Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta: A tale of two beach cities
Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are two beach cities in Mexico that are extremely popular amongst U.S. travelers for very good reason.
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo, at the tip of California, flanked by the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean, has great beaches, museums, art galleries, sailing, snorkeling and hiking.
For beach lovers, one of the prime spots is Médano Beach, spanning Cabo Bay. If you're feeling adventurous try water sports, or take a dip in the Sea of Cortés — this beautiful body of water is home to nearly 1,000 types of fish and more than 2,000 species of marine life.
Other top attractions are the Cabo Pulmo marine park, known as the aquarium of the world; golf courses designed by Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman; and Cabo San Lucas Marina, home to the city's best restaurants, shops and nightlife.
Those seeking an adrenaline rush can sign up for off-road trips in Baja on dune buggies, four-wheel-drive Jeeps or three-wheel ATVs. Also consider zip lining — Cabo Adventures, Mexico's longest and fastest zip line, has nearly 4,000 feet of zip line and speeds of up to 60 mph.
If you're interested in exploring arts and culture, dive into this city's lively offerings. In October, attend the Los Cabos Comedy Festival, which features top comics from around the world. The following month is the Los Cabos International Film Festival, which features movies from North America. And on Thursday evenings from November through June, the city offers Art Walk, which spotlights the wares of artists in the region.
Thanks to its location, seafood is a crucial part of Cabo San Lucas experience. Regional favorites include clams grilled on beach rocks, shrimp tacos and smoked marlin. Other popular dishes include tamales fajados, filled with steamed corn and chicken, and comida de pobres, a seafood soup served with warm flour tortillas. The city is also home to Japanese, French and Chinese cuisine.
If you plan on going to Cabo San Lucas, the best times to visit are between May and June, after the winter crowds depart and temperatures are in the mid-70s, and October and November when the weather is still quite nice with temperatures in the low 80s.
Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico's West Coast and the Pacific Ocean, is home to great beaches, artisan markets, sailing, diving, whale watching and botanical gardens.
If you're a beach lover, Los Muertos, in the southern part of Puerto Vallarta, should make it on your itinerary. This beach was made famous by actors Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960s, and you can enjoy the golden-sand beach or participate in activities like volleyball and banana boat rides. El Malecón is a can't-miss attraction, a promenade in the city center that is next to the sea and home to restaurants, bars, art galleries and shops. There's also the Botanical Gardens of Puerto Vallarta, which focuses on orchid conservation. It also has a collection of oak trees, cacti, wild palms and agave, the plant used to make tequila and mezcal.
Like Cabo, there's plenty to do for adventurers in Puerto Vallarta, including game fishing, diving, jet skiing, ATV riding, mountain biking, parachute jumping, paddle surfing and the Tsunami Jet Boat. The city is also home to many golf courses, including ones designed by Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf.
Off the beaten path is Marino Los Arcos Park, a group of small granite arch-shaped islands great for snorkeling and diving in the surrounding caves and tunnels. Catch an event at the Vallarta Theatre, home to dance shows, concerts and plays, or take the Viva Tequila Experience tour with a ride through the city, a tequila tasting tour and a visit to a tequila museum.
The cuisine of Puerto Vallarta takes advantage of its proximity to great fishing, featuring dishes made with the local catch. A popular dish is lime-marinated fish that's grilled on a stick over coals and served with fresh salsa. There's also birra, a spicy stew made with goat or lamb, and pozole, a hominy-based stew that is also Mexico's national dish. Puerto Vallarta's version of pozole is made with pork or chicken and served with a special popcorn garnish and lettuce or tostadas.
April and June are the best times to visit Puerto Vallarta, where it tends to be less crowded, with temperatures in the low 80s. January through March is also a good time to visit, especially if you're interested in whale watching, with temperatures in the mid-70s.
On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).
A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.
"At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew we were uniquely positioned to utilize our widebody aircraft and our network to keep commodities moving, so we quickly mobilized various departments throughout the airline to launch a cargo-only network of flights that would keep commodities moving," said United Cargo President Jan Krems. "Thanks to those efforts, United Cargo has delivered millions of items to countries all around the world. We would not have been successful without the steadfast support of our employees, industry partners and our customers."
Since last March, United Cargo has transported almost 850 million pounds of freight on cargo-only and passenger flights. The airline will continue to monitor market trends adjust its cargo-only flight schedules to help ensure we are meeting our customer's evolving shipping needs.
Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:
1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more
Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.
Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.
2. Check out the Travel-Ready Center
Our Travel-Ready Center makes it easy to get a personalized overview of everything you need to do in preparation for your flight. Just enter your confirmation number or MileagePlus® number and you'll find detailed information on all the documents, tests and more that you'll need for your trip.
3. Read and sign the Ready-to-Fly checklist
Before completing check-in, all United travelers will need to read our Ready-to-Fly checklist and confirm that they understand and agree to our policies. These include:
Acknowledging that you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
Agreeing that you will not fly if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 21 days
Confirming that you will follow all policies regarding face masks, social distancing and other health and safety measures we've adopted
4. Arrive early; avoid the stress
Airports can be busy, especially during peak travel periods like spring break season. The TSA advises arriving at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours for international travel in anticipation of long security lines. This can help ease the stress when navigating busy check-in areas, security lines and crowded boarding gates.
5. Get familiar with CleanPlus
United CleanPlus℠ is our commitment to delivering industry-leading cleanliness as we put health and safety at the forefront of your experience. We've teamed up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures and Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols, like:
Disinfecting high-touch areas on board and in the terminal
Using electrostatic spraying, Ultraviolet C lighting wands and more advanced measures to clean aircraft cabins before boarding
Redesigning our mobile app to allow for touchless check-in and contactless payment, along with enhanced travel assistance features
Implementing high-efficiency (HEPA) filters on our aircraft that completely recirculate cabin air every 2-3 minutes and remove 99.97% of airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria
Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use, so you can rest assured that the steps we've taken to keep you safe truly make a difference.
6. Wear your mask
Federal law requires all travelers to wear a face mask in the airport, including customer service counters, airport lounges, gates and baggage claim, and on board during their entire flight. Make sure you review the requirements for face masks, including what an acceptable face mask looks like.
7. Get ready for a safer boarding process
To make boarding even safer, we now have travelers board their aircraft from back to front. At the gate, just listen for your row number to be called – we'll ask a few rows at a time to board, starting with the last row of the plane. This helps everyone maintain a safe distance from each other during boarding without slowing things down. As you step onto the plane, flight attendants will hand each passenger a sanitizing towelette, which you can use to wipe down your seat to ensure it's extra clean.
8. Pack smart
Before packing your bags, check to see what exactly you can carry on and what you should plan to check. You can also copy your confirmation number into our Baggage Calculator tool to learn about the bag allowance included with your reservation, as well as the cost of checking any additional bags.
9. Check your flight status, important notices and weather
Check the United app regularly for the latest updates on weather conditions, flight status, gate numbers and seat assignments. You can also visit our Important Notices page to find essential information and updates about travel waivers, international travel, TSA and security, airports and United Club locations.
10. Relax and enjoy your flight
Once you're on board, it's time to sit back and enjoy your flight. Our flight attendants will be happy to help you with anything else you need.
This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.
"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.
We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
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.
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
To use on Microsoft Teams:
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
Watch our most popular videos
This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.