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Is Taking The Maya Train Cheaper Than Taking The Bus?

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Over the past month, the Maya Train routes have slowly but surely been inaugurated, with the final sections set to be fully operational this summer.

The Maya Train is the new transport system that links the entirety of Southeastern Mexico together for tourists and locals, launched by President Andrew Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO).

Ado Bus Service

Its main mission when talks of the service began years ago was to provide a suitable service that was reliable and affordable for its passengers, with the President assuring everybody that the ticket prices would be cheaper than using the bus. 

Well, drum roll please…we are going to find out if the Maya Train is exactly that…

Maya Train Vs. Bus Service

When the first route launched on December 15th 2023, some passengers were taken by surprise as ticket prices exceeded 1000 pesos ($58.13 USD), making it the same price, if not more expensive than some bus services. 


Due to such high demand, passengers were also left disappointed as certain times and routes were sold out way ahead of the scheduled opening, meaning many were left stranded or had to use alternative services to reach their destination. 

As initial teething problems began to be ironed out, prices for the service were adjusted, making it a more viable option for people to travel between Merida, Cancun, and Palenque. 

People began comparing the prices of the Maya Train with the prices of the ADO Bus Service, and surprisingly, AMLO has stuck to his word, as it does work out cheaper…for locals. 

@alexanderfromkc The Mayan Train, or Tren Maya, has the potential to be a wonderful project or a divisive nightmare. Where to you stand? Join this channel to get access to perks: Become a Patron: Text @ 816-727-7740 ———————————————————————————– TWITCH ►►​​​​​​ INSTAGRAM ►► TWITTER ►►​​ ———————————————————————————– FACEBOOK GROUP: ———————————————————————————– Quality Description tags: #Mexico​​​, #Merida, #Yucatan​​​, #Travel, #Expat​, #Expatriate, #Progreso, #mayantrain, #trenmaya ♬ original sound – Alexander Howell

Below are the prices for locals on the current routes that are in operation:

  • Campeche – Merida Route

Maya Train $287.00 ($16.70 USD) / ADO $352.00 ($20.48 USD)

  • Campeche – Cancun Route 

Maya Train $287.00 ($44.57 USD) / ADO $1030.00 ($59.93 USD)

  • Campeche – Palenque Route 

Maya Train $637.00 ($37.06 USD) / ADO $644.00 ($37.46 USD)

maya train station sign

For tourists using the Maya Train, tickets are slightly more expensive…

  • Campeche – Merida Route

Maya Train $431.00 ($24.50 USD)/ ADO $352.00 ($20.48 USD)

  • Campeche – Cancun Route 

Maya Train $1166 ($67.86)/ ADO $1030. 00 ($59.93 USD)

  • Cempeche – Palenque Route

Maya Train $957.00 ($55.70)/ ADO $644.00 ($37.46 USD) 

Now it is worth noting when deciding what method of transport to use that while ADO may be cheaper for tourists, the Maya Train offers free wifi, air conditioning and other amenities, along with some stunning scenic views that you may miss if you choose the bus. 

It really comes down to a matter of preference, and the savings between the two are not too drastic, but the bus does work out cheaper for tourists than using the Maya Train.

It is also worth noting that the service does offer special prices for teachers, students, wheelchair users and elderly adults, and may work out cheaper to use than ADO, so be sure to check it out before deciding. 

Most Popular Maya Train Stations So Far

In its first month, the Maya Train has seen upwards of 15,000 passengers already using the service, with some stand-out stations becoming the most popular

the new maya train tracks in the Mexican caribbean

The four main stations that are the most popular so far are : 

  • San Francisco de Campeche 
  • Cancun Airport 
  • Merida Teya 
  • Valladolid

As Cancun Airport is the busiest airport in the region, it is no surprise that its Maya Train station is being inundated with passengers, especially during the peak busy winter season. 

It won’t be the only airport seeing lots of passengers, as the final sections of the Maya Train which are set to be complete by this summer, includes the newly built Tulum International Airport as a station, making the upcoming hotspot more accessible than ever for tourists.

architecture in merida at sunset

Both Valladolid and Merida Teya are two extremely popular ‘magical towns’ and are seeing more visitors arriving at their doorsteps thanks to the service. 

Offering a different take on southeastern Mexico, these towns give you a glimpse into the more traditional, unique feel of the region, complete with historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and fine-dining eateries that specialize in food like nowhere else. 

Though Campeche is certainly less explored than the main tourist hotspots in the Yucatan Peninsula, it is certainly not without its charm and fair share of hidden gems and is only expected to grow in popularity as more and more people keep using the Maya Train service. 

Campeche, Mexico - A Destination Along the Maya Train Route

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