Self-Guided Tour of Día de los Muertos Ofrendas!

This year more than 40 ofrendas will be set up across Old Town San Diego. But what exactly is an ofrenda?

An ofrenda (altar) is an important part of Día de los Muertos because it honors loved ones who have passed. While each ofrenda is different in style and size, most share symbolic objects such as marigolds, sugar skulls, photos, candles, food, and personal mementos. There are typically three tiers to an ofrenda. The top tier is set to identify who is being invited to the altar. The second tier is used to encourage the dead to feel welcomed and comfortable; will find favorite foods like pan de muertos, the third tier is set up so that the returning dead can refresh themselves upon arrival at the altar; water, candles, cleansing copal incense are lit, which is said to ward away evil spirits.

Visitors to Old Town San Diego are encouraged to tour the unique ofrendas to learn more about both those who set them up and those whom they are honoring. The State Historic Park will be conducting guided tours of the ofrendas set-up within the park each weekend and on November 1 & 2.

But if you are interested in seeing all of the ofrendas in the community, we have created a map for self-guided tours. Visitors can download a copy of the map HERE and/or printed copies will be available for pick up at local businesses, the Day of the Dead Street Festival on Oct 29 & 30, as well as the annual Día de los Muertos Procession on November 2.