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6 Ways You Can Experience The Mexican Caribbean Like A Local While On Vacation 

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It’s no secret that more and more travelers are wanting an authentic experience when traveling to a vacation destination. 

In fact, a recent study commissioned by the travel booking site Get Your Guide found that experiencing a destination as a local while on vacation is a priority for 90 percent of travelers. 

Locals on a Beach in the Mexican Caribbean

Furthermore, the study found that 67 percent of millennials worry that they are not getting an authentic experience when vacationing.   

Experiencing The Mexican Caribbean Like A Local

Travelers these days want to eat what the locals eat, drink where the locals drink, and play where the locals play.  Many feel that this is the only way to truly experience a destination.  If you’re looking for an authentic experience too, read on to find out six ways you can experience the Mexican Caribbean like a local on vacation.  


This morning was a dream🇲🇽🌴🌹

♬ original sound – 🏹

Dine At An Authentic Restaurant 

There’s no hiding the fact that a lot of chain restaurants have popped up in the Mexican Caribbean, with everything from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. to McDonald’s popping up throughout the region. 

But you can go to these places pretty much anywhere in the world, and one of the best ways to experience a different culture is through the food that they eat. 

If you’re looking to experience the Mexican Caribbean like a local, then dining at an authentic restaurant is a must, and there are plenty of them.  

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@weahhhh1 One of our favorites 🇲🇽🍴 #lavagabunda #playadelcarmen #5thavenueplayadelcarmen #mexico #foodietiktok #vibes ♬ La Yaquesita – El Huracan De La Sierra

Visit Local Parks On A Weekend 

Parks are a popular and inexpensive way for families all over the world to spend time together, and that goes for families in the Mexican Caribbean too.  If you visit a park on the weekend when kids have time off of school and parents have days off, you’ll find yourself immersed in the local culture. 

Some parks, like Parque de las Palapas in Cancun, even have live musical performances and food stalls that will give you an extra dose of local culture.   

@lowkey_perspective Street food parque de palapas #cancunmexico #travel #fyp #traveltiktok ##streetfood #parquedepalapa ♬ Ay, DiOs Mío! – KAROL G

Experience Nightlife Where The Locals Go 

While you might catch a few locals at the nightlife hotspots in tourist areas like the Cancun Hotel Zone and Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue area, you’ll see more tourists at these places. 

Typically the local hangouts are a bit away from the tourist areas and closer to the neighborhoods that locals live in.  In Cancun, this is in the Avenida Bonampak and Avenida Náder areas. 

@lowkey_perspective Can you believe every drink here is 1USD #cancun #fyp #travel #mexico ♬ original sound – Lowkey_perspective

Watch A Local Sports Team 

Professional sports are big in Mexico, and you can watch a number of different athletic events in the Mexican Caribbean.  Of course, the most popular is fútbol, which in America is known as soccer, so it’s common to be able to watch these sporting events. 

But baseball is also popular and there are a number of Mexican Baseball League teams you can watch and root for with the locals.  For an even more authentic experience, though, you can watch the Mexican form of the rodeo, called the Charrería.   

@luis_garcia1008 Cancún FC ⚽💙@Cancún FC @Club De fans del Cancún FC 🦎#2023 #cancunfc #mexico #ligamx #ligaexpansion ♬ Sarà Perché Ti Amo – Milan TikTok Edit – DJ Redblack

Go Swimming In A Cenote 

Cenotes are swimming holes that are naturally formed out of limestone and filled by groundwater and rainwater, and there are hundreds in the Mexican Caribbean.  They have a strong connection to the Mayan people, who thought of them as passages to the underworld. 

Swimming in cenotes is also a popular form of recreation for locals, who often visit them with their families on hot summer days.  Visiting one will give you the opportunity to experience a hot summer day like a true local.   

@lostlikealocal Time to get #lostlikealocal at Cenote Azul, in Quintana Roo, Mexico! 🇲🇽 Traveling from Playa Del Carmen we took the local van (colectivo) – 70mxn roundtrip! Entry to the Cenote was 120-150mxn & the life jacket & snorkel gear was 110 pesos (but you can bring your own!). We made it back to Playa Del Carmen to enjoy our delicious birria lunch (and we even went to the beach to relax)! Our entire day we spent roughly 600mxn pesos each (about $30usd!) If you’re looking to save your money- skip the overpriced & packed tour guides and get lost like a local- doing it yourself! 😎🤙🏾 #lostlikealocal #cenote #cenoteazul #mexpat #expat #blacktravelfeed #playadelcarmen #mexio ♬ Calm Dooowwnnn Lalalaaa (Remix) – FAITAH NADA

Visit Markets Frequented By Locals 

Markets are a common thing throughout the Mexican Caribbean, and you can find everything from fresh fish to handmade blankets at the various stalls you’ll find at some of them. 

And while some of them have been commercialized and turned into tourist traps, there are still some that are more frequented by the locals.  Mercado 23 in Cancun is one example of a more authentic market and a great place to experience the Mexican Caribbean like a true local. 

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Tuesday 16th of May 2023

Strongly suggest McDonalds or BurgerKing for authentic MX cuisine. In MX the food from these two establishments is uniquely MX.


Tuesday 16th of May 2023

Nice article except for futbol (soccer) you posted a Tiktok clip from Club Tigres which is in Monterrey, MX not the Rivera Maya. Cancun has it's very own soccer club called Cancun FC and the stadium is beautiful.