Mexico City Car Hire and Xochimilco
Imagine a city where flowers lined the roadside and vendors floated by on brightly coloured canoes. A place where canals and lagoons thrived with wildlife and where the tourist season was always in full swing. Sound like a place you'd like to visit? Then jump in your Mexico City car hire and head to Xochimilco, Mexico City's brightest borough. Xochimilco is located 28 kilometres south of the city's center and has borders with Coyoacan, Tlalpan, Iztapalapa, Tlahuac and Milpa Alta. It is the third largest borough, or delegacion in the Mexican Federal District.
A quick look back in time
Xochimilco, which means "garden of flowers" in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, is one of Mexico City's most prominent areas. Surprisingly enough, this has been the case for more than 500 years! Originally the agricultural hub of Tenochtitlan, a metropolis that numbered more than 235,000 inhabitants, Xochimilco is now known for both a traditional area and an ecological park. But, just like in the early days of Tenochtitlan,Xochimilco is still home to flower lined streets and extraordinary rooftop gardens.
Tourist options for Mexico City car hire travelers
Mexico City car hire travelers will find two main areas within Xochimilco- a traditional tourist area and an ecological park land located north of the town. Both areas' offer an abundance of attractions, including outstanding bird watching opportunities. If you've never been to Xochimilco, AGA highly recommends heading to the canals of the city. These areas are geared to tourists, particularly on the weekends. Mexico City car hire travelers are encouraged to hop on a Tragineras (a square-shaped boat capable of holding about 12 passengers) and cruise the waterways. Gondolas are also available for rides, while numerous vendor canoes are often set afloat to hock wares. Want to impress a fellow travel mate? Then be sure to flag down the floating mariachi band for a little waterside serenade!
Is it getting hot in here?
While the borough of Xochimilco isn't particularly large, it still manages to support 4 distinct microclimates. Three of these climates are best classified as temperate sub humid - this is highly characteristic of the Valley of Mexico. About 98% of the borough is covered by this type of microclimate. Temperatures in this area range from 21 to 26 degrees Celsius with an average summer precipitation rate of about 133 millimetres. In the wetter, cooler area of San Francisco Tlalnepantla, the temperature ranges from 19 to 24 degrees Celsius and precipitation peaks at about 180 millimetres in July and August.
The lost gardens of Xochimilco
The canals that surround Xochimilco are far more than just scenic waterways. In fact, these wet and windy trails were once the city's main source of income. These canals were originally built around raised agricultural fields known as chinampas. These hearty fields were used to provide food for the immense Aztec empire back in the ancient world. By the 1500's, nearly 9,000 hectares or 22,230 acres of chinampas were located on Lakes Xochimilco and Chalco. Sadly, when the Spanish arrived, the lakes were drained, leaving only the deepest canals with water. Since then, much of the fresh water springs that initially fed the canals have been diverted to the Mexico City water supply. Farmers have still managed to make use of the neglected chinampas however, proving the benefits of alternative agriculture. Look closely during your Mexico City car hire travels through Xochimilco and you may see farmers scraping muck and organic debris from the canals. This ooze is used as a fertilizer for chilicastle gardens, as it helps maintain soil fertility.
The waterways of Xochimilco are well worth a visit, so what are you waiting for? Swing by during your upcoming Mexico City car hire vacation and discover their charm for yourself!