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  • Writer's pictureJuan Aponte

Xochimilco: Float Around The Canals

Xochimilco is one of the 16 boroughs of Mexico City located in the south, mostly popular for its trajineras(boats) which cruise around through the canals. It’s a major tourist destination and an excellent place to visit for a day trip. I visited the canals on my recent trip to CDMX with my brother and sister. Below is everything you need to know to make your visit at Xochimilco stress-free.

Small video of the boat ride below:

Drinks and Food:

Before getting to the boats, make sure you stop at a convenience store to pick-up snacks, food, and drinks. Once you’re on your boat, you’ll see a lot of vendors selling food and drinks along the canal, but well overpriced so it’s better you bring your own stuff. Some of the boats will literally have parties and picnics going on so if you’re in that mood, stock up!

Getting In:

It takes about 90 minutes using public transportation(cheaper option) and about 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic via Uber(expensive option). Since we were a group of 3 and on limited time, we used Uber. The price, round trip was 357MXN($19 USD), 155MXN there(46min) and 202MXN(51min) on the way back - not bad at all.

Embaradero and Cost:

At the embarcadero(pier), you will encounter hundreds of boats. You will also get flocked by tour guides who will try to convince you to book the boats directly through them. I recall one of them saying to us “The pier is closed to the public, only private bookings” Ignore everything they’re saying and head directly to one of the boats. It’s also important to know the prices are per hour, per boat and not per person, per hour. We must of chosen a slow day because there weren’t many people at the pier and ended up getting a boat for 300 MXN($16 USD) for an hour. To make it cheaper for you, try to get other people on your boat since the price is per boat and not per person and the boat can fit up to 10-15 people.

The Boats:

The boats are called trajineras and are colorful wooden gondola looking boats with a table in the middle. There are hundreds of boats on the canal each with a different activity going on. Each boat has a name on it(mostly women names) on the roof of the boat. There are no engines on them and are manually paddled along the canal.

The Ride:

Due to limited time, we were on the boat for an hour, but it was well worth it. You can either choose to be on the boat for 1,2, or 3 hours each with different pricings. As you go along the canal, their will be vendors selling souvenirs, flower crowns, food, & drinks. My sister got herself a flower crown for 60 MXN ($3 USD) Pictures of the boat ride below:

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