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Xochimilco travel guide

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Xochimilco

Around 20 km to the southeast of the city centre, Xochimilco has many attractions, not least the fact that it lies in an unpolluted area.

Meaning ‘the place where flowers grow’, Xochimilco was an advanced settlement long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Built on a lake, it developed a form of agriculture using chinampas (‘floating gardens’) where mud was dredged from the lake bed and onto floating rafts. The chimpanas soon evolved into highly fertile canal banks and the area is still a major supplier of fruit and vegetables to the city. After the Conquest, the Spaniards recognized the importance of the region and the need to convert the indigenous population, evidenced by a considerable number of 16th- and 17th-century religious buildings in Xochimilco and the other 13 pueblos that make up the present-day delegación, or municipality. Easiest access is by bus, colectivo or metro to Metro Taxqueña, then tren ligero (about 20 minutes). Get off at the last stop.

Canals
Xochimilco’s peaceful canals are the town’s principal attraction, traversed by colourful trajineras (punt-like boats), which bear girls’ names. ...

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