New Years Eve at Xochimilco
Our last day in Mexico City was New Year’s Eve. We had never spent a New Year’s Eve anywhere but at home so we were excited to experience the holiday in a new city. My mother purchased a Xochimilco tour for us for Christmas and we decided to schedule it for New Year’s Eve. The bus picked us up from our hotel near Zona Rosa. After making several other pick-ups, we transferred tour buses and we were on our way to Xochimilco. The tour stopped a the University of Mexico City and Cuicuilco. We stopped at the University to look at the Diego Rivera murals but we didn’t get out of the bus. We did get of the bus at Cuicuilco and tour the site. There is a pyramid there! There was a terrible volcano there a long time ago and some say that the inhabitants had to completely evacuate their belongings and home due to the volcano. It is an important archaeological site today and the volcano is still active. When you climb to the top of the pyramid, you can see the volcano in the distance. The pyramid is now surrounded by the city.
After Cuicuilco, we were finally headed to Xochimilco. I was so happy to arrive and see all of the colorful boats. Xochimilco has lots of shops too by the docks so we browsed those while waiting for our boat. We boarded our boat and we were off through the canals. There are other boats with vendors selling drinks, toys, flower crowns and even jewelry. We didn’t see any food being made on any boats but I had read earlier that sometimes there are vendors selling food. A mariachi band quickly came onto our boat and began performing for us. In fact, they performed several songs while everyone clapped along. We rowed through the canals for about an hour before heading back to the dock. Our tour guide let us know that we would be departing in 15 minutes back to our hotel. We browsed the shops a bit more before heading back to the bus. I was disappointed that the tour didn’t allow anytime for us to get lunch. Do not come on this tour hungry! The tour bus dropped us off at our hotel.
If you are interested in the tour, here it is. I booked it through Viator: https://www.viator.com/tours/Mexico-City/Xochimilco-and-National-University-of-Mexico/d628-2895MEX6
After resting for a few hours, we headed out to find dinner. We knew it would be New Year’s Eve so we made recommendations for a restaurant. Unfortunately, we missed our reservation so we decided to explore the city for other food options. This was not a good idea. Almost every restaurant closes early on New Year’s Eve or they have a fixed menu for a fixed price. We weren’t interested in any of the fixed menus so we decided to head to Polanco, where our missed reservation. After some begging, the manager let us be seated. Score! After a beautiful Italian dinner at a gorgeous restaurant, we headed back to Zona Rosa, where a live band was playing on Paseo de la Reforma. The city closed the street so the festivities took place. It was very safe, as the entire avenue was LINED with fully armed police officers. At midnight, fireworks lit up the sky while everyone cheered around us. Needless to say, it was pretty epic ringing in 2017 in Mexico City.