The Tren Maya: A New Era of Travel in Mexico
Editor’s note: The Tren Maya still needs to be fully operational. Guests heading to Akumal should consider existing transportation methods such as shuttle services, buses, taxis, private drivers, or car rentals, which are currently available and functional for your travel needs.
Mexico’s ambitious Tren Maya project was officially inaugurated on December 15. This project marks a significant milestone in connecting the diverse and culturally rich regions of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly with the route from Campeche to Cancún in Quintana Roo becoming operational.
An Ambitious Route
Spanning over 1,500 kilometers, the Tren Maya will traverse five Mexican states – Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. It promises to be more than just a transportation system; it’s a journey through the heart of Mexico’s southeastern cultural landscape.
A Phased Project
While the entire project is still under development, sections 5, 6, and 7 (covering areas such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum) are expected to begin operations in 2024. Recent sources state this could be as early as February 29, 2028.
Ticket Sales and Launch
Ticket sales for the Tren Maya will commence 15 days before its grand inauguration. Despite environmental concerns and legal challenges, the Mexican government remains steadfast in its vision that the Tren Maya will spur regional development and tourism without harming the environment.
The Tren Maya’s route is divided into several sections, each connecting key locations and tourist destinations:
Section 1: Palenque – Escárcega with stops in Palenque, Chiapas, and Escárcega, Campeche.
Section 2: Escárcega – Calkiní connecting Escárcega and San Francisco de Campeche.
Section 3: Calkiní – Izamal with a stop at the Merida Airport, Yucatan.
Section 4: Izamal – Cancún passing through Chichen Itza and Valladolid, Yucatan.
Section 5 North: Cancún – Playa del Carmen connecting Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen.
Section 5 South: Playa del Carmen – Tulum with stops in Tulum and at the Tulum Airport.
Section 6: Tulum – Bacalar extending to Chetumal, Quintana Roo.
Section 7: Bacalar – Escárcega with a stop in Xpujil, Campeche.
The ticket price for the Campeche-Cancún section is currently published at 1,166 Mexican pesos (approx. US$ 68) for tourist class and 1,173.50 Mexican pesos (approx. US $108) for first class. Prices for other routes will be available for purchase on the official website.
Schedules and Routes
The Tren Maya operates two routes:
Route 1: Campeche to Cancún, passing through tourist spots like Izamal and Chichen Itzá.
Route 2: From Cancun airport to Campeche.
Both routes have departure times at 7:00 and 11:00.
Capacity and Features
The Tren Maya’s first standard convoy can accommodate 230 passengers. Plans include the addition of restaurant carriages and long-distance cabins. The trains, manufactured by Alstom in Ciudad Sahagún, Hidalgo, Mexico, boast a unique design and are equipped with modern amenities to ensure passenger comfort.
A Symbol of Progress and Controversy
The Tren Maya represents a significant step in improving connectivity and boosting tourism in Mexico’s southeast. However, it has not been without controversy, facing criticism from environmental groups and concerns over its impact on the region’s ecosystems. The Mexican government, however, remains confident that the Tren Maya will be a positive force for the area, combining development with respect for the environment.
As the Tren Maya gears up for its first journey, it symbolizes Mexico’s commitment to progress and sustainable development. This monumental project is poised to offer an unparalleled travel experience, opening up new vistas for tourism and commerce in the Riviera Maya.