Xperiencing Xochimilco in a Riviera Maya Kind of Way!

Xperiencing Xochimilco in a Riviera Maya Kind of Way! - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenAs if Xcaret Xperiences hasn’t done enough to continuously surpass expectations and make our lives incredibly more adventurous in the Riviera Maya, they have gone and done something else amazing with the recreation of Xochimilco right here in the Riviera Maya!

Before you experience this brand new fun activity you must understand how it came about, as it is actually a divine replica of a place so beautiful and famous! The original Xochimilco, otherwise called the City of Flowers, is a fun natural attraction located close to Mexico City.

There, you can arrive with your friends or family and rent a specially designed boat called a trajinera which will take you through the charming canals of Xochimilco. These brightly painted boats are designed to fit around 20 people, offering bench seating and a full length table running through the mid-section of the trajinera.

Imagine having a unique picnic while floating through a beautiful canal, overlooking the historic and colorful town, which is completely draped in floral.

The original Xochimilco is BYOB and is often associated with a full day of drinking alcoholic beverages with your amigos or a spending relaxing Sunday afternoon with family! If you’ve forgotten your supplies, you will likely find vendors passing by in other trajineras selling all sorts foods and beverages along the way.

This is a day trip that is famously loved by all who live or visit near Mexico City! For this reason, the same makers who brought you Xcaret, and other well-loved parks such as Xplor and Xel-ha, have created a unique excursion like no other – at Xoximilco, Riviera Maya!

Experiencing Xochimilco in the Riviera Maya!

The concept is fairly the same, although it is done in a much more organized fashion, and is actually sold as a tour rather than a hop on hop off kind of thing – with reservations and all! Also, I should mention this one is NOT BYOB, rather is sold as a 5 course dinner tour with open bar, featuring timeless classic Mexican foods; which replicate what can likely be found for sale at the original Xochimilco Canals.

The logistics of the tour are slightly Americanized, only to put order to the booking process and timing, however this one is truly designed to give you a real feel for the country’s traditions and an opportunity to discover authenticity of Mexico.

Once you arrive at the park you will be assigned to a trajinera! Each trajinera is named after an important Mexican state or landmark. While you wait for the boat to be prepared you can enjoy a typical Mexican snack of corn called “esquites” which is traditionally mixed with mayo, parmesan cheese, chili and lime! Soooo Delicious!!! Also you can refresh your taste buds with traditional flavored waters of Mexico including Orchata and Jamaica.

Eat, Drink, Dance underneath the moonlight!

Once your boat is prepared and ready, right around sunset, you will be called to enter the trajinera and start your journey, passing through some of the most pretty and amazing landmark replicas of the real Xochimilco!

During the way you will make multiple stops to visit other trajineras where you will receive each course of your dinner! Due to the idea of authenticity you may encounter some bizarre things (for the brave of course) like fried eatable grasshoppers, which will turn up as an appetizer option at your table. I’m not really a grasshopper kind of girl but my husband had no problem cleaning his plate and mine!

Don’t worry though! If grasshoppers aren’t your thing, you will still have a glorious amount of other selections. All of the traditional foods are amazingly appetizing and cooked with delicious traditional Mexican sauces and ingredients. Get ready to be FULL as you will experience over 20 different selections. You even get a huge dessert plate with an array of Mexican sweets and traditional candies! Oh how yummy!

Aside from the free flowing food and beverages, you receive an earful of history from your ever so entertaining and funny tour guide! You will also encounter wonderful Mexican music and Mariachis, featuring selections deriving from a variety of Mexican states.

There are plenty of opportunities to dance and sing and party! While the tour guides do a fantastic job at keeping the vibe up, I really think that the fun factor on this tour is up to you and your group.  I noticed some trajineras with fairly calm crowds while others who seemed to be having a total blast dancing and making their own party.

Oh and side note: For those who are wondering how they will make it through 3 hours of open bar without a bathroom break – thankfully there is a scheduled stop along the way for that too!

Xperiencing Xochimilco in a Riviera Maya Kind of Way! - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenIt’s all about making memories!

From the moment you arrive until the very end, there are professional photographers taking pretty outstanding photos – completely worth the 49 dollars to purchase the USB stick at the end of the tour. Once you get off the boat you can purchase your photos and other take home items at the souvenir shop. While sometimes considered pricey, my husband and I generally always purchase photos from our excursions! It’s a great way to look back on all of our adventures!

Xoximilco is family friendly, friends’ family and couple friendly! I would highly recommend doing this tour with a large group if you have the opportunity! But if you are taking the tour as a couple or small group it is a great opportunity to meet friends which is always a great thing!

Sampling the world at Taste of Playa

Every year in Playa del Carmen, the parque fundadores at the southern end of Fifth Avenue becomes a stage for showcasing fine international cuisine at the Taste of Playa food festival.

Taste of Playa

Crowds of locals, expatriates and visitors converge in the square next to the iconic white church and striking ‘Portal Maya’ sculpture to sample local and international flavors from all across the globe for just one day in late November.

Parque Fundadores

If your stay with us at Condo Hotels coincides with Taste of Playa, we encourage you to head down and experience a wide selection of local restaurants and bars serving up their very best flavors with innovative creations and classic favorites.

I was blown away by the variety of cuisines offered, from local delicacies to Japanese, Thai, Lebanese, Italian and more. Never before had I eaten fresh ceviche, sashimi, barbecued lamb tacos, Thai satay sticks and locally made ice cream all in the one day!

Taste of Playa

I may have over-indulged, sure, but who could blame me with the world’s flavors gathering in one place?

I know Playa del Carmen is famous for its fantastic restaurants, but there is simply something special about having them come together to showcase the wonderful selection of international cuisine available in this colorful, lively town.

Not to mention the electric atmosphere as Playa’s diverse, multi-cultural population comes together to eat, drink and be merry while celebrating the wonderful food scene of this town we all love so much.

It was my first time at Taste of Playa and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was extremely impressed by the quality of samples offered, and loved experiencing an excellent cross-section of Playa’s dining scene in one place.

Taste of Playa

A few tips for Taste of Playa goers for next year:

1. Arrive early. Gates open at 3pm, and tokens are available for purchase then. We arrived just after 3pm and there were already substantial queues for tokens, which only grew throughout the afternoon.

2. Buy more than you think you need. Due the queues, I decided to ‘over purchase’ tokens, and ended up using them all. There was so much variety, including sweets, drinks and desserts, so it wasn’t too difficult to go through my tokens.

Taste of Playa

3. If you see something you like, get it! It can be a little overwhelming to have so much to choose from, but I found it best to try anything I thought looked good, rather than planning what to eat when. Due to the crowds, it was a little difficult to negotiate the small space, so go with the flow and sample as as you go. Ice cream for a starter? Sure! it is a food festival after all…

4. Decide on a meeting point and time. If you are going in a group, designate a meeting point that you can return to meet up with friends and family members. Eating is a serious business in Playa del Carmen, and as a result Taste of Playa is a busy place. It can be difficult to keep groups together, so unless you want to buy a VIP ticket for the event, pick a meeting point to ensure no one gets separated from the group for too long.

Taste of Playa VIP

The VIP zone…

We hope you’ll join us next year to sample the wonderful local and international cuisine at Taste of Playa 2014! See you there!