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Xochimilco, Mexico City

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Contact: +52 55 5525 9380
Open Hours: Daily 9a-6p
A living testimony to the canals of Mexico before the conquest, Xochimilco also attests to the period of the Vice-royalty. Meaning "Land of Flowers," it is a landscape of 176 kilometers (103 miles) of ancient canals called chinampas, built for irrigation and transportation by the Aztecs. Artificial islets were created by layering logs, earth, mud and roots tied with vine, and planting ahuejote, a native plant whose tough roots bind the walls of the chinampas. Today, Xochimilco has been regenerated and visitors can take a trip on wooden boats trimmed with beautiful fresh flowers. The 14 kilometers (8 miles) of navigable waterway are lined with vendors selling their wares and delicacies, and groups of mariachi or marimba serenading them from wooden boats.