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Playa Del Carmen-Tulum Maya Train Route Postponed Until September

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The official launching of the Playa del Carmen to Tulum Maya Train route will be postponed by at least several weeks, according to a new update by Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 

The Fifth Section South portion of the state-of-the-art railway system is expected to play a key role in bolstering travel numbers between two of the most popular Mexican Caribbean destinations. 

Aerial view of Maya Train route

And with arrival figures expected to skyrocket this summer, officials are rushing to inaugurate the remaining sections of the Maya Train on time. 

With that in mind, here’s what the latest Maya Train announcement means for travelers.

aerial view of a new maya train station

Maya Train Faces Major Setback As Weeks-Long Delay Announced 

Even though a number of Maya Train routes are already operational – including the one connecting Cancun to Playa del Carmen – several segments of the massive railway system are still being built. 

One of them is the Fifth Section South, which links Playa del Carmen to Tulum.

The nearly 70-kilometre-long railway track is logistically complicated, with more than 60% of the track sitting on top of a viaduct. 

Aerial View of Part of the Maya Train Route in Mexico

The track is carefully designed to minimally impact the region’s delicate ecosystem, consisting of cenotes, rainforests, and other unique features.

In a press conference held this week, Mexico’s president Andrés Manual López Obrador announced a significant setback in the launching of the new track due to construction delays. 

According to the president – who oversees the largest infrastructure project to date in Mexican history – the delay is due to issues concerning the construction of the elevated track on which the Maya Train will run.

a train passing through a forest in the mexican caribbean

Maya Train officials have said the 80-kilometer-long elegant portion of the track is expected to be complete sometime in August, after the extremely busy summer travel period.

All in all, government sources expect the Fifth Section South to be fully complete by September 2024, although that estimate is subject to change as construction of the massive project continues.

a night train inside of a dark forest

Officials have stressed the importance of minimizing environmental damage due to the Maya Train, which is especially crucial for the railway system’s Fifth Section South.

The track will traverse hundreds of cenotes and other key natural sites, providing travelers with a unique glimpse of Mexican Caribbean nature. 

Architects and engineers have had to make a number of modifications to existing plans concerning the intricate railway system, further adding to delays. 

Beautiful Green Grass In Front of the Tulum Airport Sign

A few weeks ago, authorities uncovered significant environmental harm to a local cenote after construction workers built columns that were supposed to support the new section of railway track. 

Once completed, the Maya Train’s Fifth Section South will connect northern Quintana Roo to numerous historical hotspots in the south of the sunny region, including Tulum and Chetumal. 

The Maya Train has been a hit-and-miss so far. Although tens of thousands of travelers have already purchased tickets for the state-of-the-art railway system, the Maya Train has suffered from continuous delays. 

sun lounger and umbrella on golden sandy beach in Tulum

In some cases, passengers have been left stranded due to technical issues. Fortunately, travelers are obliged to receive alternative transportation options in case of any severe delays. 

Travelers can purchase tickets for the Maya Train on the official website, where they can select their desired travel date & travel class.

Prices for the new transport option range from $40 to over $110 for long-distance journeys.

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Friday 26th of April 2024

I'm not surprised, the greed of a corrupt government, this train was never necessary, billions of dollars spent on destroying the earth, sad.


Friday 26th of April 2024

@Gaby, The earth will adjust with or without humans. Tren Maya funds could have been better spent improving the MX health care and education system.

Alex jones

Thursday 25th of April 2024

I took the train in February from Cun to Merida. Clearly is not completely done. Huge investment, open too soon to please politicians.


Thursday 25th of April 2024

@Alex jones, The concept of the train to enhance travel to archeological sites and unknown less traveled beaches, conceptually is a great idea. But, poor execution has bedeviled the project. An incoherent ticket web site. Unreliable schedules. Stations not convenient to locations and sometimes difficult to locate. No public transportation to stations in some major cities.

But importantly:The majority of tourist North American, European and Mexican primarily seek the beaches.

Also a hint, not to do specifically with the Tren Maya. The state of Quintana Roo, the municipalities surrounding Cancun need to implement a coherent and enforceable plan to regulate taxi service fares. Each of these entities have had multiple years to eliminate the chaos at the Cancun Airport. In this regard, the state of Quintana Roo has been totally ineffective

I strongly suggest looking at the Ronald Regan airport (DCA) and how multiple taxi companies with varying fare structure are regulated.


Wednesday 24th of April 2024

I get the empression from the article regarding the "...state of the art...elegant..." Tren Maya that preliminary surveys of the right of way were shoddy and incomplete. Obsticals for completion should have been noted years ago, the proper materials,equipment and personnel available now. But, a completely new design had to be created.

The article metioned prices for tickets; Pesos MXN or Dollars USD.