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Day of the Dead – Mexico Photography Tour


Discover the spirituality and culture of one of the world’s most unique celebrations, the famed Day of the Dead festival, during this amazing Photography Tour. It is a Mesoamerican tradition of honouring ancestors and far from a sombre tradition as the streets vibrate with energy, street dances, parades, and painted faces. The Dia de los Muertos is an occasion for celebrating life and in every home and many businesses, people set up ofrendas (altars) for the deceased. A photo is placed at the altar along with the person’s favourite foods, as a way of luring the soul back to this world. For the same reason, strong-scented, bright orange marigolds are often laid in a path leading to the altar, and incense is lit. On the streets, market stalls brim with orange-scented pan de muertos and colourfully iced sugar skulls.

Experience the Day of the Dead celebrations in the two iconic cities of Mexico City and Oaxaca during this Photography Tour. It’s easy to get into the macabre spirit of Dia de los Muertos. Led by professional photographer and Langara College Instructor, Wayne Kaulbach, you will learn to capture the essence of the colourful celebrations. Please note that photographers and non-photographers alike are welcome on this tour.



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Highlights Include:

    • • Learning about photography techniques with award-winning photographer, Wayne Kaulbach
    • • Experiencing one of the most unique celebrations on earth – Day of the Dead
    • • Wandering around the colourful, bustling plazas and markets
    • • Witnessing the fascinating rituals, vigils, and parades surrounding the Dia de los Muertos
    • • Eating delicious Mexican cuisine as well as traditional treats
    • Visiting two amazing cities of Mexico City and Oaxaca as well as quintessentially Mexican villages

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DAY 1 Oct 28th: Arrival Day – Mexico City
Welcome to one of the greatest metropolis’ on earth! Mexico City is, and has always been, the sun in the Mexican solar system. A stroll through the buzzing downtown area reveals the capital’s storied history, from its pre-Hispanic underpinnings and colonial-era splendour to its contemporary edge. Organized chaos rules in this high-octane megalopolis, yet rest assured that the city offers plenty of escape valves in the way of old-school cantinas, intriguing museums, dramatic murals and boating excursions along ancient canals.

As today is arrival day, there are no planned activities. Depending on your arrival time you will likely meet with the other group members to discuss your upcoming adventures.

Meals: None
Overnight: Hotel Zocalo* Central Mexico City
(*or similar)

DAY 2 Oct 29th: Xochimilco Market & Coyoacan
After breakfast, we ease our way into this Metropolis with a visit to Xochimilco; it is like stumbling across an oasis in the desert. This eclectic place is set in the middle of a colossal city where you can discover colours your eyes have never seen before. Declared a World Heritage Site since 1987, rediscover its colours as you walk down the aisles of its markets full of iris flowers. Float along the walled canals lined with gardens and curtains of trees on brightly painted and decorated trajineras (a traditional flat-bottomed boat) and evoke a time when this watery surrounding dominated the landscape of the Anahuac. Discover the small artificial islands including Doll’s Island an island dedicated to the lost soul of a poor girl who drowned in mysterious circumstances. This small island is home to hundreds of dolls – many of them with severed limbs, decapitated heads and black eyes – who are said to be possessed by the girl’s spirit. Local legends says that the dolls move their heads and arms and have even been known to open their eyes!

This afternoon we visit the iconic neighbourhood of Coyoacan where Frida Kahlo spent most of her life. Coyoacán is a rich pocket of art and history in central Mexico City. We explore the typically Mexican neighbourhood with its many museums, cafés, and typical markets to uncover its history and embark on our adventure.

The evening you are free to wander around this amazing city.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Hotel Zocalo* Central Mexico City

DAY 3 Oct 30th: Dia de los Muertos Preparations
With our local guide, we explore this bustling capital with our cameras ready to catch a glimpse of the preparations for the Day of the Dead. We’ll seek out festivities taking place around the city as well as visit a cemetery. Graveyards during the Day of the Dead celebrations, contrary to what you might expect, actually take on the atmosphere of (surprisingly festive) social gatherings.

Modern meets ancient in Mexico City – one of the world’s largest urban centres. Head to the Zocalo, the city’s huge central square, to see Aztec ruins and colonial architecture or relax in one of the many parks, plazas and gardens.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Hotel Zocalo* Central Mexico City

DAY 4 Oct 31st: Travel to Oaxaca
Transfer to Oaxaca early in the morning (about 5hr drive), in the afternoon upon arrival we will visit the main square and the 20 de November market for a delicious lunch.

Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most captivating cities. Artists and artisans alike are inspired by the area’s creative atmosphere, indigenous traditions and bright, clear light. Oaxaca has top-class museums, charming inns, fascinating markets and its own superb version of Mexican cuisine. The easygoing pace frequently breaks out into the fireworks of a fiesta, and there’s some brightly coloured event unfolding in the streets or the Zócalo (Oaxaca’s lovely central square) almost every day.
Set at the nexus of three mountain-flanked valleys, the city is surrounded by fascinating archaeological sites and villages, many of the latter housing creative artisans and staging bustling weekly markets.
Oaxaca’s Day of the Dead celebrations are among the most vibrant in Mexico, with concerts, exhibitions and other special goings-on starting days beforehand.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Hotel Casa de las Flores* Oaxaca
(*or similar)

DAY 5 Nov 1st: Santa Maria el Tule Village & Street Festivities
This morning we visit the nearby charming village of Santa Maria el Tule which is home to a sacred Coastal Redwood, “Tree of Life” – the widest tree in the world.

This afternoon we explore the streets of Oaxaca visiting altar expositions, as well as the main cemetery and all the street festivities that take place. During our wanders, you will have the chance to see ‘sugar skulls’ perhaps the most globally emblematic symbol of the festivities. Sugar skulls are either bought or made by families to add to their altar, and the name of the deceased is often written in icing on the forehead.

Another common tradition during the Day of the Dead period is the consumption of the so-called pan de muerto. It’s actually lightly orange-flavoured sweet bread, which has ‘bonelike’ decorations atop it and a healthy coating of sugar.

Homes, cemeteries and some public buildings are decorated with fantastically crafted altares de muertos; streets and plazas are decked with tapetes de arena (colored sand patterns and sculptures); and comparsas (satirical fancy-dress groups) parade through the streets.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Hotel Casa de las Flores* Oaxaca

Day 6 Nov 2nd: Villages & Traditional Celebrations
Early in the morning we will visit the small yet impressive Archeological site of Monte Alban. Inhabited over a period of 1,500 years by a succession of peoples – Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs – the terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds of Monte Albán were literally carved out of the mountain and are the symbols of a sacred topography.

Later on, we visit to typical villages such as Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán to photograph their parade, cemetery, and traditional celebrations.

Oaxaca’s main cemetery, the Panteón General, 1km east of downtown, is the scene of concerts in the evenings of October 31 and November 1. Graveside vigils are also one of the most iconic rituals during these celebrations.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Hotel Casa de las Flores* Oaxaca

Day 7 Nov 3rd: Departure Day
Return to Mexico City by vehicle (included), fly from Oaxaca or option to extend your travels!
Meals: Breakfast

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Wayne Kaulbach MPA F/PPABC, received his Masters Of Photographic Arts in 2004 and his Fellowship in 2006. Along with his wife Michelle Fleming, they have owned and operated Skylight Images, a multi-award winning photographic service specializing in natural light portraiture, in Vancouver since 1995. Along with teaching travel and street photography through Langara’s Continuing Studies program for seven years, Wayne is also an ongoing contributor to Photo Life Magazine and a passionate travel and street photographer. Langara’s India Photography Tour in 2016 was the most recent tour led by Wayne. Having travelled extensively around the world, Wayne is eager to continue to share his knowledge along with his love of travel and street photography through his upcoming 2017 Guatemala Photography Tour.

Check out Wayne’s work on his website:

Wayne Kaulbach - Guatemala Photography Tour
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Inclusion & Exclusion” tab_id=”1449208780765-5fd2d40a-5e8d”][vc_column_text]Tour Inclusions:

    • • Daily hands-on photography classes with

Wayne Kaulbach

    • • 6 nights in well-located accommodations based on double occupancy
    • • Meals as per itinerary: all breakfasts and lunches
    • • Local transportation
    • All excursions as per itinerary

Tour Exclusions:
• International Flights (can be arranged through us
• Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (can be arranged through us
• Meals and beverages not mentioned in itinerary
• Items of personal nature
• Services and entrances not mentioned above
• Passport and visa fees
• Tips/Gratuities for tour guides, drivers, etc.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Pricing & Dates” tab_id=”1449223591510-29ce0fb2-4171″][vc_column_text]Date: OCT 28-NOV 3, 2017

from $1995 USD per person based on double/twin occupancy
$400USD Single Supplement (Limited Availability)

Costs and Fee Schedule

Prices are based on double occupancy. Single supplement fee applies.
A 20% non-refundable (unless cancelled by us) deposit is required at time of booking to reserve your place. Please contact for more booking information, Terms & Conditions and an invoice.
Credit Card: If you would like to pay by credit card or eTransfer please contact

Final Payment
Full payment is due 60 prior to departure

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Air Travel
Flights are not included in the tour price. DO NOT purchase any airline tickets until the trip is confirmed to take place. Pre and post tours can be arranged through available at an additional charge. Please contact Finisterra Travel for further details

Important Information

Travel Visa requirements and passports are the responsibility of the participants.
All participants will be required to sign a release form prior to departure.

Program costs are based on a minimum number of participants and are subject to change without notice. Single supplement will apply to single travellers (unless a participant opts in for room share and a roommate is found. This cannot be guaranteed).

Passport Information
Please note that most countries require passports to be valid for 6 months from the date of your return flight. We are not responsible if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct passport, visa or other travel documentation.



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