How to take the Tren Maya to Chichen Itza

Tren Maya to Chichen Itza

How to take the Tren Maya to Chichen Itza

One of the stops on the Tren Maya is the Chichen Itza ruins. This is one of the more predictably popular stops on the Tren Maya. In this guide we will tell you how the connection is, how much it costs to connect and recommendations. Since the Tren Maya is new, please read the next section carefully because currently it is very hard to take the Tren Maya to Chichen Itza. We will update this when the schedules change. 

Note: The information is beneficial for those coming from both direction to Chichen Itza. However, since many of our readers are visiting the Riviera Maya, some of the information is specific to arriving from Quintana Roo. 

Note: When booking Tren Maya tickets, the website is still only allowing bookings for about one week. It will show dates for the year but when you click on it, it says no trains are available. This should change as more opens and schedules become a little more fixed. 

Current Conditions for the Tren Maya and Schedules

April 2024: The Tren Maya Station at Chichen Itza is open and people are using it now. However, due to the limited number of trains, the schedule is nearly impossible to use the train for both arriving and departing. As you see in the current timetable of the Tren Maya, there are only two trains a day in both directions on this train line. Since the second train leaving Cancun Airport Station is late in the day, this train does not work for visiting the ruins. So only the 7:00 am train leaving Cancun Airport will line up with visiting the ruins. But that means if you want to return to your destination by train again, you have to get on the 10:39 am train or 3:26 pm train. This means that either you have a very short visit to the ruins or very long day. We will explain below. 

Note: Currently there are no trains that arrive from Playa Del Carmen or Puerto Morelos early enough to catch the morning train to Chichen Itza. 

Tren Maya schedule to Chichen Itza
This is the current schedule between the Cancun Airport and Chichen Itza Station.


This is the current schedule between Chichen Itza Station and Cancun Airport Tren Maya Station.

Note: If you are coming from the (west) Merida direction, the trains also do not line up for an easy visit. 

Tren Maya Station in Chichen Itza
Inside of the Chichen Itza Tren Maya Station.

Our video of taking the Tren Maya to Chichen Itza Station

Like everything on our website, we go and explore and see how things work. We recently took the Tren Maya to Chichen to show you how the connections are and how it is working now. 


Why the Tren Maya does not work right now for Chichen Itza

So, if you take the first train from Cancun Airport Station to Chichen Itza Station you arrive at 8:13 am. When you get off you need to purchase your bus ticket and load onto a bus. This process takes about 30 minutes. Then the ride to the ruins about 12 minutes. So, you should arrive at the entrance of the ruins at 8:55 am. Then it takes about 10 minutes to buy tickets. Then you need to think about the return time to the train. You literally have less than one hour to see all of Chichen Itza, which it is impossible to see everything in less than one hour. 

This is the bus that connects to the ruins from the Tren Maya Station.
This is one of the buses that connects the Tren Maya Station in Chichen Itza to the ruins.

Note about time: Half the year Quintana Roo and Yucatan State are one hour apart. This happens in the winter when Yucatan changes clocks, but Quintana Roo does not. So, Quintana Roo is one hour ahead in winter. Keep this in mind when looking at the train schedules. Times are local to where the station is. It takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes to get between the Cancun Airport Station to the Chichen Itza station now. 

If you decided to take the second train back to the Cancun Airport stop, you almost have 6 hours at the ruins. We don’t know of anyone that spends that much time there. Plus, there are not good restaurants or spots to rest. Local transportation to other attractions is very limited as well. So, is there way you can take the Tren Maya now and still enjoy seeing the ruins? Yes, we explain below. 

Note: Meals, if you are coming from the Cancun Airport Train Station you will have to think about breakfast. You have the train or Chichen Itza Ruins to get something.  There are no other options. this goes for lunch as well. You will have to leave the ruins site by taxi to the nearby town of Piste. It is about 5 minutes away. Most of the restaurants cater to bus groups and offer buffets. We will say that we have never been impressed with a restaurant in Piste. 

Optional transportation from Chichen Itza ruins 

If you want to experience the Tren Maya now you still can take it to the ruins. It is more the return journey you will need to plan out. Since Chichen Itza is so visited, there are a lot of buses and shuttles that service the ruins.  Here are some options:

  • There are daily buses going to Playa Del Carmen, Cancun and Merida from Chichen Itza. Check the ADO website for the schedules. It is recommended to buy the tickets in advance because it can sell out. These buses will be the most direct and most comfortable option. 
  • There are colectivo shuttle vans that go between Chichen Itza and Valladolid. These shuttles are only 40 pesos each way and drop you a block from the bus station in Valladolid. They do fill up fast and you might have to wait a little for one, but they are direct. In Valladolid you can connect to a bus to your final destination. You can find people selling the tickets in the bus area of the parking lot in front of the Mercado. There is a drink stand, picnic table sand a tree. This is where you will find someone with a shirt logo. Vans are more frequent earlier in the day.

    Colectivo vans Valladolid to Chichen Itza
    These are the vans that go between Valladolid and Chichen Itza.
  • In the entrance of Chichen Itza in a shop, there is a bus ticket table. The gift shop has a sign outside indicating “Bus Tickets”. Some of these are local buses that make a lot of stops. This is however an option. This is the 3rd best option in our opinion to try. Most of these buses will take you to another city where you will need to get a connecting bus. 

How to get to Chichen Itza ruins from the Tren Maya

When the train arrives at the Chichen Itza Train Station riders are directed to the desk where the bus tickets are sold for the connection to the ruins. Tickets for the bus are 50 pesos each way. There is no other form of transportation to the ruins. From the time we arrived at the station, waited in line for tickets and walked to the bus, it took 30 minutes. 

This is where you lineup to get your bus tickets to the ruins. It takes about 30 minutes to get off the train, line up, get tickets and get to the bus.

The buses drive down a new road that has been cut through the forest. You will also pass one of the new large hotels the Tren Maya is in connection with. There are several hotels being built like this near other large Maya ruin sights.

The bus takes about 12 minutes to the entrance of Chichen Itza. When we were arriving to the ruins, traffic was backed up, so the bus dropped us off in a satellite parking area and we walked down the trail to the ruins. It took about 10 minutes more. 

Where is the Chichen Itza train Station
Here you can see where the Tren Maya Station is for Chichen Itza. the highlighted yellow line is the bus route to the ruins.

How it is supposed to work in the future

When there are more trains, it will be easier to plan a round trip on the Tren Maya to Chichen Itza. The connecting buses will be timed to meet the train going in both directions. It currently is 50 pesos each way on the bus. 

So why is the bus not included in the ticket of the Tren Maya to Chichen Itza? Afterall everyone needs to get from the train station to the ruins. Well, we imagine in the future some tours will sell the Tren Maya as transportation to the ruins and then they will have buses that meet the group. These bus tours will take you to the ruins and also a local cenote or other attraction before taking you back to the Tren Maya. Also, some locals might use the stop and have friends pick them up, so no bus would be necessary. 

Chichen Itza Tren Maya Station
Inside of the large Chichen Itza Tren Maya Station.

Going to Chichen Itza?

And if you are going to Chichen Itza, see our guide here with lots of tips!



Although it is not really possible to visit Chichen Itza now round trip by train, we hope in the future it is possible. We will be updating this when there are more trains or other updates. Thanks for reading and watching our video. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below and we will be sure to get back to you. 

Chichen Itza


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