9 Best Things to Do in Cancun - United Hub
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9 best things to do in Cancun

By The Hub team, June 27, 2017

Planning your next Cancun vacation? Here are the best things to do in Cancun.

Packed with culture and adventure, while tapping into Mayan influences and environmental ethos, Cancun feels like an exotic getaway, but is just a quick flight from most U.S. cities. The Caribbean Sea's aquamarine hues and the region's balmy year-round temperatures have enticed dozens of all-inclusive resorts to fan out their pampering amenities along the shoreline. Whether you are happiest chilling on the beach (fruity drink in hand, of course) or snorkeling in the wide-open sea, there are plenty of angles to explore Riviera Maya's largest city. Here are the best things to do in Cancun.

Visit a locals' beach

Cancun beaches, beautiful as they are, can get crowded with tourists. Stray from the pack and head to Playa Delfines, a public beach where locals like to unwind. While there might not be roving waiters with trays of margaritas, palapas are available and drinks can be brought in.

El Rey Mayan Ruins in Cancun, Mexico.El Rey Mayan Ruins| Shutterstock

Explore Mayan ruins

Coba, Chichen Itza and Tulum are all doable for a day trip, but still quite a trek. El Rey, named for a skeleton unearthed at the site, is right in Cancun's Hotel Zone —and not everyone knows about it. The region's rich Mayan heritage comes alive through 47 stone sculptures dating back to 1250 A.D.

MUSA, the underwater sculpture garden of 470 statues.MUSA| Courtesy MUSA

Snorkel among statues

Out of all the things to do in Cancun, this one is a must. The best way to see MUSA, an underwater sculpture garden of 470 statues, is from just below the water's surface. Book a snorkeling excursion with Aqua World which includes fins, masks and vests, plus drinks and tunes onboard. You'll also spot colorful exotic fish.

Check out street art

Artists from around the globe are transforming Cancun's urban walls and abandoned residential areas into murals bursting with color and ocean-conservation themes. The first of these murals (on four buildings) were unveiled in late February, a partnership among three government agencies. The next collection, spanning eight buildings, debuts in early July.

Tacos along the Taco Tour in Cancun, MexicoTaco Tour| Shutterstock

Take a food tour

Departing from downtown Cancun, the nightly 2½-hour Taco Tour fills your belly with grub at four stops, led by locals who know the food scene in and out. Sure, Cancun resorts are flush with fine-dining options but street-food fare is equally trending, and off the beaten path.

Shop local markets

Sidestep the luxury, designer-label shopping malls for artisan-made crafts, fashion accessories and home decor Mercado 28, a market in downtown Cancun with 100 shops. From embroidered pillow covers to hand-painted pottery, check off the items on your souvenir and gifts list and have pesos left over to splurge on a beautiful scarf just for you.

Ik Kil cenote, swimming hole, in Cancun, Mexico.Ik Kil cenote| Shutterstock

Swim in a cenote

Mexico boasts nearly 7,000 naturally occurring cenotes, swimming holes formed when limestone rock collapses, and most are found on the Yucatán Peninsula. The Ik Kil cenote is a two-hour drive from Cancun, and worth the drive: explore gorgeous caves and jungle foliage, and cool off with a dip in the chilly water. Bonus: the cenote is near Chichen Itza's Mayan ruins. To see both in one day, book a tour with Entertainment Plus.

View from the water of Isla MujeresIsla Mujeres| Shutterstock

Hop a ferry to Isla Mujeres

Just a quick 15-minute ferry ride from bustling Cancun is Isla Mujeres, a laid-back island practically free of cars — everyone cruises around in a golf cart. Ferries depart from Gran Puerto and Terminal Martima Puerto Juarez, 10 minutes north of Cancun by taxi, every half hour between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Consider activities like kayaking at Garrafón Reef Park or exploring the sea-wall murals.

Traveler going down a water slide at Xenses Theme Park.Xenses Theme Park| Courtesy Xenses

Explore Xenses

Part of the Experiencias Xcaret family of eco-oriented parks (its siblings are Xcaret and Xel-Ha) Xenses opened last June in Playa del Carmen, an hour's drive south of Cancun. Built around 15 sensory experiences on land and in water — such as bathing in mineral-rich mud, walking in a dark faux jungle and zip-lining in a bird costume — this family-friendly park takes about a half day to explore.

This article was written by Kristine Hansen from Islands and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.

So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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