Things to do

Dare to Explore the Isla de las Muñecas

Hidden among Xochimilco’s canals, is a very special—and very creepy—chinampa. The legend surrounding this so-called island of the dolls attracts people from all over, including director Tim Burton.

This island was inhabited by Julián Santana Barrera for over twenty years. He was a solitary man who found the body of a small girl who drowned among the lilies on one of the canals. Julián was never at peace again. He lived in fear—every night he felt the girl’s spirit and heard her wailing, screaming, and moaning.

Because he believed in the supernatural, don Julián filled the island with dolls in an effort to frighten the girl’s ghost away.

He found the dolls seen here in among weeds and in trash cans. There are over one hundred dolls, in all shapes and sizes.

To visit the island, first go to Cuemanco dock. Take a tour on one of the trajinera boats which can also take you to see other spots.


Isla de las Muñecas, Parque Ecológico de Xochimilco, Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico

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