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Mexico - Day of The Dead Ride
Day of The Dead Ride - The most unique riding holiday experience...ever!

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Horse Riding Holidays Mexico – Day Of The Dead Ride

PRICES & DATES top

Day Of The Dead Ride: Prices 2024

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  • 8 nights / shared accommodation – $3,996
    • GBP: 3,145
    • EUR: 3,666
    per person sharing.
    Single rooms cannot be guaranteed, you should be willing to share

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our Terms & Conditions for full details.

Includes – All riding, plus all inclusive accommodation, 3 meals per day, 2 nights open bar

Excludes – Flights, transfers, tips

Day Of The Dead Ride: Dates 2024

31 October – 8 November 2024

This date is an exclusive ride, only offered by Zara’s Planet.

Getting There
International flight to Mexico City then internal flight to  Guanajuato International Airport BJX

Transfer
Airport transfers $135 paid locally

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

During The Day of The Dead Ride you will be immersed in one of the most representative Mexican traditions of all time! You will be able to discover this treasure of syncretism in a unique way, riding on horseback and participating actively the celebrations, in a way that will allow you to discover why this tradition has conquered the empathy in the world and why it has been an inspiration for fashion and various international films.

Day of the Dead is celebrated passionately throughout Mexico, and especially so in smaller provincial towns and cities. It is one of Mexico’s most important religious holidays, celebrated on All Saint’s Day (November 1) and All Soul’s Day (November 2) traditionally known as, Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead. November 1st honours deceased children and November 2nd, deceased adults. Day of the Dead is celebrated passionately throughout Mexico, and especially so in smaller provincial towns and cities.

Far from being a morbid event, Day of Dead emphasizes remembrance of past lives and expresses celebration of the continuity of life. This acknowledgement of life’s continuity has roots which go back to some of Mexico’s oldest civilizations including the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, and Purépecha. The Aztecs also celebrated Day of the Dead, although earlier, in August, on the current calendar.

Local families plan for Day of the Dead celebrations’ days, weeks, and even a whole year in advance. A focal point of the remembrance ritual is families creating ofrendas —altars with offerings to the deceased— which are set-up in homes or public spaces like parks or plazas, and at local cemeteries where family members are buried.

The Catrinas are the artistic symbol of Day of the Dead celebrations. This character on which La Calavera Catrina “The elegant skull”— was conceived by Mexican engraver José Guadalupe Posada. The original Catrina was titled La Calavera Garbancera: in the form of an artistic etching in zinc, composed for use as political satire around 1910, intended to poke fun at a certain social class of Mexicans who the artist portrayed as having European-aristocratic aspirations; thus, the Catrinas archetypal grandiose plumed hat of a style which passed through a period of high fashion in Europe during that age.

The first three days of the trip is dedicated to discovering and living the tradition of “Dia de los Muertos” in two of the most beautiful cities of Mexico: San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. Cities recognised for preserving the oldest traditions of Mexican culture. On the 4th day your horseback adventure begins, riding in the footsteps of these ancestral traditions. From the saddle you will discover authentic villages, their traditions, and their inhabitants.

However, that is only the beginning. In addition of discovering in situ the value of this ancestral tradition, you will enjoy the warmth and hospitality that distinguishes the Mexican people.

You will taste a variety of dishes of the ancestral gastronomy of Mexico, you will enjoy the best tequilas, listen to mariachi music, and discover from the saddle sites of great historical value, heritage cities, magical towns, and villas with great legends. Experts in the mixology of ancestral drinks will guide you during tasting. Drinks that will prepare you to accept the body painting as Catrinas.

This is undoubtedly, cultural-wise, the most unique riding holiday ever!

Day of the Dead Review 2023
Jill visited here with a private group of Zara’s Planet clients, 31 October – 8 November 2023

“I am always on the look out for really different and interesting riding adventures – I can’t help it, I just have this thirst for wanting to experience different horse cultures around the world!

When I got wind of a new ride in Mexico that combined the Day of the Dead celebrations with a ride into the mountains, following the Freedom Trail of the Camino Real past silver & gold mines, my interest was lit and I researched the ride – everything I looked into gave me goosebumps – the itinerary, the experience and the main man, Angel Gutierrez, owner and passionate horseman! It wasn’t long before I had secured an exclusive ride for myself and 11 other Zara’s Planet adventurers. (Thank you for trusting and joining me you know who you are, it takes a certain type of person to do this and I am forever grateful to each of you for being brave!)

Instead of telling you at the end of this review to book and go, I need to tell you now – you need to book and go – it’s truly amazing and a ride I will tell any true riding adventurer to do! It has everything, culture, good local horses, people who care and its whole lot of fun!

We arrived into San Miguel de Allende for 2 nights, to experience the Festival for a couple of days, where we all really got into the spirit of the festival of the Day of the Dead, which is all about the presence of those family members that have passed instead of their absence. We had our faces painted, and dressed accordingly with great respect and were even invited personally to Angels family home for a dinner and to share this experience with him – this was a real honour and we felt hugely privileged. We also walked and toured the streets of this beautiful town admiring the flower dressed doorways, the markets, the street celebrations and food – it felt so safe and non touristy.

From there we headed to Guanajuato, a more rustic town where the celebrations intensified, visited a mummy museum (not for the fainthearted, this was pretty gruesome), watched an incredible and energetic indigenous dance presentation, walked the streets, admired the street floor art and enjoyed the underground tunnel market and music gigs. Again it felt safe and from our central hotel with free time could wander directly onto the square to walk about, taking in all the sights.

I was really excited about the food too, and it did not disappoint, Angel was careful to make sure we tried all the local foods, like Aztec soup, fresh tacos, salsa’s and drinks of course loaded with the happy inducing juices of Tequila and Mezcal!

After just 3 days we felt completely immersed in this Mexican culture and a world away from our ‘civilian lives’ back home – and we still had 5 more days to ride……………………..!

Next stop was Angel’s ranch and to meet his horses – it’s a beautiful relaxed place, where we saddled our steeds up and once again dressed up in the tradition of the Day of the Dead, even painting our own horses for the occasion – this was a whole lot of fun, even the less art inclined got into the spirit of colour and symbolism! It was a short ride round the fields of the ranch, taking many pictures along the way to capture this unique experience. That night we were once again, fed well by Angel and his family, delicious bbq beef, with fresh salads and seriously good local red wine!

The next day, we were off, into the mountains, up, up and up, reaching 3,000 metres, admiring the views and praising our local bred horses, for their powerful back ends that carried us up high along these beautiful trails, passing silver and gold mines – pretending to be bandits and swigging our hip flasks along the way. This part of our ride was slow on account of the terrain, rocky and steep, and long. At one small village as we entered we happened upon a Saints celebration, where all the town turned up on horseback cracking explosives to lead the way – it was a real sight and we were startled by the noise unlike our horses who stood rick solid, such is their nature.

The accommodation on most nights were in hotels and local guesthouses but here up in the highest of mountains our only refuge was a beautiful small house, tucked away on the side of a hill with incredible views, owned by a friend on Angels. What a glorious night, here we had to share rooms, as many as 5 in one bedroom, but we didn’t care, after a beautiful dinner by the fire and a few too many gins, we stumbled to bed delighted by the remoteness and beauty of this spot.

From here we started our descent heading towards Dolorse Heldago, the historic and bustling town where Mexican Independence all began back in 1810. We followed and rode along some of the original Camino Real, this road was built 400 years ago and stretched from Mexico City to Sante Fe, arguably one of the most important roads of America. As the land flattened out and we were surrounded with cactus fields, the pace quickened and we enjoyed some great canters.

Before we knew it we were on our last day ride – Angel was happy and we were too, we had seen and experienced so much, which all felt authentic and real, we were tired but Angel had assured me our last stop would be incredible – and he wasn’t wrong, that day we had rode through the town of Dolores, an experience for us all as its busy but our horses were brave and did not falter, on and on following tracks and through another town until we came across our hotel oasis. We had made it!

We said good bye to our warrior horses who had looked after us all at every demanding step – I had enjoyed both my horses, Pappy a lovely grey lead horse who had fire in his belly, keen to be up front all the way! Angel was very kind to even let me ride his stunning black mare Triana for the last couple of days, I had mentioned she reminded me of my own horse back home Machair, to date I think she is the most beautiful trail horse I have ridden, such was her manner, power and sensitivity, I was honoured and grateful for the opportunity, but this is the kind of man Angel is – thinks only of others and their pleasure!

That late afternoon we admired our luxury rooms, stripped off and spent hours in the warm soothing pool, drinking marguerita’s marvelling at our incredible adventure and journey in Mexico!

What a country, what a festival and I cannot thank Angel and his team Lupi, Omar, Elysees, Bento, Cristina, Lizette and above all his horses for looking after us all along the way.”

THE RIDING top

Horses – Azteca, Appaloosa, Quarter horse and Mexican Criollo

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to advanced rider

Tack – Mexican, very similar to Western and Western

Weight Restriction – 17.3 stone / 110 kg / 243 lbs.

Group Size – Maximum 12

ACCOMMODATION top

Most nights spent in comfortable and authentic local haciendas and hotels along the trail route, in double/twin rooms. For one of the nights you will  stay in a multi-shared room. Single rooms may be available on request and at an extra cost, but cannot be guaranteed.

Food is very important, you will experience an abundance of locally prepared delicious meals with lots of tequila and mescal.

We have travelled the world testing a huge variety of horse riding holidays to make sure we offer you, our client, the best horse riding holiday experience possible.

Our horse riding holidays are thoroughly researched – we consider all the elements that go towards making our horse riding holidays collection the best in the world. We check the quality of the horses, if they are fit for the job, well produced and looked after. We make sure the riding terrain is good going, the countryside is interesting and, for example, on Classic Dressage horse riding holidays, the arenas are in good condition. We make sure the accommodation, whether it’s a five star hotel, a farmhouse or camping, is clean and comfortable, and offers a great night’s sleep. The food is all important too – we take the time to make sure we tell you if it’s cordon bleu, home cooked, or regional and locally sourced – above all it has to be delicious, plentiful and nourishing. Last but not least, we choose the horse riding holidays that have the best hosts, who are friendly, warm and welcoming.

It’s only when all these elements come together that we add a horse riding holiday into our hand-picked collection of horse riding holidays.

Add-Ons
It’s a great idea to add-on a night or two in Mexico City either on your arrival or departure, it’s a vibrant city to explore.
We would also recommend staying an extra night at the last night hotel which is absolutely beautiful, giving you time to chill out, lay by the pool and generally decompress before the long journey home.

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Day 1
This day, the participants will be greeted. in the city of San Miguel de Allende.
A city characterized by its rich traditions, in which popular events and festivals play an important role throughout the year. San Miguel is a town full of magic and mysticism which preserves very old traditions and that nowhere in the world do they occur. It is a place full of culture and art that serves as the setting for the different traditions and customs that occur in this magical place. It is registered by Unesco in the Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Under the title of Fortified City of San Miguel and Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco, the distinction was granted due to its cultural and architectural contribution to the Mexican Baroque.

– 16:00 Welcome of the participants at the host hotel, check-in.
– 17:00 Welcome cocktail and presentation of the program.
– 18:00 Welcome kit delivery
– 20:00 Visit of the historic centre, artistic representation of the council of culture and traditions
– 21:00 Welcome dinner.

Day 2
During this day, we will be able to live with intensity the tradition of the day of the dead, in a town full of magic and mysticism, we will take a walking tour, guided through the route of “offerings” allusive to the day of the dead, we will visit the historic pantheon of San Juan de Dios, where we can see and live this unique tradition, later we will enjoy a fun mixology workshop, specialized in pre-Hispanic drinks, and in which your senses will reach a new level thanks to the essences, flavors and textures that you will taste at the create four cocktails with drinks that have transcended the history of Mexico: Tepache, Pulque, Pox and Raicilla. In the afternoon, we will attend the theatrical performances alluding to the Day of the Dead, which are held in the main square, organized by the House of Culture and the Arts.

Day 3
After our breakfast, we will move by car 1hour drive to the city of Guanajuato, a colonial city of beautiful buildings that contain the elements of the two main cultures that created them, the indigenous and the Hispanic, and that marked the origin of our current culture. the constructions retain their architectural and environmental characteristics. The city was declared by UNESCO as the Historic City of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines in December 1988. It is currently considered the most beautiful colonial city in Mexico.

– We will visit the historic centre, we will walk through its narrow alleys, discovering the magic of the celebration of the Day of the Dead, in houses, squares and gardens.

– We will visit the “monumental offering” of Guanajuato and “El Tapete de la muerte” (The death carpet) as well as “La Catrina Vive Festival” and we will enjoy live music with local mariachis.

Day 4
After our breakfast, we visit the “Museum of the Mummies”

Here you will appreciate the mummified remains of our ancestors, some of which date from an antiquity that goes back to 1870. It is considered the current largest collection of natural mummies in the world, a cultural heritage of the Municipality of Guanajuato, which today can be seen in this enclosure 57 items.
Then we will move to Rancho Colomitos, where our horses wait for us to make a suitable assignment to each rider, we will be able to ride them and get acquainted with our new friend before characterizing horses and riders, in the form of catrinas.

THE CATRINA IS THE SYMBOL OF DEATH AND THE ICON OF THE DAY OF THE DEAD IN MEXICO.

We will be able to characterize ourselves and our horses, to later make a radio tour in the ranch with our horses, and enjoy a photo and video session.
Then we will enjoy at the ranch, a “Catrinas and catrines themed dinner”

Day 5
This day we begin our journey on horseback, through the mystery villages.

The magic and splendour of various communities in which the Chichimeca culture, mining and a Cristero region converge, were unified in what was called;
“Mystery villages”. For this reason, the thematic concept is based on mystery, which is nourished by the legends and traditions of the region and Mexico, what better time to tour it on horseback, than after the celebration of the Day of the Dead.

Rancho Colomitos – Calderones 21 kilometres

Day 6
We continue our journey through the Mystery Villages, visiting the ancient communities nestled in a mountainous area, recognized for its richness in minerals, and where we will visit the ancient cemeteries of Peregrina and Monte San Nicolás. Which date back centuries and have some of the most romantic and mysterious legends. These legends will be narrated by our guides.

Calderones – Santa Rosa 21 kilometres

Day 7
Today, our journey on horseback takes us to discover one of the greatest biodiversity areas in the region, through oak forests, pine trees and small communities full of history, nestled in the middle of big and high mountains, and surrounded by majestic natural landscapes. , until we reach our destination, one of the oldest communities in the region, Sangre de Cristo. (Christ blood).

Santa Rosa – Sangre de Cristo 26 kilometre

​Day 8 

Today we will live a journey on horseback through the area, which includes ancient communities where very important historical aspects such as: 1.- Indigenous Chichimeca, 2.- The old Cristero war 3.- And silver mining.

We will see these 3 historical aspects on this day’s journey, on our way on horseback through the communities of Sangre de Cristo, Mineral de la Luz and San Ignacio. His old mine of San Juan, El Zócalo de La Luz, The old Sangre de Cristo cemetery. These are the oldest communities in the state of Guanajuato, which contain great historical and cultural value and that during the seventeenth century, was one of the most prosperous mining enclaves in the region.
At the end of the XIX century, these three towns; Sangre de Cristo and Mineral La Luz, and San Ignacio became ghost towns.

Sangre de Cristo – La Luz – San Ignacio – Tiros de San Juan 19 kilometres

Day 9
After breakfast, end of our services.
12:00 pm End of our services

DESTINATION MAP top


Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

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