Quintana Roo’s governor tweeted new information about the Maya Train station coming to Cancun this year.
Governor Mara Lezama released a picture to the public of the upcoming station.
Así se verá la estación del @TrenMayaMX, en #Cancún. 🚊@ICAMexico pic.twitter.com/YHfPAJ4qpm— Mara Lezama (@MaraLezama) May 13, 2023
The Maya train is a massive infrastructure project the Mexican government undertook to increase tourism throughout the country.
The train will connect the tourist hotspot Cancun with the country’s interior. Along the way, the train will stop in major cities in Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo.
The train will cover almost 1,000 miles in five Mexican states, including over 30 stops.
According to the Government of Mexico, the train will be up and running this December. This is a long-awaited accomplishment. The train was first announced in September 2018.
Using The Train
Once the train starts running, there will be a train leaving each station every two hours from 6 am to 10 pm. Tourists will find cultural landmarks and major cities more accessible starting next year.
Tourists can use the Maya Train phone application or go online to book a ticket. In addition, tickets are sold at each train station.
Officials are yet to announce ticket prices, but they are expected to vary depending on the user’s identity. For example, international tourists may have to pay more than locals.
Starting next year, tourists can easily visit many new Yucatan Peninsula locations.
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While Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum are beautiful destinations, the region has many hidden gems.
In addition, tourist demand in the cities above leads to crowds during high tourism seasons. With new places to enjoy, tourists may enjoy their favorite sites without contending with crowds the way they are used to.
Like any major infrastructure project, the Maya Train has sparked passionate debates in Mexico and internationally.
At its best, the Train Maya will serve as an economic boost to the local economy. The southeast of Mexico is historically one of the poorest regions in Mexico, and many hope that the Train Maya will spark economic development.
One of the most significant issues for tourism in the Riviera Maya is transportation. Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum are major tourist spots, but they are difficult to travel between.
In addition, there are many places tourists might visit far further from Cancun than Playa del Carmen and Tulum that will be made more accessible due to the Train Maya.
Merida, Campeche, and Bacalar are among the cities that may benefit from additional tourism.
Nevertheless, there are reasons to be wary of the project as well.
In particular, Environmental activists are unhappy with how the project has been carried out.
Despite promises that “not a single tree” would be cut, the construction of the train has led to massive amounts of deforestation.
In addition, groups like Cenotes Urbanos are worried about the potential contamination of drinking water.
The train is being built over the Great Maya Aquifer, which provides drinking water for millions of Mexicans.
In some places, only centimeters of soil separates the aquifer from the stations. Contamination of the aquifer would be disastrous for many people.
Already, the region is struggling with a water crisis. In the past two decades, there has been a 59% decrease in freshwater resources in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Experts contest that the region is 15 years away from a water crisis.
The growth of cities such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum because of tourism has put additional pressure on water resources, leading some to wonder if the region is prepared for further increases in tourism.
Time will tell whether the worst fears are realized, but one thing is certain. The project will be implemented, and tourists will have access to so much more of the peninsula after its introduction. Whatever the outcome, tourism in the region will never be the same again.
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