Postcard from Mexico City: Cruising Canals in Colorful Trajineras

There’s more to Mexico City than a frenzied city center. Located at the southern edge of town, about an hour from the well-traveled historic district, the borough of Xochimilco knows how to delight families on the go. It’s hard to believe you’re still in the city as you quietly cruise down canals in brightly colored, open-air gondolas called trajineras.

Boatmen silently propel the trajineras through the water, using a long wooden pole to push off the bottom. As you glide through neighborhoods, you’ll see dogs lounging on canal banks and residents tending to their gardens. Vendors float alongside, selling everything from grilled corn on the cob to blankets and pillows. Handfuls of mariachi bands call the canals their stage; invite one aboard your trajinera for a personalized performance. Boats seat 14 to 20 people, with a long table in the center, but traveling families can rent a trajinera by the hour and have it all to themselves.

While visitors dominate the canals during the week, on weekends and holidays, floating picnics in Xochimilco are a favorite way for locals to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of city living.

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Relevant Links:

Browse all family-friendly accommodations and things to do in Mexico on Ciao Bambino

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Top things to do in Mexico’s Riviera Maya with kids

Editor’s Note: Dana’s trip to Mexico City was sponsored by Visit Mexico. As always, our thoughts and opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photo by Dana Rebmann. 

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