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Xochimilco Historic Center

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. They make for a charming place to visit. And getting around them promises rewards for photographers in an enchanted and prolifically planted garden.

These 17 neighborhoods are recognized by the City and Federal governments for having preceded the colonial period. As Barrios Originarios, they also maintain something of their original culture, heritage, and way of life. They're complemented by the Original Settlements, a bit further afield. The Xochimilco Historic Center is a must see for those interested in the broader region of Chinampa Farming, and the towns still practicing that art. Here, it's compact and easy to get to.

The listings below are intended to make it easier to visit. It's 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 the site of, even older, indigenous ceremonial sites.

Perhaps, best of all, because the Xochimilco Historic Center is so old, everything's within easy walking distance.

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