• olawalsh

Mexico City - Isla de las Muñecas (The Island of Dolls)

One day, caretaker Don Julian Santana Barrera was tending to the garden of his home by the canals of Xochimilco, Mexico, when he found a little girl who had drowned. Shortly after discovering her body he found a doll floating nearby. Believing the doll to be that of the girls, he decided to take it and hang it to a tree near where the girl was found to keep her spirit happy.

Julian was apparently haunted by the spirit of the girl and started hanging more dolls in an attempt to please her spirit. He soon realised the dolls themselves had become possessed.

After 50 years of collecting dolls and hanging them on the island, Julian was found dead, drowned in the same spot as the girl.

Getting to the Island of Dolls

Getting there is far more simple than the guidebook suggests.

Take the metro to General Anaya and then take a taxi outside General Anaya station to Embarcadero Cuemanco (don't bother with a bus - the taxis will take you there direct and they're cheap if you get them on a meter). Once there you will see dozens of gondola moored up, and a big banner with prices. This is where you buy tickets.

It's a 4 hour round trip to the Island of Dolls and hiring the gondola is $350 pesos per hour. This came as a shock as the guidebooks all said the trip should cost $400 pesos in total!

If you find yourselves quite alone on the pier feel free to haggle prices.

We managed to negotiate down to $1000 pesos for the trip to the island which was very expensive but, worth it. My advice - get a group of people together, otherwise you could be looking at one expensive trip.

Check out my highlights and travel tips for everywhere I travelled to in Mexico and the world.


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Hi, I'm Ola

I'm an adventurer, photographer and writer, living a nomadic life from the comfort of my tiny bus home in New Zealand.

I'm currently retraining as a life coach & transformation guide and working on this website intermittently. With an expedition to Africa and India on hold, I'm playing catch up and replacing a lot of the old with some new.
Watch this space!

In the meantime, you can follow me/get in touch on Facebook or Instagram, and If you'd like advice on any of the countries I've travelled to or need help planning your adventures, please message me. I'd be delighted to help!

I LOVE sharing my adventures and helping others to plan theirs. I often spend days glued to a screen, either studying, writing or editing, with nothing but a warm brew and lovely view to keep me going.

If I have helped or can help, and you'd like to support me, a cup of coffee (and some cheeky Haribo) can go a long way!

Thank you,

Happy adventure making x