The construction of the Maya Train, the Mexican government’s flagship infrastructure project, is set to conclude soon.
The ambitious project will significantly transform travel in the Mexican Caribbean, making it easier than ever before to explore the region’s hidden wonders.
But even in well-known places like Cancun, the Maya Train is expected to massively boost travel numbers. Its effects are going to be seen in Cancun’s Mayan sites, which are gearing up to welcome a record number of travelers.
As historical and cultural tourism grows in popularity with travelers in the Mexican Caribbean, here’s the latest on how the Maya Train will revive Cancun’s centuries-old Mayan ruins.
Work Underway To Prepare Cancun’s Mayan Sites For Unprecedented Travel Influx
Cancun’s numerous Mayan ruins are seeing an uptick in the number of recorded visitors. With travelers increasingly keen on immersing themselves in the region’s rich history, sites like El Rey and San Miguelito have emerged as some of the most popular attractions for cultural tourism.
Although Cancun’s Mayan ruins have seen visitor numbers skyrocket, the completion of the Maya Train in December this year is expected to further spike interest in the city’s historical heritage.
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That’s why officials are working hard to prepare Cancun’s stunning Mayan sites for up to thousands of daily visitors.
According to Diego Prieto Hernandez, the head of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Cancun’s Mayan sites are among the most historical in the region, having been founded in the 4th century AD.
New research in the historic region shows that sites like El Rey and San Miguelito may have been inhabited until the year 1540, when diseases carried by Spanish colonialists largely meant the downturn of the Mayan civilization.
Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History is currently carrying out an initiative known as Promeza, which largely translates to the Program for the Improvement of Mayan Sites. The goal of the scientific undertaking is to improve the infrastructure and safety of Quintana Roo’s Mayan sites as well as to bolster efforts to study and conserve historical artifacts.
The program targets some 27 Mayan ruins around the region, including el Meco and Ichkabal. In Cancun, officials are also working to promote the city’s Mayan sites, which will no doubt see greater visitor numbers as tourists add different ruins to their next Mexican Caribbean itinerary.
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Cancun’s Mayan museum is also expected to see a surge in visitor numbers later this year. The museum, which opened in 2012, holds a massive number of Mayan artifacts, many of which are regularly added to new exhibitions.
Significant progress is currently being made on the Maya Train. The over 1500-kilometer-long railway track is the most ambitious infrastructure project in the country to date and comes at a whopping cost of over 7 billion dollars.
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Upon completion this December, travelers will be able to visit their favorite destinations – Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum – more conveniently than ever before. But the railway project will also allow access to new attractions that have thus far been too remote for mass travel.
These include, among other destinations, Izamal and other promising hotspots within the Yucatan Peninsula. The high-tech railway project will significantly boost the availability and affordability of public transport options for travelers around the Mexican Caribbean.
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Many of the Maya Train’s stations are already being built and feature a stunning design that takes inspiration from both modern and ancient elements for a truly unique style.
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