What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Xcaret Festival de Tradiciones de Vida y Muerte 2014


Once again Xcaret’s Festival de Tradiciones de Vida y Muerte was a joyful, colorful, creepy, rousing success. Bebé and I attended on Saturday. Each year a different Mexican state is showcased. This year it was Michoacan. The Festival features some 250 exhibits which include theater productions; musical, dance and multidisciplinary performances; audiovisual presentations; a Catholic mass; children’s activities; expositions and exhibitions; a parade (which takes place on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen); and traditional Day of the Dead food.

La Catrina (a Day of the Dead icon) is always there to greet visitors at the main entrance…

La Catrina Xcaret

Each year I have more fun getting into the spirit of the event, so I bought a new traditional blouse and put festive flowers in my hair. I planned to get my make-up done at the Ultrafemme stand, where they were doing gorgeous intricate work, but alas, the line was looong, too long to wait in with a 5 year old. So we smeared on some paint from one of the stands they have throughout the park. For the first time ever Bebé wanted his face painted.


Day of the Dead Cancun


Festival Vida y Muerte Cancun

Normally we go to the cemetary first, before it gets crowded, but since it was Saturday, there was already a long line, so we headed to check out the altars.

altar Day of the Dead

altar Dia de Muertos

Xcaret Festival Vida y Muerte

altars Xcaret festival

celebrations Day of the Dead Cancun

We went to three performances this year, a record for us. The first one was about a family of “calaveras” or skeletons, in other words, a family of dead people. Then we went to see a performance by a Michocan dance troupe and then the Game of Life, a story and performance of an ancient Mayan ball game. The only good picture I got of the performances was this one, of the dance troupe. Both of us loved all of the performances, or shows as Bebé calls them, that we saw.

traditional dance Michoacan

It is important to note that the traditional Day of the Dead food at the festival is absolutely delicious and reasonably priced. I should know. I ate a lot of it.

And just for fun, I wanted to share a few of Xcaret’s gorgeous pictures…

Festival Vida y Muerte Xcaret

Photo: Xcaret

Dia de Muertos Cancun

Photo: Xcaret

Day of the Dead Cancun

Photo: Xcaret

The drive to Xcaret is kind of long from Cancun, especially on the way back late at night, but we might have to attend the Festival two days next year!

Dia de Muertos en Cancun


  1. Wow great pics! Thanks .. glad you had a great time. Two days sounds better so you don’t cram it all in.

  2. Hi Kristin,

    Your writing is lovely! Would you like to write an article for a family travel guide on Cancun? I’m the content editor at Vacatia, a vacation rental company. Currently, we’re creating an interactive travel guide on all the best activities and dining in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. We’d love to have you as a contributor, given your expertise.

    If this is something you’d be interested in, please email me at trevor.cohen@vacatia.com for more details.



  3. Love your photos. You did a great job on the face paint.

  4. Hi Kristin,

    I stumbled upon your blog after finding your posting of the 10 Best Party hotel on the USA Today 10best portal. Could you possibly provide some advice on what to do for a large bachelor party group(10-15) trying to stay at one of your listed hotels? I’ve never been to Cancun, so not really familiar with the additional 3rd and 4th guest charges work as I tried to book for ME and it took me automatically to the a 4 guest suite rated at $9k/night. My email is anthony.tseng@gmail.com Any help is appreciated!



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