Xochimilco Experience

Mexico City

2 reviews
5 hours | from $96.50 pp
Discover the fascinating history and rich culture of Xochimilco, the floating flower gardens which are the last vestige of the ancient Aztec’s agricultural system of canals known as “chinampas”. Experience a wonderful experience for the senses as visit the vibrant market of Xochimilco, feast on pre-hispanic cuisine and float along the flower-perfumed canals aboard a brilliantly colourful “tajinera”, the traditional flat-bottomed gondolas of the waterways or kayak. Discover the ancient heritage of the city as you explore the last of the five lakes which the city was once built upon, stealing a glimpse into the world of Tenochtitlán, and seeing for yourself why this cultural landscape was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But go beyond what most visitors see and discover a grassroots community project where locals are protecting their cultural heritage and an endangered native species, explore the local barrio and try authentic local food and drinks in the market.
5 hrs
Start when you want
Private & personalised
Walking + uber

What you'll do

Join a local archeologist to journey back to when Mexico City was built upon five lakes during the time of the Aztecs and immerse yourself in the culture and history of the floating gardens of Xochimilco and the “chinampas”, the islands which were made by the Aztecs in the lakes to create an intricate system of agricultural waterways. Read more +

Experience the vibrancy of the floating gardens as you take to the water! It’s up to you whether you’d like to explore the waterways under your own steam and paddle a kayak, or you’d like the traditional experience of riding on a “tajinera”, the brilliantly colourful, flat bottomed boats which are the quintessential way to experience Xochimilco. 

As you explore the waterways, your local will point out unique islands and share with you the fascinating history of canals and the traditional architecture, you can listen to the famous mariachi bands who traverse the waterways and spot some of the 250 species of birds who call this cultural landscape home. 

You’ll paddle (or float!) your way through a nature reserve, where locals have set up a grassroots community project to protect native species of aquatic life like endemic species like axolotl and ahuejote and stop to see the project for yourself. You’ll meet the locals who are fighting to protect their cultural landscape and discover the real Xochimilco that most tourists never see. 

After you’ve enjoyed exploring the ancient canals, it’s time to head back to dry land and discover the real barrio of Xochimilco. Visit the vibrant market, where you’ll feast on traditional, pre-Hispanic food and sip drinks like “pulque” to cool down as you soak up the authentic local atmosphere. 

Explore the traditional barrio and its historic streets, downtown Xochimilco and the San Bernardino de Siena Church, getting a feel for the real Xochimilco and connecting with its people and culture beyond simply enjoying a gondola ride!


What's Included

* Private and personalised experience
* 5 hours with a Local Host
* Uber to and from Xochimilco


What's Not Included

* Food & drinks
* Entry to additional ticketed attractions
* Gratuties (optional)


Important Information

This is a walking city discovery and thus entry to museums is not part of the experience although this can be arranged at an additional cost.

Wear a hat and comfy shoes, as this is a four hour walking experience and you will want to be comfortable. 


Cancellation Policy

Cancel up to 14 days before your experience and get a full refund.


Meeting Point

Your meeting point is flexible, and to be agreed with your Local Host. Meet-up at your hotel or accommodation can be requested, or your Local Host will meet you at a convenient location close to the start of your experience.

Experience Highlights

* Join a local archeologist to discover the history and culture of Xochimilco, the floating gardens and agricultural waterways which date back to the times of the Aztec people 
* Enjoy a ride on a traditional gondola or paddle your own kayak along the ancient canals 
* See the hundreds of native species of birds, animals and aquatic life in a nature reserve 
* Visit the local barrio of Xochimilco and visit its vibrant markets and landmarks 
* Taste delicious and authentic pre-Hispanic food and drinks which your local recommends 
* Visit a grassroots community project where locals are fighting to save endangered native species 
* Learn about the history of these ancient farming waterways, soak up the culture and enjoy the atmosphere

Total: USD
per adult
Start when you want

You can change your preferred start time after booking

Buy this experience as a gift
Experience type
Private and personalised to what you want to see and do.
Multiple languages available. Request at time of booking.
Kids go free
Kids up to 12 years old go free