Last Updated on March 8, 2021
On our recent visit to Coyoacán, we got off the Metro at Viveros (actually one stop past Coyoacán), to enjoy a morning walk through one of the city’s rare green spaces – the park Viveros de Coyoacán.
While we expected a green oasis within this (unfortunately) overly polluted city, being nearly-trampled by hundreds of joggers in this oasis came as quite a surprise. Viveros de Coyoacán is used for daily work-outs for everyone fit athletes in training to seniors in expensive tracksuits, most of whom who looked like they could run laps around us.
As we quickly discovered, even the more secluded, shaded areas were heaving with personal trainers, entire yoga classes and what can only be described as a ‘Matador Training Center’ in the middle of the park.
A small group of aspiring matadors waved red robes as their partner attacked with bull horns held out front, pretending to be a bull. There was even an entire (fake) bull’s head on a wheel that could be pushed, like a wheel-cart – perhaps for speedier attacks for the more advanced matadors? (I later learned that these people were indeed practicing bullfighting).
Though genuinely packed with early-morning athletes, Viveros de Coyoacan is great for a work-out if you stay in the university town (Ciudad Universitaria) or in Coyoacán. The park comes complete with workout instruments and even wooden distance markers on the side of the paths in 100-meter increments for runner to keep an exact kilometer count, plus fruit stands just outside the exits will mix any type of ‘agua fresca’ or fruit juice to taste – prefect for after a morning run. So if you want to run – pack your running shoes. If you want to relax, pack a blanket, a book, and maybe some snacks for a little picnic.
Once the morning fitness madness subsides, the lush, green and virtually tourist-free Viveros de Coyocan is an excellent picnic spot between palm and pine trees, or to admire the enormous plant gardens (the name Viveros is Spanish for nurse plantery), tree sculptures, or tame the black and gray squirrels that scuttle throughout the forest.
How to get to Viveros de Coyoacan:
It’s easy to get to Viveros de Coyoacan from the Centro Historico. You can take metro line 3 directly to “Viveros”. From the Juárez station in the city center, it’s a 25-min subway ride. Take a look at the subway map for orientation – it’s the fourth last stop on the southern end of the 3. Transferring in between subway line is easy.
If you prefer taking a car, there are a number of ride sharing apps in Mexico City. You can call an Uber, use EasyTaxi, Yaxi or Cabify. From the city center, it takes about 30 minutes to get to Viveros de Coyoacan, depending on traffic.
What else is there to see around here?
The Callejon del Aguacate, a narrow and cobble stoned alleyway known for its intriguing history and a striking mural is only a short walk from the park.
Frida Kahlo’s house, the Casa Azul, is only a 20-minute walk from the park, but make sure to reserve tickets beforehand, or you may not be able to get inside.
Combine your visit to the park with a stroll around the beautiful Coyoacan neighborhood. There is a great artisan market near the Plaza Hidalgo every day from 11am to 7pm.
If you do add Coyoacan to your itinerary, walk down to Avenida Francisco Sosa and then walk east, and it’ll bring you straight to the center of Coyoacan. Avenida Francisco Sosa is one of the most scenic streets in Mexico City, known for its beautiful Spanish-colonial houses. Stop for some churros at Churrería General de la República, right outside the Jardín Centenario (where you’ll want to look out for the Coyote Fountain) at the end of Avenida Francisco Sosa.