An architectural rendering of a modern tropical resort with a large pyramid-like structure, surrounded by palm trees and a pool, with the logo "ANIMAL POLITICO" in the foreground.

Maya Train Military Expansion Reveals Hidden Luxury Hotel at Palenque

A hotel, one of six being built by the army along the Maya Train route, is located near the archaeological site of Palenque, Chiapas. This area has been militarized, with the National Guard stationed at the entrance, patrolling the roads, and mingling among the pyramids.

The Maya Train route is home to a hotel being constructed by Sedena in Calakmul, Campeche. This project has been kept hidden from UNESCO. The Maya Train project has identified 11 potential points of collapse and subsidence, yet work continues unabated on the southern section.

Two women set up a food stall daily on the road leading to the Palenque archaeological site, approximately three kilometers from the entrance. They arrive at dawn and sell chicken and grilled ribs until after sunset, seeking shelter from the intense heat under a small roof. Behind their stall, a large concrete and basalt wall conceals a vast area that extends deep into the jungle. This area is the construction site for one of the six luxury hotels being developed by the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) along the Maya Train route, near the most significant archaeological sites in Southeast Mexico.

The Maya Train Hotel in Palenque, guarded by the National Guard, is currently under construction. Although the building is not visible, it was announced in a 2023 press conference that the hotel would offer 160 master bedrooms and parking for 212 vehicles. The hotel, costing approximately 960 million pesos, will also feature a spa, cafeteria, bar, souvenir shop, and gym. According to the Maya Train Hotels webpage, the three-story building will include a central palapa and a pool surrounded by palm trees.

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However, the environmental impact of these construction projects remains unclear. The Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) was asked to provide Environmental Impact Statements (EIAs) for the six Maya Train Hotels. The agency only provided the document for the Edzná project, which was already 25% complete when presented to Semarnat in September 2023.

On April 21, the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) ordered Semarnat to deliver the remaining EIAs. To date, the agency has yet to comply.