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Mexico City Part 3: Xochimilco Boat Tour and Frida Kahlo

In which we bring too many snacks onto the party boats and marvel at the artifacts that Frida left behind. See Part 1 Part 2, and Part 4 (coming)

We took a day trip south to do both Xochimilco as well as the Frida Kahlo Museum.

Xochimilco boats

Xochimilco is a canal system leftover from the prehispanic times, that is now a touristy + local party hot spot. It’s south of where we were staying in Mexico City, and about an hour out.

We left our airbnb around 11:00am, to get to the boats at around 12. Our uber took us to Embarcadero nuevo nativitas (apparently there are multiple entry points, and this one is known online to be the most poppin). It gets pretty aggressive when you get close, and men on bikers will try to coerce you to come to their special embarcadero. Our driver was awesome and just waved them off.

There’s food (meals + snacks) being sold at the embarcadero, but we brought our own chips + beer. One of the boat owners approached us, and actually waited through our lunch to usher us to his boats. After looking around, we ended up eating at this amazing stand with handmade blue corn tortillas, and all kinds of fillings (bistec, chicken+ mushroom, cheese, and green salsa that is WAY spicy). It’s run by a couple of efficient women that look like they could care less if you sit down and eat, which is the universal sign that it’s probably a great place to eat (we’d soured on people beckoning us to eat at their stands). Cash only and you can also get horchata.


The price for the boats is per hour, and listed at 500 MXN/hr, I think we ended up paying 350/hr for two hours and 250 for a tip. There’s no way for a photo or even a video to capture the crazy chaotic nature of the boats. It was hectic where we headed off, and each boat has a driver that uses a long pole to push around and jam in between you and oncoming boats. It’s a totally unorganized chaos that somehow just works. There’s smaller boats floating around with mariachis for rent (we paid 150 for a song), food and beer for sale, and even flower crowns and toys. We enjoyed listening to the craziness and people watching, and the local families are rowdy and dancing and having a good time. The boats are definitely big enough for more than 4 (we even saw two boats chained together for an ultra big party).

Frida Kahlo in Coyoacán

There’s a ton to do in Coyoacán where the museums are, but we just headed over on an uber (easy to catch from the embarcadero) and walked around one of the craft markets. We loved the variety of goods here (I found a really awesome hand-embroidery stand that’s run by a women’s collective, and we also bought hats for our trip the next day to the pyramids). There’s also a great food stand area that had flavored ice, mole powder, hot foods, and more. We ate all the churros and walked to the frida kahlo museum to get into line. Definitely buy your tickets ahead of time (you’ll get assigned a time slot). We wanted to get audio guides for an additional price but because were were the last slot, they didn’t allow us to. It was also an additional cost for the right to take photos.

I loved seeing her early work, photographs of her mother and family, and especially the clothes that she wore in a special exhibition.

What we saw

Xochimilco boats

Frida Kahlo Museum

What we ate

Lunch near embarcadero nuevo nativitas

Churros and street foods near Mercado de Artesanías de Coyoacán (cash only, no stand names that I remember)

Crystal Shei