Island of the Dolls

WHY IT RATES: The nine-day experience is geared toward solo travelers in their 30s and 40s brave enough to explore one of the destination’s spookiest sites while learning more about the country’s rich history and culture.—Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse Senior Writer

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Fearless travelers can experience one of the world’s creepiest adventures on Mexico’s deserted ‘Island of the Dolls’ this Halloween—which true to its name, is covered in creepy dolls hanging from the trees, many missing heads and limbs.

Flash Pack, specializing in group adventures for solo travelers in their 30s and 40s, has launched a nine-day adventure through Mexico, celebrating the day of the dead where travelers will visit the Island of the Dolls, take part in gastronomic rituals to honor the dead and join the carnival processions in Oaxaca.

Shrouded in folklore, the Island of the Dolls is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a drowned girl and local legend states that the dolls have been heard whispering to one another, moving their head and arms and even opening their eyes.

The company’s founder advises that this part of the tour is ‘not for the faint-hearted’: “For many of our customers, an adventure means abseiling down the side of a mountain, for others, however, the adrenaline rush of a fright provides the exact same thrill. This one-off tour through Mexico certainly delivers that, whilst also immersing them in the country’s rich history and tradition,” says Flash Pack’s co-founder, Lee Thompson.

Although the deserted island looks terrifying, it actually has a very sad past. Situated just south of Mexico City, between the canals of Xochimilco, the story goes that Don Julian Santana Barrera, the island’s caretaker, found a young girl floating in the canal with a doll nearby. He was unable to save her, so hung the doll to a tree out of respect. He soon claimed to be haunted by the spirit of the girl so hung more dolls in an attempt to appease the ghost, eventually covering the island with them, giving it its eery name ‘Isla de las Muñecas’ (Island of the Dolls).

But it’s not all thrills and ghost stories. For travelers that don’t fancy their chances on the island, there’s plenty more on offer.

The tour, which departs on 26th October, will take up to 14 solo travelers through central Mexico and provides a unique take on ancient Mexican tradition, including Dia de los Muertos—a tradition that was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Travelers will also be able to immerse themselves in the colorful city of Puebla, before heading south to the culinary capital of Oaxaca, nestled amid the mountains.

“Mexico attracts travelers from around the world throughout the year with its endlessly rich culture, but in October, the country comes alive – most famously exemplified by its Day of the Dead celebrations,” adds Thompson. “The country has so much more to offer than white sandy beaches, and this one-off tour gives solo travelers the chance to really get under the skin of the country, with a few scares thrown in.”

The adventure comes to a magical end with a visit to the world’s only petrified waterfall—which has created an ethereal frozen-in-time effect and also happens to be a fantastic spot for wild swimming, with natural thermal pools.

The one-off adventure runs from Saturday, October 26 – Sunday, November 3 and costs $3309—price includes all accommodation, local transport, meals an expert guide. Bookings can be made here and other trips to Mexico with Flash Pack can be booked here.

SOURCE: Flash Pack press release.