How to Travel on the Maya Train: The Ultimate Guide + Tips


The New Maya Train in Mexico: Your Guide to an Incredible Adventure

Planning to explore the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of The Yucatan Peninsula?

There’s no better way to do it than on the new Mayan Train!

The Maya Train, or “Tren Maya”, is a railway project that will connect five states in Mexico’s southeast, covering a distance of approximately 1 500 kilometers (932 miles): Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.

The stations will be strategically located near a variety of attractions, activities and experiences, such as 14 “Pueblos Magicos” (Magical Towns), 6 World Heritage Sites and 50 archaeological sites!

To help you plan your trip on the Mayan Train, I have prepared a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know.

In this guide, you will find out the detailed route of the train, with the main stations and the best attractions near them. You will also learn about the features and amenities of the train; the cost of tickets and how to book them; and the complementary projects that are planned around the Mayan Train.

Let’s dive in!

What You Should Know Before You Hop on the Tren Maya

When will it be in operation?

The Tren Maya is expected to start operating in December 2023.

How much will the train cost?

The official prices are still pending, but the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) stated previously that tourists would pay between 40- 50 dollars; about 800-1,000 pesos.

  • The fare will depend on the distance traveled and will vary for local, domestic and foreign passengers, with locals paying the lowest rate.

How to Get Tickets for the Maya Train

At the moment, the Maya Train is in its early stages of operation, which means ticket availability is limited and they’re being snapped up fast! To purchase your tickets, visit this link:

For the latest updates on ticket sales and routes, I recommend following the Maya Train’s Facebook page. They regularly post important information there.

Once the Maya Train is fully operational, you’ll have the convenience of buying tickets at any station’s ticket office, through the official website, or by using the Tren Maya App.

tickets tren maya
This Maya train ticket is a mock-up that was shown at a tourist convention as an example, it’s not a real one.

Inside the Maya Train: The Features and Services

The Maya Train will feature 42 X’trapolis trains, electric trains that will feature a distinctive design for Mexico, with a capacity of 300 passengers per car.

It will be able to carry 10,000 passengers per day and aims to attract three million tourists annually!

The Mayan Train will offer three categories of service: Xiinbal (regular), Janal (long journey) and P’atal (restaurant).

  • Xiinbal, the regular service

The large windows offer passengers a stunning view of the scenery along the journey. The seats are spacious, ergonomic and reclining, and have power outlets and storage for suitcases and bags.

There is also a designated area for bikes.

regular service maya train
The regular passengers train
  • P’atal, the long journey service

The passengers traveling long distances will have access to comfortable cabins with bunk beds, private bathroom and shower.

train corridors tren maya
tren maya corridors
long journey maya train
long journey maya train
sleeper maya train
Sleeper Maya Train
bathroom tren maya
Bathroom in the cabin, Tren Maya
  •  Janal, the restaurant service

The train’s menu will feature more than 30 dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, showcasing the regional mayan cuisine such as chipilín tamales, motuleño eggs, panuchos, cochinita pibil, venison tzic, lime soup, papadzules, among others.

The train’s dessert menu will offer traditional marquesitas, artisanal chocolates, cocada and dulce de nance (a fruit).

The train will also serve regional drinks such as coffee, pozol, water and chaya tea, pitahaya and lime waters, xtabentún, tequila, mezcal, wine, pulque and craft beers from Mexico.

restaurant tren maya
restaurant tren maya
wagon restaurant maya train
restaurant wagon, tren maya

The Stations of the Maya Train: Itinerary and Attractions

The Maya Train will have 20 stations and 14 additional stops across the five states, covering a distance of approximately 1 500 kilometers (932 miles), with two routes that encircle the peninsula: one clockwise and one counterclockwise.

Here are some of the stations that the Maya Train will have:

1. Cancun Airport

Cancun is one of the main destinations of the Maya Train in Quintana Roo.

It has a big international airport that connects with many destinations around the world, and is one of the most famous beach resorts in the world, offering white sand, turquoise water and a lively nightlife. It is also a gateway to other attractions in the Caribbean, such as Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Tulum.

My Advice
 Check out my Cancun guides:

Playa Langosta Cancun
Playa Langosta Cancun
maya train cancun airport
This is how the train station at Cancun airport is supposed to look according to the plans.

2. Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos is a small town in Quintana Roo that is known for its easy access to the Ruta de los Cenotes, a road that connects dozens of beautiful cenotes that are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diving.

It has a charming fishing village atmosphere and a coral reef that is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.

what to do puerto morelos
Puerto Morelos

3. Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Riviera Maya.

The city offers a wide range of accommodation, dining, shopping and entertainment options, as well as beautiful beaches and a vibrant nightlife. It is also close to other attractions such as Xcaret Eco Park and Xplor Adventure Park.

My Advice
Don’t miss my Playa del Carmen guides:

playa punta esmeralda playa del carmen
Punta Esmeralda, my favorite beach in Playa del Carmen!

4. Tulum

A town in Quintana Roo that is famous for its Mayan archaeological site that overlooks the Caribbean Sea.

Tulum also has stunning beaches, bohemian vibes and eco-friendly resorts. It is a hotspot for yoga, wellness and alternative lifestyles.

My Advice
The archaeological site of Tulum facing the sea

5. Tulum Airport

A brand new airport in Riviera Maya,  located about 15km from Tulum, and yes it will have its own train stop!

The airport is expected to be operational by 2024 and will have a capacity of 3 million passengers per year.

My Advice
tulum airport project
The Tulum Airport Project

6. Bacalar

Bacalar is a small town in Quintana Roo known for its Lake of Seven Colors (Laguna de Bacalar), which has beautiful crystal-clear water.

You can enjoy a boat trip on the lagoon, visit the fortress of San Felipe, explore the Canal de los Piratas, a natural passage with white sand and beautiful blue tones, and the Rapidos de Bacalar, where you can swim, paddleboard or kayak in the water flows.

bacalar catamaran
Catamaran on Laguna de Bacalar

7. Chetumal

Chetumal, the capital city of Quintana Roo with an international airport (CTM), is a border city that faces Belize.

It is also close to Mahahual, a village with a more authentic and relaxing feel than other popular spots like Cancun and the Riviera Maya, although it can get busy when cruise boats visit the Costa Maya Port for the day.

You can explore the rich marine life of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, or simply relax on the soft sand and enjoy the breeze.

My Advice
lighthouse mahahual
The Mahahual Lighthouse

8. Xpujil

Xpujil is a town in the state of Campeche that is known for its proximity to the wonderful Calakmul, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features one of the largest and most important Mayan cities in Mexico.

It has over 6,000 structures, including pyramids, palaces, temples and stelae. It is also surrounded by a biosphere reserve that hosts diverse flora and fauna.

  • I’m pretty excited for this one because Calakmul is my favorite archeological site in Mexico, and it has always been difficult to access. But now thanks to the new Xpujil station, it’s going to be much easier!❤️
Ancient Maya City of Calakmul

9. Tenosique

Tenosique is a town in Tabasco that is known for its traditional dance called “La Pochó”, which involves colorful costumes and masks.

This dance, which dates back to the pre-Hispanic times, is a remarkable feature of the Tenosique Carnival that takes place in late January.

It is also close to the Usumacinta River, which forms part of the border with Guatemala.

10. Palenque

Palenque is the starting point of the Maya Train in Chiapas.

Palenque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features one of the most impressive Mayan archaeological complexes in Mexico. It is also surrounded by lush rainforest that hosts diverse wildlife.

The Mayan Ruins of Palenque
tren maya palenque
The future train station at Palenque

11. Edzna

Edzna was one of the major cities in the region and had a close relationship with Calakmul.

You can admire the main pyramid of Edzna, which has a unique five-story structure with a temple on top and a staircase flanked by masks of the rain god Chaac.

edzna Temple of Five Stories
Main temple of Edzna

12. Campeche

San Francisco de Campeche is the capital city of Campeche state. Campeche is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves its colonial architecture and fortifications.

My Advice
Don’t miss my guide: What to See and Do in Campeche, the Colorful Walled City 
The sight of the colonial city of Campeche as seen from the walls

13. Mérida

Mérida is the capital and largest city of the state of Yucatán, and a cultural and historical center of the Yucatán Peninsula.

From Mérida, you can also take a day trip to the Ruta Puuc, a circuit of five Mayan archaeological sites that showcase the distinctive Puuc style of architecture and sculpture.

The most famous and impressive of these sites is Uxmal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features the Pyramid of the Magician, the Governor’s Palace and the Nunnery Quadrangle

  • The initial plan was to put a station direcly in Mérida, but it was modified and now Mérida-Teya station (see map here) will be located about 10 km from Mérida.

The Palacio Canton on the Paseo de Montejo, Merida

14. Izamal

Izamal is a colonial town in Yucatán that is known for its yellow buildings and its large Franciscan convent, Convento de San Francisco de Padua.

Izamal also has several Mayan pyramids, like Kinich Kakmó and Iztamatul, that are integrated into the urban landscape. It is considered a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) by the Mexican government.

The Convent of Saint Anthony of Padua in Izamal

15. Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a New Wonder of the World, is Mexico’s most iconic and visited Mayan site.

It features the famous Pyramid of Kukulkan, the Temple of the Warriors, the Mesoamerican Ballcourt and the Observatory.

The famous site of Chichen Itza in the state of Yucatan


A colonial town in Yucatán that is known for its cenotes (the most famous being Ik Kil and Suytun) and its proximity to Chichén Itzá.

From Valladolid, you can also visit the ancien mayan city of Ek Balam, home to the Acropolis, a six-level structure that measures 524 ft in length, 223 ft in width and 104 ft in height. It is one of the largest and most impressive Mayan buildings in the region!

 Another attraction of Ek Balam is the Cenote Xcanche, a stunning natural pool surrounded by lush vegetation and rock formations, where you can swim and relax after exploring the ruins.

calzada de los frailes valladolid
Calzada de los Frailes, Valladolid

The Mayan Train Map

Here you can see the full map of the Maya Train’s route, with all the stations and stops marked.

oficial map mayan train
Maya Train Map

The Complementary Projects around the Maya Train

Along with the Maya Train, there are significant complementary projects that are ongoing, such as the Nichupté bridge (Cancun), 6 new hotels and 2 ecological parks!

The six Tren Maya Hotels will be located close to archaeological sites, facilitating their access:

  • Palenque, Chiapas
  • Edzná, Campeche
  • Uxmal, Yucatán
  • Chichén Itzá, Yucatán (it will be the 1st one to open)
  • Tulum, Quintana Roo
  • Calakmul, Campeche
hotel chichen itza tren maya
The future train hotel in Chichen Itza

Other frequent questions about the Maya Train

How accessible is the Maya Train for people with disabilities?

The flat floor facilitates the movement of passengers with limited mobility.

The train also features storage areas for wheelchairs and accessible toilets.

How fast will the train go?

The Maya Train can reach a speed of 160 km/h (99mph)

How long will it take to travel from Merida to Cancun on the Mayan Train?

It will only take one hour and 30 minutes by train, instead of the current four hours by car.

My Opinion on the Tren Maya

Like any other project, the Train Maya has its advantages and disadvantages. However, I think it is overall a positive initiative that will provide more accessibility to many amazing sites that were hard to reach before quickly.

I wish it will encourage people to venture beyond the popular destinations of Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen, because there is so much more to see and experience in Mexico!

Another interesting aspect is that it will also be a great alternative for those who do not want to rent a car but still wish to explore the peninsula’s diversity in depth.

So, are you excited to experience the Maya Train on your next Mexico adventure?

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

You’re using Pinterest? Here is the picture to pin!

mayan train mexico


I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

Discussion14 Comments

  1. Martine

    Hello, I read that there will be a train ride from Merida to Cancun but will there be a ride from Cancun to Merida? I cannot find the info anywhere. it seems to me that the Mayab Train will be doing ……

  2. Jose R Leyva

    I hope to ride the tren, from Merida to Palenque, in a clockwise direction, what would the cost of the trip, and how many stops, ( over night stop) would I be allow?

  3. Mauricio Gondi

    Can you explain the difference between estaciones and paraderos? What is the difference between the two from a passengers perspective.

    • Vanessa

      Hola Mauricio!
      Paraderos are simple platforms that do not have any additional structures. They are different from stations, which are larger and offer more services.
      Passenger trains generally do not make long stopovers at paraderos, unless necessary for boarding or disembarking passengers at that specific stop.

  4. DJ

    Hi Vanessa,

    I have booked the train ride from Campeche to Cancun. It leaves Campeche at 11am, I have not been able to find out what time it arrives in Cancun.

  5. Andrew

    Gracias por tu descripción. De hecho, es uno de los mejores que he visto hasta ahora. Es uno que mucha gente de la región debería leer porque muchos tienen la idea errónea de que el Tren Maya también irá de Mérida a Chetumal. Muchos en Yucután creen que podrán viajar por todo Yucután en lugar de ADO y Mayab, lo cual no es el caso en absoluto si son desde Yucután.

    También cabe señalar que aún faltan años para que este proyecto esté finalizado. En la mayoría de los lugares ni siquiera se han instalado las vías del tren porque el camino aún no está despejado. Y además, les faltan aún más estaciones de tren que aún están por construir. A este proyecto aún le faltan entre 4 y 6 años para completarse, si no más.

    Este es un buen proyecto para los turistas y el turismo.

  6. Andrew

    Thanks for your description. It’s one of the best I have seen thus far actually. It’s one that many people in the region should read because many have the misconception that the Tren Maya will also go from Merida to Chetumal. Many in the Yucutan believe they will be able to travel throughout the yucutan in place of ADO and Mayab which is not the case at all if from Yucutan.

    It should also be noted that this project is still years away from completion. Most places still don’t even have the train tracks laid down because the pathway isn’t cleared yet. And to add, they are missing even more train stations which have yet to be built. This project is still 4-6 years from being completed, if not more.

    This is a good project for tourists and tourism, but besides cheaper fairs for locals and some jobs for a couple of years, it’s not beneficial for them.

Leave A Reply