Traveling through the Mexican Caribbean could get easier thanks to two, new rail projects proposed by Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The Yucatan Times reported this week that the new administration would like to see two new train routes in the area. Traversing about 78 miles (126 km), the first route would go from Cancun to Tulum, with one stop in Playa del Carmen.
If all goes according to plan, it would take about a year and a half to build the Cancun-Tulum route and at a cost of roughly more than $2.1 billion USD. The project would be paid for through a Public-Private Partnership program, according to the newspaper.
Known as the “Mayan Train,” the second route would leave from Cancun, travel across the state of Quintana Roo, move west for Calakmul in Campeche and Tenoisque in Southern Tabasco before arriving at its final destination in Palenque, Chiapas.
Adding two new train routes comes as the Mexican government has been steadily improving the region’s infrastructure to accommodate tourism growth.
With a growth rate of more than two million additional passengers each year, Cancun International Airport is the second-busiest in Mexico. A new terminal opened this year with plans to open Terminal 5 later this year or early next year, the Yucatan Times reported.
The Cancun-Tulum train route could be a great day-trip option for visitors who want to explore the three, biggest cities in the Riviera Maya (including Playa del Carmen) without the expense and sometimes hassle of renting a car.
Currently, you can travel freely and relatively inexpensively from Cancun to Tulum and all points in between via collectivo (a public shuttle), bus, and taxi. A train would just get you there faster. The downside of the Cancun-Tulum route is it only has one stop in Playa del Carmen. This means you couldn’t use the train to travel to smaller, equally charming towns in the Riviera Maya such as Puerto Morelos or Akumal.
The Mayan Train route could open travel from the Riviera Maya to points south and west, with lots of opportunities to discover the rich culture, food, history, and natural beauty of Mexico.