Mexico City, Mexico

Xochimilco Floating Gardens, Canals and Local Food

Explore the famous canals of Xochimilco with an expert local guide who can bring you to areas that aren't visited by other travelers. You'll float through the waters on a traditional 'Trajinera' boat and and visit ancient floating gardens known as Chinampas. You'll get to meet some of the local farmers who continue to work these lands and enjoy a delicious meal made with locally grown ingredients. Along the way, you'll get to take in the peaceful landscape filled with migratory birds and other willdlife.

What make this tour special? Your local guide, Ricardo, is the director of local nonprofit De la Chinampa a Tu Mesa. By going with him you'll get to explore parts of Xochimilco that no other travelers visit while supporting projects that benefit farmers and preserve this ecological zone!

Right for You?

Duration

Half Day

Travel Style

Foodie Fun, Connect with Nature and Time to Relax

Languages

Spanish and English
Your guide Ricardo can give the tour in Spanish or English

Physical Activity

Light activity

Connect

Wifi: None
Cell: Available
Starts at:

$75/person

View Pricing & BookAsk a Question

Speaks: Spanish and English

Highlights

  • Go with expert guide, Ricardo, Director of nonprofit De la Chinampa a Tu Mesa
  • Learn the incredible history of Xochimilco and it's modern impact on Mexico City
  • Meet local farmers on private Chinampas that no other travelers visit
  • Eat a delicious meal cooked specially with locally grown ingredients
  • See incredible birds and wildlife as you glide through the canals of the ecological preserve
  • Ride in a colorful, traditional boat called a Trajinera

Details

Schedule

Daily tours, 11am to 2pm

Availability

Flexible Departure Date
All year

Group

Private Tour, 1-20 Travelers

What's Included

Guide

Bilingual guide

Food

Lunch
Food included: * Quesadillas with different ingredients and cheese * Fresh salad with freshly harvested produce from the chinampas * Cheeses from free grazing cows that graze in the chinampas * Guacamole with avocados from the local producers of Cuajimalpa * Totopos chips * Fresh tamarind water with chia * Fresh Coffee

Transport

Boat

Traveler Reviews

If you've been here, please tell us about it!  

Really High-Quality Tour for Foodies

My girlfriend and I seriously enjoyed our time with Ricardo, his wife, and Nico the gondolier. We were met at the main harbor entrance, and Ricardo took us to a trajinera he’d secured for the afternoon. For the next few hours, we paddled around the chinampas as Ricardo talked about his preservation work and the economic challenges ahead in making these sustainable gardens more popular. Ricardo is a wealth of information. And the food! A whole feast was set up as we got on the boat: fresh veggies and guacamole, cafe de olla, tamarind agua fresca, and tamales and fresh cheese on the way back. Super high quality. We sailed around for awhile, then stopped to visit his own chinampa and see the vegetable plots, picking some produce on the way. There are a lot of ways to experience Xochimilco. If you’re looking for a party experience and to drink on the water, this won’t be your tour. But if you are interested in learning about (and eating) sustainable food and understanding the on-the-ground challenges of sustainable agriculture from a real practitioner, you can do no better than spending an afternoon with Ricardo.
January 2020

A highlight of a ten day trip!!

Ricardo was a joy to spend time with and learn about the connection of this area to the denizens of CDMX. Ricardo shared foods from the area that were delicious. We learned about the farming process and the culture and politics of the land. Also, when Ricardo wasn’t sharing, it was amazing to be in the city but floating quietly down a canal watching birds and listening to the breeze. A great memory for our family!
December 2019

Highly recommended

This tour was so relaxing and peaceful. Ricardo is an expert in farming and food culture. We learned so much through our conversation with him. He also gave us time alone to explore the Chinampa that we visited which was great. When we arrived on the boat, there was a spread of food and tamarind juice, all made with ingredients from the Chinampas. It was fresh and delicious, one of my favorite meals during our CDMX trip. We went on a Monday midday and that was perfect for avoiding the party boats and crowds. Go during the week, early in the day. Highly recommend- this is a special place that everyone should learn about.
December 2019

The only way to see Xochimilco

Words cannot describe. The tour is exactly how it is written. We were greeted by Ricardo at the docks and taken on a private tour of the canals. We chatted in both English and Spanish about the history of the canals and the farmers that work there. We had delicious coffee and beautiful views of very happy cows and tons of birds. Magic. Then we arrived at his farm. Wow! We saw how he was cultivating crops for selling at the markets and renting land to local families and restaurants. His mission is to bring fresh food back to his city. Truly a noble cause. We then boarded the boat to eat amazing tamales and fresh vegetables. We felt very very lucky to take the tour with Ricardo and learn about farming and the importance of farm to table food consumption. Brilliant guy. 10/10
January 2020

Great Tour of Xochimilco and the Chinampas

We met up with Ricardo at the Embarcadero Nuemanco and he led us onto his trajinera, which then took us on a beautiful ride on the canals of Xochimilco. On the boat, he had prepared food with fresh ingredients from his gardens, coffee and tamarind water; and he gave us a brief overview of the history of Xochimilco and the importance of the chinampas to the local ecology and economy. We made a brief stop at his chinampa to see his garden before returning to the boat for the ride back. Ricardo is very knowledgeable and passionate about preserving nature and indigenious farming practices in Xochimilco; the boat ride had beautiful views and the food we ate was delightful fresh and flavorful. All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I'm happy to have discovered this tour on Lokal Travel.
September 2019

Highly Recommend!

This was a great experience! It was peaceful and great to learn about Xochimilco from Ricardo!
July 2019

Incredible Tour and Guide

We had an amazing tour. Ricardo was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the area. We loved learning about the farming and food in the area. Lunch was delicious. I would highly recommend this tour over others. It provides so much more than just floating in a boat.
July 2019

Amazing

Ricardo was there waiting for us when we arrived. He has deep understanding of the Chinampa and it made the tour very educational and enjoyable. The chinampa he brought us to was stunning! The food they provided was grown locally at the chinampa and fresh. Visiting xochimilco is an experience unique to Mexico and should be done. I highly highly recommend.
June 2019

A delicious, chilled out and educational drift down the canals of Xochimilco

Visiting Xochimilco without Ricardo would have been a totally different experience. We were keen to see the colourful boats and unique environment, however wanted to avoid the more party focused side of the area. Ricardo was an amazing guide, arranging to meet us at a slightly later time than his normal start as we were tying this in with a visit to Coyoacán earlier in the day. A long with his wife, Ricardo served up delicious home made food with ingredients grown fresh from his Chinampa. During our gentle ride through the Chinampas (and filling our bellies), Ricardo shared the history and his aim to revitalize and raise awareness of this area of huge ecological importance to Mexico City. After a visit to his Chinampa where he runs his business we started our journey back to the dock just in time to see the sun setting over the canals. Everyone we spoke to in days after our trip demanded we shared the details. Please do arrange to visit Xochimilco with Ricardo as you won't want to miss out!
January 2019

A fascinating and informative visit

This canal trip was a highlight of our stay in Mexico City. Not only was the setting very colorful with plenty of birdwatching and people watching, but it was extremely interesting to hear Ricardo's description of his work to help preserve the chinampas and the traditional way of gardening and agriculture. The lunch made from local ingredients was very tasty. All in all a fascinating afternoon and we have been recommending this tour to all our friends.
March 2019

Wonderful experience in the chinampas

Ricardo was a knowledgeable and personable guide who showed us a beautiful time in Xochimilco. The food was delicious and we had a lovely day floating the canals and seeing an actively farmed chinampa. We would recommend this activity for anyone interested in learning firsthand about the magnificent history and beauty of this treasured agricultural system.
February 2019

Awesome Experience & Escape From the City!

So glad I booked my Xochimilco experience through Lokal. You can do the tour of the canals in the campy/touristy way (and I'm sure that's fun it a different way!) BUT this peaceful half day journey, seen through the eyes of local activist Ricardo, was a much more meaningful way to experience the place. We learned a ton about the history of Mexico City and the current state of the chinampas, not to mention got to eat a delicious farm to table lunch. After a few days of stomping the ground in central CDMX this was a much-needed relaxing escape.
January 2019

Great experience

We had a blast floating along the canals, and learning about Xochimilco.
February 2019

Enjoy the Real Zochimilco!

This opportunity to see and understand the agricultural heritage of Xochimilco should not be missed. The hosts, Ricardo and his wife, not only provide a lovely lunch but broad ranging information regarding the makeup and possibilities for the future in this unique part of CDMX. Good wishes for the future of this incredible area.
January 2019

Simply Amazing - Highly Recommended

After a lot of researching about how I wanted to experience Xochimilco for the first time, I decided to do the 11am half day tour with Ricardo and his organization, De la Chinampa a tu Mesa. It was, by far, the best thing we did in Mexico City. I love to eat good food, learn about history, experience nature, and enjoy good company. Ricardo provided all of this and more. You start by eating a delicious homemade meal from his gardens (chinampas), including tamales, guacamole, coffee, salad, tamarind water, and cheese. He then takes you down the canals on a relaxing boat ride. While you're surrounded by herons, pelicans, and various farmland wildlife, he begins teaching you the history of Mexico City and Xochimilco. His organization is dedicated to the preservation of Xochimilco and the chinampa method of farming through sustainable and eco-friendly means, and his passion for his work is infectious. Then he gives you a tour of his personal chinampa farm, full of the most fragrant cilantro, broccoli, and many other veggies. His endemic flower farm is also a site to behold -- and all of this is maintained with no pesticides or fertilizer. For anyone visiting Mexico City and Xochimilco, please take this tour! You won't be disappointed, and you'll leave more conscious about the history of Mexico, the future of agriculture, and a happy stomach!
January 2019

Ricardo’s tour is a gem! Sunrise!

Ricardo is such a find! i already wanted to see Xochimilco, but exploring it with someone passionate about its importance as 60% of the drinking water and much of the local produce for Mexico City, was spectacular. It was such a treat to really understand its history going back to pre Colombian times, and understand its ecological significance for the region. The serenity of the place is so beautiful and calming. I’m sure the party boats can be fun if you’ve come with a large group of good friends, but for me this was definitely the way to experience Xochi. Pro tip, go at sunrise. I know this sounds sooooo early for a tour, but it’s absolute magic, its just you and the locals rowing down the canals to go work the fields. And the light is spectacular! Just make just Ricardo knows you want to have the full tamale and chocolate atole brunch on one of his island farms.
October 2018

A different world than Mexico City

So happy that we got to spend the day with Ricardo in Xochimilco! He's incredibly knowledgable and passionate about the area and has deep connections with lots of the local farmers. The food was delicious and love that it came directly from the Chinampas. The area is beautiful and super peaceful - such a great change of pace from CDMX and definitely get why they call it one of the 'green lungs' of the city! Still can't believe those floating gardens have survived so long - amazing to learn how they were constructed. Thanks for everything, Ricardo!
October 2018

Your Local Host

De la Chinampa

Locally Owned Community Project

De la Chinampa a tu Mesa is a non-profit organization supporting ecological preservation and sustainable agriculture in the chinampas of Xochimilco - the famous floating gardens of Mexico City. The owner, Ricardo Rodriguez, leads tours through the beautiful canals offering food from local farms, a visit to the chinampas, and knowledge about the history of the area.

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Getting There

Transport options

Taxi and Local transport
This experience begins at the Embarcadero Cuemanco just outside of Mexico City. It's very accessible via public transit, taxi, or Uber.
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