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Isla de las Muñecas

Photo credit: Esparta / Foter / CC BY
Isla de las Muñecas
  • (interesting)
  • 1-2 km
  • Moderate
  • Average
  • half day
  • 1 1

An island haunted by dolls

Embarcadero Nuevo Nativitas, Xochimilco, Barrio de Xaltocan, Ciudad de México, D.F.
During your boat ride through Xochimilco, check out the other islands as well to make the most out of your trip.

If the film Chucky scared you, then I highly recommend you NOT to visit Isla de las Muñecas in Mexico City. The name of this tiny island translates into “The Island of the Dolls”, and rightly so – it is the home of some pretty scary dolls.


It is located in the southern part of Mexico city, amongst the Xochimilco canals.


There are two stories behind the dolls in the island:


Don Julián Santana Barrera, the island’s caretaker found a little girl drowning and was unable to save her life. A few days afterwards, he found a doll that most likely had belonged to the girl and hung it on a tree.


Filled will guilt, Don Julián began to lose his mind and spent the next fifty years collecting dolls and hanging them. He thought the dolls were haunted by the spirits of dead girls. He died in 2001, in the exact same spot where the little girl supposedly drowned.


The first version of the story is quite creepy itself, but wait until you read the second one:


It starts with a girl found drowned as well, and it is believed that the dolls were placed there and later possessed by her. Locals claim the dolls open their eyes, move their heads around and even whisper to each other.


Tempted to visit yet?


Opening hours


How to get there

In Xochimilco, get to Cuernaco dock (preferrably by car or taxi) and ask any of the boat owners (the boats are locally known as "trajineras") and let them know you intend to go to this island specifically, because it is not commonly included in a ride's itinerary. The boat ride should last approximately two hours and trajinera rides are usually charged per hour (around 14 USD/hour).