In the southern neighborhood of Xochimilco are more than 80km (50 miles) of canals known as the Floating Gardens. They consist of two main parts. The first is the tourism-oriented area in the Historic Center of town, where colorful boats called trajineras take loads of tourists and locals celebrating a special occasion through a portion of the canals. Lively music, some of it provided by mariachi musicians for hire who board the gondolas, is a staple. Historic buildings, restaurants, souvenir stands, curio sellers, and boat vendors border this area. The other section, north of the center of town, is the ecology-oriented area, or Parque Natural Xochimilco. On Sunday, Xochimilco is jammed; on weekdays, it's nearly deserted. As you enter Xochimilco proper, you will see many places to board boats. Should you miss them, turn along Madero and follow signs that say LOS EMBARCADEROS (the piers).
- © Frommer's 2013
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