Last Updated on December 5, 2023 by Soumya
Looking for the best Xochimilco tours from Mexico City? Wondering what’s the best way to see the floating gardens of Xochimilco? Tours led by locals? An early morning jaunt? Or a midday party?
Well, I can tell you that you’re at the right place when it comes to best Xochimilco tours. I have visited Xochimilco several times (just got back from an epic one month stay in Mexico City!) and have done multiple tours of the borough. I have researched and re-researched this place so many times that I ended up writing an article for BBC Travel on the subject!! Yes, can you believe that? 😬
Therefore, I am the perfect person to guide you to the best tour Xochimilco in Mexico City has to offer.
Whether you like a grand Mexican fiesta or a quiet ride through the canals, this comprehensive post has the best of everything listed down. Because when it comes to Xochimilco tours, it is important that you choose the best one with the best reviews and good value for your $$.
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My Top 2 Picks: Best Xochimilco Tours
Even though there are so many amazing excursions to choose from, here are two of my absolute favorite Xochimilco tours.
Xochimilco, Coyoacan, and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour: One of my personal favorites, this tour combines the best of Xochimilco and Coyoacan, is reasonably priced, and is one of the highest-rated tours in the market. ▶️ BOOK NOW
What to know before booking your Xochimilco tour?
- Guided tours to Xochimilco from Mexico City are often clubbed with the neighborhood of Coyoacan – Frida Kahlo Museum & UNAM since all are located in the south of CDMX. Tours are a great way to see these 3 Mexico City attractions on the same day.
- Most group tours include pick ups from a common point in Mexico City and not necessarily your hotel. If you’d like a hotel pick up, go for a private tour.
- Tipping your tour guide, driver, and gondolier is highly recommended. A 5-15% tip is expected depending on how your experience has been.
8 Best Xochimilco Tours from Mexico City
1. Xochimilco, Coyoacan, and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour – Bestseller!
This Xochimilco, Coyoacan, and Frida Kahlo Museum Tour includes two of Mexico City’s best attractions – the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco and Frida Kahlo Museum. This tour is perfect for those short on time. Priced at $80 (approx.), this combo tour is great value for money and an absolute bestseller.
You’ll begin your day early by getting picked up from a common meeting point in Mexico City, head to the historic neighborhood of Coyoacan, and visit Casa Azul – Frida Kahlo’s house now a museum.
Next, you’ll head to the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco where you’ll ride a colorful trajinera while your guide fills your boat journey with interesting anecdotes about the floating flower gardens. You can enjoy local food such as tacos, grilled corn, and micheladas (at extra cost) during the tour as beautiful Mariachi music fills the air.
Wonderful day, great pace, not rushed at any of the stops. Leo was a great guide, very knowledgeable.Mark. More reviews here.
After a refreshing trajinera ride, you’ll go on to appreciate the central library murals at UNAM University, a UNESCO world heritage site. The tour ends at the meeting point in Mexico City.
This amazing, money saver, full-day excursion is the highest rated Xochimilco tour from Mexico City. With over 2,500 5-star reviews and a Badge of Excellence on Viator, this combo tour is definitely one of the best in the market. Be sure to select the tour option that includes Frida Kahlo Museum for a complete experience.
2. Private Tour of Xochimilco and Coyoacan
If group tours are not your thing, then this highest-rated private tour of Xochimilco and Coyoacan is for you. This is an absolutely delightful experience with many spectacular reviews and happy customers.
Had an excellent time seeing Coyoacan and Xochimilco. Everything was well arranged and went smoothly. Xochimilco was the highlight. It was so different than the rest of Mexico City.Ryan. More reviews here.
On this Xochimilco tour, you’ll visit the famous Frida Kahlo Museum, explore the charming streets of Coyoacan and check out the market, the plaza, and a 16th-century colonial church. And of course, visit the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco in a private boat.
This is a private tour. Since it will be just you and your personal driver and tour guides, you can customize your itinerary to suit your interests. If you need more time at the gardens or at the Frida Kahlo Museum, feel free to tell your guide. They are always willing to help. Our guide also helped us find the best restaurants in the area.
One of the biggest perks of being on a private tour is the flexibility. You do what you want to do. And that’s exactly what this excellent Xochimilco tour lets you do.
3. Xochimilco Boat Tour with Lunch & Drinks
This boat tour is one of the highest rated, exclusive Xochimilco tours in town and also a personal favorite. On this 3-hour tour, you’ll explore the canals and floating gardens of Xochimilco on a traditional Mexican boat called the trajinera.
Arrive at Canal 237 (Google Maps), board a trajinera, and glide through Xochimilco’s canals while appreciating the natural beauty of the floating gardens that surround you. Your guide will explain to you the historical and biological significance of the place.
During your ride, you can play Mexican board games and listen to Mariachi bands as they come closer to your trajinera to perform. Next, you’ll get off the boat and enjoy a hearty meal at a local restaurant on a floating island. The trip ends with a michelada making workshop and a round of drinks to enjoy.
This Xochimilco boat tour is a great way to enjoy an authentic trajinera experience (includes food, drinks, music, and games) in the floating gardens. It is exclusively Xochimilco, so no distractions! The tour is also short which means it leaves you free to explore other attractions in Xochimilco.
There 4 different times to choose from – 10:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm, and 5:30pm which makes it super convenient to organize your day.
Note: This tour does not include pick up/drop at Mexico City. But it is easy to hire an Uber/Didi cab to get to the meeting point at Canal 237. Costs between 300 – 350 pesos ($17-20).
4. Private Tour of Xochimilco with a Local
Want to see the floating flower gardens of Xochimilco with a passionate and knowledgeable local? Then, this private and personalized Xochimilco tour is for you.
Since this is a private tour, it can be completely customized to suit your interests. Apart from enjoying a trajinera ride along the ancient canals, you can also visit the San Bernardino Church, check out the ecological park, visit the local market, and walk through the colorful streets of Xochimilco.
They have some of the best guides in town who will work with you to craft a personalized itinerary. Whether you want to listen to live Mariachi music on a trajinera, taste blue corn tacos at the local market, or check out Xochimilco’s quaint colonial churches, your tour guide will take care of it.
We had a great tour that included visiting the market, tasting local foods and then the boat ride down the lagoon. Our guides were informative, had a good sense of humor and made for a nice day!Maria. More reviews here.
This tour is available on all days of the week, is 5 – 6 hours long, and includes pick-up from your hotel or apartment in Mexico City. They have tours throughout the day, so you can schedule one at a time convenient to you.
5. Xochimilco Boat Ride & Mexican Party
If you love a good boat party, join this awesome Mexican party on a trajinera boat in Xochimilco. Cruise along the canals of Xochimilco on a trajinera while partying with people from all over the world. Enjoy local food & drinks and have lots of fun.
On this exciting, small-group Xochimilco boat tour, you’ll enjoy a trajinera ride through the canals while tasting some healthy snacks and crudités. Alcoholic beverages such as mezcal, beer, and tequila are included in the tour.
You’ll also learn how to make fresh guacamole that you can later enjoy with your chips. By paying extra, you can buy food from boat vendors and hire a Mariachi band to play the best songs. Be sure to ask them for Cielito Lindo – that’s one of my favorites.
We had never done a tour before for the trajineras and we were missing out! We will absolutely be back. This was so much fun and a good value since snacks and drinks are included.Fanny. More reviews here.
The tour also provides an option of visiting the axolotl sanctuary or the replica of the Island of the Dead Dolls. Priced at less than $80 and snacks & drinks included, this Xochimilco boat tour is definitely good value for money.
This is one of the best boat tours in Xochimilco and they run on select days of the week. No doubt, their tickets sell out pretty fast. Be sure to reserve your place by clicking here.
6. Xochimilco Canals by Kayak
I am not a kayaking person but I know that some of you reading this post out there are. So, if you love kayaking and are excited to see and learn more about Xochimilco’s floating gardens, then this kayaking tour is for you. A friend of mine did this tour and totally loved it.
Kayaking is a very different way of seeing the chinampas. If you’re kayaking, then you’re getting into smaller canals, accessing difficult areas, and you’re closer to all that amazing biodiversity. You’re definitely closer to the floating gardens than in a normal trajinera boat. And that’s wonderful!
I had been to Xochimilco before but this is definitely the best way to see the canals and appreciate the nature.Anonymous. More details here.
This kayak tour of Xochimilco begins at 8:00am and lasts about 6-7 hours. The organizers provide you kayaks, paddles, and life vests. Amateurs are welcome and knowing how to swim is recommended. You’ll have the opportunity to get off at a chinampa and have lunch prepared from ingredients grown on the island.
The tour includes pick-up from a common meeting point in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City.
Only negative is that this tour is available only on Mondays & Saturdays. Well, that’s not a big negative, though. If you have nothing much to do in Mexico City on a Monday, you can head to Xochimilco for a kayak tour.
7. Xochimilco and Teotihuacan 2-Day Super-Saver Tour
This Teotihuacan + Xochimilco combo tour is one of the highest rated tours in the market and very good value for money. For a little over $100, you get to see 6 prime attractions of Mexico City, spread over 2 days.
This combo tour is the best and the most cost-effective way to see multiple attractions in Mexico City. If you’re visiting Mexico City for a short time, booking the Teotihuacan + Xochimilco tour is the way to go.
Highly recommend the 2 day tour when you are in a short visit to Mexico City.Aleta. More reviews here.
On Day 1, you’ll visit the Teotihuacan pyramids, stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (one of the most important pilgrimage centers for Catholics around the world), and see the archaeological site of Tlatelolco.
On Day 2, you’ll head to Xochimilco for a relaxing trajinera ride through the floating gardens, visit Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan, and check out the UNESCO-listed murals of UNAM.
Organized by Amigo Tours, one of the best tour companies in Mexico, this 2-day tour includes all entrance tickets and round-trip transportation from common meeting points in Mexico City. Honestly, this tour is a dream come true and therefore, it has a well-deserved Badge of Excellence on Viator.
8. Sunrise Tour of Xochimilco from Mexico City
This sunrise tour was one of my favorite excursions of Xochimilco. I totally loved this tour because it showed me such a unique side of Xochimilco. Far away from the parties and trajinera rides, this sunrise tour shows you the best of Xochimilco’s natural beauty.
On this tour, you’ll cruise through some of the most unexplored canals of Xochimilco on a trajinera and experience a stunning sunrise from the water. Next, you’ll head to a chinampa for a yoga and meditation session where you’ll feel one with nature.
Later, your tour guide will give you an immersive tour of the chinampa and explain how farming is still done here. You’ll end the tour with a sumptuous breakfast made from ingredients locally grown on chinampas.
Note: The only cons of this tour are that it is available on select days which are very few and far in between. I suggest checking regularly for new dates opening up on their calendar. Also, this is a non-refundable activity which means you should book only if you’re very sure of attending. So, keep that in mind.
Several local companies also offer sunrise tours in the chinampas accompanied by local breakfast. I have tried the sunrise tour of Arca Tierra and have absolutely loved it. You can check them out here.