After hotel pickup by air-conditioned coach from downtown Mexico City, travel 17 miles (28 km) south of the city to an agrarian area called Xochimilco (pronounced ‘so-chee-MIL-co'). Upon arrival at the UNESCO site, board a flat-bottomed trajinera with your guide and drift through beautiful floating gardens amid a system of canals that once connected many settlements of the Valley of Mexico.
Pass by artificial islands with floating reed mats loaded with soil, used as gardens called chinampas. Learn about how these mini-landmasses were developed during Aztec times to get around the scarcity of arable lands. Today, many of Mexico City’s floral blooms are cultivated and grown in Xochimilco.
Your driver moves the trajinera along by pulling a pole through the water. Hear about the traditional boats, originally hollowed from logs and formerly used for transportation throughout Mexico. Relax under the shade of your boat’s roof as you gaze at other vibrantly painted vessels carrying passengers and goods. Hungry? Enjoy tacos with beer for lunch (own expense), picked up from one of the boat-vendors.
After Xochimilco, you’ll be taken to the National University of Mexico, founded in 1550, for a short but entertaining tour. Check out the university library, massive outdoor gallery of murals and sculptures, and then the stadium and bullfighting ring where the classic sport takes place on Sundays.
Your 6-hour tour ends with transport back to your hotel.