Which town for Day of the Dead?

Old Oct 9th, 2013, 09:45 PM
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Which town for Day of the Dead?

Hi you informed Fodorites,

Hoping to get to Mexico for Day of the Dead this year.
Right now, thinking of being in San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato.
Which of these cities would be best to experience Day of the Dead?
Will be flying into and out of Leon so that's another possibility.
Which city is the most special for Day of the Dead in Mexico, in general?
Thanks all.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 04:49 AM
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I my own opinion (and living in Mexico right now), I would completely avoid San Miguel for the Day of the Dead. Guanajuato would be a better option, but if you really want to be immersed in Mexican culture and live the most important, wonderful and traditional event in Mexico, you MUST go to Lake Pátzcuaro in the State of Michoacan (actually I'm talking about the towns of Pátzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan, Jarácuaro, Arocutín and Cuanajo that are located around the lake).

Local handcraft competition, open air concerts but also in historic buildings, plays, prehispanic shows, Huehues 'Danza de los Viejitos' dance... Lake Pátzcuaro for the Day of the Death is the most special and popular site all around the country!

Ocotepec in the State of Morelos and the magnificent city of Puebla are also other amazing places to celebrate 'El Dia de los Muertos,' but that's probably too far from where you'll arrive.

Hope that helps!

Laurent
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 08:26 AM
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First choice hands down Patzcuaro.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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Thanks!!! I need to rethink this.
Have been wanting to be in Mexico's Day of the Dead for a long time. Also want to be in Guanajuato/San Miguel.
I now think this will have to be 2 separate trips.
Very much appreciate your input.

Goldie
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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Oacaxa ( the city and surrounding valley) is also very good for Dia de Los Muertos. The cemeteries are elaborately decorated with families holding vigil. here are parades at night through the streets. And because it is a larger city, you don't have the crowds like in Patzcuaro and on the island in the lake. I've been there twice in the last few years for Muertos and had a very good time. But Patzcuaro is indeed magical.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 04:10 AM
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You're very welcome Goldiept! Guanajuato/San Miguel need approximately one week to visit without being in the rush. So depending on how long you'll be travelling in Mexico you'll see if you can go to Pátzcuaro too. If you've got 10 days you can handle all these places easily

Please, let us know when you've finished to plan your trip! And do not hesitate in asking more if you still have doubts!

Laurent
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 09:28 PM
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Hi Laurent: Thanks for your offers. Looking at trip adviser there was a warning about going to Patzcuaro. It put me off. Is it a dangerous place to be?

As it stand now, I can only return from Leon on airline miles but no seats going there. Will keep checking in hopes something opens up. If not...will have to postpone this trip for next year. Maybe then I will make more time and go to all 3 cities.

In case we make it now, Is Leon somewhere worth staying for a couple of nights? I only have the week and do not want to be rushed.

Had everything booked last year - air, hotels, etc. and Hurricane Sandy canceled it. Will let you know if I make it.

emd3: thanks for your input. I was in Oaxaca a few years ago before I knew about Day of the Dead. I loooved it there but would like to see more of the country.

Thanks everyone. Much appreciated.

Goldie
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Old Oct 12th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Leon is best known for leather goods, and for that its well worth the visit. You can easily spend an entire day shopping. The colonial center is OK, but not as attractive nor as tourist oriented as Oaxaca, Morelia, Queretaro, or Puebla for example. There is a very nice and newish Mexico Plaza hotel near the leather district for about $50 US. Starbucks and Applebee's on site if that's your thing.
As far as Patzcuaro being dangerous, I'd respectfully disagree with the TA. The advisory mostly applies to the border areas of Michoacan and Guerrero. Even then, I've not heard of any incidents for some time.
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Old Oct 15th, 2013, 05:20 AM
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Hi again Goldie!

I'm going to say the same as Baldone. The advisory mostly applies to the border areas of Michoacan and Guerrero, where is said there is drug smuggling, even so I never seen anything while travelling there or felt in danger. I also travelled a lot in the North of the country (where is said to be the most dangerous area of Mexico) and the same applies. Obviously you will never know if something is going to happen to you but incidents generally happen outside tourist areas, so I wouldn't bother too much about that. When leaving tourist areas ask locals if it's safe, they'll better let you know
Concerning Leon, as Baldone said, you'll find great leather good deals. However, the historical center is very small and there is not so much to do (I would only spend one day, maybe two but no more). Guanajuato is only one hour away by bus (for bus schedules check out: https://secure.primeraplus.com.mx).
If you like hiking (also good for cycling and horse riding), Sierra de Lobos natural reserve, North of Leon, would be another option for you.

Laurent
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Old Oct 15th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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I've been in Guanajuato during Day of the Dead. You will still see many altars and exhibits - be sure to go inside museums and public buildings to see them! I've always wanted to go to Patzcuaro but meanwhile you'll still enjoy the holiday on your trip! I also brought home wonderful Day of The Dead ceramic figures when I was there - Catrina (? I think that's what she is called) among other things.
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Old Oct 16th, 2013, 05:53 PM
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Oaxaca dia de Los Muertos, see here, this is from a poster who used topmost on fodors Mexico forum, she lives in Oaxaca:

http://anyportinastorm.proboards.com...ad=6168&page=1
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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WOW. Thanks so much for all the input.
Looks like we will fly into Leon late at night. So we will spend the first night there and the next day. Will look for the leather good for sure.
Will go to either San Miguel or Guanajuato the next afternoon and spend 3 nights in each.
Most important for me right now is which one is best for Day of the Dead. I need to make reservations at hotels.
I would have loved to go to Parzcuzro bu it will have to happen another time. Glad to hear from your voices not to be worried about it.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a nice B&B in Leon?

Have been dragging my feet with all of this. Have finally booked the airline tickets just a little while ago.

Thanks in advance for your input and help.

Goldie
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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i suggest that you hurry to get hotels booked! A lot of people all over Mexico travel to go to their family homes for Day of the Dead to be with their families, Hotels get booked up everywhere. I was booking in Merida for that time four wks ago and was really surprised how many hotels were full for Oct. 31 - Nov 2.
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 06:27 PM
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You might want to ask on Thorntree's Mexico forum about Dia de Los Muertos in San Miguel vs Guanajuato. There are some ex-pats and MX folks there who may know.
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 06:39 PM
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See here, in particular click on the Calaka festival link in the first one below:

http://www.journeymexico.com/blog/me...uel-de-allende

http://wanderlust.bajan.pl/2011/11/2...el-de-allende/
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Old Oct 19th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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Thanks. I particularly loved the video of the dancing around the fountain in San Miguel.

I think we will go to San Miguel for Day of the Dead.

As for hotels - have been working on it today and looks like I have space everywhere.

Thanks again. I so much look forward to being there that day. Sounds like a very special way to celebrate lives who have passed.
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Old Oct 21st, 2013, 03:24 PM
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Re your question about B & B's in Leon, I doubt you'll find something along those lines. There are a number of nice hotels near the leather district, though. As I mentioned, the Mexico Plaza is nice and affordable. There is a Holiday Inn. The Hottson is nice, but a bit pricey. It is kinda like an Embassy Suites; all the rooms surround the courtyard. They do have a nice breakfast buffet, but again, it's pricey, about $130 P as I recall. For lunch/dinner, the Panteon de Taurino (bullfighter cemetery) is a good choice. Its not far from the Zona de Piel, take a cab to and walk back. Mariachis after 4. In the Zona de Piel, the first place you come to is the Plaza de Zapatos, (shoe mall). Skip it; (or make it your last stop) its higher priced. There is a small shop worth visiting on Taxco, just a few doors from the end of the street. The shop is D'ame Fabrica de Bolsa, I think it is #103. They have a nice leather from Peliguey, a cross of goat and sheep. I recently bought a nice jacket for $1100 MXP,I couldn't decide between black or brown; they didn't have black but offered to make one up in a couple of hours.
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 09:47 AM
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Baldone - Thanks. I will print your advice to have with me.
Just booked at Mexico Plaza. The thought of having a jacket made like that is AWESOME!!!!! Will go to the shops you mention for sure. How is the quality of the leather goods there?

Goldie
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Old Oct 29th, 2013, 07:43 PM
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Couple of updates, a friend just stayed at the MX Plaza, and his price was more like $70; I don't know why the increase. What did you book for? I think the quality of the goods at D'ame is fine, judge for yourself when you go. I like them because they sell the goods they make rather than be a reseller. (FYI, its a tiny shop, and they don't speak English). I know of another vendor that sells D'ame's stuff for triple the price in San Miguel. Right next door to him is a Lobo Solo store (there are more than one) where the prices are lower than some of the others. They have both men's and women's boots and shoes. It's always my wife's first stop. There is mall called plaza 503 on Hilario Medina (#503) that has dozens of sellers with an amazing selection of shoes, jackets, boots, purses, belts, you name it. Its next to 3 hermanos. Now, regarding the Plaza de Zapatos, its only worth the visit once you've seen everything else. The whole Zona de Piel is a carnival atmosphere, and its impossible to see it all in one day. Have fun.
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Old Oct 31st, 2013, 05:49 AM
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Any thoughts on Mixquic for DAY of dead?? Worth the traffic from DF? Can we go early Saturday with kids and see enough without all the craziness I have heard about in the evening? Perhaps it's posted on a different thread. I will check/or post a new one. Thanks,
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