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Why This Fascinating Southern Mexican Caribbean City Will See Explosive Growth In The Next Year

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Cancun might be the most popular and most well-known destination in the Mexican Caribbean, but it’s far from the only place travelers should visit in the region.

Fellow Quintana Roo hotspots such as Holbox, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum have also benefited from huge boosts in traveler numbers over the past year, partly due to their proximity to Cancun for day trips and also because they are fantastic destinations in their own right.

Why This Gorgeous Southern Mexican Caribbean City Will See Explosive Growth In The Next Year

However, all signs are pointing to another city located around 5 hours from Cancun becoming one of the latest major destinations in the region next year – and it’s all thanks to an exciting development that’s set to be completed by the end of 2023.

The city of Chetumal, located on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, is set to benefit from a projected surge in the number of travelers visiting thanks to the exciting Maya Train project, which will also further boost connectivity to a range of other cities and towns located throughout the region.

Here’s a look at everything we know about this story, including how often journeys on the Maya Train to Chetumal are expected to be and the frequency of travel to other gorgeous hotspots throughout the region.

mahahual beach sign chetumal

Chetumal Connectivity Boosted – Information For Travelers

Despite being the capital city of the province of Quintana Roo, Chetumal has long since lurked in the shadows of Cancun in the eyes of international travelers – though that might not be the case for much longer.

A scenic city full of cultural and natural sites that could rival those of its fellow Quintana Roo travel hotspots, the journey time from Cancun Airport has undoubtedly affected the city’s popularity, but when the Maya Train rolls into town, that looks set to change.

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Chetumal aerial

According to the General Director of the Maya Train, Independent Brigadier General Oscar David Lozano Águila, as many as 30,000 daily passengers will board the train in Cancun bound for Chetumal.

While this may sound like an ambitious plan, it’s far more realistic when you factor in the facts that there are set to be 52 departures between the two cities per day and that it will be cheaper than similar bus routes that include a transportation service.

With speeds reaching 160km/h, the travel time between the two cities is set to be significantly reduced compared to offerings that are available today.

Construction workers laying down tracks for the Maya Train

Like Cancun, Chetumal has its fair share of gorgeous beaches to attract travelers.

The pick of the bunch is Mahahual Beach. Featuring the soft white sands, gorgeous blue seas, and tropical palm tree backdrops that helped put the Mexican Caribbean on the map, Mahahual is every bit as enticing as other beaches in the region and even comes equipped with a series of beach clubs and restaurants to unwind in.

While it may not be a “hidden gem”, its relaxed vibe and noticeably calm and underdeveloped surroundings are bound to make it a hit with travelers.

mahahual beach palm tree surf boards sea

Excitingly for travelers, Chetumal is far more than just a beach destination – it’s a cultural hotspot.

The city plays host to the Museum of Mayan Culture, an important landmark that allows travelers and locals alike to learn more about the Mayan people that occupied the lands far before modern civilizations turned up.

Additionally, Chetumal is also a great place to visit for those who are interested in visiting a Mayan temple complex. Tours to sites such as Ichkabal, known for its tall temples, plinths, and plazas, are a popular choice for travelers visiting Chetumal and are just 100km away from the city.

mayan temples mexican caribbean

It’s not just Chetumal that’s set to benefit from increased connectivity from Cancun, but several other destinations too.

Trains between Cancun and Merida will be departing 40 times a day, while there will be three trains per day between Cancun and Palenque.

Other connections will also be departing several times per day; these include 10 daily trips between the charming town of Merida and Palenque and five daily connections between Merida and Chetumal.

sunset view of merida cathedral

Set to be the largest infrastructure project ever completed in Mexico, the $15 billion Maya Train development will cover 5 Mexican Caribbean states and give travelers access to more than 30 stops along the entirety of its route.

Journeys on the train will be available between 6 AM and 10 PM, with the development expected to be completed before the end of the year.

cancun train maya station from above
Twitter: @MaraLezama

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