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Maya Train To Reach Playa Del Carmen From Cancun By Month End

Maya Train from Cancun to Playa del Carmen
Maya Train from Cancun to Playa del Carmen [Image Tren Maya on Facebook]
In December last year, the Maya Train took off and has changed the way travelers can visit the Mexican Caribbean. However, since it launched, the train has been inaugurated in steps and so far, it runs from Cancun to Palenque. Luckily, progress is being made and from February 29, a second piece of line is being added, taking passengers from Cancun to the popular resort town of Playa del Carmen.

Maya Train to take passengers from Cancun to Playa del Carmen

As lovers of the Mexican Caribbean know, Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular destinations on the Mayan Riviera. Located an hour away from Cancun, it is considered a more laid-back alternative to the busy city.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen, Mexico [Image Shutterstock]
Cancun is known for its family-friendly, all-inclusive resorts, while Playa del Carmen offers a more laid-back experience with its casual beach bars and hippy markets. The beach town has grown some since it attracted luxury resorts, but is still much smaller and laidback than Cancun.

While Quinta Avenida is the busiest pedestrian street in town, with its souvenir shops, art galleries and restaurants, the rest of the town is quiet and offers miles of coastline to explore.

Why the Maya Train route is taking so long to complete

Tren Maya
[Image Tren Maya on Facebook]
Most travelers were not surprised that Playa del Carmen was added to the Maya Train route. However, they were shocked late in 2023 to discover the route wouldn’t be available for the tourist season.

So far, the only available service has been traveling towards Merida, down to San Francisco de Campeche and terminating in Palenque. It was hoped that a route along the southeast coast of Yucatan, stopping in Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and Tulum would be available. However, it wasn’t completed in time.

Meanwhile, the Maya Train promises easier and safer trips across the Mexican Caribbean, as the trains normally run on time. Moreover, the new train has been touted as one of the safest in the world.

Problems with the Tulum stretch on the Maya Train

While the next stop on the line has been delayed, the Playa del Carmen route will open on February 29. However, the bad news is that while the train will leave from Cancun, stopping at Puerto Morelos and finally arriving in Playa del Carmen, the Tulum stretch is another story.

Tren Maya
[Image Tren Maya on Facebook]
While another service was originally touted to be running by June 2, around the time of Mexico’s general elections, a judge had ordered a stop on the extension from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. This comes as various environmental groups have revealed that cenotes and underground water are being polluted by the building process. Reportedly, this is the result of driving pillars along the planned route. For this reason, it doesn’t look like construction will be done any time soon.

According to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the “section 5 south” from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is “one of the most challenging.” This is due to the nature of the terrain, as well as halts called by environmentalists.

Travelers will likely be happy for now to take the Maya Train from Cancun to Playa del Carmen from February 29, 2024.


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