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.