Located 20km south of the city center is the extensive network of canals and gardens known as Xochimilco, or Place Where Flowers Grow in Nahuatl.  Designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987, Xochimilco was originally an important farming site and economic base of the Aztec empire.  Today, it is a well known tourist attraction and popular weekend destination for many of Mexico City`s residents.

Hundreds of colorful wooden boats, or trajineras, line the waterways and await passengers at each of the several boat landings.  It`s possible to rent a boat for as many or as few people as needed and for as little as an hour up to an entire day.  Prices and routes are negotiated prior to boarding.  In addition to passenger boats the canals are lined with smaller boats carrying local vendors and musicians ready to offer up their products and services to anyone willing to pay.

We visited this past Sunday when the weekend festivities were in full swing.  Mariachi bands entertained visitors and floating restaurants provided food and drink.  In addition to the canals, Xochimilco is home to a giant street market.  We spent the entire day touring the canals and exploring the market.  It turned out to be a great place to take the family and offered something for everyone to enjoy.


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