Last Updated on July 17, 2023
Planning a trip to Cancun or Tulum soon (or somewhere along the Riviera Maya)? Wondering what you should pack and wear? Find out all the must-haves and essentials to pack for a trip to the Riviera Maya in Mexico as well as tips on what you should wear and what outfits to plan.
When packing for Cancun or Tulum, keep in mind that the main things to do while there are spending time at the beach, visiting the cenotes, exploring Mayan ruins and Pueblos Magicos, and enjoying the nightlife.
Consider also the weather – hot and humid, so light clothing is a must – without forgetting about the sun and the mosquitoes – so clothing that covers you.
The rainy season is from May to October but be ready for rain any time of the year – when going on day trips, make sure you have a change of clothes in case you get soaked (trust me on that).
Without further ado let’s dive into this Riviera Maya packing list.
Pro tip: the number one thing you need to have for a trip to Mexico is travel insurance. I recommend World Nomad, you can check out their offers here >>
Related article – 2 to 4-week Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary
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- Passport and id (tips: make sure you have a passport cover to protect it);
- Driver’s license;
- Headphones (tips: noise-canceling ones are life saviors on a plane);
- Travel documents (tickets, hotel booking, visa…);
- Wallet with some cash and 2 credit cards (tips: try to never have all your important stuff in one place);
- Medications with prescription if needed;
- Snacks and reusable water bottle (this one is made with eco-friendly materials, and has over 45k positive reviews on Amazon) ;
- Antibacterial gel and moisturizer;
- A magazine or a book (tip: if you like reading, consider getting a Kindle, it’s lightweight and allows you to carry thousands of books wherever you go);
- Pen (to fill out the immigration form);
Check out the complete flights packing list and must-haves >>
- Sunscreen (check out Two Peas, they make reef-safe, biodegradable, organic sunscreen for every skin type);
- UV filter hair serum (tip: your hair need protection too! Furterer makes an awesome leave-in spray that will protect your hair against sun damages);
- Mosquito repellent (tips: get one with citronella inside instead of deet, it works just as well and is way more eco-friendly);
- Solid shampoo and conditioner (tips: solid cosmetics help you save space and travel lighter, you can check out Ethique’s products );
- Face and body wash;
- Toner and serums;
- Toothbrush and toothpaste;
- Hair ties and bobby pins;
- Hair spray;
- A small first-aid kit;
- Feminine hygiene products;
- Aloe vera gel in case you get a sunburn;
You’ll be fine with a week worth of clothing, even if you stay longer. You’ll find cheap “lavanderia” at every corner that will take care of washing your clothes.
- 2 pajamas
- 2 Swimsuits
- 3 day-dresses / cover-ups for the beach
- 1 nice dress for going out
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 2 pairs of light pants
- 1 pair of leggings or sweat pants
- 6 tank tops/tee-shirts
- 3 going-out shirts
- 1 light jacket or sweater
- Underwear and bras (one set for every day)
- Accessories/jewelry (tips: choose the ones that will go with everything and don’t bring anything expensive)
- 1 small purse for going out
- Hat or cap
- Rain Poncho
Make sure to pack breathable clothing that covers you for when you on excursions to protect you from the sun and the mosquitoes.
If you are sensitive to the sun, pack something you can swim in for when you go snorkeling or at the cenotes (most cenotes don’t allow you to wear sunscreen in order to keep the water clean).
Nights can be chilly so make sure you pack a light jacket or sweater for when you go out in the evenings. Also, the AC tend to be set to “extra chilly”, so make sure to have something to keep you warm in buses, malls, or at some restaurants.
Related – How to save money on your trip to Mexico
- Going out shoes;
- Sneakers/comfortable shoes to walk with;
- Chargers and a plug adapter (not necessary if you come from the US);
- Power bank;
- Beach towel or sarong (tip: you can get a sand-free towel if you don’t like having sand all over your towel);
- Small backpack for when you go on excursions;
- Ziplock or plastic pouch to put your wet towel and swimsuit;
- Speaker (tips: pick a waterproof and sand-proof one, like this one>>);
- Waterproof pack;
- Snorkeling gear;
Did we forget anything? What is something you can’t travel without?
For more packing essentials and tips, check out this lightweight packing guide.
Related article – Best things to do and places to visit along the Riviera Maya