Tren Maya: All You Need To Know!

Last Updated Apr 3, 2024

Tren Maya is Spanish for Mayan Train, and as its name depicts, a new kind of adventure awaits transportation and traveling within Mexico’s Caribbean. Find out everything about it with Odigoo.

Tren Maya, one of the most popular topics within Mexican media, is a mega project that will set a new course for the Mexican south-east. The project was born a few years ago as a proposition to enhance the economy of this part of the country, which has the highest poverty rate in all of Mexico.

This train, which is only 20% made to transport passengers, as the rest will be a means of cargo transport, bringing opportunities to better distribute goods that weren't easy or cheap to transport before this train existed.

As the project is pictured as one of the best strategies to solve the potential problems of the region, most people are truly excited for the touristic parts of this project, as it will bring connection between 5 Mexican states in the southeast, bringing passengers the opportunity to admire incredible jungle landscapes.

After almost four years of an incredible journey, Tren Maya -or the Mayan Train- was ready for its first commercial run from Campeche to Cancun this past December the 15th, opening the gate for a new era for travelers in the Mexican Caribbean.

The main goal of the train within the Mexican Caribbean region is decentralizing touristic revenue, which is mainly condensed in the city of Cancun with an appalling 41% of total , and diluting it to other parts of the Mexican southeast that are most in need, and have an interesting value to offer; different than Quintana Roo in some aspects, richer in a cultural way.

Mapa Tren Maya

Mayan Train will create opportunities to dissolve the presence of tourism, creating a more homogeneous blend of visitors, thus making small villages visible, towns and populations that already agreed to the terms of this project, and that are aware and ready to receive tourists and travelers alike.

But to understand the matters, the deep thoughts of this train that’s coming, first we have to understand the difference between a tourist and a traveler.

Tourists are always welcome!

As defined during the cross-border encounter in Navarra, a tourist is one that travels for a short period of time, someone that’s always thinking about going back home. The goals of a tourist are getting to a place ( as defined by the UN ), at least 80 kms away from their origin, and with the premise of spending from 24 hours to less than 12 months away from home.

The latter being said. The real concept of tourist applies for almost every vacationer who comes to the Caribbean in search of fun, relaxation or a few days away from the harshness daily life can inflict, thus establishing a precise itinerary for their escapades.

A tourist is one that does not seek to immerse themselves into the depths of a culture, a place, its food or people, rather travels in the search of comfortable-hedonistic fun that lasts only for a few days, a fleeting glimpse of whatever place comes to mind through hours of scrolling or zapping T.V. channels. As a tourist one doesn’t need to worry about resources, and probably will be looking for a 5-star hotel where conventional food will be pre-made to attain the great deal of restness people in this category usually look for.

Relaxation at its best behavior.

Tren Maya has a space for tourism too, but we’ll get to that part later on. First…

What defines a traveler then?

Is the traveler an antonym of the tourist?

Not precisely!

A traveler is one that finds the thrill of a trip in pursuing a rich and cultural immersive experience. This means your average traveler will be seeking people and their costumes, the goal of a traveler is to become part of the location they’re at for a longer period of time.

Travelers coincide in one single thing: they know visiting a certain geography for a period of time is a task that should not be invasive for locals. Also, people who travel for longer periods make sure not only to mingle with locals, but to make contributions to the culture they now share a geography with. The exchange of knowledge, wisdom and culinary endeavors is a practical manner for travelers to excel at the one thing we all should:

Feeling and being human.

Hippy things aside, making others better and improving ourselves in the process is seldom a daily practice for tourists, as for travelers it is a most revered line of sight.

Maybe tourists and travelers are antonyms after all…

Tourism vs Travelism… What's better?

Both of these options have their pros and cons, but… is any of them better than the other?

In reality everything is a matter of choice. Being a traveler will give you the advantage of knowledge, being a tourist will bring inner peace and relaxation. Neither is worse or better, it’s just a matter of who you are, what you look for while you consummate your journey and the expectations you have about the place you visit.

How does this connect with the Maya Train?

When it comes to the way in which you choose your route, a train like the Mayan Train is an option for everyone, given that a Tren Maya ride could be a slower-than-a-flight “stroll” through incredible landscapes, but in the end there will always be 5-star hotels to be found where you can book your stay, forget everything else and just enjoy the view.

Tren Maya Selva

Where does the Tren Maya Go?

Starting from the amazing Chiapas, then on to the green-watery Tabasco, on to Campeche with its natural beauties, then to Yucatan where the Mayan culture will become visible, and then to the already well known Quintana Roo, where Cancun and its marvelous beaches await.

Which are the stations available?

The Mayan Train will have 7 sections through all the 5 states where the tracks are built. You will have a lot of options available. This appeals for every type of journey as you will be able to stop in:

Section 1 Mayan Train

State of Chiapas


Visit the archaeological zone of this mystical town in one of the culturally richest states in all of Mexico: Chiapas. Don’t miss the site Museum while you’re at the archaeological zone. Also, if you go to this Magical Town, you’ll be able to visit the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, as well as Aluxes Eco Park and the Agua Azul Waterfalls. There’s plenty to do in this beautiful place.

Tren Maya Selva

State of Tabasco

Boca del Cerro

Where the Usumacinta River brings views of its tall stone walls, the turquoise waters and small beaches that formed through the passing of waters and erosion.


San Pedro River and waterfalls shared with Usumacinta River are part of the incredible features of this place. While there, don’t forget to try “Xote Verde” a typical soup endemic of this Mexican marvel.

El Triunfo

With two archaeological zones called Moral-Reforma and Santa Elena, El Triunfo is a small town with an Ecological park featuring natural Waterfalls where you can bathe and enjoy the contact with nature.

State of Campeche


A great amount of activities await in this town that has a “Pueblo Magico” certification, which means this town has qualified to become a “Magical Town” because of the touristic attractions it can offer. From waterparks, rivers and springs, to waterfalls, super interesting archaeological sites and excellent food.


They call this place “The gateway to Mayan World”. Covered by Deep Jungle, this town has ecotourism at its best with jungle exploring, sport fishing, bird and animal watching and historic monuments that will enhance your Mexican trip in a way you never pictured before.

Section 2 Mayan Train

Carrillo Puerto/Champoton

This municipality, one the most important in the beautiful State of Campeche, is composed of two different places: Carrillo Puerto and Champoton. Embedded inside the thick jungle of this marvelous Magical Town you’ll find more than 80 archaeological sites. We’d recommend you to visit this place, which is called “El cafetal” , the 4 hectares of terrain where you’ll be able to see dozens of mounds, where archeological sites remain untouched.

Also, the most common one, also in this confines, is Muyil, an adventure no one should ever miss:



60 Minutes away from Campeche’s capital, lies one of the most visually stunning archaeological Mayan sites. We’d love to get into detail here, but we’ll do it later on, but… as a piece of advice:


Pay attention to the hydraulic system the Mayans created on site, this is one of the most advanced technologies they developed.

“Maybe you’re interested in one of our travel itineraries to El Cielito, Cozumel”

S.F. Campeche

The Capital city of this state, with its amazing shoreline plagued with beautiful beaches and eating spots will fulfill your every desire. Visit Fort San Miguel or the Mayan Architecture Museum, to understand Mayan culture a little further. Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on the sunsets!


This place is characterized by the forestal activities, as well as the elaboration of hammocks as the main activities. Don’t leave this place without trying typical food such as home-made peaches in light syrup and liquor, as well as venison meat and other Mexican Yucatan delicacies.


With an interesting culinary practice, this Mayan community will open your appetite for Mayan dishes like no other place will do. Try Chanchac if you seek an otherworldly flavor experience. Visit its traditional ancestral family workshops, where you’ll be able to buy crafts and hand-made leather sandals.

Section 3 Mayan Train

Campeche State

Calkini Station

Visit Bocal Locality for the purchase of a “Panama hat” hand-made out of fine palm. Tour through the abundant forests or simply stop to try typical drinks such as pozol, atole or fruit punch.

Yucatan State


Maxcanu is a place within the northern area of Yucatan. The most important thing about this place is their culinary offer, which is very ancestral as you can drink “pozol and coconut”, a fresh drink that has been around since the Mayan era, or maybe eat Mukbil chicken, which is a very old fashioned way to bake a big tamale pie, stuffed with chicken, herbs and spices.

Tickets to Tulum Ruins


Get ready to enjoy one of the representatives of tropical colonial architecture. The monuments, cloisters, and buildings in this area are proof of syncretism between Spaniards and Mayan people.

Merida Teya

This Mayan Train station is a meeting point, as it is a direct connection with the beautiful city of Merida. From Teya, you’ll be able to take the Ie-tram (an electrical bus line) that will get you to downtown and different parts of Merida. This is the meeting point of 5 different roads for the train, reason why it is one of the most important stations on the Mayan Train.


This magical place is full of Haciendas, mostly now hotels with amazing views, natural landscapes and history written all over their walls. It’s only a few kilometers away from the capital city but the eerie feel is just incredible if you’re looking for a getaway.


A bigger town with about a 15,000 people population. This place has everything: old haciendas and archaeological sites nearby. Restaurants, amazing hotels and incredible culinary culture. It is just about 72 kms away from Merida, capital of Yucatan, and it’s said that it is painted yellow to symbolize the corn, a very typical and embedded food in Mayan culture.

Section 4 Mayan Train

State of Yucatan

Chichen Itza

Probably one of the best known places, one of the seven wonders of the world, a cultural marvel: a city built ages ago by Mayans: a pyramid dedicated to their god, Kukulkan (the feathered serpent), a space for their ancestral ball game, a series of buildings that depict how big, friendly, wise and powerful the Mayan were in this region of Mexico.

Skip the line in Chichen Itza

Skip the line at Chichén Itzá! Get your tickets here!


The jewel of the crown. You cannot visit Chichen Itza without having a quick peek at Valladolid, a Haciendas town qualified as a Magical Town, where you’ll taste every Mayan and Mexican delight you can imagine. Don’t miss a stroll by the downtown’s park, which is nice, cozy and beautifully built.

State of Quintana Roo

Novo Xkan

A small population awaits with amazing and hidden adventures in this qualified magical town in Quintana Roo, the home state of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Great cenotes await in this incredible natural place. F


The power of this place resides in the political views and their autonomy, being a place with a strong sense of community. While there, don’t forget the latter as you’ll encounter one of the best examples of unity there are over the world.

Leona Vicario

Part of the Puerto Morelos Municipality, Leona Vicario has everything a tourist needs: waterparks, cenotes, restaurants, nightlife. Quintana Roo is host to almost every touristic town in the Mexican Southeast and Leona Vicario is not to be missed!

Cancun Airport

Cancun airport, your connection with the amazing veins of this brand new project that, as you can already see, can take you to wonderful places, whether you’re a tourist or a serious and hardocre traveler.

Section 5 Mayan Train

Puerto Morelos

A fisherman town nestled in the deep jungle, with an attractive shoreline filled with 5-star hotels waiting for you to go and enter a state of relaxation like you won’t find anywhere else in the Southeast of Mexico. Hometown of the Cenote Route , a line of amazing and incredibly beautiful cenotes ready to freshen up your spirit. Pro Tip: don’t miss the culinary culture in this town.

Playa del Carmen

With its own Fifth Avenue, life in Playa del Carmen is the most lively of the whole region. Maybe, at some of its nicer spots, Playa del Carmen depicts the cosmopolitan vibes other cities in the region lack, as the air is diverse, multicultural, ingenious within the commercial limits and ideas. Here you’ll find hotels, stays and hostels for all types of visitors, as well as bars, restaurants and beaches, surrounding cenotes and the best customer service you could ever imagine.


One of the most wanted destinations in the world is now accessible through the Mayan Train! What can you expect from this place other than enjoyment, fun, excellent food, chic hotels and restaurants and luxurious natural experiences only a few get to live. This station connects this awesome site with its brand new airport.

Tulum Airport

As well as the airport, this station is a brand new connection that brings opportunities and diversity to the way people transit this area and region. Whether you stay in Tulum or your flight’s landing was located at this airport, use this station to move forward in your visit to the Mexican Caribbean.

Section 6 Mayan Train

Quintana Roo State

Felipe Carrillo Puerto

A large population of almost 26,000 people in this town are ready to bring you to a whole new experience in Quintana Roo state, as this is a paradise for alternative tourism, as well as its natural wonders such as waterfalls, mangles, shoreline and lagoons. If you’re ready to explore the southeast in a different way, make a stop at Carrillo Puerto and delight in a different kind of tourism. Pro Tip: don’t miss a tour to the Muyil archaeological zone.


First of all, go visit the Limones archaeological zone. Then know that you’re already in the Bacalar municipality, but stop first in this small village to obtain great goods as trying a culinary local experience as you’ve not tried. When in Mexico you have to know the golden rule: the smaller the town, the better the food.


The 7 colors lagoon is waiting for you to marvel in its poetic waters. This fisherman town shows a museum for pirates, their weapons and the story of this lagoon. Don’t forget to visit Cenote Azul while there!



Capital of Quintana Roo, a city in all extents where you’ll find museums, a zoo, archeological zones, parks, gardens, malls, lively markets, great food, beautiful roads and, of course water activities like cenotes and amazing beaches. Pro Tip: this city is the border with Belize.

Section 7 Mayan Train


Because not everything is about Chichen Itza, stop and visit a not-so-famous yet amazing Archaeological Zone in Quintana Roo to know more about Mayan culture and their incredible ways, architecture.

Campeche State


This is one of the most beautiful and hidden Mayan archaeological sites there are, and it’s now visible thanks to the Mayan Train. While there you’ll be able to get to an incredible Natural Reserve called “Calakmul Biosphere Reserve”, where you’ll be amazed by the amount of birds, trees and archaeological architecture to observe.


An archaeological site immersed completely in the jungle is whispering its magic towards your way. Follow the dream of knowing incredible Mayan Archaeological sites while observing amazing fauna and flora. The Mexican Southeast is full of surprises!

How much does the Tren Maya cost?

The first services of the Mayan Train will travel only from Campeche to Cancun. The costs are as follows.

Tourist Class tickets for Tren Maya

  • Fare without Surcharges: $1,166 pesos
  • Fare with Surcharges: $1,317 pesos

Premier Class tickets for Tren Maya

  • Fare without Surcharges: $1,862 pesos
  • Fare with Surcharges: $2,091 pesos

Yucatan Peninsula

Remember that these prices could vary and have additional costs depending on factors like nationality, temporality and availability.

An easy way to get to the Tren Maya Stations is by contacting one of our expert travelers and booking a private transportation to Tran Maya.

How long does a Tren Maya Ride take?

The duration of the entire ride from one extreme to the other could take approximately 771 minutes. The approximate duration of every section is about 1.9 to 2 hours each.

What can I eat on the Mayan Train?

Inside the train you have a convenience store with cookies, juices, coffee or soda.

Throughout the whole trip you will try amazing ancestral, typical and complicated dishes like:


Originally from Spain, this hearty stew made out of 3 different meats will soothe your soul with its perfumes and combined flavors, textures and, believe it or not, freshness.

Relleno Blanco

Turkey and ground pork seasoned with capers and olives, a very strong pairing that’s as old as you can imagine.


Tortillas dipped in pumpkin seeds salsa stuffed with hard-boiled eggs. Simple. Amazing.

Black Stuffing from Valladolid

Turkey + pork seasoned with a perfect mixture of chili peppers called “Chilmole”. Perfect depiction of Mayan ancestry and Spanish influences in today’s southeastern Mexican food.

Cochinita Pibil Pork

Pork meat seasoned with Axiote, a regional endemic seed that’s used to color and spike dishes with incredible aromas and even texture. This dish is usually eaten with tacos, accompanied by purple onion and Habanero Salsa.

Chicken Tamales

We all have tried tamales before by now, I’m guessing, but you have to try the tamales that the Mayan people invented, as they are made in an ancestral manner. This means they’re made in an oven below the floor, where they wrap a beautifully prepared chicken in banana leaves and let it slowly cook to a poetic tenderness… you won’t regret this!

Tikin Xic Fish

Grilled Sea Bass spiked with a sauce called recado, a flavorful red salsa that was passed on by ancestors through the tapestry of time. Its perfume will soothe your senses like you’ve never felt before.

“Maybe you’re interested in a fabulous Taco Tour in Cancún?”

Black Stuffing (relleno negro)

Charred chilies and herbs in a black sauce that works for spicing turkey chops. Made with endemic chiles and ingredients, this traditional plate is something you oughta try!

Pork and Beans

As simple and easy as it sounds, but with a Mexican touch, which is meant to generate experiences, to elevate your spirit. Chopped pork meat swimming in a pool of delicious spiced beans. The aroma of it is something to fall in love with.

Sikil pak

Pumpkin seed salsa made with habanero onions and tomato. This beautiful appetizer is meant to be steam as a dip or snack that gets to your table before your first course or while you watch any “ball game” (no pun intended).


What kind of facilities does the Tren Maya have?

There are actually 3 types of trains.


This type of train will be used for standard routes through the 19 stations of the Mayan Train.


This Dining Train, focused on tourists, has a restaurant and seats for two or four people.


This type of train was designed for the longer journeys on this route. On this train passengers are able to sleep on the bed-like seats. This train has cabins with a private shower.

When can I book a ride on this train?

Mayan Train has its own platform for ticket booking. This web page allows you to book online and check availability.


Tren Maya is ready for you!

December 15th was the date of departure and, since then, Mayan Train has been giving service to hundreds of Mexicans and foreigners who are now able to have a better view and understanding of the Mexican Southeast and how beautiful and amazing it is.

Thanks for reading and we hope this guide can soothe your needs regarding the Tren Maya.

See you next time!

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