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Things To Do In Island Of The Dead Dolls - Mexico’s Creepiest Destination


In Mexico, there is a place called Isla de las Munecas. It is known around the world as a very large and strange place that attracts hundreds of visitors every month.

In this article, we will cover some things to do in island of the dead dollsand the reason why a lot of people are visiting this creepy place.

The little island is the home of thousands and thousands of dolls, reportedly brought there to appease the tragic cries of a child’s spirit. So, for those that love to haunt haunted places, then this article is for you.

The Story Behind The Island Of The Dead Dolls

Trees with creepy dolls hanging on it and a signage with words No Seas Puercox written on it
Trees with creepy dolls hanging on it and a signage with words No Seas Puercox written on it

The tourist attraction got started after a very tragic event. A little girl died in a local canal. A local man named Julian Santana Barrera noticed a doll floating down the canal after this happened.

He decided to put the doll in a tree as a way to honor the spirit of the child who had died. Santana believed this would protect the island from experiencing any more tragedies of this type. It is estimated that there are over 1,500 dolls and doll parts placed in many different locations on the island.

Julian Santana Barrera found the little girl who had died in the canal. He told people he blamed himself for the child's death. After this had happened, Barrera started collecting dolls by the hundreds and putting them on the island. He did this for decades.

Barrera would spend his time putting toy dolls in trees and other areas of the island for more than 50 years. He felt this would appease the ghost of the little girl who had died in the canal. Another bizarre aspect of this story is the death of Juan Santana Barrera.

In 2001, he drowned in the same canal where the little girl had died. Since that time, several visitors have claimed they hear whispering in the night. Others claim the eyes of the dolls will follow them as they move among the trees.

Visiting Island Of The Dolls

Dolls hanging on the tree and barb wires
Dolls hanging on the tree and barb wires

The journey to see the Island of the Dolls begins at the Xochimilco canals. They are located approximately 17 miles from Mexico City. It is recommended visitors take a ferry from Embarcadero Fernando Celada or Embaracadero Cuemanco.

Prior to boarding any boat, it is important to make certain the boat is going to the Island of the Dolls. Not all of the boats stop there.

People who don't like crowds may want to visit it during the week. On the weekends, the island and areas around the canal can become overcrowded.

The cost of the boat trip to the island is based on an hourly rate. Prices can vary between boats. It's recommended that visitors ask about the cost in advance before taking any boat to the island.

Things To Do In Island Of The Dead Dolls

While the story behind the Island of the Dolls is a sad one, the island itself is actually quite beautiful. The canals of Xochimilco are lined with colorful flowers and there are often mariachi bands playing music on the boats.

You can take a private tour of the Xochimilco canals and make the experience custom for you, or you can hop on a Xochimilco & Colonial Coyoacan small group tour which is a great affordable tourist attraction to take in the views.

The tours also bring you to the Frida Kahlo museum where you can enjoy a museum tour. Here you can learn about Frida Kahlo’s life and admire her work.

You can also experience the historic center of Coyoacan, which has cool architecture and a colonial vibe.

People Also Ask

Is Island Of The Dolls Real?

Yes, it is very real. Dolls hang from around all the trees nearby the same spot a dead girl and a caretaker were found. You can see a doll floating or a decapitated doll any time of the year.

Is The Island Of The Dolls Scary?

Locals insist that the island is haunted by the little girl and her doll. And yes, it is eerie. People report an unseen force that whispers through the trees and unsettles the water nearby. But if you go during the day, it just looks creepy. The dolls are nothing more than beautiful protectors. Nothing too scary.

How To Visit The Island Of The Dolls?

If you plan to visit this spooky, and potentially haunted, tourist attraction, you’ll need to do so by boat. You can pay for a ride on one of the many trajineras - gondola-style boats, that ply the waters of Mexico City’s canals. Just be aware that some of the men who operate these boats refuse to visit the Island of the Dolls. So, make your destination known before you board.


To sum it up, there's just something really thrilling about a place with a dark and mysterious past. And La Isla de las Muñecas, is a perfect example. An island covered with decaying old dolls strung up in trees is pretty creepy on its own, even before you get to the dark origin story. Hope our recommendation of things to do on the island of the dead dolls would help you on this trip to this creepy place.

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About The Authors

Jane Resture

Jane Resture- Since she embarked on her first world trip in 2002, Jane Resture spent the past decades sharing her personal journey and travel tips with people around the world. She has traveled to over 80 countries and territories, where she experienced other cultures, wildlife she had only read about in books, new foods, new people, and new amazing experiences. Jane believes that travel is for everyone and it helps us learn about ourselves and the world around us. Her goal is to help more people from more backgrounds experience the joy of exploration because she trusts that travel opens the door to the greatest, most unforgettable experiences life can offer and this builds a kinder, more inclusive, more open-minded world.

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