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Maya Train Vs. Ado Bus: Which Is Better For Tourists?

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For the past two months, the Maya Train has been running services for tourists and locals throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. 

After dealing with delayed openings, cancellations, and even protests, the Maya Train seems to finally be finding its footing somewhat, with its next section between Cancun and Playa del Carmen due to be inaugurated on February 29th. 

Ado bus service at terminal in Playa Del Carmen

With over 50, 000 passengers already using the service since its opening, the popularity of the Maya Train is only set to grow.  

However, the other popular transport bus service ADO is also being used by tourists and locals, as it offers different ticket prices, deals and other station options that the Maya Train currently does not.

Pros and Cons Of Using Maya Train 


The Maya Train has been a long-awaited infrastructure project that has just started running services in the Yucatan Peninsula. 

The train is in the first early stages of opening and is completely brand new, meaning extra care is being taken to ensure passengers have the smoothest and most enjoyable experience possible.

Offering amenities like onboard wifi and cafeteria service, the Maya Train is not completely overrun with passengers yet, meaning you have space to unwind, enjoy a coffee, and marvel at some of the incredible scenic routes that it has to offer. 

@turismo.tren.maya The Mayan Train is an infrastructure project thats seeks to promote tourism and economic development in the southeastern region of México. Follow us to know more about the Mayan Train. #TrenMaya #mayantrain #mayantrainroutes ♬ sonido original – Turismo Tren Maya

The Maya Train is already running from Cancun Airport to many destinations, meaning reaching your hotel once you arrive in the Mexican Caribbean is easier than ever (and won’t cost you an arm and leg to do so).

There is also a free shuttle service from terminals in Cancun Airport to the Maya Train station; need we say more?

Offering affordable ticket pricing is guaranteed, ranging anywhere between $68 to $108 USD depending on how far you have to travel, as well as options to visit multiple destinations within the day by jumping on and off the train as you please, something we absolutely encourage!

@_jose_ruiz_2003_ #trenmaya🚂 #fyp #mexico #amlo #cancun ♬ sonido original – LetrasDeRap


In amongst all that good stuff, however, there are still a few issues that are currently holding the Maya Train back.

Firstly, many of the destinations only have scheduled services two or three times a day, meaning that if you miss any of them, you could be left waiting for hours before the next available one…or worse, until the next day. 

There have also been a number of instances where schedules have been canceled at the last minute or have been overbooked, leaving many passengers stranded and having to use another service, a bit of a headache that you don’t want while on vacation.

maya train station sign

As it is still in its early stages, lack of information is causing a number of customer complaints, though this can only be expected with something as big and as new as the Maya Train is.

Finally, some scheduled routes, like the long-awaited Cancun to Tulum route, are having to push back their opening dates, meaning that tourists cannot reach every destination that was once promised to them.

Pros And Cons Of Using Ado Bus Services


ADO is a much more established and well-used travel service that a lot of people trust, both transferring them from airport destinations as well as taking them to some of the incredible tourist attractions that the region offers. 

ADO Bus in Cancun, Mexico

Using ADO works out to be relatively the same price as using the Maya Train, and even in some instances, cheaper.

ADO has well-established deals and packages that run with hotels and airports, meaning you can find ways to save money, which you wouldn’t be using a private hire or taxi service. 

What’s more, the bus service has many other scheduled times when compared to the Maya Train, meaning you can rely on using it a lot more without the fear of missing time and being stranded with no way of getting back to your hotel. 

ADO currently also runs in popular tourist hotspots like Tulum and Playa del Carmen, where the Maya Train is yet to, meaning more destinations are available and in turn, more fun to be had!

Tulum Ruins with tourist looking in the distance


Ado bus services are certainly not going to be as flashy as the newly-built, billion-dollar project that is the Maya Train, and won’t offer you the same scenic views that some of the routes promise. 

Though offering air-conditioning, the bus is less spacious than the train which means you might not be as comfortable and have the opportunity to relax if you opt for it. 

The bus does not offer any cafeteria service either, meaning if you don’t bring any food or drink with you for the journey, you might be waiting a while. 

Whatever you choose on your next vacation to the Mexican Caribbean and Yucatan Peninsula, one thing is for sure; the region is becoming more connected than ever, and that can only be a great thing for YOU!

tourist enjoying the Mexican Caribbean Sea, floating in the water

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Tuesday 27th of February 2024

How can we find prices for the bus and the train?


Tuesday 27th of February 2024

@Gaby, ADO has an online booking service or you can download an app that allows you to do the same thing. If you plan ahead and buy early you can get some pretty good savings on your tickets. ADO has a few levels of service and most places have multiple departures daily. I travelled from Cancun all through the Yucatan, Campeche, Chiapis, Oaxaca, Puebla and CDMX this spring using ADO and had no issues whatever. Using the app you can pay online with credit or debit cards when you book. There are provisions for cancellations and credits if you change.

Jesús Wong

Monday 26th of February 2024

Cafeteria service???? can you share the most updated menu, please?

Wendy Kasdan

Monday 26th of February 2024

On February 23rd, my husband and I and another couple took the Tren from Cancun to Valladolid. Our trip was flawless until we arrived in Valladolid. There was no one at the ticket office which is where we learned that our 5:30 return train was cancelled. We had no way to purchase tickets for the 7:30. The ADO bus kept us sitting for more than 1/2 hour as it waited to fill up. They kept packing people in the aisle and even had them standing on the steps. We opted to buy tickets for the bus return to Cancun. I don't recommend using the Tren Maya at this time. It is many months away from being a viable option.


Wednesday 28th of February 2024

@Wendy Kasdan, That's what happens when decisions are made for political expediency by a lame duck president. Hmmm...where's Mexicana airlines?

In all fainess, a period of time is needed to have a fully functional Tren Maya.