Xochimilco, Mexico City: What to know before you go
This is the complete guide to cost, what to expect, what to pack, and more for the first time visitor on a Xochimilco boat tour in Mexico City.
Where is Xochimilco?
Xochimilco is a neighborhood located in the southern part of Mexico City. This neighborhood is famous for the old canals that still exist there. When Mexico City was first built, these canals were a crucial part of agriculture and transportation in the city. Today, there are still small farms located off the canals, but primarily people visit for the boat tours.
Pro tip: the boats are called "chinampas"
How do I get to Xochimilco, Mexico City?
The best way to get to Xochimilco, Mexico City is by taking a taxi or Uber. We took an Uber from our apartment in Condesa and on a Sunday with very minimal traffic it took us about 35 minutes to reach the boat docks of Xochimilco.
If you're looking for the address to input into the Uber app, use this one: C. del Mercado 133, San Jerónimo, Xochimilco, 16420 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico | Google Maps If you tell the taxi driver you're trying to get to the "Xochimilco chinampas," they'll take you right to these boat docs.
What is the cost of a Xochimilco tour in Mexico City?
The cost of a Xochimilco tour varies depending on the length of the tour and the number of people in your group. A private tour for two people typically costs around $50 USD for two (2) hours. However, you're paying for the boat, not by people. I believe the boats hold around 15-20 people so if you bring a whole wrong and split the cost, it becomes a lot more affordable!
Find a boat guide that is okay with you taking the boat privately. Sometimes they'll get pushy and keep squeezing people onto the boat to make more money because they won't have strangers split the cost. We had a great boat driver who was more than okay with it being just the two of us plus our dog.
What is so special about the Xochimilco boat tours?
The Xochimilco boat tours are unique because they offer a glimpse into what Mexico City was like before it became the bustling metropolis that it is today. The canals are lined with brightly-colored boats, called chinampas, which play music and sell food and drinks.
What should I wear on a Xochimilco tour in Mexico City?
You should dress comfortably for a Xochimilco tour. The weather in Mexico City can be warm, so we recommend wearing light, breathable clothing. We also recommend wearing sunscreen and bringing a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
What should I bring on a Xochimilco tour?
We recommend bringing sunscreen, hats, comfortable clothing, and drinks and snacks for the ride. You can also bring a speaker to play music while you cruise down the canals. While you're welcome to bring your own food and drinks, there are plenty of vendors floating and selling food and drinks along the way. We recommend bringing plenty of water but splurging and trying some of the local foods along the way.
Pro tip: If you're traveling with your dog to Mexico City, you can bring your four legged friend on the Xochimilco boats! (More info below.)
How long should you plan to spend on a boat tour in Xochimilco?
At least two (2) hours, but longer if you want to go all the way to Doll Island (not our thing, but some people really want to experience) or if you're in a group and you want to keep the party going!
Can I bring my dog on a boat tour in Xochimilco, Mexico City?
YES! The boat tours are beloved by both locals and tourists alike and in Mexico City dogs are practically members of the family. We took our dog on the boat tour and he loved it. We also saw lots of other locals with their dogs on the boats, too. Just be sure to bring water and a bowl for your dog because it can get hot.
Have more questions about traveling to Mexico City with your dog? Checkout our complete guide to traveling to Mexico City with your dog HERE.
Have you been to Xochimilco before? If so, what did you think of the experience? Were there any parts of our guide that were especially useful or interesting to you? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear your thoughts! And if you haven’t visited yet, be sure to check out our complete guide – it covers everything from where to go and what to bring, to how to get around and what not to miss. We hope it helps make your experience as amazing as possible. Enjoy!
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We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!