What to Pack for Cancun

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What to Pack for Cancun - What to Wear in Cancun Guide

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If you’re preparing for a trip to the mexican beach resort town of Cancun and deliberating over what to wear in Cancun and how to pack for Cancun, we are here to help! As someone who has journeyed down to Cancun numerous times as well as venturing off the beaten path in Tulum – one of the most picturesque towns on earth –  I can tell you that having this checklist was invaluable. And if you plan on exploring further south or other parts of Mexico‘s Riviera Maya area, llike Tulum or Playa del Carmen, remember to check out the ‘What To Pack For Tulum’ post! 

What to Pack for Cancun

With a decade of exploring Mexico under my belt, I’ve strolled along colonial streets, scaled Mayan ruins, and enjoyed many beaches around the country. For each journey, I noted essential items to remember for future trips – and now that list is yours! With this article, you can equip yourself with knowledge about what to wear in Mexico for every type of occasion. From all-inclusive resorts and ruins to cenotes and top Mexican travel destinations – no matter where your explorations take you, we’ll help ensure that your look is on point! We’ve embedded clickable images and links so you can shop seamlessly online. To ensure you’re prepared for anything on your trip south of the border, take this ultimate packing list with you—it covers all your bases from Cabo to Cancun! Let us do packing for your Mexico vacation a breeze!

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What’s the Weather Like in Cancun?

Although the weather in Cancun doesn’t alter much year-round, it is typically hot and humid. October to May are generally the most dry and some of the best months, while June through September tend to be wetter seasons with a possibility of tropical storms or even hurricanes developing. Fortunately for travelers, Cancun’s wet season isn’t as extreme compared to other parts of Mexico!

Average Temperature in Cancun
Average Temperature in Cancun (courtesy of WeatherAtlas.com)

If you find yourself in Cancun during the wet season, expect blazing temperatures that routinely reach into the 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celcius). Even when nightfall arrives, it will likely feel fairly warm. On the other hand, if your travels take you to Cancun from January – February – then rejoice! As these months offer more temperate weather, often within the range of 70°F/80°F (high teens into mid 20’s Celcius), and in some cases dropping as low as 60°F. With this information now at our disposal, let us proceed towards what is best to pack for a trip to Cancun!

What to Pack for Cancun Mexico

1. Bathing Suits

When you’re traveling to Cancun, a bathing suit (or more!) is an absolute must. For extended trips, I recommend bringing at least three swimming suits as there are no strict dress codes on the beaches here. It’s also important to keep in mind that humidity levels remain high throughout your stay; therefore nothing will dry quickly – so having multiple pieces of swimwear ensures that you’re always prepared for fun!

2. Sunglasses

For destinations like Cancun, with its powerful sun rays, the proper sunglasses are of utmost importance. During my four years in Mexico where I encountered such intense sunlight every day, it was easy to recognize how important eye protection truly is.

To ensure optimal protection and visual clarity, I only purchase sunglasses that are outfitted with both UV shielding and polarization.

3. Bathing Suit Cover Ups

If you plan to spend most of your time at the beach, there is no need to pack a plethora of clothing. Just bring along some lightweight and vibrant coverups that can transition effortlessly from morning breakfast to late night bar hopping. Best of all, if these pieces are multi-dimensional – such as doubling up as dresses – even better!

4. Light Scarf

A scarf in Mexico is a must-have item; not only will it provide you with extra shade and coverage against the breeze, but also comes in handy if you visit a cathedral – simply cover up your shoulders! Some shawls are even crafted from UPF fabric to safeguard yourself from harmful UV rays. If security is of concern during sightseeing trips through cities, look for scarves featuring hidden pockets which can be used to store important items like cash or keys.

5. Multi-Purpose Dresses

When I refer to multi-purpose dresses, I’m talking about apparel that you can rock during the daytime and evening. It doesn’t make much of a difference in temperature between day and night, so there’s no pressure to get something warmer for later on. The beach attire mentioned earlier is perfect as well as lovely maxi-dresses which can be worn both out into town or at home while having dinner with friends.

6. Shorts & Skirts

Nobody should go to Cancun without some adorable cut-off denim shorts and breezy skirts. To save money, why not just make your own jean shorts out of an old pair? When it comes to skirts, opt for something light and airy too – you’ll thank me later when the temperature rises outside!

What to Pack for Cancun

7. Loose and Light Shirts

Don’t forget to bring the perfect shirts for your shorts and skirts when traveling to Cancun. Beat the heat and humidity with lightweight and light-colored tops like cream, white, or pale pink t-shirts. Linen fabrics breathable nature is perfect for a sticky climate; however, cotton or any other lighter material will do just as well!

Light-colored clothing is a must for anyone who tends to perspire frequently—opting out of dark colors like grey and blue as they will easily show off your sweat marks! You can expect plenty of sweating, so make sure you choose wisely when deciding what to wear.

8. Sandals, Wedges, or Espadrilles

Packing for a beach holiday is all the more exciting when you know that you get to wear shoes that are not as easy to come by in your home country. From sky-high wedges, chic strappy sandals and flat espadrilles inspired by France’s Southwestern region, I make sure to search high and low for such special pairs of shoes whenever I travel.

If you’re looking for some outstanding shopping opportunities, Cancun may not be the best place to go, however if you journey down south to Tulum, there is a wide selection of locally-owned boutiques with stunning shoes and handbags.

Best things to do in Cancun : Cenote Suytun
Best things to do in Cancun : Cenote Suytun

9. Hiking Shoes or Hiking Sandals

When flying and sightseeing, I suggest investing in a comfortable pair of sneakers like Sketchers or Go Walks that are light-weight and compact. For activities such as visiting ruins or cenotes, should be your footwear of choice – with their added traction for slippery surfaces and being suitable for swimming too; they truly make the ideal hiking sandal. Lastly, why not slip into a more glamorous flip flop or sandal when it comes time to hit the town at night?

10. A Hat

When you’re in Mexico, I strongly suggest that you visit the different markets around the Riviera Maya and purchase a stunning hat– they have some truly eye-catching styles! While there are some quaint boutiques along the strip in Cancun with decent prices, I think you would be better off shopping elsewhere since their quality isn’t worth it.

11. Sunscreen

In an effort to protect both myself and the sea life, I recently shifted to using biodegradable sunscreens. Research has established that chemical sunscreens are hazardous for aquatic creatures found around Cancun’s coastlines. Furthermore, it is also better for your skin – our body’s largest organ!

12. Bug Repellant

With sunscreen an essential item on your packing list, don’t neglect to take along insect repellant too. Play it safe and bring bug spray or insect-repellent bracelets when going anywhere from the beach to any excursion – you’ll thank yourself for avoiding those pesky mosquito bites!

13. A Waterproof Bag

After multiple trips to Mexico’s beachside towns, particularly Cancun, I came to the conclusion that investing in a waterproof bag was essential. If you are planning on taking any type of boat tour or snorkeling venture, it is critical to have protection for your phone and camera – not forgetting about your towel either! By investing in a quality waterproof bag, I no longer have to worry about my gear getting ruined on day trips.

14. Medication

Aside from your personal medications, it’s essential to bring along non-prescription medicine in the event of an upset stomach or diarrhea. It’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re exploring a foreign country!

15. Kindle or Book

A true vacation is one where you can lounge on the beach with a good book. However, if you’re like me and read quickly on vacation, you’ll want to bring your Kindle so that you can have access to another book as soon as you finish the first one.

16. Lightweight Sweater 

If you are journeying to Cancun in either January or February, don’t forget a light sweater for your evening excursions. Additionally, bringing along an airy sarong or shawl can be beneficial when transitioning between hot and humid climates into freezing air-conditioned places. These items will also come in handy should you get sunburn; the cold wind of AC units will feel extra frigid on burned skin! Rest assured that it won’t be too chilly here though – temperatures remain balmy regardless.

17. Backpack or Beach Tote Bag

When heading to Cancun, make sure to bring a trusty backpack or large tote bag as your carry-on. Not only is this useful on the plane ride but it can also serve as an excellent storage spot for water bottles, sunscreen, and any other necessities while you explore!


18. Filter Water Bottle

Before you begin packing for your Cancun trip, think about investing in a filter water bottle such as Grayl or Lifestraw. Tap water is not safe to drink in Mexico and bottled water can be cumbersome, so having the ability to fill up from any tap makes travel more convenient while providing clean drinking water at all times. Plus, these filters last up to one year with regular use, meaning it will save tons of plastic during ongoing trips around the world!

19. Electronics Travel Accessories 

  • Portable power bank: Equip yourself for your travels with a rechargeable power bank to keep all of your devices powered up and ready to go
  • Extra phone charger cord and plug: To ensure you always have a power source close by, it’s essential to bring an extra plug and a lengthy charging cable.
  • Camera: If you’re looking for high-quality photos and videos of your underwater or action adventures, then today’s phones won’t cut it. Instead, bring a GoPro camera along with you to capture every moment!