The new Maya Train has been something of a hot topic this year, as it sets out to completely revolutionize travel throughout the Yucatan Peninsula for tourists and locals.
The first section of the Maya Train has begun operations with its Campeche to Cancun route and the train is set to be fully operational by February 2024, traveling through the five states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.
This first section has a total of six stops in Yucatan at some highly popular tourist destinations, the biggest being the infamous archeological site known as Chichen Itza.
What Is Chichen Itza?
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this archeological site is considered to be the number one tourist attraction of its kind in all of Mexico.
According to UNESCO, the pyramids and temples of Chichen Itza “are among the undisputed masterpieces of Mesoamerican architecture because of the beauty of their proportions, the refinement of their construction and the splendor of their sculpted decorations.”
A pinnacle destination for the Ancient Mayans, this site sees millions of tourists arrive at its doorstep every single year to marvel at the truly awe-inspiring feat of architecture and technology that was/is truly impressive for its time.
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The most awe-inspiring has got to be the Pyramid of Kulkulkan, also known as ‘the castle’, which overlooks the site from almost 80 feet above.
Tourists travel especially during the spring and fall equinoxes, where they can witness “the snake of light”, a naturally occurring light effect that creates the appearance of a snake making its way down the pyramid through the movement of sunlight and shadows.
The site is so popular that a new section, known as Chichen Viejo, has just recently opened this year and had previously been closed to the public for decades.
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Getting To Chichen Itza From Merida
It is now easier than ever to get to the infamous archeological site using the Maya Train, which has its own station dedicated to Chichen Itza.
The closest station to the capital city of Yucatan – Merida – is Teya Station, which passes through Tixkokob and Izamal before reaching the historical attraction.
In total, the journey costs a total of 286.50 pesos ($16.88 USD) for the economy-priced ticket per person and 457.50 pesos ($26.96 USD) for the premier-priced ticket per person.
It is also worth noting that Teya Station is not actually situated in Merida and can be reached by the IE-TRAM from the Great La Plancha Park for an added cost of 45 pesos ($2.65 USD) per person.
Buying Tickets For The Maya Train And Chichen Itza
When purchasing Maya Train tickets, you have two options: either book them online here(which is recommended as they sold out during their opening week) or physically buy them from a ticket office.
In Merida, the offices are located in the North area at the Nia Tower on 49 225 Street in San Ramon Norte, where they accept card-only payments using Visa and Mastercard.
Tickets for Chichen Itza can again be purchased online or at the ticket offices on-site, with some accommodations also providing deals and packages to their guests in places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
There are currently no ticket deals between the Maya Train and the archeological site, and they will have to be bought separately from each other.
To avoid disappointment during the busy winter season, we recommend that you take the earlier train at 9:36 from Merida/Teya Station to Campeche and Cancun, as the site will be expectedly busier than usual and overcrowding will be a possibility.
There is another train set to leave at 13:36, which will still give you plenty of time to explore the site in all its majesty and grandeur, so don’t worry if you miss the first one.
The Maya Train’s mission statement is to unlock all of the hidden gems within the Yucatan Peninsula for tourists and locals alike.
Now a whole host of both well-known and more secret archeological sites will become available via the billion-dollar infrastructure, and we recommend checking them all out (though Chichen Itza should be first on your list)!
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