.

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