The new Maya Train that is being built throughout the Yucatán Peninsula will no doubt be great for locals getting around, but it will also provide more opportunities for tourists as well. One of the biggest benefits is that it will give tourists the chance to explore many more archeological sites beyond the city of Cancun. It will be an affordable, safe way to get from one place to another for those that don’t know the area well, and this will open up doors to explore so much more.
The Yucatán Peninsula is well-known for its many Mayan ruins that can be found throughout the area, and even Cancun has a few. The bulk of the most impressive ruins are beyond the popular tourist destination of Cancun and will require a bit of a trip to get to them. When the Maya Train is complete, though, visitors can easily access archeological sites that are in close proximity to certain stops along the way, so we’ll list a few of those here.
The Mayan ruins of Palenque have been designated as a UNESCO Heritage site and date back to as early as 200-600 A.D. They are some of the most historically significant ruins in the region due to their impressive architectural structures and their historical record keeping of the city that spans more than 180 years. The Palenque ruins are in the state of Chiapas and have their own stop along the Maya Train route.
The Ek Balam Yucatec-Maya ruins are located just outside of Valladolid and date back as early as 100 B.C., although their most significant period is from 700 to 1,000 A.D. The center of the ruins is the only portion that has been excavated, and the pyramid is one of the only few that visitors are able to climb. The ruins consist of the main large pyramid, named El Torre, two palaces, and several temples.
To visit the Edzna Archeological Site, visitors can get off at the Campeche stop on the Maya Train route, but the trip to the ruins will take about an hour from there. The ruins are thought to be influenced by the Itzá family, famed for the Chichén Itzá ruins, and the settlement at one time was home to as many as 25,000 people. While people may have lived in Edzna as early as 600 B.C., it wasn’t a city until about 200 A.D.
The Uxmal ruins, which were part of a religious city that dominated from C.E. 875-900, were at one time home to as many as 20,000 people. Its pyramid, the Pyramid of the Magician, is surrounded by mystery, having been built in just one night, according to legend. The site is close to Merida, which has its own Maya Train stop and is not far from Chichén Itzá.
Chichén Itzá is considered the most magnificent archeological site on the Yucatán Peninsula and is visited by more tourists than any other ruins in the region. More people inhabited the 1,500-year-old ancient Mayan city than anywhere in the Yucatán Peninsula and its tallest structure, El Castillo, is an astonishing 98 feet tall. Chichén Itzá is located in the state of Yucatán between Merida and Valladolid and has its own stop on the Maya Train route.
It would take many trips to visit all of the ruins worth visiting in the Yucatán Peninsula region, so visitors are left to pick and choose. We’ve highlighted some of the most important that can be accessed with a trip along the Maya Train route that will allow tourists to explore these ruins and so much more.
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