Packing List For Cancun, Mexico

packing list for cancun

Located on Mexico’s gorgeous Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun is one of the most sought-after vacation paradises. Long stretches of white sand and contrasting blue water, chic night clubs with glitz and glamour, scrumptious food options, innumerable water sports activities, including whale shark experiences, u-shaped residential streets, bicycle-friendly paths, and colorful buildings, your vacation in Cancun is sure to be an epic affair. Bounteous ecotourism activities, an abundance of natural wonders, pre-Hispanic Maya ruins, and the myriad flea markets are other must-visit attractions in Cancun. You can also laze around the quieter sides of Cancun to better understand the local culture. Since you will busy roaming in and around this balmy tropical city, it would be helpful to have a packing list for Cancun, to get your vacation off to a great start. Keep reading for the must-pack items!

1. Sunscreen

Once in Cancun, you will roam around a lot and will be spending time in the water, so the first thing to pack should be a good sunscreen. Have a rough estimate on the number of hours you will be out in the sun. This will help you determine the quantity and the type of sunscreen to bring. Experts suggest using one ounce of sunscreen every two hours (unless otherwise directed by the product or doctor).

If you are planning to spend more time in the water, carry an extra bottle of sunscreen as the cream will be washed away. Ideally, buy a biodegradable sunscreen that is chemically safe for the reef and the turtles, as normal sunscreen is not allowed inside the ecological parks, like Xcaret and Xel-Ha.

2. Bug spray

The tropical weather of Cancun makes it home to a bunch of bugs that visitors need to be careful of. Pack a good bug spray containing DEET to ward off mosquitoes and other biting insects. Be sure to use it every time you go out, especially in the jungle or zoo zone. Do not overuse bug spray, just use enough to cover exposed skin and clothing.

3. US currency

US Dollar Bills
Source: Pixabay

Though the national currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN), US Dollars (USD) are widely accepted in Cancun. However, US coins are not accepted. So, keep in mind that if you pay in USD, your change will be in pesos. It is better to give tips in USD, as it has a higher value and the receiver will be happy.

4. Casual clothing

Confused about the type of clothing to bring to Cancun? Casual clothes are the best choice. Carry T-shirts, shorts, or light cotton/linen clothes to beat the heat. However, nights can be a bit cool, so it’s good to pack a jacket or sweater. Nightlife in Cancun is very casual, so don’t worry much about party dresses. If you want to go to an upscale restaurant or resort hotel, it is better to carry something smart casual, as some restaurants will not allow shorts or camisoles. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothes if rural Cancun is part of the itinerary and it is better to wear a wrap, lightweight pants, or a dress.

5. Flip-flops

Don’t forget to pack a pair of good flip-flops when you go to Cancun. Sandals and shoes are a must and so are flip-flops, as you will be spending a good amount of time in the water and sand. Bring an extra pair, so that you can switch it up.

6. Sunglasses

Along with your sunscreen, equally important is your sunglasses. Shield your eyes and avoid wrinkles with the help of 100 percent UV protection sunglasses. Carry a spare pair, as you never know how they will come in handy.

7. Waterproof camera

What you see on the land is just half of what Cancun is all about. Explore the underwater life and your whole perception will change. Carry a waterproof camera or a GoPro if you wish to strike a pose with the exotic marine species. Visit the MUSA Underwater Museum and get amazing underwater shots of the incredible statues placed around three galleries. Gear up to capture all your underwater adventures by packing your waterproof camera.

8. Travel toilet paper

Many toilets in Cancun might not have a sufficient quantity of toilet paper. Hence, it is advisable to carry a pack of travel toilet paper, so that you don’t suffer. Additional tip: you are not allowed to flush your toilet paper in some areas and so you’ll need to put it into the garbage can kept nearby the toilet.

9. Swimsuit cover-ups

If you are a water baby, you must plan your swim style well-ahead. Along with your swimsuits, carry some cover-ups, so that you can roam around the pool or hit the party straight from the water. Boost your glam quotient by packing some swimsuit cover-ups, such as a crochet kaftan, a floral wrap around, or maybe a maxi cover-up dress, and enjoy your vacation in style.

10. First aid kit

If you are traveling to Cancun, one of the most important things that should go in your bag is a first aid kit. Since Cancun has tropical weather, and the water quality is not so great, you may be exposed to various illnesses. As it is also a great spot for various adventure tours, it is easy to get a cut or abrasion. If you have your first aid box handy, it could be of great help. Include aspirin, motion sickness medicine, antacids, diarrhea medicine, and other pain relief medicine in the kit. Bandages, ointments, gauze, disposable gloves, a digital thermometer, cotton swabs, scissors, and other over-the-counter medications should also be part of the kit. Make it a point to carry a note of the list of medicines you are allergic to and an emergency contact.

Enjoy a fun-packed vacation in Cancun

Cancun, Mexico
Source: Unsplash

If you have chosen Cancun as your vacation spot, you will be spoilt for choice regarding the things to do in the city. Even a 10-day vacation will feel too short. Be it the hyper-touristy Hotel Zone or downtown on the mainland, you will go crazy with the myriad options available - beaches, nightlife, Chichen Itza (a mighty ancient city of the Maya people), the La Isla Mall with canals, palm trees, live performers, cafes, and shops, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, and tours of all kinds, the list continues. From fine dining places to local food joints that serve traditional huaraches, sopas, marquesitas, and nopales, the culinary culture here is just wonderful. So, after you book your tickets to this vacationer’s haven, go through the packing list we have provided for you, to make your days in Cancun stress-free.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Babitha works as an Editor/Publications Manager for a Canadian-based company. Travelling has always been her passion, and she loves being called a hodophile. Exploring new places, meeting people,...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Cancun
Good things are meant to be shared!