The Mayan Train – Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Showcases Magical Mexico

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the president-elect of Mexico, met with governors of the states that will be part of the  Mayan Train project: Carlos Joaquín González de Quintana Roo; Mauricio Vila, Yucatán; Rafael Moreno Cárdenas, Campeche; Manuel Velasco Coello from Chiapas; Arturo Nuñez, Tabasco; The elected governors of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón and de Tabasco, Adán Augusto López also attended. Photo: Official Page AMLO. October 13, 2018.

To boost tourism in southern Mexico, President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has proposed investing between 120 and 150 billion pesos in a train that will integrate the Mayan region.

Part of this vision connects Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo through a modern train system that would link the main archaeological centers of the Mayan culture in Mexico. The project launches this December and could take up to 4 years to complete.

The Routes of the Mayan Train
The trans-peninsular tourist train project includes beach destinations and archaeological sites in Southeastern Mexico. Here are some of its destinations:

Cancun-Quintana Roo
Besides its beaches, this region includes attractions such as the Mayan Museum of Cancun, which houses a collection from the archaeological sites of the State and others from the Mayan culture.

Cancun-Photo: Quintana Roo-Hoy

Calakmul (Campeche)
This area is known for its archaeological sites, like the ruins of Becán and the nature reserve.

Calakmul-Photo: VisitMexico


Tenosique de Pino Suárez (Tabasco)

The archaeological site of Panhalé is one of its greatest attractions. The area is also popular for its activities related to ecotourism.

Tenosique-Photo: Revista Volaris

Bacalar (Quintana Roo)
In addition to its beaches, this stop is the home of the fort of San Felipe de Bacalar, built in 1725 to defend the area.


Bacalar, Mexico-Photo, Sipse

Felipe Carrillo Puerto (Quintana Roo)
Is home to the Sian Ka’an Reserve which was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987.

Reserva Sian Ka'an
Reserva Sian Ka’an. Photo: Guia Turistica Interactiva
Sian Ka’an, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo: El Siglo de Torreon

Tulum (Quintana Roo)
The area of Tulum has several cenotes where one can swim or visit the ruins that are located next to the beach.

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo: Youtube
quintana roo ruinas
Quintana Roo, Ruinas Mayas, Mexico. Photo: Mexico Desconocido

Playa del Carmen (Quintana Roo)
There are several parks in this area that offer a cultural and ecological experience for visitors.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Photo Agenda Viral

Valladolid (Yucatán)
This city is rich with architectural relics. It houses several churches and convents located in the center and has several cenotes in its surroundings.

Valladolid. The magical town of Yucatan. Photo: Descubro Mexico
Valladolid. Magical Town. Photo: Valladolid Pueblo Magico

Chichen Itzá (Yucatán)

chichen itza
Chichen Itza-Yucatan. Photo: National Geographic Espania

Izamal (Yucatán)
Izamal was named a Magical Town in 2001. One of its greatest attractions is the convent of San Antonio de Padua.

Izamal Magical Town. Mexico. Photo: Yucatan Concierge
Izamal, Mexico. Photo:

Campeche (Campeche)

Campeche, Mexico. Photo: Inspired by Maps
Campeche, Mexico. Photo: Bacon is Magic

Escárcega (Campeche)
Home to El Tormento botanical garden, Escarcega showcases a collection of typical plants from the Yucatan Peninsula.

Escarcega, El Tormento, Mexico. Photo Escarcega.
Escarcega. Photo: Guia Turistica Mexico.

Candelaria (Campeche)
El Tigre archaeological zone of Candelaria,  is believed to be the place where Hernán Cortés murdered Cuauhtémoc.

El Tigre Archeological Zone. Candelaria, Campeche. Photo:

Balancán (Tabasco)
In this region, the ecological reserve of the Cascadas de Reforma, is a protected area located next to the Moral archaeological zone.

Balancan, Tabasco. Photo: Pin Mexico
Cascadas de Reforma, Balancan. Photo: Blog Seccion Amarilla

Palenque (Chiapas)

Palenque, Chiapas. Photo: Arminas Travel


The President-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, seeks to promote tourism in the region by taking advantage of the cultural wealth that is concentrated in this area of the country. The tourist train will cover 1,500 kilometers through 17 stations: Palenque, Tenosique, Escárcega, Calakmul, Xpujil, Bacalar, Puerto FC, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Cancun, Valladolid, Chichen Itza, Izamal, Merida, Maxcanú and Campeche.

Three sections of the route are currently being contemplated: the forest, covering approximately 426 kilometers; the Caribbean including 446 kilometers, and the Gulf, which will cover 653 kilometers.


The Mayan Train will integrate key regions of Mexico rich with archaeological history. In its trajectory, it will trace the second largest ecological reserve in the American continent and promote the economy, tourism, and development of Mexico within respect for the environment.

The zone covered by the Mayan Train will travel through areas with a history of high marginalization. Advocates of the Mayan Train anticipate the ambitious project as a positive economic trigger that will benefit neglected towns and generate employment and tourism.

Lopez Obrador envisions the train as a source of community integration, a hailing of a rich archeological and natural environment and a powerful technology that will showcase the splendor of the Mayan culture. The president-elect hopes to strike a balance between quality tourism and the integration of neglected social groups.

López Obrador estimates an investment of 120 to 150 billion pesos made up of public and private contributions:

“It is a project that we consider indispensable and strategic for the nation, it is not a project of the federal government or the governors, it is a project for the Republic, and of our nation because it involves citizens, civil society, the private sector and the authorities of the three levels of government,” he said.

The president-elect said that the investment will be mixed and that foreign companies will be invited to invest:

“There is great interest from other countries for Mexico to do well and to increase our economic growth,” although he assured that national investments will be given priority. Talks and consultations with the indigenous peoples from the communities where the train will cross are already underway.

Rogelio Jiménez Pons, will be the next director of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (FONATUR) and also the person in charge of coordinating the construction of the Mayan Train. The expected benefits include the following:

  • The creation of formal jobs for the residents of the states involved, both in the construction phase and in the operation phase.
  • The strengthening of tourist regions.
  • The reactivation of the economy, both locally and at the regional level.
  • An international promotion of tourism for the southeast of Mexico.
  • Investment Opportunities
  • Affordable transportation options for the inhabitants of these states.
  • The development in the area of services and marketing of products in the area.
  • The integration of communities and the dissemination of Mayan culture to the rest of the country and the world.


This incredible project sheds light on a historical and environmentally wonderous Mexico. We wish the people of Mexico all the best. In a few years, we hope to travel aboard the Mayan train to revisit histories and connect with sites the Mayan ancestors left behind. 

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