What to pack when traveling to the Riviera Maya

Let’s face it: packing is never easy, there is definitely an art to it. Most of the time you can’t predict what the weather will be like or what you’ll be doing on any given day, so it’s difficult to say exactly what you’ll need. There are, however, some universal essentials if you’re wondering what to pack when traveling to the Riviera Maya. Here’s our guide to everything you’ll need, no matter how long your stay:


Before you do anything else check, double check, and then triple check that you have all the necessary paperwork for your journey and that it is completely up to date. Nothing ruins a vacation more than realizing you, or someone you’re with, has turned up without their passport. Everything else on this list is rendered useless without those essential items, so make sure you have them!



Remember to pack fresh, comfortable clothes

If you’re traveling to Mexico in the summer, things can get very humid. For this reason, you always want to be cool and comfortable and this is the main thing to consider when you’re packing your essential items of clothing:

  • Daytime Clothes

The best advice is to wear as little as possible without being inappropriate, think tank tops and shorts, skirts and sundresses. You might always want to go for cotton clothes or lighter fabrics, to avoid the stickiness of polyester and the sweatiness of heavier clothes.

Another top tip is to lay out the number of tops and t-shirts you would take for the amount of time you’re on your vacation, and then pack some more. Travelers to Mexico often find they sweat a lot – and wish they had an extra t-shirt or two to change into after a long hike or afternoon exploring the city’s stores!

Due to the climate of the Caribbean, unexpected rain storms can occur. So, it’s always best to be prepared with a waterproof poncho or an umbrella so you don’t get caught out! If you do happen to get caught in a tropical storm, never fear – there are still lots of things you can do in the city to make the most of your stay.

  • Night-time clothes

Most bars and restaurants have a casual dress code, so unless you’ve made prior reservations at somewhere fancy, jeans and a nice t-shirt works well for the men, and casual party dresses for women.

  • Swimwear

If you’re going in peak season, the best course of action may be to take 2 or 3 different swimsuits. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or soaking up the sun down on the beach, chances are you’ll be wearing it most days, and in the humidity, they’re unlikely to dry out anytime soon, so a spare (or two!) will ensure you’ll always have one to hand.



Bathing suit, fedora, sunglasses: Check!

There are some added accessories that you’ll need to go with your cool and comfortable clothing options:

  • Shoes

Comfort is even more key for your feet. If you plan to go out exploring the Mayan ruins or trying out a tree top hiking trail, you’ll want comfortable shoes to keep your feet pain free and happy. Even if you’re being less adventurous, a nice pair of flats or sandals will probably work better than heels on most days – so think carefully about your selection when you pack.

  • Sunglasses

Constant exposure to the sun can damage your sight, and give you headaches if you’re prone to them. Sunglasses can help you see more clearly on the bright days, and help to prevent any lasting damage to your vital eyesight.

  • Hats

Hats are another good idea to avoid sunstroke, headaches, or a nasty burnt scalp. Whether they’re practical or fashionable, make sure you wear one for at least a few days of your stay.

Further Essentials

Also, don’t forget these added essentials:

  • Toiletries

You’ll need all the obvious essentials – toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and the like. Obviously, stores will have shampoo and conditioner, but if you’ve got a favorite brand don’t forget to take it with you as you may not be able to find the exact one while you’re away.

  • Sunblock

The higher the grade, the better. You’re not likely to get them in high season Cancun, but remember you need to wear sunscreen even on those rare cloudy days to avoid any nasty sunburns.

  • Repellent

To keep the mosquitos a safe distance away, insect repellent is always an essential. Make sure that your choice of repellent is biodegradable and made from all natural ingredients – particularly if you plan on taking a dip in a cenote!

  • Camera

Cancun has many incredible sights to be seen and memories to be made, so make sure you pack your camera to take lots of vacation snaps.