4 star rating: Recommended 31 Reviews

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  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Duration:  6 hours (approx.)
Drift through the magnificent floating gardens of Xochimilco in a colorful ‘trajinera,’ a flat-bottomed boat characteristic of this unique agricultural region. Learn the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, first established as a pre-Columbian city on the shores of Lake Xochimilco just south of Mexico City. As you ride the decorative vessel, take in the once-enormous agrarian canal system that fed the Aztec capital. Afterward, enjoy a brief visit to the National University of Mexico, which contains an outdoor gallery of mural art and sculptures.

Highlights

  • 6-hour sightseeing tour of Xochimilco by boat
  • Ride a trajinera through stunning floating gardens and canals with a local guide
  • Learn about the cultural history of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Xochimilco
  • Visit the National University of Mexico and its outdoor art gallery
  • View the bull-fighting stadium and the university library
  • Complimentary pickup and drop-off from most downtown Mexico City, Reforma and Polanco hotels

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Xochimilco and National University of Mexico

Xochimilco Canal Cruise

Xochimilco (pronounced ‘so-chee-MIL-co') is an agricultural area located 17 miles (28 km) south of Mexico City where many of the city’s flowers are grown. In Aztec times, with prime farmland being scarce, the local people developed artificial islands with floating reed mats loaded with soil and used them as gardens called chinampas. Experience this natural and cultural wonder in what is now an ecological reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site!

After hotel pickup and transport by air-conditioned coach to Xochimilco, board a flat-bottomed trajinera with your guide and drift through the lovely floating gardens amid a network of small canals – once an extensive lake system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico.

Admire other colorful, painted boats transporting passengers and goods along the water as you relax at your communal table and chairs under the shade of the trajinera’s roof. Watch vendors selling fresh food, and enjoy tacos with beer for lunch (own expense) as your driver moves the vessel along by pulling a pole through the water. Hear your guide tell about the characteristic boats, originally hollowed from logs and once used for transportation throughout Mexico.

After your boat tour, you'll have the opportunity to visit the National University of Mexico, founded in 1550. See the stadium and bull-fighting ring where the classic sport takes place on Sundays, and view the university library on campus. Your guide will point out the impressive outdoor gallery containing mural art and sculptures before transporting you back to your hotel.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2014

I loved it. For a little extra more, they included me on their tour to La Casa Azul of Frida Kahlo. They also took us first to just pass by the bullfight arena, biggest in the world.... was interesting to see it. Then to the National University of Mexico. But the highlight of the tour for me was the Xochimilco boat ride. When we got there, all of us was given a fresh rose flower. Then on our way to the middle of the waterway. It was quiet first, then all the vendors came out, selling food from boiled corn, to blankets, jewelry. So mayhem, it seemed.... but it was exciting to see all these happening around us. There were mariachis in their uniforms who were ready to serenade us. Even without hiring a mariachi band, we could hear the other mariachi music everywhere, so it seemed like we had them too. Then the food - was ordered on the boat, was cooked beside us on another boat, then served hot .... most delicious tipico comida I ever ate. With the drinks, it was only $150. Nice, I would go on this trip again. Our guide, Paloma, was very considerate, and spoke in both English and Spanish. I was the only English speaking person on the trip, and she made me feel very special, always asking if I was enjoying myself.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2014

Fantastic excellent guide Mildred

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Tour code: 2895MEX6

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