Trajinera or punt on the canals and floating gardens of Xochimilco Mexico City

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Xochimilco Canals

Mexico City

Hundreds of colorful trajineras (gondolas) await passengers at the village’s 10 embarcaderos to paddle you through the waterways dotted with birdlife and hedged by patchy trees. The tranquil city escape is only broken by the odd party boat or food and drink touts gliding up alongside. Nearest to the center are Belem, Salitre and San Cristóbal, about 400m east of the plaza, and Fernando Celada, 400m west of the plaza on Avenida Guadalupe Ramírez.

On Saturday and Sunday, 60-person lanchas colectivas (boat taxis) run between the Salitre embarcadero and the Nativitas embarcadero (near the corner of Avenida Hermenegildo Galeana and Calle del Mercado)1.4km southeast along the canal.

Boats seat from one to 20 people, making large group outings relatively cheap. Before boarding the trajinera, you can buy soft drinks and food from vendors at the embarcaderos if you fancy an onboard picnic while cruising.

Since a tragedy in late 2019 when an intoxicated young man drowned, alcohol sales are now very restricted and life jackets are available for passengers, though there's only about two or three per gondola. If you are willing to board without a life jacket, you are technically required to sign a release form, though this is rarely enforced. Other new rules forbid climbing from one boat to another. Visitor numbers have taken a beating, so you might find the canals very quiet.

The official hourly price is fixed and per boat, not per person, so beware of markups.

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