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Laura Winfree
August 08, 2014

Cancun isn’t just about the tourists. The local people who work hard to make this beach destination so amazing love to go out and explore their city. Most Cancun locals live in the Downtown area, situated on the mainland just northwest of the famous Hotel Zone. Residents living in the extensive Downtown Cancun enjoy a nice location within 20 minutes of amazing beaches, along with beautiful parks, excellent dining options, family-friendly activities, and plenty of fun and casual nightlife to enjoy throughout the week. From incredible jogging trails to upscale restaurants and amazing natural scenery, locals find all kinds of ways to take full advantage of everything their town has to offer. If you want go beyond the beaches to get the real local experience on your next Cancun vacation, take a bus into the Downtown area to discover some of the favorite places where the locals love to hang out.

Parque Kabah

Open from sun-up to sun-down, this colorful nature park is a favorite spot for families, school field trips, and local runners. Parque Kabah has a jungle gym, a small outdoor gym, beautiful gardens, plenty of untouched jungle, and a one-mile dirt track around the entire park. During your visit, you’re sure to see wild animals like the local coati.

Parque Las Palapas

In the very heart of Downtown Cancun, Parque Las Palapas comes alive at night. You’ll find numerous restaurants and bars in the surrounding streets, along with plenty of food carts in the main square. With a kids play area, weekly cultural events, and local handicraft vendors, this park is the place to be for local families on weekend nights.

Malecon Tajamar

This stunning waterfront walkway is situated by the breathtaking Nichtupe Lagoon, where you can see the Cancun Hotel Zone skyline on the horizon. At the moment, it’s used mostly for outdoor yoga lessons, jogging, dog walking and the occasional city event, but soon it will also have a huge eco-park.

Plaza Peninsula

This small but beautiful shopping center is a social hub for Cancun locals. Located on the up-and-coming Avenida Bonampak, Plaza Peninsula is home to upscale indoor-outdoor restaurants, coffee shops, nightclubs, and many other local businesses, making it a popular place to socialize and relax with friends in a central Downtown location.

Avenida Yaxchilan

This is one of downtown’s most famous streets. Yaxchilan is a small avenue in the heart of town, lined with traditional Cancun restaurants and bars. Grab dinner at one of the city’s most iconic restaurants like Los Arcos or La Parrilla, then have some beers at a nearby bar like La Taberna.

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