There’s something about boats, in beautiful canal waters, with the setting sun casting an amber shadow over everything, making it magical. No wonder when people think of romantic Venice memories, melodious music fills their ears and there is a longing to go back. In Xochimilco, the experience was similar, yet very different with a touch of true Mexican madness.
It was a half day trip, to the canals of Xochimilco where bright and cheery boats (trajineras) greeted us with delight. Each boat can carry up to a dozen passengers and we saw various families enjoying boat picnics with food, snacks and laughter. We came across plenty of vendors (in smaller canoes) with food and drink, souvenirs and music. They are even willing to hop on from one boat to another if you are interested in buying their goods. And the best part, you can hire a floating mariachi band and they can play exclusively for you.
The rower took us slowly through the canals under beautiful bridges and luscious green surroundings. The boats are so beautifully painted in vibrant yellows, and each has a special name. It takes some time to get out of the crowded madness as the boat rows towards a more secluded side of the canal. What I enjoyed the most was standing at the front and trying to row it myself. My oar actually touched the ground and I realized the water wasn’t too deep. I also spent some quiet time just lying in there and looking at the beautiful sky, when you can hear nothing else but the oar moving against the water, its bliss.
It is advisable to book a tour before going, call them in advance to set up the appointment. This helps to avoid getting trapped into paying more. You cannot compare this to Venice, or any other boat rides, you might find it confining, expensive, with pushy salespersons or even stagnant and stinky water at some points, but if you are willing to overlook these, you are in for a unique and fun filled experience. Also, I hope you have good company as I did.
There is also a bazaar you can visit with beautiful handicrafts on display. I did meet some very interesting people. Below are pictures of the two most interesting men I met!
Mexico is one of the best places I have visited, and I have to say this because of the people and the cuisine. They do the same thing to you, are warm and spread happiness.
My name is Lovya. I left home when I was 17, to study and pursue my dream of being an Engineer, which I am now! But my love for travel never parted with me and even as I grow older, I know there are places and adventures in the world which I have to see. It feeds my soul in a unique way. This blog is a means for me to share my travel stories and hear about your experiences.