Day Of The Dead Photo Tour 2023 - ColdSnap Photography

Day Of The Dead Photo Tour 2023

Oaxaca, Mexico

October 29 -- November 4, 2023

Join us for a truly heartwarming Mexican experience in the UNESCO city of Oaxaca. The photographic opportunities and cultural vision of costume parades, 500-year-old churches, colorful markets, and ancient civilizations will touch you as never before. In your tour we will take you into both the most intimate and the most public life of Mexico.

Oaxaca has been preparing for your visit for hundreds of years. The celebration of life is realized with a flood of marigolds, a ballet of figures made of sugar, chocolate, bread, wood and precious stones, rowdy parades, and gorgeous fireworks. The city is carpeted with visual treasure.

Dios de las Muertos has its roots in either medieval Europe, pre-Hispanic Mexico, or the political life of the Spanish conquistadors. In any case, it is now the most unique of Mexican traditions and Oaxaca is ground zero. Over three days the festivities will be continuous and breathtaking. Life takes a back seat to memory. We will visit the cemeteries twice where you will be amazed by the decoration of graves and heart warmed by the graceful gathering of families and friends to welcome the spirits of their ancestors with a meal and a beverage. In typical Mexican fashion this intimate tableau is fortified by a ten-piece band performing in the parking lot. It’s a party folks! You will hear musical concerts ranging from one-man bands to full orchestras.

Oaxaca is a foodie’s paradise. I guarantee you that every meal will be delicious and beautiful. Our hotel is comfortable and very close to the action but surrounded by its thick walls you will sleep well.

You will come home with incredible photos but also memories and friendships and a new, powerful understanding of the meaning of life and the afterworld.


Day 1,

October 29. Arrival in Oaxaca. We will meet each guest at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. We will all get together for a meal at one of Oaxaca’s wonderful restaurants and give you an orientation and introduction to the city.

Day 2,

October 30th. Our adventure begins with a dawn trip to the calcite waterfall of Hierve de Agua, and then a stop at the the UNESCO site of Yagul. By early-afternoon we have arrived at Teotitlan de Valle where the most beautiful rugs in all of Mexico are made. We will dine en familie, as we are served a traditional organic meal from local produce by our local artisan friends. Our days travel ends with a visit to the Tule cypress tree which may have been planted when Cesar was conquering Gaul, it is the largest tree circumference in the world.

Day 3,

October 31. Although the preparations for the Day of the Dead have been going on for the entire year this day begins the formal three-day event. We will have a breakfast lecture from a local expert and then walk the city visiting the principal streets, churches, markets, and plazas. The first day is a kaleidoscope of sensations. You will see the children’s parades, costumed people, family altars, sand paintings, face painting, bands, concerts, flags, public art, and an outdoors concert.

Day 4,

November 1st. Our morning begins at the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban just outside of the city. By the time we return everywhere you look celebrations of life will be in full swing. We will visit the ancient church of Santa Domingo and see the adjoining museum that houses the treasures from the ruins of Monte Alban.

Day 5,

November 2nd. Time off in the morning and a late start. You might need it! Life begins a bit later in the day in Mexico. Have a leisurely breakfast of the famous coffee or hot chocolate with your favorite huevos de gusto and fabulous fruits: papaya, pina and mango. Penultimate Day Dios de las Muertos. We will visit the general cemetery where people have parties remembering their families and, in the evening, we will visit a smaller cemetery where a much more intimate and also raucous celebration occurs.

Day 6,

November 3rd. Friday is market day in Ocotlan this fun and colorful mercado is full of sights and sounds that explodes with photographic opportunities. We have arranged extraordinary access to some of the most renown Mexican artists and sculpturers. Returning late in the day as the sun sets, we will begin to say goodbye to your favorite city in Mexico.

Day 7,

November 4th. We bid you adieu. You will have had an unforgettable week exploring a part of the world that has been creating civilization for more than 2000 years. We will transfer you to the airport for your flights with your baggage and your souvenirs!


Oaxaca Mexico and the surrounding countryside.

You can easily access Oaxaca via the International Airport located next to the town. We will pick you up from the airport and transport you to your hotel. At the end of the workshop, we will drop you off at the airport for your return flight, unless you opt to extend your stay.

Included is transportation to the local villages and historic sites.


The cost includes double occupancy accommodations at a centrally located hotel. Check-in is October 29, and check-out on November 4. If your travel plans include an extension let us know and we can help you make these arrangements. Upon registration, we will provide the hotel details. The single occupancy option is available for $800.00 USD.


Transportation is provided to and from the airport unless you are arriving early or staying later than the workshop dates. All transportation to local events or locations is provided. We can offer ground transportation from Mexico City to Oaxaca. Flights into Oaxaca can be tricky and more expensive. If flying into Mexico City works better for you let us know prior to booking your flight arrangements and we will work with you to arrange the proper itinerary.

Physical Ability:

This workshop includes a fair amount of walking city streets or at historical locations. Typically the streets and sidewalks are cobblestones or uneven pavement. You should expect a moderate level of physical exertion.

Photographic Subject and Instruction:

During this workshop, we will provide guidance and instruction on the following styles of photographic subjects, street photography, portraits, environmental portraits, and landscape photography. As a result, you will have the opportunity to practice and improve these skills.

Instruction will be primarily one on one, with some group field demonstrations. While there is no classroom instruction during this workshop, we welcome the opportunity to review your work individually and help you realize your photographic goals.

About Your Photography Tour Guides:

John Gregor and Tomy O’Brien are award-winning photographers. Each of them has over 40 years of photographic experience. Gregor has 30 years of experience running workshops and tours, and O’Brien is fluent in conversational Spanish. Both Gregor and O’Brien are experienced travelers and travel photographers, together they have traveled throughout Mexico, having driven over 32,000 kilometers and visited 26 of the 32 Mexican States. Their photography is published in magazines and online worldwide.



Workshop Cost:

$3295.00 USD,

The cost includes tuition, instruction, accommodations based upon double occupancy, and ground transportation to events and locations that are part of the itinerary. The cost does not include airfare, food, tips, personal purchases, or spontaneous event fees not planned as part of the itinerary.

Single Occupancy Option, $800.00 USD

A non-refundable deposit of $500 will hold your reservation until 90 days prior to the workshop dates when the balance is due.

This is a past workshop

To see our current list, see our workshops page