Far from the trendy restaurants and leafy avenues of central Mexico City lies a neighborhood famous for its canals and colorful boats. Previously used to irrigate crops in pre-Hispanic Mexico, The Xochimilco canals are now used for an entirely different purpose. Although they are called ‘The Floating Gardens,’ it’s much more like a floating fiesta.
You can hop on a boat and have a gondolier push you around any day of the week, but on Sundays the canals explode. Chilango families and celebrating friend groups rent their own boats and eat and drink the day away. The micheladas are free-flowing and the mariachis loud as ever.
We never expected to be witness to an event such as this. Only photos can accurately explain the eruption of color and music which is Xochimilco.
Traffic jam in the canals. It was total gridlock for part of the ride. Jordan and I were fully amused as we watched the gondoliers stretch their legs and try to push off from other boats. It didn’t matter, we would all be stuck until reaching a larger part of the canal.
The canals of Xochimilco aren’t anything new in Mexico City, in fact they’ve been on the tourist radar for a while now. Regardless, if you’re looking for something different and truly Mexican, this floating fiesta would be right up your canal.
Lame, I know. Using ‘alley’ just didn’t seem adequate! 😉
Info: From Mexico City, you can either take a taxi, an Uber, or the metro + light rail (tren ligero) to reach the boat docks of Xochimilco. Once there, you can rent an entire boat and have a gondolier take you around the canals for 350 MXP per hour, per boat. If you don’t have enough people or money to rent an entire boat, you can hop on a shared boat (“colectivo”) and ride the length of the canals (or round trip) for 20 MXP per person.