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

One day, a caretaker named 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.

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Getting to the Island of Dolls

Getting there is far more simple than the guidebooks suggest.

  • 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 gondolas 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!

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 are looking at one expensive trip.

Check out my highlights and travel tips for everywhere I travelled to in the world: CubaMexicoColombia, Ecuador, The Galapagos IslandsArgentinaLAFijiNew Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and Japan.



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