Ready to experience all the culture and food during the Day of the Dead in Mexico? You don’t have to visit Mexico City or Oaxaca to soak in all the fun during this eccentric celebration!.
The Day of the Dead is a holiday that is widely spread throughout the whole country and is celebrated in small villages to big cities all around Mexico.
Originally, I was planning on spending the holiday in Mexico City, but after doing some more research I felt I would get a more authentic experience if I went to a smaller village.
Mexico, it full of amazing small beach towns and Sayulita is one of my favorites. For some reason, I keep coming back here.
It is conveniently located just outside of Puerto Vallarta, about an hour’s drive.
This makes it easy to access, but still keeps the majority of the tourists out.
Making it the perfect place to enjoy the Day of the Dead in Sayulita, Mexico.
What Is The Day Of The Dead
The Day of the Dead is believed to have started over 2000- 3000 years ago when the Aztecs inhabited Mexico.
Even though it is called the “day” of the dead it is actually a multiple-day festival that is heavily focused on family celebration.
The festival is normally celebrated between October 31st – November 2nd, but these dates can be extended to continue in celebrating the deceased.
Families gather together for prayers, food, and celebration to remember previous family members that have passed.
This not only helps living members cope with the family member that has passed away, but they also believe the love and support from the living family members help to lift the deceased into their next life.
To honor the dead the families will make altars. They will place photos of the family members that are to be remembered, their favorite foods, and any other memorabilia to comfort the deceased.
It is also a holiday where the living often dress up like the dead and is thought to be the origin of Halloween, which is celebrated in the United States.
Not, only is it one of the best festivals around the world to attend. It is one of Mexico’s most praised holidays.
Step aside Cinco de Mayo, Day of the Dead has you beat.
There is more to the day of the dead than just dressing up and honoring family members that have passed.
Learn more about the day of the dead with things you didn’t know about dia de Los Muertos.
What to Expect for the Day of the Dead in Sayulita, Mexico
Sayulita is a small town. There are two main streets, one coming into town the and other one heading out of town. You won’t have to worry about getting lost while you are there.
It is the perfect town to visit, even live as a digital nomad or ex-pat.
Many digital nomads flock to Sayulita for its laidback lifestyle and speedy wifi.
Besides nomads, Sayulita attracts many of tourists. It is easy to walk around, loads of good restaurants, and of course the most important is it’s safe.
As a solo female traveler alone in Mexico, I actually never felt unsafe.
Yes, of course, you have to be smart so you don’t put yourself in dangerous situations, but everyone is super friendly and nice here.
There is one main square, the zocalo as they call it in Spanish.
It is very small, and the whole town has a great sense of community during the holiday. The main square is decorated with altars, skeletons, artwork, and more.
The streets are filled with plentiful street vendors selling all sorts of food. There is live music and live performances all throughout the night and artists in the streets paint faces.
It is a unique experience that everyone should enjoy at least once in their lifetime.
Day of the Dead in Sayulita is a great perspective on the way you look at life. Here, the dead are celebrated and remembered.
Death for them is just the beginning of life, and not the end as we like to think it is.
Why Sayulita is better than Mexico City for Day of the Dead
If you are looking for a crazy party for the Day of the Dead, Mexico City is the place you are going to want to celebrate.
However, if you are wanting something smaller and more family-oriented, it is far better to be in a smaller village in Mexico, like Sayulita.
Sayulita is a great place to go and enjoy the family-oriented side of the holiday.
All the kids get dressed up and get their faces painted. You get a real sense of community as you are celebrating the day of the dead in Sayulita.
Plus, it is a very picturesque town. Its streets are covered in colorful god’s eyes year-round and the food there is to die for.
It is a friendly town that is not overrun with tourism. Here you will see more Mexican tourists than Americans, which is a nice change of pace.
Sayulita is a great town to explore even if it is not during day of the dead.
I highly recommend skipping Puerto Vallarta and heading to the nearby town of Sayulita instead.
While you are in Sayulita make sure to also check out Los Muertos Beach with this easy-to-follow guide on how to get there.