The Xochimilco boat launches, embarcaderos, began really operating as leisure tour operators in the 1930s. The approximately 184 kilometers of waterways are mostly visited by these leisure visitors but you'll see that the people of Xochimilco use them too.
Tight regulations are in place to protect consumers and the operators.
Prices are always mx$500 pesos per hour, with tight maximums on the number of people able to board. This is generally 18 people, but some smaller boats are also available. Prices do not vary but some operators will offer discounts for advance booking.
Embarcaderos are divided into those offering "traditional" and newer "ecological" tours. Traditional tours begin and remain more or less in the central areas of Xochimilco. But importantly, the same traditional boat launches now offer much longer tours to the ecological reserve areas which are further away.
See below for the complete list of each type of boat launch.
The Xochimilco Boat Launches and tour operators are required to adhere to a strict set of rules. Visitors and patrons are too. Here's a summary of all of them. It should make your visit easier and safer.
1. Maximums of 18 passengers on board boats are strictly enforced. This includes children under four years of age. Passengers may not move to another boat during the trip.
2. If passengers do not wish to wear a life vest, they must sign a release card with the operator or authorized personnel.
3. Alcohol is limited to one bottle of liquor per boat or three bottles/cans of beer per adult passenger.
4. Passengers should remain seated and are prohibited from jumping or walking to other boats.
5. Hands and feet must also remain in the boat.
6. Loud music is prohibited as is equipment for loud music. Only speakers available from the operators is permitted.
7. Tying or otherwise interfering with the passage of the boats is prohibited.
8. Only authorized restrooms can be visited. Operators should be consulted and will advise passengers as to the approach of authorized rest rooms.
9. All types of trash and litter must remain on the boat. Operators will advise as to the proper disposal of trash.
10. Visibly intoxicated persons should be reported to the Tourism Desk at each boat launch era.
11. Operators reserve the right to interrupt or cancel any tour with no refund and may report unruly or intoxicated passengers to the appropriate authorities.
Photo this page: Andres Suarez 123000 on Wikimedia Commons
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