The name translates to mean “Field of Flowers” in the native Nahuatl language,which is an apt description for Xochimilco Cancun,a brightly colored waterway designed as a stunning replica of the ancient canal system of the same name in Mexico City,a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Today,the canals in Cancun serve as a magical reminder of Mexico’s rich and storied past and also play host to a new dinner tour.
Located just 10 minutes from the Cancun International Airport,Xochimilco Cancun was developed by the Xperiencias Xcaret Group and encompasses 60 hectares of land. More than $21 million has already been invested in the project,which opened in December of 2013. The site is located in an area previously made up of nothing but abandoned limestone quarries,which was reforested with more than 100,000 native trees,plants and flowers,along with a pristine chain of canals that meander through the park-like setting.
Keeping History Alive
Xochimilco Cancun boasts lush floating gardens and flowerbeds,which are characteristic of its namesake in Mexico City,and also features trajineras, the traditional gondola-like boats modeled after ancient pre-Hispanic canoes known as acallis. The goal was to recreate the sights,sounds and atmosphere of the now-famous waterway of Mexico’s capital city in this lagoon,which is located not far from the Cancun Country Club,just off the Cancun-Tulum highway headed toward Puerto Morelos. To ensure an authentic experience,most of the rowers and tour guides at Xochimilco Cancun have previously worked at the location in Mexico City and many provided crucial insight throughout the project’s development.
“The journey is a celebration of Mexico’s colorful heritage,brought to life through cuisine,music,art and flowers,and it has now come to Cancun,” shares writer,expat and 20-year Cancun resident Joanna Green,in a blog for Royal Resorts. “Xochimilco also gives visitors a glimpse of traditional Xochimilco culture and celebrations.”
The wetlands of the original Xochimilco are located just south of Mexico City and were traditionally inhabited by people who cultivated chinampas,which are manmade islands of nutrient rich soil that is ideal for growing fruit,flowers,a wide variety of corn and other vegetables.
“The Aztec capital Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City) was perched atop an island in the middle of a huge lake,” shares Green.
Floating gardens are also an important part of this unique form of traditional agriculture,which stemmed from farming techniques that can be traced back to the days of the Aztecs. Today,the farmers mainly grow a variety of colorful flowers,including dahlias,gerniums,lilies,poinsettias for the Christmas season and roses.
At Xochimilco Cancun,visitors get to take a rare glimpse into this colorful and very ancient world,whisked away aboard a brightly painted vessel for an unforgettable evening exploring the tree-lined canals. Water-borne food and flower vendors,along with mariachi bands and other attractions will round out the evening’s entertainment,which also includes storytelling time with the boat’s experienced rower,who shares fascinating insights about the park’s historical significance along the way.
The Xochimilco experience begins with an amazing three-course meal featuring traditional cuisine,with 20 different dishes divided between the three courses,including guacamole,squash blossoms,chicken mole,pork in green salsa and a variety of fabulous desserts.
The three-hour journey begins at 6:30 p.m. with food,entertainment and music,evoking memories of Mexico past as guests are rowed through the canals amid a dizzying array of colors,flavors,sights,textures and sounds.
“Visitors will enjoy a Mexican fiesta with delicious traditional cuisine,mariachi serenades,marimba and other live music,” writes Green.
Admission also includes an open bar offering tequila,beer,fruit flavored beverages and sodas. Other planned attractions for the park at Xochimilco Cancun include kayaking,rafting,sailing,swimming,snorkeling and fishing.
Xochimilco Cancun is currently open from 6:30-Midnight Monday through Saturday and the price of admission is $80.10 for adults and $44.50 for children.
Click here to explore even more new destinations in Cancun from the team at Investment Properties Mexico.