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What Travelers Need To Know As Maya Train Officially Launches

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On Friday, December 15, 2023, the first segment of the Maya Train was officially launched after an opening ceremony in Campeche attended by Mexican President AMLO. 

AMLO himself joined the historic ride on Friday, traveling from San Francisco, Campeche, to Cancun, with a stop in Mérida, Yucatán.

Little girl with his mother on a train looking out the window

However, the Campeche-Cancun section, covering a total of 473 kilometers, officially started operations on Saturday, December 16th. 

Looking ahead, a new segment connecting Cancun to Palenque, Chiapas, is scheduled for inauguration on December 31st. 

Spanning 1554 kilometers across the states of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo, the entire route will feature 20 stations and 14 stops strategically located near tourist hotspots, archeological sites, and airports. 

@veroarzap Asi se vio la primera salida del #TrenMaya en el estado de #Campeche, con dirección a Cancún. En este viaje abordo #lopezobrador ♬ Last Train to London – Electric Light Orchestra

The $20 billion project, expected to completely revolutionize travel and tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula, is anticipated to be completed by February 29, 2024.

For more details on the recently unveiled section, including the complete list of stops, ride durations, ticket prices, schedules, and more, read on!

Schedules & Ticket Prices

The Campeche-Cancun section that opened to the public on Saturday features two departure times –  7:00 AM and 11:00 AM for both Campeche and Cancun –  for a total of four journeys every day and fitting up to 231 passengers.

Traveling at an average speed of 120 kilometers per hour, the initial trip lasts around 5-6 hours, with brief stops of 2-3 minutes at each station and operating hours of 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Óscar David Lozano Águila, the general director of the Maya Train, announced that a new train is on the horizon, along with a third schedule set at 9:00 AM.

Regarding Maya Train ticket prices, they’re available in two classes: tourist class and premier tourist class, ranging from $1,166 to $1,860 pesos (approximately $68 to $108 dollars). 

Keep in mind that these rates might change in the coming weeks, so if you’re planning to grab Maya Train tickets on your Mexican Caribbean getaway this winter, it’s a good idea to stay updated.

However, AMLO maintains that ticket prices will always be kept below the cost of the same journey by bus, which costs approximately $1,200 pesos ($68 USD).

@turismo.tren.maya The Mayan Train is an infrastructure project thats seeks to promote tourism and economic development in the southeastern region of México. Follow us to know more about the Mayan Train. #TrenMaya #mayantrain #mayantrainroutes ♬ sonido original – Turismo Tren Maya

For now, you’ll be able to buy tickets through Eticket, and at the Maya Train website soon, though tickets will be available at the Campeche, Mérida, Valladolid, and Cancun, as well as at the local airports.

The First Maya Train Route  – Destinations & Stops

This initial route features stops at tourist hotspots such as the Magical Towns of Izamal and Valladolid, and the iconic Chichén Itzá – which already makes the trip perfectly worthwhile.

However, travelers on this section, which is just about one-third of the complete project, can explore lesser-known gems like Calkiní in Campeche and Teya in Yucatán, plus approximately 10 other towns.

high speed train at station

The sections that were opened to the public on December 16th are 2, 3, and 4, encompassing the following stations:

Section 2

  • San Francisco, Campeche
  • Tenabo
  • Hecelchakán
  • Calkiní

Section 3

  • Calkiní
  • Maxcanú
  • Umán
  • Teya
  • Tixkokob
  • Izamal

Section 4

  • Izamal
  • Chichén Itzá
  • Valladolid
  • Nuevo Xcán
  • Leona Vicario
  • Cancun Airport
Tourists in Valladolid

As you can see,  Section 2 connects with Section 3 at the Calkiní station, and Section 3 connects with Section 4 at the Izamal station.

What The Future Holds For The Maya Train 

The ambitious project has sparked significant controversy, with some thinking it could help fix economic issues in southern Mexico, while others worry about its environmental impact, especially on delicate cenote ecosystems and Mayan archeological sites.

Even though the Maya Train project is facing over 25 active legal protections against it, AMLO emphasizes that, despite these legal challenges, construction has not been impeded.

Workers building the Maya Train near Cancun

Regardless of the ongoing controversy, there’s no denying that, once completed, a journey on the Maya Train will promise an entirely new and exciting experience. 

It will offer travelers a unique way to explore the wonders of the Mexican Caribbean and discover lesser-known destinations along the route.

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