south of San Angel,
Insurgentes Sur crosses the University City Campus of the huge Universitad
National Autonoma Mexicana (UNAM) – it is the last inscribed
on the Unesco World Heritage List (June 29, 2007). Click here
for more details.
Built in the late fifties on the lava fields of El Pedregal de San
Angel, this University is the oldest high education institution
in America. The campus is a true city that hosts more than 300 000
students and teachers, spread out on 400 ha.
Its modern buildings, adorned with wonderful frescos, were among
the first tourist attractions of the capital city, but since the
eighties, it became just an extra visit when everything else had
On the outside walls of different buildings, the murals of Rivera
and Siqueiros and the mosaics of Juan O'Gorman symbolize the pre-Hispanic,
colonial and modern periods of Mexican as well as a view of future.
The mosaics are made from multicolored stones coming from different
regions of Mexico, except the blue ones, which
are blown glass. Thinking about the cultural heritage, the artist
mixed the Aztecs and Toltecs symbols with the contributions of the
Spanish civilization. Nevertheless, the interest is reduced by the
graffiti and the crowds around.
The Rector Tower has a facade adorned with a fresco of the painter
David Siqueiros, symbolizing the role given to education. At the
very end of the campus, the medical school is adorned with another
monumental painting representing a mask with three faces: the Spanish
father, the Indian Mother and the Mexican son. The decoration of
the scientist building, due to the painter José Chalvez Morado,
celebrates the harmony of human life. The University houses also
a nice greenhouse where grows various specimens of flowers, plants
and tropical trees.
The cultural center laid out at the south of the campus comprises
theaters, movie theaters, cafés and a library.
front of the University City, there is the Olympic stadium where
the 1968 Olympic games were held. The painter Diego Rivera described
on the stone mosaic the place of the sport in the history of the
than two km south on Insurgentes Sur at number 156, there is the
archaeological zone of Cuicuilco (from 500BC to 200AD), with its
strange circular stepped pyramid, probably built around 500BC. It
is one of the oldest urban zones in pre-Hispanic
Mexico. Many religious and residential edifices are conserved
as well as a hydraulic system. The archeological site and its small
museum (open daily 9AM-5PM) can be visited. The city of Cuicuilco
was destroyed by a volcano that buried it under nine to twelve meters
of lava. The inhabitants of Cuicuilco had to run away to survive
and they might be the ones who founded Teotihuacán.
The pyramid 18 m high and 135 m in diameter had to be excavated
with dynamite and endured numerous deteriorations during this operation.
The circular shape of the pyramid is extremely rare on this continent.
by, on the east side, the Azteca stadium is one of the biggest in
the world. It has been laid at the place of one of the oldest ceremonies
center in Mexico.
north towards the bus station « Terminal del Sur »,
metro Taxquena, Calle del Museo 150, the Museo Anahuacalli - Open
tue-sun, 10AM-6PM, guided visits 10:30AM/11:30AM/12:30PM/01:30PM/03:15PM/04:15PM/05:00*PM,
$20 but free with the ticket of Museum Frida Kahlo of Coyoacán, made with volcanic stones, hosts the collection of sculptures
and pre-Hispanic objects of Diego Rivera. The edifice has a shape
of an Aztec pyramid.
* except friday
On the Unesco World Heritage List with Historic Center of Mexico
for the link with the site of Unesco.
A tourist information booth, open to the public
from 9AM to 6PM daily, is located close to the church on the street
Piño : 5653 5209 -
email@example.com or www.xochimilco.df.gob.mx.
The floating gardens of Xochimilco (in náhuatl « place
of the flowers ») are a place to go especially on Sunday morning.
These gardens are located 24 km from the center of the city, on
the southeastern side. Canals, lined by beautiful poplars, are traveled
in all directions and a flotilla of gondolas (trajineras),
adorned with paper flowers, wait to offer a ride to the tourist.
On the banks, you can see the chinampas, floating vegetable
gardens secured to the silt by the roots of poplars, which reflect
in the still water.
It is a very popular tourist place with many people offering “the”
best deal. It can be pleasant and refreshing when it is hot.
Ex : Toldo Azul 14 passengers $140.00 per hour and per trajinera
Toldo Verde 18 passengers $160.00 per hour and per trajinera
Ask for the tour Laguna del Toro in the embarcadero Bellen, a little
bit less touristy (allow 2 or 3 hours on the water).
Going west, the boats cross the Natural Park Xochimilco «Cuemanco»
, an ecological reserve created in 1993. You could also walk in
the botanic gardens of the reserve.
To reinforce the local color, the vendors of tacos or serapes
rush in their boats in the wake of the cargo of tourists, while
mariachis or marimbas floating bands are taking
care to the music.
These floating gardens are not floating as they were at the time
of the Aztecs. The valley of Mexico
City was then almost all occupied by the Texcoco Lake.
The vegetables, fruits and flowers were transported from far away
and some got the idea to put them on the water covered with good
soil. Everything grew wonderfully. Nowadays, the surface of the
lake is really reduced and floats have been replaced by islands.
But the name remained and the place is very popular for citizen
of Mexico City.
is a popular daily market on a street leading to the main place,
where Indians sell their craft. You can find everything : food (including
alive poultry), clothes, and craft.
can also visit the Museo Dolores Olmedo (open 10AM-6PM Tue-Sun, MXN$65, free on tuesdays, $10 for national) with more than
600 pre-Hispanic objects, a nice collection of popular Mexican arts
and drawings and paintings of the couple Rivera and Kahlo.
an old and very nice hacienda from the sixteenth century
where F. Kahlo has lived. It is located at av. Mexico # 5843, www.museodoloresolmedo.org.mx.
A friendly café for lunch or coffee in a pleasant and quiet
environment : the "Cafe sin nombre”, which is also an
art gallery, calle Nuevo León, #37. The shop is decorated
in good taste and you are served a delicious coffee in a friendly
Be careful : The last station
is really Xochimilco and not embarcadero like it is indicated on
the subway map. When leaving the tren ligero, take a pesero
towards «embarcadero». To come back, take a pesero
towards Santiago/Xochimilco from the street Nuevo León, close
to the market, in front of a shoe store.
could also visit the Museum of Soumaya
(open 10:30AM-6:30PM, 7 days a week,
free entrance), located south-west of the Capital in the
commercial center of Plaza Loreto on Rio Magdalena avenue
and Revolución Avenue in Tizapán. Through
the different rooms, you will be able to enjoy the permanent
collections of Pre-Hispanic art from the colonial time.
It is the Latin American museum with the most works of Auguste
Rodin and Camille Claudel, as well as an exceptional collection
of paintings of Rufino Tamayo, Paul Gauguin and Vincent
Van Gogh. The museum also has game rooms where the children
can play and discover what they really learn from the displays. www.museosoumaya.org
You can also buy a MXN$410 "package"
called Xochimilco for the Museo Dolores Olmedo, the canals
and the parish San Bernardino de Siena : firstname.lastname@example.org
or 859 64565 or 66 / 01800 5055 807.
City map :
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