A Tulum packing list should have you covered for the essentials you need for all of the wonderful things to do in Tulum and the nearby east coast of Mexico. Whether you’re spending your Tulum vacation relaxing at a resort or you’re exploring the Mayan Ruins or jumping into a cenote, this complete checklist will have you covered.
The Ultimate Tulum Packing List
Whether you’re in town for a yoga retreat or hens week, there is something in Tulum to suit everyone. So, of course, your Tulum packing list should reflect exactly what you plan to do during your vacation.
We’ve created a Mexico packing list with beach essentials and anything additional you might need for any Riviera Maya excursions or day trips from Tulum too.
Never fear if you forget to pack something as there are some cute shopping in town full of Tulum outfit ideas if you are trying to curate those perfect social media fits.
The best luggage Tulum is really just whichever type of bag or case suits your style of travel. We love our Lojel suitcases as they ar super hardy with 4 wheels, a hard side shell, and flip top opening.
Read Next | Tulum Travel Tips for the First-Time Visitor
Tulum Packing List: Clothing
This Tulum packing list features essential items which will ensure you’re comfortable in the warm weather.
A bathing suit is essential for a Tulum trip. With any luck, you’ll be spending a lot of time at the beach or in your hotel pool.
The style of this wrap bathing suit as it is versatile. Wear it to the beach and then slip on some jean shorts and a hat for a walk through town or to go to lunch.
Flowy dresses are the best things to wear in the Tulum humidity and will take you from the pool to lunch in comfort without having to go to your hotel room to change.
Playsuits and Rompers
Playsuits are rompers that are ideal for Tulum as they are super comfortable to wear when walking or bike riding around downtown Tulum.
These gorgeous Spell rompers and cotton jumpsuits are beautifully made and are the bohemian style suited to Tulum.
The beauty of Tulum being such a casual resort town is you can walk around Tulum Pueblo comfortably in swimmers, a cover-up, and flip-flops.
A sarong or pareo is a really versatile travel accessory.
Wrap it around you when walking to and from the hotel pool, wear it as a wrap skirt, or use it as a light cover-up on a long flight or day trip to the local temples.
Tank tops in different colors are really practical for Tulum. Choose breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or bamboo so they breathe in the humidity. Buying a set will save you money.
Linen shorts or jean shorts are my favorite for traveling.
High-waisted linen or cotton shorts are flattering, cooler in the humidity, and perfect for exploring or riding bikes around Tulum.
A lightweight sweater is important, especially if you are visiting Tulum between December and March when the wind can pick up and the evenings can be cool.
Pick a neutral color that you can mix and match with all your clothes and take it out in the evenings just in case the temperature drops.
A pair of chinos for men who want to dine at the fancier restaurants. These good-value no iron chinos are a good option.
If you are visiting Tulum in the rainy season, a light jacket may come in handy. A thin packable jacket is probably all you’ll need.
Tulum Packing List: Sunglasses, Shoes, and Hats
Folding sunglasses save space and reduce the risk that they’ll get crushed or scratched on the journey.
A sun hat is important for the tropical climate as temperatures in summer can reach 90F/32F in high summer.
A packable hat is a great idea for sun protection and saves on luggage space.
Don’t forget a handy hat clip too so you won’t lose track of your hat while you’re out at about. It easily clips to your beach bag so it’s out of your hands.
Ditch the high heels in Tulum for cute sandals instead. Albeit trendy, this is a laid-back beach vacation destination where bare feet are common too.
Try to avoid wearing cheap flip-flops for your whole trip and invest in some sandals that support your arches.
These sandals are made to support your feet during all of that walking.
Water shoes are a great option if you plan on doing a cenotes tour.
Lightweight trainers are particularly important for any day trip from Tulum.
Whether you are visiting the Chichen Itza or going to a cenote for the morning or doing any other outdoor activities, we recommend you wear sneakers.
If you are planning on going to any Tulum nightclubs you may need closed-toe shoes.
Tulum Packing List: Toiletries and Medicine
We like this sunscreen as it has natural ingredients and is reef-safe – perfect for the beach or cenotes. Especially if you are spending a long time at the beach, make sure you buy waterproof sunscreen and reapply often.
Sunscreen lip balm
Pack lip balm with sunscreen to protect your lips from the sun as well.
A solid perfume is a clever way of carrying your fragrance without it leaking all through your luggage.
Just make sure it stays in your hotel room so it doesn’t melt in the Tulum heat.
We carry a travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, and a leave-in conditioner spray for after the beach or before the long trip home.
I am obsessed with Oribe hair products.
If you have long hair, I definitely recommend carrying hair claw clips in your purse for when the humidity creeps up.
The weather in Tulum means it’s way too hot to wear a full face of makeup.
IT Cosmetics CC Cream Illumination Full Coverage Foundation, waterproof eyeliner, and waterproof mascara should suffice.
Bug spray is definitely one of the essential items and will be your best friend in Tulum. Typical of a tropical climate like this there are lots of mosquitos so carry bug spray everywhere.
First Aid Kit
Add in your personal medicine (there is a limit on how much you can bring in), plus some additional medicine and electrolytes in case you get hit by food poisoning.
We always carry Buscopan Forte, Immodium, Mintec, Panadol, Nurofen, and Hydrolyte in our carry-on medicine kit.
Tulum Packing List: Bags and Accessories
A dry bag is a good idea, particularly for any of the water activities offered in Tulum to keep your valuables dry.
We use a cross-body dry bag (that folds flat in the bottom of the suitcase) so you can sling it across your body for Tulum bike rides too.
A cross-body bag will come in handy when you’re wandering around town or jumping on a rental bike.
A sling bag is another good option for sightseeing as you can wear it as a sling bag or fanny pack and it folds up easily in your luggage to take home after your trip. These Bellroy sling bags are a great size.
A beach bag is definitely a Tulum essential.
If you don’t have a cute compact travel beach bag at home it might be a good souvenir to buy in town to remember your Tulum vacation.
A small travel day pack could be a practical thing to pack for both travel and day trips.
Particularly for any of the tours like ATV or zipline and the like, you can keep your essentials safe and your hands-free.
We love Patagonia bags as they last forever and are really durable.
A compact quick-dry towel will be helpful on a trip to one of the beautiful beaches, a boat trip, or a cenotes tour.
Waterproof bag for your phone
A waterproof bag for your phone will protect your phone from water. You can also sling it around your neck and keep cards in there if you need to (when your bags are elsewhere on an excursion).
If you are going on a boat tour or cenote trip just throw your phone in the bag and seal it up and continue to use your phone safely.
Waterproof accessories kit for your GoPro
Reusable water bottle
As you can’t drink the tap water in Mexico consider a reusable water bottle to save money on buying water and wasting plastic bottles,
The Grayl Geopress water bottles filter and purify your water and remove potential viruses lurking in the local water too.
Obviously an essential for any trip to Tulum. There is a photo opportunity around every corner here, from the local village to the incredible natural landscapes. Our favorites are the Canon DSLRs or the Powershot range for beginner photographers.
If you plan on doing any work or staying in touch during your Tulum holiday, don’t forget your laptop.
A Portable Charger
A portable charger with a built-in cable will give your phone longer life when you wear the battery out with all of those Insta-posts of beautiful Tulum.
If you are from the US or Canada you may be able to use roaming on your existing phone plan.
If you are from elsewhere in the world ensure you are traveling with an unlocked phone and you can grab a Telcel SIM card.
Portable Door Lock
While not explicitly a Tulum packing list essential, a Portable Door Lock is an inexpensive extra line of safety, particularly if you are a solo traveler in Mexico.
Tulum Packing List: Important Travel Documents and Apps
The most important things to pack and organize are your forms of ID and important documents, money, credit cards, and insurance papers.
You need at least six months validity on your passport to gain entry to Mexico.
Do you need a visa for Mexico?
Australians do not need a visa for Mexico. Nor do citizens of the United States, the UK, or Singapore for a time Countries that need a visa to enter Mexico are listed here.
Ensure you check when there are any restrictions related to health checks before booking your ticket to Mexico.
Credit cards and a debit card
There are ATMs in Playa Del Carmen and Tulum but make sure you bring some cash too. Withdrawing money from an ATM may mean an extra cost or service fee too.
We choose WISE for this reason.
A comprehensive travel insurance policy is essential, especially if you are doing Tulum tours.
Make sure you choose a policy that covers those adventure activities you choose. The last thing you would want is to be stranded in a foreign country without health insurance.
Travel Apps for Tulum
Rappi is a local delivery app similar to Uber (there isn’t any Uber in Tulum)
Maps.me – An offline maps app to help you get around if your wifi is patchy. It also shows you points of interest, restaurants and gyms around Tulum.
What Not to Pack for Tulum
You won’t need heels in Tulum as you might in Cancun. Sandals or low wedges are enough for a nice dinner out.
Expensive Bags or Jewelry
Tulum is a very low-key travel destination. So, there’s really no need to bring your designer clothing and valuable handbags or jewelry. They may be safer at home.
While it might be tempting to try to catch those stunning turquoise sets from your drone, drone use in Tulum isn’t permitted for visitors.
Leave any open food on the plane. You aren’t allowed to bring foods in that are not ‘company packed and sealed’.
You will need to declare any food with customs when entering the country.
Lots of Money
Try not to carry too much money on you at once. You can get more out if you need to, but there’s no need to take the risk.
Tulum Outfit Ideas: What to Wear in Tulum
What to Wear in Tulum to Visit a Cenote
Wear your swimsuit, shorts, and a top in the car with sneakers.
To ensure you have a great time on your cenote tour carry water shoes to wear in the cenote and keep your trainers dry for the walk back to the bus so you’re not uncomfortable.
Pack your travel towel to dry yourself and your feet off before you do the walk back.
Make sure you put on plenty of sunscreen and mosquito repellant before you get to the cenote.
Don’t forget your wet bag, phone bag, and waterproof GoPro case so there aren’t any accidents.
What to Wear to the Beach in Tulum
Tulum has some of the best beaches in Mexico, so you may want to settle in for the morning.
A bathing suit with a cover-up, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and some strappy sandals (with ankle straps if you are riding a bike).
If you plan to go to a beach bar from the beach, make sure you carry a maxi dress or shorts and a tank top to put on after the beach. While some Tulum beach bars don’t mind bare feet, others have a specific (albeit casual) dress code.
What to Wear to Chichen Itza or Other Mayan Ruins
For a day trip to Chichen Itza or other Mayan ruins in Quintana Roo, you need to be sun safe and wear comfortable shoes.
Wear sneakers, shorts, and either a loose-fitting long-sleeved linen-style shirt or tank top (with lots of sunscreen).
You will definitely need to wear a hat and sunglasses and don’t forget to take your water bottle as the ruins are exposed to the sun and you can get overheated quickly.
Take your swimmers and water shoes if you are doing a tour that includes a visit to one of the Tulum Cenotes too.
What to Wear to a Tulum Restaurant
While there are only a few fancier restaurants in Tulum, a couple have specific dress codes. Men may be required to wear chinos or tailored shorts (overboard shorts).
Some Tulum clubs require closed-toe shoes as well.
For those wondering how to dress in Tulum for dinner out. Generally, flowy maxi dresses with sandals are dressy enough for casual Tulum.
What to Wear on a Tulum Boat Trip
It gets super hot out on one of the boat trips off Mexico’s coast, especially in the heat of the Tulum summer.
A bathing suit with a romper or shorts and a top is the easiest thing to wear on a boat (dresses will fly up in the breeze).
Make sure you pack sunglasses and a hat and lather up in sunscreen.
Flip flops or sandals are a good footwear option.
What to Wear to a Tulum Yoga Class
Comfortable, breathable activewear or yoga clothing is important for a Tulum yoga class or retreat.
Don’t forget your water bottle and travel towel.
Most studios will provide yoga mats, blocks, and straps for you.
Essential Tulum Travel Information
Before you get your suitcase out and work your way through our Tulum packing list, there is important information you should know before booking a trip to Tulum.
Here are some additional Tulum FAQs answered.
Is Tulum Safe?
There are warnings in place for Quintana Roo in relation to risk.
The current advice is to only use ATMs in public places, don’t carry a lot of cash, and be especially cautious walking at night time in Tulum and Playa del Carmen, and Cancun.
The advice is to generally stay in well-lit areas with other people.
Make sure you check any up-to-date travel warnings before traveling to Tulum.
Australians can check for warnings here.
Americans can check here.
How to Get to Tulum
Tulum is a town on the breathtaking Yucatan Peninsula on Mexico’s east coast.
With turquoise waters lapping at white sand beaches, ancient ruins, luxury eco-hotels, and adventure tours aplenty, Tulum is the perfect place for almost everyone to visit.
You’ll fly into Cancun direct or from Mexico City. Click to search Tulum Airfares.
Make sure you fill in your tourist entry card online to save time on arrival.
Then, you’ll need to get in a taxi or the bus from Cancun Airport to Downtown Tulum.
The bus will not stop at individual hotels. So, make sure your hotel can collect you from the bus terminal in Tulum.
The bus from Cancun airport to Tulum takes about 2.5 hours and it costs about $US19 each way.
When is the Best Time to Visit Tulum
It’s important to note, the Tulum weather is hot, really hot, especially in the summer months.
The best time to visit Tulum is from November to March (during the winter months).
It is the (relatively) dry season and the mildest time of the year when it comes to weather in Tulum. Expect average daytime temperatures between December and March about 75F /23C. This is also the high season.
May to October is the hottest time in Tulum. With temperatures reaching a maximum of about 90F / 32C during these months, it also gets really humid during these months. So, make sure you pack for the warm weather.
The weather in Tulum in October is wet. So, expect a little rain and average temperatures of 80f / 27C if you choose to visit Tulum in the low season.
Hurricane season in Tulum is also from June to November with some restaurants closed during this time too.
How Long Should You Spend in Tulum?
How long to book in Tulum will depend on how many tours you want to do while you are in Tulum.
If you just want to cover the main things to do in Tulum, you only need 2 to 3 days.
If you want to do Tulum day trips or day tours, try to allow 5 to 7 days in Tulum to allow for more relaxation time in between.
Wondering where to stay in Tulum? Here are a few of the luxury hotels in Tulum we have stayed at.
I hope this ultimate packing list for Tulum helps you prepare for your Tulum vacation.
More Travel Tips for Mexico:
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.