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Xochimilco has long been a major draw for international visitors. Canal rides through acres and acres of flower gardens are hard to say no to. But Xochimilco is also an ancient community, and one proud to have never been quite completely subjugated to the dominant Mexica (Aztec) empire.

The alcaldia is made up of 18 “barrios” and 14 “pueblos.” What was once an extensive lake and canal system connecting nearly all of the Valley of Mexico is today a series of chinampas, floating or semi-floating artificial islands.

And even if you're not in the market for plants, the nurseries, greenhouses, and garden shops will give you a good idea of just how verdant Xochimilco is, even today.

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