Chinampas, Xochimilco

The Chinampas of Xochimilco are a unique agricultural innovation developed by the Aztecs in what is now Mexico City. Often referred to as “floating gardens,” chinampas are small, rectangular plots of fertile land built on shallow lake beds. They are created by layering mud, lake sediment, and decaying vegetation, and surrounded by canals that provide irrigation and transportation. This ingenious method allowed the Aztecs to cultivate crops year-round, yielding multiple harvests annually. Today, the chinampas of Xochimilco are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcasing the sustainable farming techniques of the ancient Mesoamerican civilization and supporting a rich biodiversity that includes various endemic species.

“This was a magical tour to the Xochimilco region of Mexico City, the guide had a wealth of knowledge and the traditional food was fantastic!”

Visiting Xochimilco offers a unique glimpse into Mexico’s rich cultural and ecological heritage. Known for its vibrant and colorful trajineras (traditional boats), Xochimilco’s canals provide a picturesque setting for leisurely boat rides, often accompanied by live mariachi music. The area is famous for its chinampas, or “floating gardens,” a remarkable example of ancient Aztec agricultural ingenuity that still supports local farming. Visitors can explore these gardens, learn about traditional farming techniques, and witness a diverse array of wildlife, including several endangered species. Additionally, Xochimilco hosts lively markets and festivals, offering authentic Mexican cuisine, crafts, and a festive atmosphere. This blend of history, culture, and natural beauty makes Xochimilco a must-visit destination.