In This Post:
The Ultimate Tulum Packing List
Planning a trip to Tulum, Mexico but don’t know what to pack? I’ve got you covered with this Tulum packing list!
I’ve put together a list of what to pack for Tulum so you can relax and enjoy your vacation without having to worry about forgetting anything important.
Imagine lying on the beach, toes in the sand, listening to the waves crash as you relax and read your favorite book. Your perfect vacation is just around the corner!
Here are 32 items to add to your Tulum packing list! This essential packing list will ensure you have everything you need for this tropical getaway.
About This Tulum Packing List
I’ve broken down this post so that you can easily get a glance at these Tulum essentials without stressing out or feeling like you’re forgetting something.
In addition to telling you what to pack, I’ll also tell you what items you shouldn’t pack and some everyday essentials that are commonly forgotten.
I’ve also included information about the weather in Tulum, the best kind of luggage to bring with you, other things you’ll need should you go on an adventure around Tulum, and more.
This Tulum packing list doesn’t include basic items like toothbrushes and face wash since these are standard items for every trip.
Instead, it contains items you’ll specifically need when you visit Tulum.
What to Wear in Tulum
Tulum is a beautiful, historic city located on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, renowned for its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and charming, laid-back atmosphere.
But don’t let the laid-back vibes trick you. Tulum is a very trendy and chic destination.
Jean shorts and a tee are proper attire during the day. But, the fashionistas come out at night with their dresses paired with a straw bag or clutch.
If you’re like me and don’t have a passion for fashion, stick to your personal style, and you’ll be fine. It’s rare to come across a dress code in Tulum.
The bottom line is when packing your outfits for Tulum, pack clothing and accessories that are both stylish and comfortable for you.
How to Dress for the Weather in Tulum
Tulum weather has a tropical climate, with average temperatures in the 70-90s Fahrenheit pretty consistent year-round, and the sun can be pretty harsh.
Since the weather in Tulum, Mexico is warm and sunny all year-round, you’ll want to pack light, airy clothing, so you’re not sweating all day long.
Keep in mind that the hottest month in Tulum is May and the cooler months are from December to February.
For more information about the weather, read this post about the best times to visit Tulum.
Tulum Packing List: Beach Essentials
This section covers all the beach essentials you’ll need in Tulum.
You’ll obviously need bathing suits if you’re planning on spending any time at the beach or by the pool.
I recommend packing two to three swimsuits, so you have a few options to choose from. Bring a white swimsuit to look gorgeous next to the turquoise water if you want to take beautiful photos by the beach.
Swimsuit Cover Ups
Bathing suit cover ups are a must-have item on your Tulum packing list because it’s perfect for going from the beach to the restaurant or bar.
I usually pack two cover ups, so I have options depending on my mood. I massively prefer them rather than throwing on a dress over my swimsuit.
Aim for an airy and flowy coverup, so you stay cool in the tropical heat.
A hat is another essential item for your packing list for Tulum because it will protect your face from the harsh sun.
I prefer to pack a wide-brimmed straw hat that can fold up, so it doesn’t take up too much space in my suitcase. If you don’t want to bring a sun hat, a baseball cap works too.
Sunglasses are an absolute must because the Mexican sun is bright!
Polarized sunglasses are the way to go because they help reduce the glare from the sun bouncing off the water and minimizes strain on your eyes.
Please, please, please, don’t buy a knockoff pair of sunglasses from the beach vendors.
Despite what the vendors tell you, these glasses have zero UV protection, and there are no regulations on them.
A beach bag is perfect for carrying all your beach gear like sunscreen, towels, swimsuits, etc.
Make sure your bag is big enough to fit everything you need but not too big that it’s cumbersome to carry around.
I don’t recommend bringing a beach bag if your hotel provides one. (Just a personal preference because I don’t like packing more things than I need).
You must, must, must pack sunscreen because the sun is incredibly harsh in Tulum, Mexico! You’ll need all the sun protection.
I prefer to use reef-safe sunscreen because it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals that can damage coral reefs.
Reef-safe sunscreen is just as effective as regular sunscreen, so there’s no need to worry about being less protected.
Make sure you pack enough for your entire trip and reapply it every few hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.
Even if you’re religious about applying sunscreen, you still might get a little bit of sun.
After-sun lotion helps soothe your skin and keeps it cool and hydrated.
I like to pack aloe vera gel because it’s natural and works great on sunburns and jellyfish stings.
Flip-flops are an essential item on your packing list for Tulum because you’ll need them when hanging out at the pool or walking around the beach.
You don’t want to get your cute sandals sandy or dirty.
Buy a pair of cheap ones because you’ll probably only be wearing them a few hours a day, and then you can toss them when you’re done with your trip.
If you plan on hitting the beach (which you definitely should!), you’ll want to add a beach towel or travel towel to your Tulum packing list.
I recommend a quick-dry towel because they’re much more compact than regular towels and dry faster.
This means you can pack less and avoid having to lug a heavy, wet towel back to your room.
If your hotel offers beach towels for you to use, you don’t need to pack one yourself unless you want to.
Tulum Packing List: Clothing Essentials and Accessories
Here are my clothing recommendations for your Tulum packing list.
Besides underwear and other basic clothing items, here’s what you need to add to your Tulum packing list.
Rompers are perfect for Tulum, Mexico because they’re airy, comfortable, and easy to style.
You can easily dress them up with some jewelry and a pair of wedges or sandals for a night out.
My favorite thing about rompers is that they’re a one-and-done type of outfit. I don’t have to worry about finding a matching top or my rear accidentally sticking out of my dress.
They’re easy to throw on, and they don’t take up much room in my suitcase. They’re definitely a must on the clothing section of any Tulum packing list.
Like rompers, sundresses are airy and easy to style. They’re perfect for hot summer days because they keep you cool and comfortable.
I usually pack two or three dresses since they’re lightweight and mix and match them with different accessories to create different looks.
You can wear them during the day while you’re sightseeing or out to restaurants. They’re versatile and a great addition to your Tulum packing list.
A Nice Flowy Dress/ Maxi Dress
A flowy dress or maxi dress is essential for your packing list for Tulum, just in case you want to dress up for dinner.
Tulum, Mexico has some amazing restaurants, and you’ll want to look nice when dining out, depending on where you go.
The best part about wearing flowy maxi dresses is that you’ll look glam without compromising your comfort.
I like to bring a lightweight black maxi dress because it goes with everything and I can style it in different ways.
Shorts are necessary for your Tulum packing list. I can’t imagine wearing rompers or dresses every day on vacation.
Shorts are great for days when you’re exploring or just lounging around the pool.
I recommend packing a few pairs of shorts in different colors and styles.
I typically pack one pair of denim shorts, one pair of white shorts, and one pair of patterned or colored shorts.
That way, I can mix and match them with different tops and create different looks.
I’m more of a shirt and shorts kind of girl, so I pack more of them than I do dresses.
I pack shirts and tank tops that are neutral-colored, so I can easily pair them with my shorts.
One thing I never travel without is my light jacket. You know how kids will hold on to the same stuffed animal for years?
That’s how I am with my jacket. It’s been to over 80 countries with me, and I refuse to let it go.
You never know when it’s going to rain, and you don’t want to be caught in a downpour without some kind of rain protection.
Even if rain isn’t in the forecast when you’re visiting, a lightweight jacket is always good to have on hand in case it gets chilly at night or you’re cold in a restaurant.
You will definitely need to add a rain jacket to your Tulum packing list if you’re visiting from June to October since that’s the rainy season. Otherwise, it’s not necessary during the dry season.
When you’re exploring Tulum, you don’t want to bring your large purse or tote bag with you.
It’ll just be in the way, and you’ll get tired of carrying it around.
Instead, pack a crossbody bag that can easily hold your essentials like your phone, wallet, and chapstick.
I like to bring a small crossbody to free my hands to take photos or carry a water bottle.
Waterproof Fanny Pack
This is one of my favorite beach travel accessories, and it’s essential for your Tulum packing list.
A waterproof fanny pack is very useful for days when you’re swimming or exploring cenotes since it can hold all your essentials without getting wet.
You’ll want to pack two pairs of sandals to add to your packing list for Tulum, Mexico.
Dressy, strappy sandals can be worn with a nice sundress or flowy dress for dinner while casual sandals can be dressed down with shorts or t-shirts during the day.
Small Daypack or Backpack
If you’re planning on doing any day trips from Tulum, Mexico, or going on hikes, you’ll want to pack a small day bag or backpack.
I bring a small backpack because it can easily hold everything I need without being too bulky.
Make sure to pack your sunscreen, water bottle, snacks, and your camera in your daypack so you’re prepared for a full day of exploring.
Facial Oil Blotting Sheets
If you have oily skin like me, you’ll want to add some blotting sheets to your Tulum packing list.
The heat and humidity can be brutal on oily skin, so blotting sheets will help absorb excess oil and keep your face looking fresh and clean.
I stash a few with me in my purse or daypack to use them throughout the day as needed.
Tulum Packing List: The Basics
These are the basic items you’ll want to add to your Tulum packing checklist.
You don’t want to be stuck without a way to charge your devices, so make sure you pack an adapter.
You’ll only need one if you’re not from North America. Mexico has the same outlets as the United States.
Reusable Water Bottle
I never travel without my reusable water bottle.
Not only is it better for the environment, but it also saves me money since you can fill it up with water myself instead of buying bottled water.
I recommend bringing a metal water bottle so you can avoid plastic. Plus, it’ll keep your water cooler.
I never travel without a portable charger, and you should add it to your Tulum packing list as well.
It’s come in handy so many times when I’ve been out exploring all day, and my phone battery starts to die.
Also, you never know when the power will go out at your hotel, so it’s good to have a backup way to charge your devices.
You don’t need to pack every single medicine you can possibly think of since there are pharmacies on just about every block in Tulum.
You’ll also want to pack your prescription medications if you have any.
Remember to carry your original prescription(s) just in case you get stopped at customs.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is always a good idea when traveling, and you should add it to your Tulum packing list.
You don’t need a mumbo jumbo doctor-sized first aid kit. As a matter of fact, I make my own.
I add band-aids, antibiotic cream, antihistamine cream, and my health insurance card to a Ziploc bag.
Voila – you have your first aid kit! Add whatever you want to it.
Tulum is known for its lively nightlife, so you may want to pack a hangover cure just in case you decide to go hard.
Pack some electrolyte packets like Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier to help keep you hydrated and lessen your hangover symptoms so you don’t waste a day laying in bed.
Eco-Friendly Bug Repellent
Tulum has bugs and mosquitoes. A lot of them.
Pack an eco-friendly bug spray or mosquito repellent to keep the bugs at bay. I like to use one that has citronella oil in it since it’s natural and works well.
You can also pack a small bottle of tea tree oil to use as a spot treatment for any bites you may get.
Important Items to Remember for Your Tulum Packing List
Besides clothing, accessories, and electronics, there are a few other things you’ll want to remember to pack for your trip.
This may seem obvious to add to your Tulum packing list, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to pack their passports.
Immediately put it in your carry-on bag when you decide which one to take to prevent forgetting it.
You should also make copies of your passport just in case you lose it while on your trip.
I like to keep one copy in my carry-on and leave another one at home with a trusted friend or family member.
It’s also a good idea to email yourself a copy of your passport.
If you’re renting a car while in Tulum, you’ll need to pack your driver’s license. You can use your driver’s license to drive in Mexico if you’re American.
You can also use it as a valid ID. Just make sure it’s not expired!
I recommend booking your rental car through DiscoverCars. You can check rates and policies for multiple companies at the same time to make sure you’re getting the best deal!
Credit Cards & ATM Cards
Be sure to pack at least one credit card and an ATM card – very important items for your Tulum packing list!
If you’re paying fees to withdraw money from your bank, that’s the wrong bank for you and you need to read my post about travel hacking.
I use Charles Schwab and have saved thousands of dollars in ATM fees throughout my travels.
They cover all the fees, and you won’t have to worry about monthly fees or foreign transaction fees.
Call your credit card company and bank to let them know you’re traveling abroad and to put a travel advisory on your card so you don’t get flagged for fraud and lock your account.
There is no requirement to have travel insurance when entering Mexico.
But, I always recommend you purchase travel insurance when you visit any foreign country. You never know what could happen, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
I use SafetyWing because they offer various affordable plans and coverage options.
Their plans also cover lost baggage, travel interruptions, flight delays, etc.
Check plans and coverage options for SafetyWing!
Other Activities Besides Beaches to Consider On Your Packing List for Tulum
There is so much to do in Tulum besides lounging on the beach all day. There are so many great things to do off the beaten path.
Here are some other activities you may want to consider packing for.
🐠 Tulum Cenotes
Tulum is home to some of the most beautiful cenotes (natural sinkholes).
Many of the best cenotes in the Riviera Maya are in or near Tulum.
You’ll also want to add the following items to your Tulum packing list if you plan on visiting some Tulum cenotes.
- Tennis shoes and socks (most of the cenotes are in the jungle and you don’t want to trek around on your bare feet).
- Underwater camera
- Change of clothes (t-shirt and denim shorts)
- Quick-dry towel
- Bathing suit
- Swimsuit coverup
- Beach bag
- Snorkel gear
- Dry bag
- Eco-friendly sunscreen
- Waterproof fanny pack
- Water bottle
🗿 Mayan Ruins: Tulum Ruins, Chichen Itza, and Coba Ruins
The Tulum Ruins are in Tulum, while Chichen Itza and the Coba Ruins are nearby. These Mayan ruins are impressive masterpieces.
If you’re going to see the ruins, you’ll want to pack these items.
- Shorts or leggings
- Tennis shoes and socks
- Tank top or t-shirt
- Water bottle
- Sun hat
- Eco-friendly sunscreen
⛵️ Boat Excursions
There are various fun and exciting boat excursions you can take from Tulum.
You may want to consider adding the following items to your Tulum packing list if you’re planning on taking a boat tour.
- Sun hat or visor
- Eco-friendly sunscreen
- Waterproof camera
- Dry bag
- Dramamine (if you’re prone to seasickness)
- Snorkeling gear
- Beach tote
🧘🏽♀️ Yoga Classes
Tulum is the perfect place to get your yoga on. There are many great yoga studios and classes to choose from.
I recommend packing the following items if you’re planning on doing yoga while on your Tulum trip.
Keep in mind that you can borrow or rent yoga equipment from the studio.
- Yoga mat
- Workout top
- Water bottle
What Not to Pack for Tulum
Now that you know what to pack for Tulum, here’s a list of items you should leave at home.
You don’t need to bring these items with you on your Tulum vacation, and they’ll only take up valuable space in your suitcase.
High heels: You’re on a tropical vacation. You’ll be totally fine without the heels. You’ll see more women in strappy sandals or wedges than heels, even at nicer restaurants.
Expensive jewelry: No need to bring the diamond tennis bracelets and whatnot. With the humidity in Tulum, I find it uncomfortable to wear lots of jewelry. Stick with a pair of earrings and a simple necklace.
Designer purses and clothes: You don’t need to show off your massive Louis Vuitton bag or Gucci slides. Leave the designer duds at home to avoid unwanted attention.
Hairdryer and hair straightener: Most hotels will have a hairdryer in the room, and the humidity in this tropical destination will likely make your hair frizzy anyway.
Warm clothes: You’re visiting one of the prettiest tropical destinations in the world, where the average daytime temperatures are hot. Leave the linen pants at home. A light sweater will suffice if you really need to take some warm clothing with you.
Tulum Packing List: Best Luggage for Tulum
You’ll probably be okay with bringing your Tulum packing list items in a suitcase.
However, some hotels might not have elevators or cemented pathways for you to roll your suitcase on.
Some hotels only have sandy paths and you can imagine why this would be difficult. Just make sure that your suitcase is light enough to carry just in case you have to.
My husband and I are adventure travelers, so we stick to the backpack life since it’s a more convenient option. Plus, we hate checking luggage.
Tulum Packing List Checklist
- Bathing suits
- Swimsuit cover ups
- Polarized sunglasses
- Beach bag
- After-sun cream
- Beach towel
- Maxi dress
- Shirts/tank tops
- Lightweight jacket
- Small clutch/crossbody bag
- Waterproof fanny pack
- Small daypack/backpack
- Facial oil blotting sheets
- Reusable water bottle
- Portable charger
- First aid kit
- Hangover cure
- Bug repellent
- Passport copies
- Driver’s license
- Credit cards & ATM cards
- Travel insurance
Quick Facts About Tulum
- Currency: Mexican peso
- Language: Spanish (In my experience, more locals than not spoke English to some degree. It’s helpful to know a few basic terms in Spanish).
- Best time to visit: November and December (It’s the post-hurricane season and it’s right before the busy season starts).
- Getting around: You can easily walk or bike everywhere in Tulum town. For exploring further afield, you can take a bus or taxi.
- Where to stay: Coco Tulum Zen Zone Hotel
Final Thoughts About This Tulum Packing List
In a nutshell, the main things to consider when checking off your Tulum packing list are: what sightseeing and activities you want to do, the weather, and what YOU want to wear in Tulum.
So, are you ready to jump on a plane for some sunny Mexican coastline?
I don’t blame you, and I think you’ll have everything you need for the perfect tropical vacation with this Tulum packing guide.
What are you most excited to do in Tulum? Let me know in the comments below!
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Items You Shouldn’t Forget On Your Tulum Packing List
Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.