The original Xochimilco is a World Heritage Site, and one of the 16 boroughs of Mexico City. The area is best known for its canal system and chinampas (or artificial islands), where visitors ride colorful gondola-like boats (called trajineras) while they "eat, drink and be merry."
Xcaret has created their version of Xoximilco (with the ch changed to an x) in Cancun, just five minutes from the airport. Basically everything Xcaret touches is gold, and just like all of their other undertakings, this unique and adventurous experience does not disappoint.
An evening at Xoximilco is an adventure in Mexican culture — Photo courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret
The three-hour evening tour begins with a welcome party, complete with an appetizer of esquites (a spicy Mexican corn dish). Tequila and beer are included in the price of the tour, so enjoy a Paloma (a must-try cocktail made from tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda) or a Corona while you wait to board.
The colorful trajineras, each named for a Mexican state, have a capacity for 20 people. More traditional appetizers from different regions await, along with aguas frescas (fresh fruit drinks), beer, tequila and soft drinks.
Each trajinera has a host/guide who has created their own games and tricks, which make the tour lively and fun. In addition, your guide provides information about the food and music. As it makes its way through the canals, “driven” by someone who can only be described as a gondolier (The trajinera is propelled through the water in the voga alla veneziana style.), it encounters chinampas and other trajineras that feature live Mexican music. Types of music include Mariachi, Cuarteto Jarocho, Marimba, Trova Yucateca and Trio Bolero.
Each trajinera is named for a Mexican state — Photo courtesy of Experiencias Xcaret
All meal courses, beer and soft drinks are delivered by friendly folks on chalupas (something like a kayak) that pull up on both sides of the trajineras. Servings are small, but there are a lot of them! Make sure you save room for dessert. Forgot to pick up a souvenir at the gift shop? Don’t worry. A shopping trajinera will pass by as well.
In case you were wondering, there is one restroom stop in case of restroom emergencies. In addition, photographers take pictures during the tour that can be viewed and/or purchased at the end.
Xoximilco is three hours of Mexican culture, food, drinks and music. The tour culminates in one big fiesta, when all the trajineras meet at the end of the canal route and enjoy live music.