Drift through the magnificent floating gardens of Xochimilco in a colorful 'trajinera,' a flat-bottomed boat characteristic of this unique agricultural region. Learn the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, first established as a pre-Columbian city on the shores of Lake Xochimilco just south of Mexico City. As you ride the decorative vessel, take in the once-enormous agrarian canal system that fed the Aztec capital. Afterward, enjoy a brief visit to the National University of Mexico, which contains an outdoor gallery of mural art and sculptures.
Xochimilco (pronounced 'so-chee-MIL-co') is an agricultural area located 17 miles (28 km) south of Mexico City where many of the city's flowers are grown. In Aztec times, with prime farmland being scarce, the local people developed artificial islands with floating reed mats loaded with soil and used them as gardens called chinampas. Experience this natural and cultural wonder in what is now an ecological reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site!
After hotel pickup and transport by air-conditioned coach to Xochimilco, board a flat-bottomed trajinera with your guide and drift through the lovely floating gardens amid a network of small canals - once an extensive lake system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico.
Admire other colorful, painted boats transporting passengers and goods along the water as you relax at your communal table and chairs under the shade of the trajinera's roof. Watch vendors selling fresh food, and enjoy tacos with beer for lunch (own expense) as your driver moves the vessel along by pulling a pole through the water. Hear your guide tell about the characteristic boats, originally hollowed from logs and once used for transportation throughout Mexico.
After your boat tour, you'll have the opportunity to visit the National University of Mexico, founded in 1550. See the stadium and bull-fighting ring where the classic sport takes place on Sundays, and view the university library on campus. Your guide will point out the impressive outdoor gallery containing mural art and sculptures before transporting you back to your hotel. Location
: Mexico City, Distrito Federal Duration
: 6 hours Voucher Redembtion
: You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.