Celebrate the colors, cuisine and music of Mexico at Xoximilco aboard a wooden gondola-like boat on a magical ride through specially built waterways.
When I first heard that there was to be yet another tourist attraction in the Cancun & Riviera Maya area, I admit to having my doubts. Then, when I heard it was a recreation of the beloved Xochimilco region of Mexico City, famed for its wonderful display of flowers and colorful boats or trajineras (pronounced tra-heen-eras), my skepticism only grew.
Because with so many tourist attractions, so many parks, so many options to see, do and experience and Cancun and the Riviera Maya, newcomers truly need to present something special to be able to stand out from the competitive pack of successful tour operators.
And then on top of it to recreate something that already exists in another place?
Well, I was fortunate enough to visit Xoximilco a few weeks ago, and hereby declare: don’t judge a tour by what it covers.
Here are 5 things to know about Xoximilco and why it’s definitely worth a visit.
You’re going to learn some fancy new words
Chapulines (pronounced cha-pooh-lean-es, especially if you say it fast), trajineras (tra-heen-eras), huitlacoche (wee-tla-coach-eh), Huauzontle (waa-zont-le) and other intricate words are all part of the fascinating fusion of Mexican culture and cuisine and an essential aspect of the Xoximilco tour. Learn your new vocabulary and impress everyone back home with your newfound knowledge of edible grasshoppers, corn fungus and Mexican goosefoot. Just take it easy on the tequila, which is included in the all-inclusive price of admission, or by the next day you are likely to have forgotten everything you just learned the night before.
Great Mexican folk music
Outside of Mexico, little is known about the rich diversity of musical styles and rhythms. In other words, when most people think of Mexican music their minds immediately conjure up images of mariachis or the sombrero-clad cowboys of norteño music. But, in fact, Mexican music is extremely varied, with each region having its own particular style. At Xoximilco, you’ll get a chance to explore some of these rhythms as you float down the channel, passing by expertly placed musicians who will serenade you with pure Mexican melodies. And make you dance they shall.
Mexican hospitality at its best
Each boat fits up to 20 people comfortably seated at one long table that extends almost the entire length of the trajinera. A Xoximilco guide accompanies the group, providing entertainment, answering questions, and sharing the interesting stories of Xoximilco and Mexican culture. The guides are very well-trained and well-versed, making the experience even that much fun and enjoyable. Our particular guide, Cesar, was funny, informative, entertaining and was contagious in his joy and enthusiasm. Something like the cherry on top or the icing on the cake.
Eco-friendly & sustainable practices
Sustainable tourism practices determined the construction of the series of channels built for Xoximilco, which were developed over 57 hectares of land previously used as an extraction zone for construction. Had it not been converted into the park, it likely would have become a waste deposit. In addition, Xoximilco has planted more than 210,000 natives plants and, according to Earth Check, 75% of the residues produced at Xoximilco are recycled.
Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun
A calm float through the channels, great food, abundant drinks, some fancy new words and a lot of nice music truly make a trip to Xoximilco well worth the experience. The entire operations are well organized, the service is excellent, and you simply won’t be able to leave Xoximilco without a smile on your face. In fact, the tour offers visitors a great opportunity to enjoy the real essence of a vacation: relaxing, learning about a new culture and having a very good time while doing so.
Contact your Amstar representative at your hotel or online if you would like to have more information or to reserve your place on this fun cultural journey through the channels of Xoximilco.