Xochimilco Floating Gardens, Canals and Local Food

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 is part of a local nonprofit called De la Chinampa a Tu Mesa. On this tour 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?

Destination

Duration

Half Day

Travel Style

Foodie Fun, Connect with Nature and Time to Relax

Languages

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

Physical Activity

Light activity

Connect

Wifi: None
Cell: Available
De la Chinampa founder, Ricardo Rodigriguez. Photo credit: Naomi Tomky, Smithsonian
Starts at:

$130/person

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Speaks: Spanish and English

Details

Schedule

Flexible start time. Recommended to begin at 11am or 2pm, but other times can be arranged on request.

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

Steven

Incredible experience to learn the history of the Chinampas and eat local food

We were looking for a non-party boat Xochimilco experience and this was beyond our expectations. After getting on the boat we were presented with a spread of Chinampa grown and prepared food. The guacamole was the best I have ever had and was served with local blue corn chips. The tamales and salad spread were also excellent. I drank a lemon water with chia seed mixture while my gf enjoyed a traditional mexican coffee with heavy cinnamon notes. While the traditional trajinera was guided through the canals we were told about the history and people of the area and asked so many questions. We stopped off at a small chinampa and smelled/tasted our way through the fields. The carrots and tomatoes were amazing, the herbs were so fragrant, and the plants that they let go to seed (to use for planting) were covered in butterflies. I enjoyed learning about and seeing their traditional (no irrigation!) farming methods. If you are looking for a tour that is connected with the local industry and history, this is the one!
November 2022
Krista

The Chinampas are a piece of heaven

We took an early morning, private tour with Ricardo. We learned so much about the agriculture of the area and the important work he is doing to save the chinampas. I highly recommend it as an alternate way to experience Xochimilco.
November 2022
Meaghan

Absolute Delight & Highlight of Trip - A MUST! Book Now & You'll Have Memories for a Lifetime

Ricardo was the most wonderful guide through the chinampas and on his beautiful organic farm in the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco (a UNESCO world heritage site). I can't recommend this tour enough. And Carlos was a friendly driver who taught us a ton about the city as we made our way to/from Xochimilco and gave us excellent recommendations. I feel like we made friends! Due to climate change and droughts there is a real threat to this area. Book this trip to learn a ton, get a calming break from the city, eat insanely fresh food, explore places most tourists don't see, and support a person who is working hard to preserve these ancient farms! We saw many species of beautiful birds as we floated and were treated to a lunch of queso ranchero, guacamole, tamales oaxaqueños (made in a banana leaf with masa, tomatillo, chillies and chicken), fresh salad with greens cucumber, carrot, mushrooms, lime, salt and tajin (chili lime seasoning), agua fresca tamarindo and cafe de olla (coffee with raw cane sugar and cinnamon). Everything we ate had been grown and produced on the chinampas. Delicious and a real treat to eat it as we floated through paradise. It's amazing this is in the bustling city of CDMX! A true oasis. Many of the chinampas were preparing for the upcoming day of the dead celebration by growing marigolds and we also encountered a theatrical production being set up on an island in a larger opening of the canals that honors the local history. It was a truly unique experience. We left with our bellies, minds and hearts full. We learned so much about how the earliest settlers to this area created these chinampas by hand in 919 AD and how they were later expanded by the Aztecs around 1300 AD. Ricardo uses ancient farming techniques that work perfectly today - planting a variety of herbs and vegetables) and encouraging other farmers to do the same (instead of what's largely happening now, which is party tourism which has its place by bringing in income but also hurts the environment there, or only farming one or two crops on their land and using pesticides). Ricardo's multicrop approach further enriches the soil.These farms can produce crops an amazing 6-7 times a year thanks to the great conditions rich volcanic soil and consistently good growing weather. We were able to pick herbs and vegetables straight from the plants! It's amazing what he's built in just a few years. And he is encouraging other farmers to do the same, advocating for the land. Ricardo is a tireless and successful entrepreneur - outside of his finance career he is following his passion running this farm, a local CSA program and working with several fine dining restaurants (one that we went to and LOVED... Sud777, highly recommend going there too, especially for vegetarians). He also hosts events where they have an outdoor kitchen with a wood-fired oven, beautiful canapied dining area and a cantina/bar. We highly recommend his Ricardo's tour, really had a great time with him, and next time we come we hope to have a dinner party with him on his land! P.S. I was very much looking forward to this but I am also deeply afraid of snakes and that was a little worry of mine - (I respect them a lot, they are good for the land, I just don't want to come into contact with any more in my life!) - but it was not a worry at all once I got out there. They don't want anything to do with us and I didn't see any (just writing that for the other folks out there who may be concerned about that).
September 2022


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Your Local Host

De la Chinampa

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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