Take a boat to Xochimilco

Take a boat to Xochimilco

South of the city, discover the slow pace of multi-coloured boats on quiet canals.

A visit to the floating gardens of Xochimilco, which means ‘flower gardens', is a trip back in time to when this extended system of canals was the agricultural centre of Teotihuacan civilisation.

These marshes, unsuitable for traditional agriculture, pushed the inhabitants to build floating gardens to grow their crops. The chinampas, artificial islands created out of reeds or corn stove rover on which leaves and soil were laid, are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rent a colourful flat-bottomed boat (trajinera) to explore the flowery floating gardens of the 'Venice of Mexico' to the sound of mariachi music. Look for merchants travelling in small boats who sell everything.

As Sundays are usually crowded, come on weekdays to visit the site. Board the Light Rail in Mexico City; you will be in Xochimilco in about 90 minutes.