Visit the floating gardens of Xochimilco in Mexico City

Trajineras Croisière jardins flottants Xochimilco Mexico

Spend a quiet day in the gardens of Xochimilco on board a boat near Mexico City and visit the Frida Khalo Museum.

Visiting Mexico City can quickly tire you out, with so much to do and so much noise and bustle to cope with in this immense city… To get away from it all for a day or an afternoon, there’s nothing better than a boat trip on the floating gardens of Xochimilco.

Croisière jardins flottants Xochimilco Mexico

Flickr – Christian Córdova

It’s best to go when the sky is blue, so you can even consider eating there. Preferably in spring (April-May). Xochimilco, which means « place of the field of flowers », and its floating gardens (called chinampas), are a maze of canals and islets built by the Aztecs. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’re sure to fall under the spell of the roofed gondolas, mariachi orchestras, colorful flowers and delicious Mexican food that give Xochimilco’s canals a touch of Mexican Venice!

The gondolas (or boats) known as trajineras are multicolored. When you arrive at the Xochimilco gardens, you’ll be impressed by the sheer number of these small boats. A canal cruise through the floating gardens lasts between 2 and 3 hours.

Croisière jardins flottants Xochimilco Mexico

Flickr – Owen Prior

You’ll first reach your trajinera by moving from boat to boat, as if each were a ford. The boats are traditionally named after women, so there are plenty of « Patricia », « Angelita » and « Terisita », but others have more original names. On board, you can eat if you’ve planned a picnic (or not, read on).

Trajineras Croisière jardins flottants Xochimilco Mexico

Flickr – Dennis

Along the way, you’ll be met by other boats offering flowers, drinks, food and even a song! You’ll have the chance to take photos with mariachis in traditional costumes and sombreros.

The banks of the river are filled with flowers, trees and orchards, and it’s sometimes possible to catch a glimpse of the locals. One of the most fascinating parts of your cruise will be your passage past theIsland of Dolls, Julián Santana Barrera’s chinampa (island). Here you’ll find a number of dolls salvaged from the city’s garbage cans. In fact, it was this « curiosity » that attracted the media and then tourists to Xochimilco’s floating gardens. It adds a strange touch to your hitherto cheerful stroll.

Croisière jardins flottants, Poupées,  Xochimilco Mexico

Flickr – Aaron Forrest

Then it’s time to leave, unfortunately, but your day may not be over. Take advantage of this excursion to visit the Frida Khalo Museum in Casa Azul, on the way to the floating gardens (between Mexico City and Xochimilco). You can also visit theNational University. From here you can see the Olympic Stadium, opened in 1968 for the Mexico City Olympic Games.

For less than 27€, you can organize all this in the same day, with a shuttle to pick you up at your hotel. To book, simply click on the button below:

Have you visited the gardens of Xochimilco?