The Xochimilco Historic Center consists of no fewer than 17 ancient and fascinating neighborhoods. If you've ridden the canals, you've no doubt caught a glimpse of at least some of them.
These 17 neighborhoods are recognized by the City and Federal governments for having preceded the colonial period. The Barrios Originarios also maintain today something of their original culture, heritage, and way of life.
The listings below are intended to make it easier to visit and an introduction to a long, intertwined, and compelling history. Each barrio surrounds, or at least plays host to, a historic Catholic chapel. Many of these were built on top of, or on the site of, an even older indigenous ceremonial site.
Perhaps, best of all, because Xochimilco is so old, these neighborhoods are all within easy walking distance. None is more than 15 minutes walk away. And while few people may want to visit all 17 Barrios Originarios, a mildly curious person can easily visit five or six in an afternoon.
Along the way you'll find the quaintest of footbridges, festoons from the religious processions gone by, and always something more revealing, poetic, or thought provoking.
From the famous Clock of Xochimilco, out front of the cathedral, and back to the light rail station (Xochimilco) in Barrio San Pedro, it's less than a 10-minutes walk. As there are few hotels, nor lodgings of any kind, your wish to stay may not be easily granted.
Many guests will arrive to the Fernando Celada Boat Launch by bus, or other means of transport. And then you're equally close to many of these neighborhoods. With few exceptions, you won't be able to get off the canal boats. But you may ask your boat operator which neighborhood you're currently passing through. In any case, the listings below will help you better understand these ancient and fascinating neighborhoods.
One of the younger neighborhoods in Xochimilco has held on the longest to its Nahuatl name and it's…
Among the most dramatic stretches of canal, an ancient neighborhood rolls out the welcome mat.
Xochimilco's littlest historical neighborhood is among the biggest participants in the local processions.
An ancient ceremonial site gave rise to one of Xochimilco's most colorful neighborhoods.
The epicenter of the New Xochimilco, it's one of the biggest and quietest of Xochimilco's Chinampa Barrios.
An ancient school of wisdom is today one of Xochimilco's most enchanting chapels.
There's always something see, and just 8-minutes walk from the light rail is one of Xochimilco's finest barrios.
Likely the oldest Christian church in ancient Xochimilco, it's the rugged center of an ancient neighborhood.
Looking out on the thriving market square, there's no better place for the Central Xochimilco Chapel.
At the center of one of one Xochimilco's biggest and oldest neighborhoods, it's historically, the cleanest too!
The legendary Xaltocan of Xochimilco still hosts the biggest carnival in the city.
An 17th-century chapel at the heart of Santa Cruz Anulco, it's one of Xochimilco's oldest continually inhabited neighborhoods.
One of the most beloved of central Xochimilco barrios, this one's
One of Xochimilco's most colorful, creative, and historical of ancient neighborhoods...
One of the central, charming little neighborhoods of Xochimilco's center, this one's best visited on foot.
The spiritual center of Catholic Xochimilco, it's a great introduction to the central neighborhoods.
A teeming hive of commerce, culture, and food, it's a spectacular place for lunch and more.
At the center of one of Xochimilco's original neighborhoods, and as colorful as can be.
On the esplanade outside the Xochimilco Cathedral, a time-piece provides a perfect meeting point.
A chapel once dedicated to Saint Louis the King of France is today but a sentinel overlooking the…
One of the closest "ecological" boat launches in Xochimilco, you'll set off for the deepest and most verdant…