Thursday, July 25, 2024

Greatest 3 Xochimilco Excursions in Mexico Metropolis

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With its artwork galleries, fascinating structure and unimaginable delicacies, there’s no scarcity to issues to do in Mexico Metropolis’s Historic Centre.

However for one thing utterly completely different, head 20 kilometres exterior the downtown core and expertise a tour to Xochimilco, a ship trip by means of the distinctive floating gardens of Mexico Metropolis.

This community of canals dates again to the time of the Aztecs, when the traditional peoples produced meals on chinampas, pockets of arable land floating on the shallow lakes beds of the Valley of Mexico. 

Boat in a canal at Xochimilco Mexico City.
Glide alongside canals in a trajinera in a Xochimilco, Mexico Metropolis. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

Organized Tour vs Impartial Go to? 

I’ve visited these Mexico Metropolis canals each on excursions and independently. If you happen to don’t converse Spanish and need to use your sightseeing time effectively, I like to recommend you’re taking one of many guided excursions to Xochimilco.

Each my Guatemala-born husband and I converse Spanish fluently. And we discovered attending to Xochimilco on our personal, discovering one of the best boat and bartering for costs a bit complicated.

Many guided excursions to the floating gardens of Xochimilco additionally embody stops at different main Mexico Metropolis sights. You’ll be able to see Plaza Garibaldi, discover the Frida Kahlo museum and the district of Coyoacan, recognized for its colonial structure, boutiques and cobblestone streets.

And pattern mezcal and tequila alongside the best way!

Colorful courtyard at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City.
Some excursions embody stops on the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico Metropolis.

An organized tour to  Xochimilco can be your greatest wager when you’ve got only a weekend in Mexico Metropolis as you’ll save time and see extra.

A Xochimilco tour can be safer (see beneath for scams), you received’t have to barter for costs and it’s much less nerve-racking.

Plus, you’ll study extra concerning the canals’ historical past and tradition from a neighborhood information than you’ll by yourself. 

Greatest Xochimilco Excursions

1. Xochimilco, Coyoacan and Frida Kahlo Museum

Greatest for: Price range, Artwork Lovers.

Good to Know: Group excursions take longer. Count on to attend for different individuals on the sights

This Xochimilco, Coyoácan and Frida Kahlo Museum tour is probably the most complete of the group excursions accessible and provides nice worth.

The tour takes round 10 hours and contains sightseeing stops at main Mexico Metropolis sights such because the historic Coyacan neighbourhood and Frida Kahlo Museum.

It wraps up with a trip on a standard trajinera (painted gondola boat) within the floating gardens. Admission and transportation are included.

Test charges and availability of a Xochimilco, Coyoácan and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour on

2. Mexico Metropolis Tour of Xochimilco, Mercado Sonora, Plaza Garibaldi and Tequila & Mezcal Museum

Greatest for: Foodies, Tradition Lovers, These Who Like Flexibility, Stress-Free Transportation.

Good to Know: Doesn’t embody Frida Kahlo Museum.

This Non-public Tour of Mercado Sonora, Plaza Garibaldi, the Tequila & Mezcal Museum and Xochimilco whereas pricier than finances excursions, has plenty of benefits. They’re sufficient to vault it onto our listing of one of the best choices for a Xochimilco tour.

  • To start with you’ll be picked up and dropped off at your resort. This may prevent each money and time as you received’t must taxi, Uber or Metro to a central assembly level.
  • A lot of flexibility. Need to spend extra time at Mercado Sonora? Need to request a mariachi music? No drawback. It’s as much as you the way a lot time you’ll spend at every cease.
  • It saves time. No ready round for stragglers on a bunch tour.
  • The sights and sights could also be of extra curiosity than many different excursions. Not solely will you go to the standard Mexican market Mercado Sonora in addition to Plaza Garibaldi however you’ll additionally get to pattern tequila and mezcal along with your trip in a ship at Xochimilco.
  • Your devoted, knowledgable information is on the market to reply your questions.

Test costs and availability of a Non-public Tour of Mercado Sonora, Plaza Garibaldi, the Tequila & Mezcal Museum and Xochimilco on

3. Mexican Occasion at Xochimilco Floating Gardens

Greatest for: Genuine Native Tradition, Enjoyable, Led by Locals.

Good to Know: Transportation to Xochimilco is NOT included.

Among the best methods to expertise Mexican tradition is to occasion on a Xochimilco trajinera with a enjoyable group of individuals.

These floating fiestas are in style amongst Mexicans for birthday events, celebrations and household get togethers for a cause. You’ll uncover why on this Mexican Occasion Tour of Xochimilco.

Led by Xochimilco locals, you’ll get pleasure from mariachi music, tequila pictures and even make your individual guacamole. You’ll additionally get to cease and discover the reptile zoo, chat with distributors, dance and customarily let unfastened.

Test costs and availability of a Mexican Fiesta at Xochimilco on

Floating Gardens of Xochimilco Mexico Metropolis

A trajinera or Mexican gondola in Xochimilco Mexico City.
A trajinera or Mexican gondola is a floating fiesta. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

All excursions embody the expertise of floating on the canals of this UNESCO World Heritage Web site.

You’ll tour in a trajinera, a brightly painted Mexican gondola, whereas having fun with meals, drinks and leisure (additional value) alongside the best way.

It’s a very fashionable exercise for locals celebrating birthdays, engagements or household particular events. So attempt to  through the week when the crowds aren’t as massive.

It’s additionally the type of exercise greatest loved in a bunch or as a pair, so in case you can collect a bunch of pals you’ll have extra enjoyable.

A trajinera or Mexican gondola in Xochimilco Mexico City
Collect your mates for a day on a trajinera or Mexican gondola in Xochimilco Mexico Metropolis. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

E-book one of many boats and also you’ll float by means of the peaceable canals studying about historical traditions and having fun with meals, drink and even mariachi music.

Costs are posted on the Embarcadero (dock). If you happen to’re taking a guided tour to Xochimilco, your ticket contains the price of the boat rental.  

Bizarre Island of Dolls at Xochimilco Mexico Metropolis

One of many strangest sights I noticed alongside the best way was a show of dismembered dolls affixed to bushes. It was an eerie, slightly creepy sight.

It additionally occurs to be a prime spot throughout Day of the Lifeless when performances of the legend of la llorona happen within the neighbourhood.

In keeping with the legend, La Llorona (The Weeping Lady) is a girl who killed her kids to be together with her lover.

After he abandoned her, she regretted her determination. Now, she roams the streets –from Guatemala to Mexico– lamenting the lack of her kids for eternity. 

Eerie Doll island Xochimilco, Mexico City
Eerie Island of the Dolls in Xochimilco, Mexico Metropolis. (Credit score: Michele Peterson)

However the Island of the Dolls or Isla de las Munecas was really created by a neighborhood who discovered the physique of a younger woman floating within the canal.

Unable to avoid wasting her from drowning, he collected dolls and connected them to bushes on an island as a type of memorial.

Legend has it that her spirit now lives by means of the dolls and witnesses have reported seeing dolls’ limbs transfer, eyes open and different unusual happenings.

I wasn’t eager to search out out for myself so targeted on sipping tequila and consuming grilled corn that miraculously appeared from distributors floating by in canoes and dugouts.

Issues to Do Close to Xochimilco Mexico Metropolis

Close-up of boats in Xochimilco.
The colourful boats on historical Aztec canals at Xochimilco in Mexico Metropolis.

Whereas Xochimilco is likely one of the most well-known landmarks in Mexico, it additionally occurs to be near considered one of Mexico’s most beneath the radar sights.

It’s very close to the fascinating Dolores Olmedo Patino Museum, a historic hacienda that’s house to an necessary assortment of artwork by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo plus huge botanical gardens and  folks artwork. 

Notice: The Museo Dolores Olmedo Patino is quickly closed. I’ll replace this put up when it reopens because it’s positively price including to a Mexico Metropolis Itinerary. 

If you happen to’re in search of prime quality souvenirs, the present store is considered one of Mexico Metropolis’s greatest. Canine lovers will get pleasure from studying concerning the museum basis’s efforts to deliver again the traditional Mexican canine breed, the Xoloitzcuintle or Xolo, a hairless canine  as soon as thought of a holy animal by the Aztecs.

Take a look at this helpful itinerary for 3 Days in Mexico Metropolis

Statues of Xoloitzcuintle at Museo Dolores Olmedo Patino.
Statues of Xoloitzcuintle at Museo Dolores Olmedo Patino.

Methods to Get to Xochimilco Mexico Metropolis with no Tour

If you happen to’re doing it by yourself, anticipate it to take 90 minutes by public transit.

First, take Metro Line 2 to station Taxqueña. From there exit and take Tren Ligero (gentle rail) and pay an additional fare. Experience the sunshine rail to station Xochimilco, the final station.

Then, stroll or take a bicycle taxi by means of the market and village to the canals.

Or, in case you’re in a bunch it may be cheaper and extra handy to take a taxi, Uber or Didi out of your resort even in case you’re in Roma Norte or exterior the Historic Centre.

If you happen to’re travelling to Xochimilco independently, be sure you go to the central embarkation level NOT the small launching level.

Beware of motorbike scammers. They’ll let you know the boats are closed, full or busy and attempt to steer you to the incorrect embarkation dock. 

Price of Excursions at Xochimilco Mexico Metropolis

Boat rental costs are fastened (posted on a billboard on the dock) relying on the scale of the boat. However you’ll be able to attempt to negotiate extra time.

Distributors and roving mariachis float as much as your boat to serenade you. Different boats will provide drinks and attractive grilled corn with chile, lime and mayo for an additional charge.

If you happen to’re on the organized Mexican Fiesta Tour they negotiate prices for mariachi songs and meals. This could prevent cash.

Getting Round Mexico Metropolis 

View of Zocalo square and cathedral in Mexico City.
View of Zocalo sq. and cathedral in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico

There’s a lot to discover in Mexico Metropolis, it’s simple to turn out to be overwhelmed by selections. Take a look at this information to  Mexico Metropolis for 3 days or longer for extra concepts. 

To assist with navigation, GPSMyCity provides two metropolis walks apps, a free model and a paid one.  Within the free model, customers can view all of the stroll content material, however WITHOUT any navigation help.  For instance, NO detailed stroll route maps are included within the free model. 

What’s additionally nice about this, is that after you’ve downloaded the app it should work offline with out web connection. This implies you don’t have to buy cell knowledge plans or fear about paying roaming prices whereas in Mexico. 


Different Bucket Listing Experiences in Mexico

If you happen to’re headed to Cancun Riviera Maya, contemplate staying at Resort Xcaret Arte. Or, its family-friendly counterpart Resort Xcaret.

You’ll get all-inclusive entry to Xcaret’s theme park experiences. This contains the floating gardens of Xoximilco, modelled on these (the unique) gondolas and canals in Mexico Metropolis.


Is Xochimilco Mexico price it?

Visiting Xochimilco Mexico Metropolis is price it in case you’re concerned about conventional Mexican tradition and historical past. This UNESCO World Heritage Web site is just not solely an ideal place for a Mexican fiesta on a trajinera (gondola) however the community of canals and chinampas (floating gardens) date again to the Aztec interval and is traditionally important. You’ll additionally get pleasure from typical meals, mariachi music and drinks in your boat tour.

Is Xochimilco a vacationer entice?

Whereas Xochimilco Mexico Metropolis is in style amongst vacationers (each home and worldwide) the canals and floating gardens have a wealthy historical past relationship again to the Aztec interval. Whereas elements of the canals are filled with distributors promoting meals, drink and trinkets, your gondola (trajinera) may also glide to peaceable stretches within the canals away from the crowds.

How a lot time do you want at Xochimilco?

Though the shortest boat tour at Xochimilco takes solely an hour, most individuals choose to go to the ecological reserve and/or the Island of the Dolls. That provides an additional hour or two. Consider time to find and board your boat plus journey time to Xochimilco (southern quadrant of Mexico Metropolis) and also you want a minimal of half a day. Most excursions take 7-10 hours.

This put up was initially printed in 2015 however has been up to date usually after private visits, most just lately in 2023.

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