Share on Pinterest
There are no images.
Share with your friends


Día de los Muertos art often depicts skeletons with colorful, vibrant whimsy. Credit:

By Amy Drew Thompson

Don’t let the name scare you. a de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) was a holiday before it was a horror movie. Like 3,000 years before. And the venerable Mexican celebration not only honors the dearly departed, but welcomes their spirits back for a joyous visit. Guests at Cozumel hotels this time of year can join in on the experience.

This is fête not funeral, and the days-long party (Oct. 31 – Nov. 2) features music, dancing and beautiful art (that sometimes comes in the form of edible sugar skulls made of candy or pastry), and the people of Quintana Roo are honored to share their history with visitors. Case in point: Xcaret, a lauded eco-archeological park dedicated to green tourism and conservation, is in it its sixth year of promoting Mexico’s cultural identity via the Life & Death Traditions Festival.

Whether you’re exploring the island’s premier undersea pursuits as a guest at the Casa del Mar Mexico, sunning in private luxury in one of the Aura Cozumel Grand Resort’s private solarium suites, or ensconced amid the intimate boutique stylings of the Hotel Flamingo, you’ll want to make time for the 45-minute ferry to the mainland for the festivities. You’ll discover plays and performances by local schoolchildren, pre-Hispanic dances, cemetery tours, children’s workshops, authentic food — and even the chance to go native and don your own skeletal make-up.

The Museum of the Island of Cozumel in downtown San Miguel often runs Day of the Dead exhibits, along with others about the island’s natural history and pre-Colombian and Colonial periods. In keeping with tradition, many residents visit San Miguel Cemetery where they build beautiful altars with offerings to the spirits.

Related resources:

Having experienced its warmth and hospitality firsthand, freelance travel writer Amy Drew Thompson believes that if any nation can lure the dead back for a party, it’s Mexico. Check out more of her work at

Tagged: Family time

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.