Xochimlico is a southern municipality of Mexico City, famous for its canals.  The most popular way to experience the canals is onboard a colourful trajinera, a uniquely Mexican version of the Venetian gondola.  With a group of friends and/or family you can load up your trajinera with as much food and drink you need for an afternoon of meandering through the labyrinth of canals.

You will pass chinampas (floating gardens – an ancient Mesoamerican form of agriculture), houses where you can stop off to use the amenities and buy  pulque and you can also stop off at the Isla de las Muñecas (Island of Dolls), where hundreds of dolls hang from trees and anywhere and everywhere else you can imagine.  The collection of dolls is reportedly started from a single doll which was hung after a little girl was found drowned nearby.  The first doll was thought to have belonged to the drowned girl and the hanging of it was considered a way of showing respect and remembering the little drowned lost soul.  You can hear the story when you are on the island.

You can get to Xochimilco from the downtown of Mexico City in about an hour by catching the metro to Tasqueña and then continuing on the light rail (tren ligero) to the end of the line. Once you are in Xochimilco, make your way down to the docks to hire a trajinera for your adventure.  Plenty of touts in town will be happy to guide you.  Enjoy!

All photos taken by me. 

Peter W Davies


  1. In spite of having an apartment in Mexico City, I have never been to Xochimilco. I think having read of the scads of people trying to sell you something has discouraged me to a great degree. No matter. Maybe later this year.

    1. I think it´s worth it. It is very relaxing wending your way through the canals and the centre of Xochimilco is very nice as well and seems far removed from other parts of Mexico City. I´ve never had any problem or annoyance with persistent vendors. Yes, there are a few touts for the canal rides but in my experience not too pushy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s