What to Pack for Cancun Mexico Featured

What to Pack for Cancun, Mexico

To be honest, all-inclusive resorts are not really my style.

I’m not a huge fan of the lack of personality most resorts have, and the environmental footprint of most resorts is horrible. But, back in 2014, I spent two wonderful long weekends at Moon Palace in Cancun.

Cancun has become a popular destination since 2014, with lots of travelers hitting up the resorts, or going independent along the Caribbean coast of Mexico. If Cancun (or nearby Tulum) are on your list, here’s what you need to pack for Cancun.

What to Pack for Seattle

Cancun Packing List Graphic

If you, like me, are escaping to an all-inclusive resort, there’s not a lot you need to pack for Cancun. The primary theme? Pool attire!

  • Comfy split-back tanks. Given that the average temperature in Cancun ranges from 70-85°F, warm-weather clothes are a must. Split-bank tanks in a variety of bright colors will be perfect for a morning stroll, or an afternoon nap in the hammock. Buy on Amazon.
  • Colorful shorts. The best part about locking yourself away at a resort is that you can wear whatever you like. Whether it’s cute colorful J.Crew chinos or cozy yoga shorts, you can work on your leg tan and add a pop of color.
  • Maxi dress. When the sun goes down, you’ll want to put on a little more ‘formal’ dress for dinner at one of the resort restaurants. I have this maxi in valise teal, and it’s super comfy while still covering you up. Buy on Amazon.

Okay, enough clothes!

  • One-piece suits. I simply adore this scalloped strapless one-piece that I saw my super-fashionable blogger friend Kerrie wear on our Caribbean cruise. It’s retro-cute but also the peek-a-boo front is pretty sexy. Just be sure to put sunscreen on so you don’t get weird tan lines! Buy on Amazon.
  • Two-piece suits. High-neck bikinis came back in, and I’m so grateful for it. I burn super bad on my chest, and bikinis with a high neck help protect me. I’ve had this colorful one on my list for a year at least! Buy on Amazon.
  • Pool cover-up. When you need to throw a layer on to walk through the lobby, aim for something with a little Mexican flair. I always love an opportunity to wear brightly colored pompoms, don’t you? Buy on Amazon.
  • Sunglasses. Colorful lenses, gold cat-eye frames. Need I say more? Buy on Amazon.
  • Pool shoes. I always love jelly shoes, and I’ll be snagging a new pair of these for summer. Look past the fact they’re Crocs — actually, that pretty much guarantees they’ll be comfy too when you’re strolling through the resort grounds. Buy on Amazon.

The best part? All of this will fit in a seriously small back… no need to overpack for Cancun!

Exploring Beyond the Resorts in Cancun

If you want to get away from the resorts in Cancun, there are some amazing destinations within reach.

  • Relax in Tulum. This Yucatan town, south of Cancun along the Caribbean coast, is known for its laid-back vibes and Mayan ruins.
  • Take a road trip on the Yucatan. Chichen Itza, one of the new seven wonders of the world, is a massive complex of ruins and pyramids is one of the top destinations in the Yucatan. Similarly, Ik-Kil cenote is a top spot for travelers. This famous rock formation isn’t far from Chichen Itza and is a perfect spot for an afternoon swim. See my recommended Yucatan road trip itinerary.
  • Explore Rio Secreto. A perfect day trip you can book from most resorts, Rio Secreto is a huge underwater river system. One of the coolest and most unusual experiences I’ve had, I highly recommend adding this to your Cancun itinerary. See my full review of Rio Secreto.

What other questions do you have about traveling to Cancun?

16 Responses to “What to Pack for Cancun, Mexico

  • Don’t forget to throw in a light sweater! It can be a bit nippy at nights this time of year 🙂

    • Valerie
      4 years ago

      Good idea, Tim! I will have a cardigan and my rain coat with me from leaving Seattle, so hopefully those will do!

  • It’s been so cold lately I’m craving a trip to somewhere warm and tropical like Cancun! I have also been loving the one piece trend. I don’t tan very easily, so I love that it covers me up while still allowing me to get some sun!


    • I’m the same — I have to get suits that cover me up or I spend the entire vacation roasted and unhappy 🙁 Thanks for commenting!

  • Ashley Stephenson
    11 months ago

    That black scalloped 1 piece is so cute! We are going to Mexico in May for a wedding!

    • Right? I love it too — especially as it comes with straps if you need a little extra support. Have a great time in Mexico — where are you going?

  • My Veteran Woman Life
    11 months ago

    I could SO use a vacation to Cancun right now! I’ve never been but have always wanted to go there. Goals 2019!

  • This is a great list of must haves to pack! Every time I’ve been in Mexico, I’ve just wanted flowy dresses because of the humidity and weather! Love your picks!

    • Very good points! I don’t love dresses, and I prefer to wear shorts… between the two of us we’d have a balanced packing list! 🙂

  • Taylor Smith
    11 months ago


  • I’ve learned that I shouldn’t even bother with shorts because I already wear dresses every day in my normal life. I’d have it broken down from casual dresses to more formal, lol. I’ve also yet to do an all-inclusive because I don’t like to be confined, but I know I need to get that and a cruise off of my list.

    • I totally agree – I couldn’t believe I enjoyed all-inclusive as much as I did, for at least 2-3 days. After that, I got stir crazy! I’d love to see what dresses you’d suggest! I never wear them so I always forget to add them to my packing lists!

  • Love that cover up! We stayed near Cancun in Playa Mujeres for our honeymoon and had a blast!

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