Xochimilco is a great outdoors area. So much so, some visitors won't even realize how much of what they see is parkland. Of course, Xochimilco's center is the queen of the Chinampa Towns. It's a stretch of chinampa agricultural farming area that extends well into Tláhuac in the east.
Much of this area is protected parkland. And while the canals still operate as public throughways, most of the places you can get off will be parklands. There's a lot to see, and do.
The newly rehabilitated Canal Nacional extends Xochimilco's parkland reputation significantly north. It's essentially a series of parks lining one of Mexico City's most famous canals.
To the south too, protected areas are intended to protect your access as well as the environment. While Mexico City depends on these areas for water table replenishment, it also means wide-open spaces.
The entire south of Xochimilco rises up onto the slopes of the famous Teuhtli volcano. It's a rustic farmland and just the introduction to Mexico City's fertile southern regions. And it's an area studded with ancient original settlements and towns.