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Ways to Celebrate Day of the Dead in Guatemala City

Ways to Celebrate Day of the Dead in Guatemala City

The Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos) is an ancient Aztec cultural tradition practiced throughout Central America. Despite the name, it’s a joyful celebration—a time to remember and pay tribute to deceased ancestors, friends, and family. Here’s what to know about Guatemala’s Day of the Dead.

When to Go

Guatemala’s main Day of the Dead celebrations are held on Nov. 1 and 2, coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Preparations often begin months in advance, and if you’re visiting Guatemala in the weeks before the festival, you might see local families and children crafting colorful kites, making sugar skulls, and decorating gravestones with traditional offerings.

Where to Go

The Day of the Dead festival is celebrated all around Guatemala, but the most spectacular events are held in the highland villages of Santiago Sacatepéquez and Sumpango, about a 30-minute drive from Guatemala City.

Ways to Celebrate

Head to Santiago Sacatepéquez or Sumpango to see the giant kite festival, Guatemala’s most spectacular Day of the Dead celebration. Locals launch giant kites (some as tall as a 5-story building) into the skies. The kites are believed to keep away evil spirits and provide a method of communicating with the dead. The vibrant kites are handcrafted using delicate tissue paper and traditional papel picado techniques, with messages are attached to the tail of each kite. Other traditions include cleaning and decorating family grave sites and feasting on traditional foods such as pan de muerto.

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You can reserve your spot today and pay when you're ready.Learn more

13 Tours and Activities | All Guatemala City Tours

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Full Day Tour: Chichicastenango Maya Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City

Full Day Tour: Chichicastenango Maya Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City

star-4.5
Discover the lively highland culture and beautiful scenery of Guatemala during this 12-hour visit to Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City. Start by checking out the colonial architecture and sprawling market of Chichicastenango, where vendors hawk everything from colorful handicrafts to candles, food and machetes. You’ll then have a chance to explore the picturesque town of Panjachel on the volcano-rimmed shores of Lake Atitlan. Your Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan trip includes a guide, optional lunch upgrade and round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$65.00
From
US$65.00
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Guatemala City Morning or Afternoon Tour

Private Tour: Guatemala City Morning or Afternoon Tour

star-4
Discover the cultural highlights of Central America’s largest city on a private morning or afternoon tour of Guatemala City. Alongside your guide, you’ll visit landmarks such as the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), the National Palace, and the Bank of Guatemala, while listening to history-rich commentary. Admire the modern structures of the Civic Center (Centro Civico) and browse Mercado Central for artisan souvenirs before heading to Paseo Caya — a walled luxury complex — to enjoy a delicious dinner (own expense). Receive undivided attention from your private guide.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$60.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$60.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half Day Experience in Guatemala City

Half Day Experience in Guatemala City

star-4.5
See Guatemala City's top attractions as you learn about the culture, heritage and traditions of this capital city. Tour the financial and commercial centers, navigate the main thoroughfares and quiet squares. It's the perfect overview for first-time visitors who want to get oriented to this diverse city.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$60.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$60.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Iximché Ruins and Antigua City Tour from Guatemala City

Iximché Ruins and Antigua City Tour from Guatemala City

star-4.5
Take a tour from Guatemala City that showcases the mix of Spanish and Mayan traditions that have influenced this incredible nation. Journey into the Iximche ruins—one of Guatemala’s most famous archeological sites—and then make your way to the iconic Spanish colonial town of Antigua. Follow your expert guide to all of the local sites, including churches, plazas and shops—before making your way back to Guatemala City after this exciting day trip.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$80.99
Price varies by group size
From
US$80.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Antigua Guatemala & Guatemala City Tour

Antigua Guatemala & Guatemala City Tour

star-5
Explore the old and new capitals of Guatemala on this full-day sightseeing adventure that combines both vehicle and walking tours of Guatemala City and Antigua. You’ll see major highlights like the Civic Center, Metropolitan Cathedral and the Central Market in Guatemala City, before heading to the World-Heritage listed city of Antigua. Wander the historic streets of this picturesque colonial town and stop at La Merced Church, Central Park and other highlights before enjoying a traditional lunch.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$62.00
From
US$62.00
Taking safety measures

Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Day Trip

Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Day Trip

star-4.5
On your own, it’s difficult to squeeze the the Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan into a single day, but this guided tour makes it a breeze by handling all the transportation logistics from Guatemala City. Plus, going with a guide keeps you from getting lost in the crowds of one of the largest open-air markets in Central America and provides tons of insight into the rich cultures around Lake Atitlan.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$62.00
From
US$62.00
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City

Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City

Discover the lively culture and beautiful scenery of Guatemala's highlands on this private tour to Chichicastenango from Guatemala City. Admire the colonial architecture and sprawling market of Chichicastenango, the largest outdoor market in Central America, and check out the wares from textiles to flowers to street food. A private guide and vehicle plus round-trip hotel transport make for a hassle-free trip.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$130.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$130.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Guatemala City Afternoon Sightseeing Tour

Guatemala City Afternoon Sightseeing Tour

star-4
Experience the buzzing capital of Guatemala on this 3-hour afternoon sightseeing tour of Guatemala City, including hotel pick-up. Get your bearings in Central America’s biggest city, as you follow your guide around landmarks like the Avenue of the Americas, Constitution Plaza and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Learn more about the city’s rich history and heritage as you admire the murals and mosaics of the Bank of Guatemala, browse for handicrafts at the bustling Central Market.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$34.00
From
US$34.00
Taking safety measures

Chichicastenango and Panajachel Day Trip from Guatemala City

Chichicastenango and Panajachel Day Trip from Guatemala City

star-4
Explore the colorful towns of Panajachel and Chichicastenago on this exciting day trip from Guatemala City, complete with round-trip hotel service. You’ll wander through open-air markets and comb through the unique handmade goods Guatemala is famous for on this popular day trip. Visit the Church of Santo Tomas and Calvary Church in Chichiscastenango’s central plaza with your expert local guide, and make your way to the lakeside town of Panajachel, where you’ll navigate the Santander Street towards incredible views of Lake Atitlan and check out handcrafted leather goods, pottery and fabrics along the way.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$76.93
Price varies by group size
From
US$76.93
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

UNESCO JEWELS: Antigua Half Day Tour from Guatemala City

UNESCO JEWELS: Antigua Half Day Tour from Guatemala City

star-4.5
Experience the Spanish-colonial charm of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, during this 5-hour morning tour from Guatemala City. This atmospheric city was the country’s capital for more than 200 years, creating a wealth of historic architecture and gorgeous scenery for you to discover during your walking tour. Tread on Antigua’s cobblestone streets as you explore sites like the Cathedral of Santiago, Central Park and Palace of the Captain Generals. Your Antigua visit also includes a guide and round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$38.00
From
US$38.00
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Cooking Class in Antigua from Guatemala City

Small-Group Cooking Class in Antigua from Guatemala City

star-5
Embark on an exotic culinary adventure with this 5-hour small-group cooking class in Antigua, including hotel pick-up. Master expert techniques and local ingredients to create typical Guatemalan dishes like ‘hilachas’, tamales and ‘camote en dulce’, under the watchful eye of a professional chef. After tasting your creations over lunch, leave armed with recipes and cooking tips to help you recreate your favorite dishes back home.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$117.95
Price varies by group size
From
US$117.95
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Day of the Dead Giant Kite Festival Cultural Experience

Day of the Dead Giant Kite Festival Cultural Experience

With their costumes, music, and parades, Day of the Dead celebrations are some of the most iconic in Latin America. Take part in the cultural tradition of giant kites on this Day of the Dead festival tour from Sumpango, which shares with you the history of the holiday and teaches you about the kite making ritual. This tour presents a rare opportunity to learn directly from a local guide about a unique regional custom.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$35.25
From
US$35.25

Day of The Dead: Kite Festival from Guatemala City or Antigua

Day of The Dead: Kite Festival from Guatemala City or Antigua

The Giant Kite Festival of Sumpango is performed every year in November 1, in celebration of the Day of the Dead or All Saints. Spend the day experiencing this incredible tradition, that includes multicolored kites and plenty of family fun, like a local. You'll learn the historic roots of this celebration that honors deceased relatives. Your friendly guide will shares stories about folklore that says evil spirits roam through cemeteries and wake the dead. If you're lucky enough to be visiting during this unique festival it is not to be missed!
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$87.18
From
US$87.18
Taking safety measures


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