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Semana Santa is one of Mexico’s most exciting holiday, second only to Day of the Dead. While local tourism tends towards beach vacations, there are lots of options for places to go in Mexico that will provide a little more Easter ambiance. Here are seven of our favorites.
Semana Santa is such a big national holiday that you will find most Mexican tourists enjoying their holiday outside of the city. So why not come and enjoy the country’s capital at one of its most chill moments? Most museums and attractions remain open for those who opt to stay in the city and as a tourist you can take advantage of all the restuarants and shops without the crowds. If you are desperate to see some local Easter week celebrations, Iztapalapa and Milpa Alta, just outside of the central city limits have great festivities to visit.
One of the country’s most interesting and intense Easter celebrations happens in Taxco, just a few hours outside of Mexico City. You can see giant specimens of men carrying thorned branches on their backs in penance, nuns clothed in black veils praying the rosary and a Christ statue that is raised in the main church of the city. The rest of the time, enjoy the mountainous city streets and hundreds of silver shops that have made Taxco famous.
Known for its mezcal, mole and beautiful handicrafts, Oaxaca City is the center of life in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca. Don’t miss the local markets for delicious food and the classic Oaxacan hotel chocolate and check out some of the city’s best boutique hotels for an awesome night’s stay. Throughout Easter week, Oaxaca City is full of processions representing the Passion of the Christ, Palm Sunday and more. Don’t miss the incredible fusion of food and festivity that make this city a must-see in Mexico.
You will find lots of other national and foreign tourists enjoying the ambiance of San Miguel de Allende during this annual celebration, but the Friday of Our Lady of Dolores, the last Friday of lent is a great day to walk the streets of San Miguel and enjoy the home altars that pop up and that tourists can ooh and aah over without feeling like they are gawking. Families hand out suckers and other little gifts to visitors and it feels like the whole city is out and about for the event.
Chihuahua’s Copper Canyon is a great trip any time of the year, as you ride one of Mexico’s last remaining passenger trails through miles of beautiful mountains. Easter week bring special celebrations, as the area is home to the ancient tarahumara indigenous people that celebrate the event with drums, dancing, pilgrimages and burning of the Judas-mestizo ephitaph at the Tewerichi Mission.
Oaxaca’s collection of 9 bays and 36 beaches in the state of Oaxaca has every kind of vacation option — from isolated bungalows to high-end luxury resorts. The area has some incredible flora and fauna that you can encounter both on land and at sea. This is a popular spot, so reserve ahead of time, but if you are looking for a warm escape from a cooler climate, it’s a great place to explore for Semana Santa.
San Luis Potosi, besides being a colonial jewel in Mexico with stunning architecture, is also a great Semana Santa destination. They are famous for their Procession of Silence, which happens on Good Friday and involves all kind of devoted Catholics filling the street in a silent procession to express their grief over the death of Christ. The rest of the Easter weekend is just as exciting with other processions and a grand celebration on Easter morning.