May 15, 2024
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Maya Train Brings Tulum Closer Than Ever Before

TULUM, México – Since its debut last December, the Maya Train has revolutionized travel across the Mexican Caribbean, simplifying regional transportation, challenging the taxi monopoly, and aligning the area with more developed tourist destinations. However, contrary to initial expectations, the train did not launch fully, and the entire southern section, the most awaited route, remains unopened. While travelers can already reach Valladolid, Merida, and San Francisco de Campeche, the stunning beach hotspot of Tulum remains off-limits.

The long-anticipated Cancun-Tulum train is finally set to materialize. After multiple setbacks resulting from environmental protests and construction delays, federal government spokespeople have reaffirmed that it will be operational starting in August.

Maya Train Brings Tulum Closer Than Ever Before

Not only will Tulum be connected to the Maya Train route, but the southern half of Quintana Roo, including the up-and-coming lake region of Bacalar and Chetumal, the capital of the state, will also be accessible. Tulum, the most sought-after destination on the southbound route, is home to the world-famous Tulum Archaeological Zone, featuring well-preserved Mayan pyramids and historical ruins dating back centuries, alongside a stunning resort-lined beachfront. This area is also the location of the iconic postcard picture of the Mexican Caribbean, with a scenic temple perched on the edge of a small cliff, towering above a sandy beach and the turquoise Caribbean Sea.

Beyond its cultural significance, which for some makes it far more interesting than the historical Cancun, Tulum boasts a development zone filled with landmark luxury hotels and guesthouses catering to an international clientele, as well as numerous beach clubs.

Maya Train Brings Tulum Closer Than Ever Before

The delayed launch of the Maya Train towards Tulum, while tickets to less popular destinations like Izamal and San Francisco de Campeche were immediately available, has raised complaints from beachgoers. Until the train route opens, Tulum-bound travelers landing in Cancun must take a coach, which costs $14 and is not the most comfortable option, or book private transfers starting at $135, with the risk of being scammed by transportation providers.

The Maya Train will diversify transportation options on this ever-busier route and alleviate traffic congestion. Additionally, it is safer and more reliable than taxis, with fixed ticket fares. Trains are far safer and more punctual than ADO buses, equipped with cushioned seats, air conditioning to counteract the overpowering humidity, charging sockets, and spacious, clean toilets. These features ensure European standards of quality, and if the Cancun-Merida or Cancun-Campeche travel experiences are any indication, the 2.5-hour journey to Tulum will be a breeze.

Maya Train Brings Tulum Closer Than Ever Before

Controversies aside, the Maya Train has served 50,876 people since its start date, averaging 927 daily passengers. These numbers are lower than similar routes in other major tourist destinations, but usage has steadily increased as more routes become available. Currently, the most popular routes are Merida Teya to Cancun Airport, with 4,872 tickets sold, Merida Teya to San Francisco (Campeche), with 4,734 passengers, and the reverse Cancun Airport to Merida Teya, with 4,521 individual sales.

Tulum is the second most visited spot in the Mayan Riviera after Cancun, attracting millions of American and European visitors every month. The upcoming route is expected to quickly surpass the demand for Merida, a leading destination. Ticket prices for Tulum have not yet been announced, but based on the journey length and fares for other destinations between 2 and 2.5 hours from Cancun, such as Valladolid and Izamal, a seat in the budget-friendly ‘Tourist Class’ could range between $27-48.

Maya Train Brings Tulum Closer Than Ever Before

The Maya Train is poised to transform travel to Tulum, enhancing accessibility, safety, and convenience for locals and visitors. This new route is set to become a key player in the region’s tourism industry, further cementing Tulum’s status as a must-visit destination in the Mexican Caribbean.

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