The Ultimate Guide to Mexico’s Maya Train Route: Destinations, Train Stations, Attractions & Opening Dates 

Wondering what Mexico’s Mayan Train route is all about? Here’s everything you need to know!

Mexico, a land rich in vibrant culture, rich history, and awe-inspiring natural beauty is already a top travel destination year-round.

However, the MexcanMayan Train, or Tren Maya, is about to add a whole new dimension to the experience.

maya train route

Tren Maya is a groundbreaking railway project that will transport travelers into the heart of Mexico’s southeastern region and its ancient and natural wonders, including the already popular Mayan Riviera.

Winding through the lush landscapes of the Yucatan Peninsula and further, the Mayan Train route is about to connect some of Mexico’s most captivating destinations.

Join me in a 965-mile (1,550 km) journey through time and traditions as we uncover the secrets of the Tren Maya that will greatly enhance any visit to Mexico.

As a local, I’ll share everything you need to know about opening dates, destinations, natural wonders, and archaeological sites you can more easily explore via the Mayan Train. 

Maya Train Route Overview

Mexico’s Tren Maya or Mayan Train is a train route circuit that will travel 965 miles (1,554 km) through five states in the southeastern region of Mexico: Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo. 

With 20 stations and 14 other stopping points, visitors can easily move from gorgeous coastal destinations by the Caribbean to culturally rich inner cities, impressive archaeological sites in the jungle, quaint cultural towns, and stunning natural attractions.

The Tren Maya route will give travelers access to 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 23 picturesque Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns), 5 protected natural reserves, and 46 archaeological zones, including 26 that have been curated, restored, maintained, amplified, or even accessed for the first time, and hundreds of natural beauties. 

maya train route

Maya Train Inauguration Dates

The Mayan Train or Tren Maya will be partly inaugurated on December 15th, 2023, with full operations scheduled to start on February 29th, 2024.

That is to say, the sections from Palenque to Cancun will begin operating on December 15th.

This is because the route is divided into 7 sections, called “tramos” with some of them being just about ready to start working, and others taking a bit longer.

Keep reading for more details on opening dates for specific stations and destinations.

Mexican states on the Tren Maya route

Tren Maya will pass through destinations in the states of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.

Tren Maya route sections or “tramos”

Mexico’s Mayan Train or Tren Maya route is divided into 7 sections, known as “tramos”.

  • Section 1: Palenque (Chiapas) – Escarcega (Campeche) – 226 km/140 mi
  • Section 2: Escarcega (Campeche) – Calkiní (Campeche) – 234 km/145 mi
  • Section 3: Calkini (Campeche) – Izamal (Yucatan) – 159 km/99 mi
  • Section 4: Izamal (Yucatan) – Cancun (Quintana Roo) – 239 km/139 mi
  • Section 5: Cancun (Quintana Roo) – Tulum (Yucatan) – 111 km/69 mi
  • Section 6: Tulum (Quintana Roo) – Bacalar (Quintana Roo) – 255 km/158 mi
  • Section 7: Bacalar (Quintana Roo) – Escarcega (Campeche) – 256 km/159 mi
maya train route
Palenque, Chiapas

Maya Train length, speed, and traveling time

The Tren Maya will travel over a 1,554 km (965 mi) circuit at an average speed of 160 kilometers/hour (99.5 miles/hour).

Total traveling time for the entire route will take around 9 hours, without taking into account time spent at stations and stops.

Mayan Train travel options and experiences

The Tren Maya in Mexico will have three different types of trains, offering different experiences. Xinbal, Janal, and P’atal.

Amenities in all trains include panoramic windows, a cafeteria, restrooms, air conditioning, wi-fi, lighting, and short-circuit TV.

maya train route
  • Xinbal (standard): Xinbal is Mayan for “walking”. This is the standard experience.
  • Janal (culinary): Janal is Mayan for “eating”, and it is a culinary experience where passengers will be able to taste local gastronomy and beverages while admiring the lush landscape.
  • P’atal (long-distance): P’atal is Mayan for “staying”. This train is for long-distance trips. Added amenities include more ample, reclinable seats, as well as some sleeping cabins.

Important: All trains have enough space for people with limited mobility and special needs.

Train Maya: a whole new way to explore and experience Mexico

Tren Maya is a huge engineering project that makes it easier and faster to move from one destination to another in southeast Mexico.

This boosts the number of destinations and attractions you can explore, making it possible to visit spots in five states in a short amount of time.

The route will connect 46 archaeological sites, 14 Pueblos Mágicos (picturesque Magic Towns), as well as a whole slew of natural attractions such as beaches, lakes, rivers, cenotes, natural reserves, and more.

Additionally, new parks, museums, hotels, two airports, and attractions are opening to add to the points of interest.

Moreover, some Mayan ruins that used to be hard or impossible to access are now part of Tren Maya’s route. 

The whole train circuit will take around 9 hours of actual riding time, leaving out the time spent at stations and stops.

The same route by car would take about 22.5 hours, again leaving out stops for gas and snacks.

Tren Maya’s stations, stops, opening dates by section (“tramo”)

Following is a list of all the train stations and stops in the Tren Maya’s route

Tramo 1: Palenque – Escárcega

Starts operations on December 15, 2023

  • Palenque (Chiapas)
  • Boca del Cerro (Chiapas)
  • Tenosique (Tabasco)
  • El Triunfo (Tabasco)
  • Candelaria (Campeche)
  • Escárcega (Campeche)
maya train route

Tramo 2: Escárcega – Calkiní

Starts operations on December 15, 2023

  • Escarcega (Campeche)
  • Champotón – Felipe Carrillo Puerto (Campeche)
  • Edzná (Campeche)
  • San Francisco (Campeche)
  • Tenabo (Campeche)
  • Hecelchakan (Campeche)
  • Calkiní (Campeche)
maya train route

Tramo 3: Calkiní – Izamal

Starts operations on December 15, 2023

  • Calkiní (Campeche)
  • Mexcanu (Yucatan)
  • Uman (Yucatan)
  • Merida/Teya (Yucatan)
  • Tixkokob (Yucatan)
  • Izamal (Yucatan)
maya train route

Tramo 4: Izamal – Cancun

Starts operations on December 15, 2023

  • Izamal (Yucatan)
  • Chichen Itzá (Yucatan)
  • Valladolid (Yucatan)
  • Nuevo Xcan  (Yucatan)
  • Leona Vicario (Quintana Roo)
  • Cancun International Airport (Quintana Roo)
maya train route

Tramo 5: Cancun  International Airport-Tulum International Airport

Starts operations on February 29, 2024

  • Cancun Airport (Quintana Roo)
  • Puerto Morelos (Quintana Roo)
  • Playa del Carmen (Quintana Roo)
  • Xcaret (Quintana Roo)
  • Puerto Aventuras (Quintana Roo)
  • Akumal (Quintana Roo)
  • Tulum (Quintana Roo)
  • Tulum International Airport (Quintana Roo)

Tramo 6: Tulum International Airport – Bacalar

Starts operations on February 29, 2024

  • Tulum International Airport (Quintana Roo)
  • Limones-Chacchoben (Quintana Roo)
  • Bacalar (Quintana Roo)
  • Chetumal Kohunlich (Campeche)

Tramo 7: Chetumal – Escárcega

Starts operations on February 29, 2024

  • Chetumal Kohunlich(Quintana Roo)
  • Xpujil (Campeche)
  • Calakmul (Campeche)
  • Centenario (Campeche)
  • Escarcega (Campeche)
maya train route

Tren Maya safety

All the trains and stations will be guarded full-time by Mexican military forces and the National Guard along the whole route.

Mexican Beach Destinations in the Maya Train Route

The Maya Train route will pass along the iconic beach destinations in the Riviera Maya that many of us have heard about, making it faster and more convenient to move from one spot to another.

Coastal towns and cities with train stations and stops include Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Tulum, and Chetumal.

It’s worth mentioning that it will also stop in Bacalar. Even though it’s not a seaside destination, the 7-color lagoon almost qualifies.


Nestled on the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun is a vibrant tropical paradise that seamlessly blends stunning natural beauty with a lively party atmosphere.

Renowned for its gorgeous white-sand beaches lapped by turquoise Caribbean waters, luxurious resorts, and a wide range of entertainment options, Cancun beckons travelers looking for water adventures, beach relaxation, archeological sites, a lively nightlife scene, as well as world-class dining and lodging options.

Puerto Morelos

Set between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos is a peaceful fishing village along the Riviera Maya.

maya train route

With a serene beachfront, a picturesque central plaza, and the world’s second-largest barrier reef just offshore, it’s a more serene escape from the bustling tourist hubs in the area.

Although Puerto Morelos has turned up on more tourists’ radars in the last few years, it has still managed to remain a peaceful retreat amidst swaying palm trees, stunning sunsets, and authentic Mexican small-town charm.

Playa del Carmen

A few miles from Cancun, Playa del Carmen is a beach destination that blends small-town charm with a lively atmosphere.

This former sleepy fishing village has grown in the last decades, making it a small hub for those looking for both adventure and relaxation.

It offers a bustling shopping, dining, and nightlife scene in a dreamy Caribbean setting with nearby natural and archaeological wonders.

While the busy Quinta Avenida serves as the center of the town, with tons of shopping and dining options, Playa del Carmen boasts powdery white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and shadowy palm trees within a short walking distance.


A stunning eco-archaeological park on the Riviera Maya, Xcaret offers a rich variety of natural wonders, captivating cultural activities, and thrilling water adventures.

This immersive park showcases the region’s biodiversity through its lush jungle, underground rivers, dreamy beaches, and amazing wildlife.

Moreover, Xcaret offers great dining and entertainment options throughout the day and into the evening, topped by a spectacular world-famous cultural show.

Puerto Aventuras

Situated between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Puerto Aventuras is a tranquil and upscale gated community that offers a unique blend of luxury, relaxation, and seaside beauty.

This idyllic retreat boasts a marina lined with yachts, golf courses, high-end boutiques, great culinary options, and beachfront cafes.

It is the ideal spot for travelers looking to have a relaxing escape with modern comfort and luxury. In other words, a laid-back yet sophisticated atmosphere.


Named “the Place of Turtles” in Mayan, Akumal is a serene seaside gem that boasts pristine beaches and amazing marine life.

Its crystal-lear turquoise waters are ideal for snorkeling and diving, offering close encounters with sea turtles and other marine creatures lazily gliding by the off-shore coral reefs.

Akumal is home to a handful of eco-friendly resorts and beachfront restaurants, providing the perfect setting for Caribbean relaxation and connecting with nature.


This trendy seaside town with a bohemian vibe is one of the most popular destinations on the Mayan Riviera.

Tulum is home to a unique blend of gorgeous natural beauty, stunning cliff-top Mayan ruins overlooking the turquoise Caribbean sea, eco-friendly resorts, and yoga retreats, as well as lively beachfront eateries and bars.

This harmonious blend of history, culture, dreamy nature, and laid-back partying draws tourists like a magnet, and with good reason.

The new Parque Nacional del Jaguar natural reserve and the recently inaugurated Tulum International Airport as part of the Tren Maya project will make this charming coastal town even more attractive.


Located on the southeastern coast that borders Belize, Chetumal is Quintana Roo’s capital city and an important cultural center on the Yucatan Peninsula.

maya train route

Although it is not usually on the international tourist route, it is worth a visit for its blend of Mayan and Mexican heritage, natural beauty, and modernity.

Surrounded by lush jungle, nearby lagoons, natural reserves, and clear sea waters, Chetumal is home to a picturesque waterfront promenade, historical landmarks like the Museum of Mayan Culture, lively markets, and exciting dining options that offer scrumptious regional cuisine and international dishes.


Also known for its “Lagoon of the Seven Colors”, Bacalar is a natural gem nestled in the state of Quintana Roo.

maya train route

Renowned for its captivating shades of turquoise waters, the laid-back town that surrounds it centers completely on the lagoon.

The famous swings over the water are rightly popular and highly instagrammable.

Bacalar is a great spot to unwind and explore natural treasures, with kayak and boat tours to explore the Blue Cenote and unveil other hidden gems in Mexico.

The serene town also boasts a bit of history, with the San Felipe Fort offering breathtaking panoramic views from above.

Mayan Archaeological Sites in the Maya Train Route

The Tren Maya route includes stops in several famous Mayan ruins that are on many travelers’ and historians’ itineraries, such as Palenque, Chichen Itzá, and Tulum.

However, Mexico’s Mayan Train will open up an enormous variety of archaeological and cultural gems.

The project includes a revamping of well-known Mayan sites, as well as making other sites more easily accessible, especially in the states of Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas.

Additionally, a government program (PROMEZA) has been working hand in hand with the engineers and constructors to search for, find, rescue, and preserve hundreds of newly discovered archaeological pieces.

This will make an enormous contribution to the study and investigation of the Mayan civilization.

A few museums are being built by archaeological sites to display the newly found treasures, as well as CATVIS (Visitors’ Centers).

Here is a list of the most relevant Mayan archaeological sites that can be found by or near the Tren Maya route and the states they belong to.

Archaeological sites in the Maya train route:

  1. Palenque (Chiapas)
  2. Moral Reforma (Tabasco)
  3. El Tigre (Campeche)
  4. Edzná (Campeche)
  5. Xcalumkin (Campeche)
  6. Uxmal (Yucatan)
  7. Kabah (Yucatan)
  8. Dzibilchaltun (Yucatan)
  9. Chichén Itzá (Yucatan)
  10. Old Chichén (Yucatan)
  11. Xcambo (Yucatan)
  12. Aké (Yucatan)
  13. Becan (Yucatan)
  14. Ek B’alam (Yucatan)
  15. El Meco (Quintana Roo)
  16. Tulum (Quintana Roo)
  17. Cobá (Quintana Roo)
  18. Muyil  (Quintana Roo)
  19. Paamul II (Quintana Roo)
  20. Oxtankah (Quintana Roo)
  21. Ichkabal  (Quintana Roo)
  22. Chacchobén (Quintana Roo)
  23. Dzibanché (Quintana Roo)
  24. Kinichná (Quintana Roo)
  25. Kohunlich (Campeche)
  26. Calakmul (Campeche)

New or Renovated Archaeological Museums on the Mayan Train Route

During the excavation work for the construction of Mexico’s Tren Maya, thousands of new pieces and sites were found, including one with 300 structures!

Other finds include a full-size statue of a captive, a large plate with turtles carved on it, a painted jaguar, masks, statues, utensils, funeral chambers with bones and offerings, and over 464,000 ceramic fragments.

For that reason, new on-site museums have been built, and others were revamped.

Those museums can be found in Palenque, Edzná, Kabah, Dzibilchaltún, Chichen Itzá, Tulum, Cobá, and Calakmul.

Some of the archaeological pieces found during the construction of Mexico’s Mayan Train will be displayed in the Ateneo Peninsular Museum in Mérdida and Museo Histórico in Felipe Carrillo Puerto too.

“Beyond the Sun”: The New Tourist Route in Quintana Roo

The train station and stops in areas that are not as touristy as popular beach destinations will open up a wide range of opportunities and tours.

Some communities are already preparing to receive more visitors than ever, and they’re ready to show off the natural beauty and cultural richness that surrounds them.

“Beyond the Sun” is a project or subroute derived from the Tren Maya stop in Nuevo Xcan in an area that was not on many tourist itineraries.

This tour will allow visitors to access “new” natural attractions and communities, creating sustainable and socially responsible tourism.

Some attractions in this region include the lagoon in Pacchen, the Jaguar Cenote, and interpretative flora and fauna trails.

Moreover, Nuevo Xcan has incredible underground rivers and cenotes as well as colorful wood craft shops that plan to offer classes.

On the other hand, Nuevo Durango has an amazing cavern, and El Cedral boasts beautiful three lagoons, while El Solferino is the proud home of a 750-year-old tree specimen and a gorgeous orchid garden. 

The list can go on and on. As time goes by, new regions will be adding their community’s natural wonders, art, and gastronomy to the Tren Maya itineraries.

Mayan Train Hotels

Mexico’s Tren Maya project includes the construction of 6 hotels, all of which will be strategically located within short or walking distance from important Mayan archaeological sites.

Hotel Tren Maya Edzná in Campeche, Hotel Tren Maya Calakmul in Campeche, Hotel Tren Maya Tulum in Quintana Roo, Hotel Tren Maya Palenque in Chiapas, Hotel Maya Chichen Itzá in Yucatán, and Hotel Tren Maya Uxmal in Yucatán.

Although none of the six Mayan Train hotels is in operation yet, they are scheduled to be inaugurated in the first half of 2024. No official opening dates have been provided yet, but I’ll update this section when they do!

New Parks in the Maya Train Route

Southeastern Mexico also boasts a few parks that were opened as a result of the Tren Maya project.

Parque Nacional de Jaguar and Parque de la Plancha are the most notable ones until now.

Be aware that natural and urban parks like Xcaret, Xel-ha, and the Sian Ka’an reserve that existed before the Tren Maya will continue to operate as usual.

Parque Nacional de Jaguar (Tulum)

To protect the diverse wildlife that dwells along the Mayan Train route, a jungle natural reserve by Tulum (Parque Nacional Tulum) was expanded and converted into a 7,200-acre national park and protected zone for jaguars.

Parque Nacional del Jaguar will be open for visitors, offering diverse services and activities such as hiking and biking trails, birdwatching points, four observation towers, smoke kitchens with culinary experiences, shops, and restrooms.

Parque La Plancha (Merida)

Built on the site where the 1800s main train installations used to be, Parque La Plancha is a large urban park in the city of Merida intended to become a recreational, fitness, commercial, and gastronomical center.

Amenities in Parque La Plancha include green areas, an artificial lake, a promenade, an amphitheater, a doggy park, walking and biking roads, sports courts, and a restaurant and shop area.

FAQS About the Mayan Train Route

What is Mexico’s Tren Maya (Mayan Train)?

The Tren Maya or Mayan Train is a 965-mile train route that will go through five states in southeastern Mexico: Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo. 

With a total of 34 stations and stopping points, travelers can easily move from coastal destinations to inner cities, archaeological sites, and natural attractions.

When will the Maya Train start operating?

Some sections of the Mayan Train or Tren Maya will start operating on December 15th, 2023, and the rest will be inaugurated on February 29th, 2024.

What beach destinations does the Tren Maya pass? 

Tren Maya will stop in Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Xcaret, Akumal, Tulum, and Chetumal.

Will the Mayan Train stop at Mayan ruins?

Yes, Tren Maya will stop at many Mayan archaeological sites, including but by no means not limited to Palenque, Chichen Itzá, Ek’Balam, Cobá, Tulum, and Calakmul.

What is the Maya Train distance, speed, and traveling time?

The Tren Maya will travel over a 1,554 km (965 mi) circuit at an average speed of 160 kilometers/hour (99.5 miles/hour).

Total traveling time for the whole route will take about 9 hours, not counting the time spent at train stations and stops.

Will Mexico’s Mayan Train have different traveling options and classes?

Yes, the Mayan Train in Mexico will have three different types of trains, offering standard service (Xinbal), culinary (Janal), and long-distance (P’atal) options.

Is traveling on the Mayan Train safe?

Yes, the Mayan Train is safe. Trains and stops will be guarded by Mexican military forces and the National Guard full-time.

Mayan Train Ticket Prices

Ticket prices for traveling on the Mayan Train vary greatly according to different factors, including age, distance, and the type of experience selected.

You can check out prices and reserve here

Maya Train Route: Conclusion

Mexico’s Mayan Train is a huge project that will have a great influence on the area for residents and travelers alike. The increased mobility will open up new destinations and attractions.

Whether you have visited Mexico’s Riviera Maya and other southeastern destinations or not, doing the Mayan Train Mexico route is well deserving of a spot in many itineraries.

Being able to move around in a fast and easy manner will surely enhance the experience.

Discover the dishes and crafts of new communities, explore new historical sites, and try out new adventures in newly discovered natural wonders.