Looking for the best Xochimilco tours for your upcoming trip?
In our opinion, the Xochimilco floating gardens are an unmissable attraction. Not only are they a historic and unique UNESCO World Heritage site, the gardens also provide an accessible opportunity to experience modern Mexican culture.
Xochimilco (meaning flower garden in Aztec) is best known for its 170 kilometres of serene canals, its colourful garden ‘islands’, traditional trajinera boats, plus its party atmosphere.
However, it is also an important ecological site which is home to many native plants and endemic species, as well as the much-loved axolotl.
We love this area and have visited it several times. Each visit has involved something new to see (and eat), and we have had a different experience on each trip. We think an Xochimilco tour will be a highlight of your time in CDMX (alongside attending a Lucha Libre show and visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids.)
TOP PICK Of Xochimilco Tours
Xochimilco, Coyoacán And Frida Kahlo Museum Tour
Discover the vibrant spirit of Xochimilco with this 10-hour combo tour. It combines two exciting tours into one, saving you money while doubling the fun.
Other Top Tours:
🌟 BEST PRIVATE TOUR 📍 Xochimilco All-Inclusive, Private Tour With Food ➡️ CHECK RATES
🌟 BEST PARTY TOUR 📍 Xochimilco Mexican Party With Unlimited Drinks ➡️ CHECK RATES
🌟 BEST COMBINED TOUR 📍 Xochimilco, Museo Frida Kahlo, Coyoacan, Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli & UNAM Biblioteca Central ➡️ CHECK RATES
Best Rated Xochimilco Tours From Mexico City
Due to the close proximity to the capital, Xochimilco tours from Mexico City can be fitted into even the shortest vacation. In our opinion, the best Xochimilco tours provide at least one hour on the water.
We also recommend trying to combine Xochimilco boat tours with other attractions to get the most out of your time.
#1 Xochimilco, Coyoacán And Frida Kahlo Museum Group Tour
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR
If you’re looking for Xochimilco Mexico City tours packed with activities, check out this 10-hour tour. It is actually an amalgamation of two separate tours; you will save money by doing the discounted combined tour rather than the two separate tours.
It has a maximum number of 30 guests and allows free cancellation up to 24 hours before departure.
The tour starts with a tour of Coyoacán, a 16th-century neighbourhood in Mexico City which dates back to pre-Hispanic times. Today, the area is a cultural and artistic hotspot in the city.
You will then have a 1-hour visit to the Frida Kahlo Museum (also known as Casa Azul or Blue House), where Kahlo lived with her husband, Diego Rivera.
Afterwards, you will travel to Xochimilco where you will learn how the Chinampas islands were built and utilised. The tour will take a 1-hour slow cruise on the Chinampa channels. If you want to, you can try food and drink such as mixiote (barbequed meat) and pulque (a milky alcoholic beverage) from vendors.
After the trajinera ride, you will visit Ciudad Universitaria to see the Juan O’Gorman & Diego Rivera murals before travelling back to the drop-off point.
#2 Xochimilco All-Inclusive, Private Tour With Food
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR
This Xochimilco private tour is a maximum of five hours, so it can be taken as a half-day trip from the capital. It is ideal for foodies or for people who want to focus solely on the cultural experience of Xochimilco rather than the party vibe.
You will be driven in comfort to Xochimilco whilst your guide points out interesting Mexico City locations and talks about the city’s culture and history.
Upon arrival at Xochimilco, you will transfer to a private boat for a leisurely 2-hour cruise around the canals and floating gardens. Again, your guide will be proactive in explaining what you are seeing and its significance.
At the end of the ride, you will be driven back to your accommodation in the city centre.
#3 Xochimilco: Boat Ride And Mexican Party, With Unlimited Drinks
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR
If you want to find party-loving Xochimilco tours, Mexico City has several to offer. We think this tour is one of the best as it offers good value for money.
Plus, it has a small group size of 10, which is perfect for a party! Note that transportation from Mexico City is not included.
This is one of the Xochimilco tours that is all about the party. After making your own way to the floating gardens, you will enjoy a 2-hour cruise with unlimited snacks and drinks.
You will make a stop at the replica Island of the Dolls and end at a handicraft market.
Best Private Xochimilco Boat Tours
There are lots of private Xochimilco tours which pack multiple attractions into one trip so you can make the most of your sightseeing day.
Private tours are a great option for people who are short on time. We also think that private tours are a good way to make local connections.
Plus, one of the best things about a private tour is that you can learn a lot and ask as many questions as you like.
#4 Frida Kahlo Museum, Coyoacan, And Xochimilco
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR
This 6-hour Xochimilco boat tour also visits two other city centre attractions, so if you feel uneasy using public transport or taxis, this is a good option for you. We advise wearing comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking on this Xochimilco canal tour.
It allows free cancellation up to 24 hours before departure.
After your private pick-up, you will be driven to the Frida Kahlo Museum, where you will have 1 hour to explore.
Afterwards, you will enjoy a 2-hour walking tour of the colourful Coyoacán neighbourhood, passing sights such as the Mercado, the Parroquia de San Juan Bautista, the Plaza Centenario and the Casa de Cultura Jesús Reyes Heroles.
You will then be driven to the floating gardens of Xochimilco to board one of the Xochimilco boats for a 2-hour private boat ride before being driven in comfort back to your CDMX accommodation.
For content and timings, we think this tour is the best combined Xochimilco Mexico City tour on offer.
#5 Xochimilco, Coyoacán And Frida Kahlo Museum + Ciudad Universitaria
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR
If you have limited time in CDMX, this well-paced 10-hour tour is one of the Xochimilco canal tours with an activity-packed schedule.
You will be picked up at 8 a.m. and driven to your first stop, the buzzing Coyoacán neighbourhood. After a short introduction to the long history of the area, you will have around 1 hour to explore on your own.
You will then go to the Frida Kahlo Museum, where you can enjoy a 1 hour visit.
Afterwards, you will be driven to Xochimilco for a 1-hour 20-minute ride on a traditional trajinera.
The last stop of the day is Ciudad Universitaria (one of the famous landmarks in Mexico City) to see its UNESCO-listed murals.
Xochimilco tours don’t get much busier than this tour!
#6 Xochimilco, Coyoacán Private Tour, And UNAM Biblioteca Central
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR
This tour visits several attractions in one day and offers visitors the flexibility to tailor the tour to their personal interests. It also allows free cancellation up to 24 hours before departure.
After a 9 am pick up, you will be driven to Coyoacán for a 3-hour visit. Your guide will explain the history and culture of the area. They will also bring you to the food market and takeaway food stalls to try delicious local specialities.
You will then make a 40-minute stop to view the murals at the National University before travelling on to Xochimilco, where you will take a 1.5-hour boat ride.
This company also offers the option to extend your Xochimilco boat ride if you want to venture further into the canals or visit the original Island of the Dolls.
Best Combined Tours To Xochimilco
You will need a good rest before joining the following Xochimilco tours. Their action-packed schedules involve a lot of walking, but the bonus is that you will see a lot of attractions quickly and easily in one day.
#7 Xochimilco, Museo Frida Kahlo, Coyoacan, Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli, UNAM Biblioteca central
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR
If you want a combined Xochimilco tour Mexico City tour but are short on time, check out this private 6-hour tour. You may not have a lot of time at each site, but you will pack a lot of sights into one day.
Plus, you visit the canals at the quietest time of the day, so if you are not a party animal, this tour is a good option for you. It is also ideal for art and culture fans.
After pick up from your hotel, you will head directly to Xochimilco for a 1-hour morning boat ride.
You will then travel to the Museo Frida Kahlo for a 1-hour visit. Afterwards, you will have an additional hour to explore Coyoacán with your guide, who will show you the principal sights and explain the area’s history.
You will then make a 30-minute visit to the Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli. This eclectic museum houses Rivera’s personal collection of ‘idolje’ (pre-Hispanic figures).
Afterwards, you will travel to the National University for a 20-minute stop to view its famous murals before being dropped back to your hotel.
#8 Xochimilco, Coyoacan, Estadio Azteca & UNAM Biblioteca
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR
This whistle-top tour visits several attractions in 6 hours and will appeal to football fans. It allows large group numbers, but the upside of this is the cheap tour cost.
The tour starts with a 1-hour visit to the murals at the Ciudad Universitaria.
You will then make a quick 15-minute photo stop at Estadio Azteca Mexico, one of the largest and most important soccer stadiums in Mexico.
Afterwards, you will drive to Xochimilco, where you can enjoy a 1-hour boat ride along the canals.
The tour ends at Coyoacán, where you will have 1 hour to explore before travelling back to your accommodation.
How To Get To Xochimilco From Mexico City Independently
If you have decided that Xochimilco tours are not for you, you are probably wondering how to get to Xochimilco from Mexico City.
The good news is that there are two options you can try.
Apart from getting there, it is relatively easy to tour Xochimilco independently, and you will have more time to explore other parts of this fascinating area.
We think that Xochimilco has more to offer than just the canals and boat rides. We recommend spending a little longer in this area to visit the Cathedral of San Bernardino de Siena, the fabulous food market and the central flower market.
By public transport
It is possible to take the metro from the centre of Mexico City all the way to Xochimilco. The journey involves changes, and although you are only covering 19 km, it will take a couple of hours each way. However, the journey will be cheap.
Firstly, take the No. 2 Blue Line from Mexico City all the way to the last station, Tasqueña.
From Tasqueña, take the overland light railway (or tram) for 25 minutes to Xochimilco station. From here, it is a 20 – 30 minute walk to the nearest boat dock.
You can also take the No.143 bus from Coyoacán to Xochimilco. It will take between 30 – 60 minutes, depending on traffic.
If you are a confident driver, you can hire a car in CDMX and self-drive to Xochimilco. This will allow you to set your own timetable and spend as long as you like exploring the floating gardens. There is a large, free car park near the docks where you can catch the boats.
Another option is to travel by Uber.
An Uber from Mexico City to Xochimilico will cost anywhere from 200 MXN to 500 MXN, depending on your location in the city centre.
Catching an Uber is a cost-effective way to reach Xochimilco in Mexico City if the cost is shared between a group.
Xochimilco Tours: FAQs
Is Xochimilco worth going to?
Xochimilco is a scenic and historic UNESCO World Heritage site which will give you a different perspective of Mexico City. As it is popular with locals, it will also give you an insight into contemporary Mexican culture. So yes, it is absolutely worth visiting!
In addition to a ride on the canals, you can also visit the Dolores Olmedo Museum (home to the largest collection of Diego Rivera work in the world), the eerie Island of the Dolls and the Archaeological Museum.
If you don’t want to join one of the tours Xochimilco can also be explored independently if you have sufficient time in your schedule.
What are the opening hours at Xochimilco floating gardens?
Xochimilco hours vary according to the season. In summer, Xochimilco opening hours are 9 am to 6 pm. In winter, it is 9 am till 5 pm.
How far is Xochimilco from Mexico City?
If you are travelling to Xochimilco from Mexico City, the journey time is short (depending on traffic) as the two locations are only 19 kilometres / 12 miles apart.
Do you need to book Xochimilco in advance?
You do not need to book the floating gardens of Xochimilco in advance unless you want to join one of the Xochimilco tours.
If you do not book in advance, there will be lots of boats touting for your business once you arrive.
What’s the best time to go to Xochimilco?
When to visit Xochimilco depends on what type of experience you wish to have.
If you want a tranquil, serene float on the canals, visit in the morning or early afternoon on weekdays.
If you want a party or fiesta experience, visit in the late afternoon or at the weekends. Xochimilco is a popular destination with locals, so weekends are the busiest and liveliest time to visit.
How much is a boat ride in Xochimilco?
A boat ride has a set cost of 600 MXN / $35 per boat per hour. This cost is set by the local authorities, so it cannot be negotiated.
This fee is per boat, not per person, so if you want a boat to yourself, it won’t be cheap. However, if you join a boat with 15 other people, the fee is split, and the ride will be very cost-effective.
How much you spend exploring the Xochimilco canals depends on what type of visit you want.
If you bring your own food and drink, don’t buy any souvenirs or pay for any songs; you can enjoy Xochimilco on a budget. However, in our opinion the music, food and drink are part of the experience so we advise bringing some extra cash to spend.
Is Xochimilco a tourist trap?
Xochimilco is known as a lively party venue, and you can expect lots of vendors trying to sell you food, drink, music and souvenirs.
If this scene is not for you, simply visit Xochimilco at quieter times of the day; the mornings are best for a quiet visit.
However, although the party vibe is not to everyone’s taste, we think it is part of the Xochimilco experience and should be taken as it is – a fun slice of contemporary Mexican culture.
Is Xochimilco cash only?
Xochimilco Gardens Mexico City is free to enter, but Xochimilco tickets for boats must be paid for in cash. Souvenirs, food and drink sellers – plus the musicians – will only take cash payments.
How long do you need in Xochimilco?
We think you need at least two hours to fully explore Xochimilco floating gardens in Mexico City. You will need four hours or more if you want to visit the original (not the replica) Island of the Dolls.
In our experience, the Xochimilco tour we have taken has provided an adequate amount of time on the canals.
What should I wear to Xochimilco?
If you’re visiting the floating gardens of Xochimilco Mexico City, we advise wearing cool clothes which provide adequate skin coverage. Although the boats have a roof, they have no sides, and it can be deceptive how much sun you will actually be exposed to.
Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses and plenty of water – especially if you plan on drinking alcohol.
We also advise wearing good gripping no slippy footwear. The boats do not rock but can sway and get slippy, especially with spilt drinks.
Why is Xochimilco famous?
Xochimilco Mexico floating gardens are famous for their man-made ‘chinampa’ islands. The islands were originally rafts built by the Aztecs from Juniper branches and filled with soil for planting crops.
Over time, the rafts sank, and the Juniper branches rooted to the lake floor. As the islands multiplied over the years, the lake eventually became a series of canals. These canals then became an important trading and transport route.
Today, the canals have a reputation as a vibrant cultural attraction, but they also form part of an invaluable ecological reserve.
Can you go to Xochimilco at night?
You can only visit Xochimilco at night on one of the special, nocturnal Xochimilco tours.
How much are mariachis in Xochimilco?
You can pay mariachis to sing and play for you as you ride along the canals at Xochimilco. You can expect to pay around 150 MXN per song, but again, this can be shared amongst all the people on the boat to keep costs down.
What are the boats at Xochimilco called?
The boats at Xochimilco Mexico City are called trajinera – from the Spanish word ‘to travel.’
Each flat-bottomed boat has a name and is brightly coloured and patterned. Together, they create a memorable scene on the canals.
Xochimilco Tours: Final Thoughts
Xochimilco tours are a great option for solo travellers, for visitors who are short on time or for anyone who enjoys a party atmosphere. There is a tour to suit everyone.
Plus, the overall experience will be cheaper if you share your boat, music and food with other people on a tour. We hope this guide has helped you find the best Xochimilco tour for your trip.
We think Xochimilco is a unique Mexico City cultural experience which should not be missed. We love it and think you will too.
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