Sunday Stills: The Pink Side of Muertos  

Two years ago this month, my husband and I were in Oaxaca, Mexico. It was our second visit to this vibrant and colorful city, but this time we were there to experience the celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Although the official holiday spans just three days (October 31 – November 2), Oaxaca starts to prepare for the big event early. By arriving in mid-October and staying until the end of November we had plenty of time to not only enjoy the celebration but to experience Oaxaca before and after the crowds descended.

Templo de Santo Domingo under a sky blue pink sunset.

Images of skeletons could be found all over the city, many of them adorned in pink.

Some were whimsically pink.

Some were a worrisome pink.

Some were cute-as-a-button pink.

Speaking of pink, the City Centro Hotel located in the barrio of Jalatlaco, is all about pink. Because we weren’t paying guests, I was only able to access the ground floor, but I had so much fun poking around and taking pictures. The next time we visit Oaxaca, I would be tickled pink to book a room for at least a night so we can explore more of the hotel, including its colorful rooftop pool.   

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge is The Pink Side of Life. Click here to enjoy Terri’s photos and see how others responded to the theme.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

79 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: The Pink Side of Muertos  ”

  1. I tend to overlook and minimize interest in pink, but the photos are really very nice! The pink hues in the architecture are charming, but the little girl really made me smile. Nice work, Janis. You definitely hit the target on the challenge. 🙂

  2. The hotel is sooo pretty! I see why you want to stay there. I love the unique honey comb like design. The angles make it so stunning!

    1. We had already booked everything by the time I discovered this hidden gem, but next time for sure. I can’t imagine the skill it must have taken to set those bricks so perfectly. I think one just slightly out of alignment would have stood out.

  3. I’m so glad to see your post and all the amazing pinks from your visit to Oaxaca, Janis. I bet you miss it (and travel)! Whenever we would visit places in Mexico, it wasn’t hard to find colorful homes and architecture. The brickwork on the building is such a rich pink and you captured it beautifully!

  4. What a varied and beautiful collection of “pink” images. I’m always in awe of your travels, especially the fact that you don’t go-see-leave but go-stay-live the place.

    1. I have to agree with Eilene – I don’t think I could stay in that hotel either, but I do love the combination of green chairs and plants against the pink backdrop. That has always been an appealing color combo to my eye and you captured it nicely!

  5. I didn’t take you for a pink-lover, Janis. But, then again, people probably don’t expect me to like pink, yet I do enjoy wearing that color and soaking up your photos. I’d be curious to find out if you ever stay in that pink hotel. I can’t believe that extended trip to Oaxaca has already been two years!! One day, Mark and I should make it to mainland Mexico by the end of a October to indulge in this celebration… Not this year.

    1. Not a pink lover, but I do appreciate the color in all its varieties. I bet you’d love the celebration (not sure about Maya because of the fireworks, though). Lots of people but worth it to experience it once. We want to go back when it’s quieter (and, yes, stay at least one night at the hotel).

  6. Beautiful photos! We did visit the pink hotel for a brief spin around, at your suggestion and went up to the pool area too. Very cool. That whole neighborhood is so aesthetically pleasing!

    Funny story re pink! At age 5 my grandmother asked me my favorite color. Pink I said! For the next 25 years she bought me pink pajamas, pink toys, pink everything…. Thereby turning me off the color pink until recently! Haha.


    1. Oh, wow, you got to see the pool! They wouldn’t let us do that without a room key. I love Jalatlaco… we’ll definitely try to stay there next time.

      What a sweet story! A 5-year-old’s favorite color isn’t necessarily the same as she gets older 🙂

  7. You captured such interesting photos. The sky was gorgeous. That little girl is adorable. Did you hear any tales about the meaning of pink? Is it just for the celebration or all the time? I’m assuming all the time since that’s a huge building to repaint just for a yearly celebration ;-). You definitely nailed the prompt for the day – congrats!

    1. My understanding is that it has always been – and will always be – pink. You are right, repainting the brick would be a huge undertaking. I imagine it’s a great marketing tool for them. I found a bunch of pictures on Instagram… not something most hotels inspire.

  8. Loved your photos of the interior of the City Centro Hotel. The striking color and pattern contrasts of pink and green is terrific.

  9. Janis, you clearly met the challenge this week! I remember when you wrote about your trip two years ago. It was my first introduction to colorful Oaxaca. I loved your photos then and now. Not sure I could stay in that pink hotel, but it is pretty in your photos.

  10. 6 weeks in one place on holiday! I’ve broached the subject of staying a month somewhere to He-Man and he doesn’t think he can do it. A week or maybe two is all he thinks he can do before being bored and ready to come home.

    The images are lovely, and that time of year must be so much fun as the parades and celebrations I’ve attended here in the states are fun. I’d like to explore the pink hotel too.

    1. You do have to put yourself in a different mind-set for slow travel, and it’s not for everyone. I love road trips, where you are constantly moving from place-to-place, and I love settling in and getting to know an area better.

      We have local Dia de los Muertos celebrations that are a lot of fun… but there is nothing like experiencing them in Oaxaca. The art and colors are amazing.

  11. Wow! I love all the pink. I would stay at that hotel too. And Day of the Dead celebrations? Sign me up.


  12. I love the sunset one but like you Janis I am not a huge fan of pink. The hotel block itself is a smidgon much but the inside picture with the plant and chairs was doable. You definitely nailed the challenge and it’s fun to look back on old travel photos isn’t it.

  13. What an interesting building! I have read so much about the Day of the Dead celebration & find the whole concept fascinating. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

  14. I was fascinated with your posts from Mexico, from the colorful and quaint doors to the city itself. The color pink sure is a contrast to the event here doesn’t it? I think it’d be fun to spend the night in this pink paradise too!

    1. It was fun to wander around on the ground floor of the hotel and I look forward to being able to stay as a paying guest. I have been a bit surprised that a few commenters said they wouldn’t want to stay there. I loved the over-the-top quirkiness of it and I’m glad you do to.

      1. Yes, I like quirky or different things, not only to photograph, but the experience as well. One of my favorite pictures was a trip to Tijuana and having a picture on the donkey masquerading as a zebra. It was very kitschy, but fun. I got home and showing people pictures, including my mom who said “how do you know who had that sombrero on before you … didn’t I always tell you not to try on hats?”

          1. That’s funny Janis. I’ll send you the link separately and you can check out the photo and then just delete the post. No, we didn’t get cooties at all and when I went to Egypt the following year, our tour group had camel rides after the Pyramids tour. I asked to take a photo of my camel’s handler and he plunked his head scarf on top of my head. When my mom saw the photo, she said “apparently you didn’t learn anything from what I said last year!” I remained unscathed this time too. I’d think twice about it now.

  15. Good lord, that was two years ago? I guess it was, but time is so warped now. I tried arguing with a friend about when he father passed away (it was last year). My friend finally reminded me that he was in a better position to know that. 🙂 Beautiful pictures! – Marty

  16. I am happy that you were able to experience Día de Muertos before the global shutdown. I am sure that Oaxaca would be a magnificent place to observe the celebrations. We were planning to attend this year in Michoacán, but decided it was still too soon to visit the area. As a consolation, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your account and perusing your perfectly pink pictures.

    1. Oh, I bet seeing it in Michoacan would be fabulous; I hope you can make that a reality some day. I’ve been following Mexico’s progress with vaccinations but it’s seems very uneven. The good news is that, for the most part, most events can be held outdoors. It’s been fun to travel back through time with my photos. I hope to share a few more.

      1. We have struck out the last two years in our attempts to go to Día de Muertos. Hopefully, the third time is the charm. You have such a vast catalog of great photos. I look forward to seeing more in the future.

  17. This is a fabulously colorful post! I definitely appreciate pink in the right surroundings. It’s such a lovely color in the tropics—some of my favorite birds are Roseate Spoonbills and Flamingos, and pink cottages seem just right in certain places in Florida. All of your images are wonderful. I’ve always wanted to visit Oaxaca, and I would love to experience Dia de los Muertos there. On my list!

    1. I hope you get to go! It’s interesting that you mention pink being a tropical color. I agree. The colors I usually associate with Mexico are vibrant, primary and secondary colors… not pink. Maybe whoever choose the colors for the hotel decided to do something that would make it stand out… and they were successful!

  18. I remember you writing aboutyour trip, Janis. Amazing images and they certainly made me take notice of the subject pink. Wonderful.

  19. While pink isn’t my favorite color, I’d love to stay at the City Centro Hotel and experience all its pinkness for myself. What a trippy building.

  20. Such an unusual hotel but one that must work to attract a lot of guests who might otherwise not visit. The skeletons I could give a wide berth to, but I wonder if celebration of the dead in presenting skeletons makes them and death less scarey to folks?

    1. Dia de los Muertos isn’t scary, but a celebration of the time your departed relatives come back for a visit. If you haven’t already seen it, you might want to watch the animated film, Coco. It’s Disney but they do a good job explaining the history of the celebration.

  21. Love your pink photos, Janis, especially the sunset. When it comes to pink (and most other things) Mother Nature beats anything humans create. However, the hotel was pretty cool, and the little girl is adorable!

  22. So many gorgeous colours in Mexico, including pink. Here in Canada, sadly, we seem to be afraid of bright colours and mostly stick to muted tones in our public buildings, homes, cars, and clothing.


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