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Xochimilco Floating Gardens

Photo credit: Foter / CC BY-SA
Xochimilco Floating Gardens
  • (worth a detour)
  • 10+ km
  • Easy
  • Average
  • full day
  • 2 2

The canals of Xochimilco, the colorful boats and the artificial islands of the canals

Food and drinks are sold from smaller trajineras or boats called chalupas.
Trajineras charge $350 per hour and up to 14 people can get on (price is not per person, so the more people, the cheaper it will be per head)

The floating gardens of Xochimilco (“Field of Flowers”),  are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a wonderful weekend activity to really experience traditional Mexico and its pre-Hispanic heritage. The 107 kilometers of  canals are what is left of the lake where the original settlers of Mexico City built the city over. The canals are characterize by their history, the splash of colours that trajineras bring to the scene and the canal’s chinampas.


Trajineras are colorful boats modeled after pre-Hispanic ones that were originally used for trade. Today, they are used only for tourism purposes and are a popular weekend activity for locals in Mexico City. Food, plants and even drinks can be bought from smaller boats that will approach your trajinera and mariachis and marimba players can even be hired to play and add to the wonderful experience. Trajineras come with tables and chairs, making them perfect for a relaxing day and to many locals, a wonderful set for a party.



Chinampas are artificial islands that were invented by pre-Hispanic people over 1,000 years ago. In chinampas, crops grow more than on conventional land so they are of great importance for the region’s agriculture.


One of the most famous chinampa is Isla de Las Muñecas, which is frequently visited by tourists because of its unusual decoration: decadent dolls, which can be found on the ground or hanging from trees. These were placed there by the island’s owner, who decided to do so after finding a drowned girl on the banks of the canal to honour her. The dolls are said to haunt the island and many people claim to have heard them whispering things to each other or seen them walking around at night.

How to get there

One of the most popular docks to ride trajineras is Nuevo Nativitas, to get there take the metro and get off at Taxqueña station (dark blue line) then take the tren ligero and get off at Xochimilco station