4 star rating: Recommended 38 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 August 2015

The wife and I always wanted to do this. The Mariachi was great and the people were all happy,festive, singing and dancing. The food and drinks were great. My wife The Queen of Barter got a great deal on a silver pendant of Our Lady of Guadalupe.Great shops before and after the boat ride. We got some great eats and tried dried crickets, minnows, with peanuts! The crickets were surprisingly sweet and the combo was awesome...it went well with my mechata! Great with place with about three couples or more. Make sure you go to the restroom before you go on the boat or you'll be hurting! LOLs
The University of mexico I always wanted to see since I first encountered reading and seeing photos of it in an old Golden Book Encyclopedia my Godmother bought me from 'Safeway when I was a young boy of 5. I saw then for the first time a photo of the Mosaic Library and read about what is done at a University. To see it for real along with my wife was a great experience. Loved this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Terrific!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Good

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

We spent Christmas Day on the canals. Met some amazing people, had lunch, listened to mariachi music as we floated through the canals. Our guide was great. I would highly recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2013

This was an excellent way to see many of Mexico City's sites that are not centrally located downtown. The guide, Eduardo, was great and took us by Mexico City's World Trade Center, to the bull fighting ring, to the University of Mexico to view the exterior of the library, by the Azteca Stadium, to the Coyoacan neighborhood, and finally to Xochimilco where we took a boat along the canal. We enjoyed beer and marriachi music during the boat ride.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2012

Very positive review overall. The sights speak for themselves (Coloyoacan, Frida, Xochimilco). You felt safe. The guides were good guys, and informative. Pick-up drop off at your hotel is great. Suggestions: 1) establish and clarify when the group meal will be; 2) Include the Coloyoacan market as part of the tour. Again, glad we took this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2012

Thoroughly enjoyed this tour - Xochimilco is a must see! I was in Mexico two years ago and didn't manage this tour ,so delighted I got to see it this time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2011

Very nice quiet tour, not alot of walking, restful day!

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Tour code: 2895MEX6

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