Ecological Xochimilco

Hard to believe, but there are still several navigable channels remaining in Mexico City, remnants of the complex endoreic lake system that existed in Mexico City prior to the arrival of the Spaniards.  We will take a boat ride on a “trajinera” or flat-bottom gondola in the southern enclave of Xochimilco, departing from one of the more out-of-the way docks.  Taking a trip back in time, we will ride through a complex canal system lined with reeds, enjoying an unexpected abundance of natural wildlife while witnessing the ancient prehispanic agricultural system of “chinampas” up close.  Farmers continue to grow leafy vegetables on these hidden, man-made agricultural plots (erroneously referred to as “floating gardens”) – fashioned much as the ancient prehispanic farmers created their system by layering branches and mud to create fertile plots for year-round vegetable cultivation.

This sustainable, often organic system continues to purvey local markets with lettuce, radishes, cilantro, and other basic greens.

Of course, if you would prefer a more touristy-route, we can also arrange to disembark from one of the busier, “folkloric” docks where mariachis, food vendors, and artisans hawk their wares from boats, making for a more festive, party-like atmosphere.