Now imagine relaxing in a gondola, with a drink in your hand, music in the air, with not a worry in the world. Where would you imagine you are? Probably not Cancun … but something like this could be reality here some time soon.
I just read that Xcaret, the company that already has 2 amazing culture and nature-focused theme parks in the area, is planning to create a replica of Mexico City’s Xolchimilco in Cancun over the next few years.
But wait a minute – what’s Xolchimilco?
If you’re not familiar with Mexico City, you may not know about the beautiful canals in a very quaint and traditional group of villages nestled in the south of the city.
Back when I lived in Mexico City, it was one of my favorite outings, both to take friends and family who were visiting and just for a relaxing weekend afternoon.
You might know that back a long time ago, Mexico City was in the middle of a lake. As the city grew and the lake was filled in, canals were left connecting various parts of the city. Most are now gone, but the most connecting canals have survived are in Xolchimilco, which was only recently swallowed by the ever-growing city.
The wide canals, the greenery and colorful flowers surrounding them and the villages they go through offer a charming escape, a place where you really don’t realize you’re in the city.
Like in Venice, you can hire gondola-like – but far more colorful and cheerful – boats, called “trajineras,” which are pushed along by the driver. Other boats go by selling drinks and food. There are mariachis.
Not all is romance …
On the other hand, there’s a very non-romantic side to the canals of Xolchimilco. Just imagine enjoying a fine summer afternoon, with boat after boat going by selling beer and other drinks – and not a care in the world! For this very reason, many of the locals have come to call the trajineras “trajinebrias“- “ebrio” is one of the words for “drunk.”
The boats are also larger than the gondolas and you can fit a little party onto them.
It’s pretty common that someone has a drink or two too many and takes a tumble into the water …
While the result is usually a good laugh – especially for those who didn’t fall in – the water doesn’t flow much and its not the nicest experience!
Romantic or party? You can choose. There’s enough space in the canals so all can enjoy alike!
New Canals Cancun?
One of the advantages to the replica to be built in Cancun is that I’m sure they will take waterflow into account. Combining the best beaches to be found with a beautiful resort city and a very charming and unique cultural feature from Mexico’s central heartland.
And besides that, it’ll be less than an hour away from home for me.
I don’t think it get’s much better than this!
-by Thomas Lloyd