Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta For Día De Los Muertos

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Discover a variety of things you can do for Día de los Muertos, from the Malecon to Isla Cuale and all the way to Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta is full of activities for the holiday honoring our deceased loved ones.

According to National Geographic, the Día de los Muertos festival “originated several thousand years ago with Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful and viewed death as a natural phase in life’s long continuum. The dead were still members of the community, kept alive in memory and in spirit—and during the Día de los Muertos, they temporarily returned to earth.”

The celebrations bring together pre-Hispanic traditions and Catholic feasts (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day), honoring the dead with their favorite foods, drinks, activities, songs and colors. This holiday, in stark contrast to Halloween which is often marked by the color black and scary ghouls, is colorful and lively. A time to lovingly gather with family—and friends who are like family—to remember those who have gone before us.

In Puerto Vallarta, Día de los Muertos is observed by locals and curious visitors alike. Many locals request that visitors refrain from going to the cemeteries on these days out of respect for the families who are visiting their loved ones. This is not a time to make a spectacle of private and sacred traditions, there are plenty of other activities where visitors (and cameras) are more than welcome!

Last year on November 2nd, 2022, Puerto Vallarta won the Guinness World Records title for the tallest calavera catrina. The Catrina, spearheaded by local artist Alondra Muca, reached an awe-inspiring height of 22.67 m (74 ft 4.87 in) tall, towering over the skyline of the beautiful coastal city. This year, Vallarta will attempt to maintain their record with a new entry.

Below is a list of activities you can choose from to celebrate Día de los Muertos during your time in Vallarta, starting today!

OCTOBER 31, 2023

Plaza Principal de Ixtapa
6:30pm | Tour of Altars of the Dead
6:45pm | Rubén (Saxophone)
7:30pm | Drawing Catwalk
8:00pm | Living Catrinas Catwalk
8:30pm | Drawing Contest Awards
8:45pm | Luz García (Singer)
9:30pm | Altars and Living Catrinas Contest Awards Ceremony

NOVEMBER 1, 2023

Centro Cultural El Pitillal
3:30PM | Inauguration of the Traveling Mummies Museum (Museo Itinerante de Momias— Encarnación de Díaz)

Isla Cuale “Isla de los Muertos” Festival with Amigos de la Isla Cuale
An event that raises money for the maintenance and upkeep of Isla Cuale.
4:00PM | Festival Begins: Food, Drinks, Face Painting, Lotería Games, “El Barro Suena” Award Winning Exhibition with pre-hispanic clay instruments and replication of tomb in Centro Cultural Vallartense (CCV), Open Microphone & more!
4:30PM | Kevin Anthony II, Brenda Gaviño (World Karaoke Competition Runner Up), Bobbi & The Others (Vallarta's Queen of Country) & The Three Tenors Vallarta
5:15PM | So you think you can RISE Contest Winners & Catrina Pageant: Dashs Robles, Rafa Alonso, & Enochian Vibes
6:00pm | Act2PV Greatest Comeback Show, Preview of 2024 Season: Steven Retchless, Rocky Horror Cast, & Mamma Mia Cast (produced by Pat Macias; featuring choreography by Edgar Román)
7:00pm | The VOICE of Vallarta Reunion Showcase Featuring: Gloria Fiona, Patriz Vallarta, RULO de MAR, Cate Valcic, & Jessi Valente (produced by Joe Wallace)
8:00pm | Luis Villanueva presents: ¡Viva México! All Spanish Variety Show
9:00pm | The Pleasant Uprising Dance Party
10:00pm | End

5 de Diciembre Neighborhood “Festival Día de los Muertos” on Calle San Salvador
11AM-7PM | The neighborhood of 5 de diciembre is throwing a festival with a wide variety of food, activities, clothing & more on Calle San Salvador near the cemetery.

Faro del Malecón
6:30PM | Pre-hispanic Dance
7:30PM | Rubén (Saxophone)
8:00PM | Inauguration of Monumental Catrinas
8:45PM | Grupo Zafiro (band)

NOVEMBER 2, 2023

9:00AM – 12:00PM | Pantheon Tour
5:00PM | Día de Muertos Parade (Starting at the Pantheon and ending in Plaza Lazaro Cardenas)

5 de Diciembre Neighborhood “Festival Día de los Muertos” on Calle San Salvador
11AM-7PM | The neighborhood of 5 de diciembre is throwing a festival with wide variety of food, activities, clothing & more on Calle San Salvador near the cemetery. You can also watch the parade from there.

Guerra Art World “Las Catrinas Mandan” Día de los Muertos Celebration
An event to celebrate the gallery’s 1 year anniversary as well as Día de los Muertos.
6-9PM | Art Exhibit, Entertainment, Face Painting, Altars, Installations, Door Prizes, Drinks & Treats

Templete Faro del Malecón
6:30PM | Martín “El Auténtico de Nayarit” (Cantante/Singer)
7:00PM | Dance of Baile Pitillal [Pitillal Dance group]
8:00pm | Mia Dance Studio
9:00pm | Mariachi Fiesta Jalisciense PV

Mestizo Espresso & Bar “Fiesta del Día de los Muertos”
8:00PM | Inauguration of the Altar of the Dead — Open to the public to bring photos of loved ones who passed this year, or an offering to include on the community altar.
9:00PM | Exhibition and Recitation of Calaveritas — All who are interested are welcome to participate in sharing a Calaverita. Calaveritas are a traditional type of poetry often written for Day of the Dead. Irreverent verses (or poems) that tackle death with irony, satire and good humor.
11:00PM | Live Music Jam Session featuring Arbeda Jazz Trio — Jam session open to any musicians/singers who want to participate.

NOVEMBER 3, 2023

Centro Cultural La Lija
6:00pm | Día de Muertos Cultural Festival

Templete Faro del Malecón
7:00pm | Jessi Valente (Singer)
7:45pm | Catrinas and Catrines Catwalk
8:30pm | Fire Show
9:00pm | Awards

NOVEMBER 4, 2023

Domo La Lija
5:00pm | Celebración del 20 Aniversario del Ballet Folclórico Vallarta Azteca [20th Anniversary Celebration of Ballet Folclórico Vallarta Azteca (Vallarta Aztec Folkloric Dance)]

Templete Faro del Malecón
6:00pm | Fabiola Mantecón Cuenta Cuentos (Storytelling)
6:45pm | Angélica Santiago (Singer)
7:30pm | Catwalk of Costumed Pets
8:00pm | José Alfredo Samaniega (Singer)
8:30pm | Awards
8:45pm | Los 3 del Ranchito (Norteño Band)

NOVEMBER 5, 2023

Templete Faro del Malecón
6:30pm | Cuenta Cuentos “Mimox” [Storytelling]
7:15pm | Janeth (Saxophone)
8:00pm | Alas · Singing School
8:30pm | DJ

We will see you out there! There are many other activities happening as well, I kept this list to official government events as well as others that are being put together by collaborative community efforts, focused on supporting culture in Puerto Vallarta. Wherever you decide to spend your time, I trust you will enjoy!

More about the events:
All Official Government Events:
Día de Muertos Parade:
Isla de los Muertos Festival:
“Las Catrinas Mandan” in Guerra Art World: