Tulum Packing List

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Last Updated on July 24, 2021

Whether you’re all booked for a vacation to Tulum, Mexico or just starting your planning, the question of what to wear is an important one. Tulum is unlike any other destination in the world, with a chic but laid back vibe, stunning white-sand beaches, and world-class hotels and restaurants. For first-time visitors, this can make it a little intimidating to pack for! I’ve been lucky to visit many times over more than a decade, and have compiled all my best tips into this Tulum packing list.

This Tulum, Mexico packing list also works for other destinations in the Riviera Maya like Cancun, Akumal, Playa del Carmen and Bacalar. In it you’ll find basic “what to wear” in Tulum fashion tips, a comprehensive Tulum packing list, and additional items to bring based on your activities and itinerary. There are handy links to shop online and Tulum outfits inspo. And I’ve also included weather information so you’re covered no matter what time of year you visit!

If you’re just getting started with your vacation planning, don’t miss all my Tulum tips including the best beachfront hotels, best Tulum Airbnbs, and how to visit Tulum on a budget.

Plus, if you subscribe to my mailing list, you can download my printable basic packing list and capsule wardrobe planner that goes along with my guide to how to create a packing list for any destination!

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What to Wear in Tulum: The Laid-Back Tulum Vibe

Do you have a muumuu?  Have you ever wanted to unleash your sexy inner Mrs. Roper? (You remember her – the downstairs neighbor from the Three’s Company sitcom!?)  That airy dress you bought on a whim to look like the Instagram “influencers,” but then chickened out on wearing?  FIND IT NOW — it’s perfect.

The Tulum style is chic yet laid back, so think flowy skirts, rompers, caftans and off-the-shoulder dresses with sandals.  People do dress up more for dinner at the nicer restaurants. But still, Tulum is a beach destination, so it’s more of an effortless chic look. I only pack dresses and cover-ups, because if I get a sunburn I want the least amount of stuff touching my lobster-y body as possible.

Find out what to wear in Tulum and get an overview of Tulum style & activities with this quick video!

Tulum Packing List: What To Wear in Tulum
I felt like I took the sexy Mrs. Roper joke too far, so I made you guys this video. 😀

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Tulum Weather and Seasons for Packing

Tulum has a tropical climate and the weather is pretty consistent year-round. The wettest months are June – October, and the Caribbean waters there are warmest in August. As you can see below, you might need a light jacket or sweater at night in the winter months. But do not underestimate the sun — you’ll need to wear sunscreen to avoid a bad burn in all seasons of the year.

a chart of Tulum temperatures by month
Average highs and lows by month in Tulum, courtesy holidayweather.com
graph of Tulum rainfall averages by month - average rainfall and rainy days
Average rainfall and rainy days in Tulum from holidayweather.com

Get more details on Tulum’s weather for your specific vacation dates at holidayweather.com.

Tulum Activities to Pack For

So what will you be doing on your Tulum trip? Relaxing on a beach lounger. Taking sunset walks. Eating at local spots — and even the fancy ones are relatively casual since it’s a beach destination.  Cooling off in cenotes or the beach by Mayan ruins.  Snorkeling with turtles up the road in Akumal Bay. Bicycling along the beach road.

If you plan to get around by bike, you’ll want to add some shorts or rompers to your Tulum packing list.  Also, leave your heels at home: the roads are poorly paved and are unlit at night. Instead bring flip flops and strappy sandals. Add a pair of sneakers or hiking sandals if you plan to bicycle or explore ruins and cenotes.  Many beach hotels have sand pathways as soon as you step onto their grounds — which means BARE FEET. (Ahhhhhh, relaxxx.)

a woman in silhouette looking toward the beach

Tulum Packing List Planning

I usually recommend a travel capsule wardrobe for packing. But truly, what you’ll wear most in Tulum is a bathing suit and cover up! I have a step-by-step guide to creating a packing list for any trip using a travel capsule wardrobe – check it out here.

For your Tulum packing list, I recommend packing at least two bathing suits and cover-ups since you’ll spend most of your time on the beach. I’d also take 5-7 dresses or rompers/outfits based on how many days you will stay. 

photo of beach bar and restaurant in the sand at Tulum beach

Taking one-piece outfits doesn’t allow you to mix-and-match, but you can always “sink-wash” a few items.  Tulum restaurants are lit mostly by candlelight and lanterns, so no one’s ever going to know if you re-wear your faves.  Also a bathing suit with a sarong is completely acceptable attire for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner at many laid-back beachfront spots!

As with your heels, leave most of your jewelry at home. Again, the Tulum style is super laid-back. Bring some basic, packable jewelry and maybe a statement neckace and earrings for nicer dinners and your Instagram shots.

Tulum Packing Checklist

Depending on how long you’ll stay, your personal style, and what your activities will be, you can customize this Tulum packing list for what to wear in Tulum. Keep scrolling for more Tulum outfits inspiration and tips on what luggage to bring to Tulum!

photo of a sample packing list wardrobe and outfits for Tulum

sundresses | rompers | bathing suits | caftans | sarongs | cover-ups | packable sun hat | straw crossbody bag or clutch | weekend bag | backpack or carry-on

Ultimate Tulum Packing List

view of woman in archway at Tulum ruins

Tulum packing list “extras” based on activities

Based on my prior trips to Tulum, I recommend also packing these “extras” according to your activities and itinerary plans.

Things to pack for visiting Tulum cenotes and snorkeling

view from above of a woman at a cenote

What pack for visiting the Tulum ruins and other day trips

Things to bring for use at your Tulum hotel

  • Battery pack – if your hotel has limited hours of electricity
  • Tide sink packets for handwashing items or rinsing out your bathing suits
  • If you plan to take any snacks, bring plastic zip bags or containers with lids to keep them in – the tiny ants in Mexico will find anything sweet!
aerial view of the Maya ruins at Tulum overlooking the Caribbean

Tulum Outfits Inspo & Extra Shopping Links

Need some Tulum outfits inspo and more ideas on what to wear in Tulum? Shop these cover ups, dresses, swimwear and accessories that are perfect for the low-key, chic Tulum style!

What Luggage Should You Bring to Tulum?

Tulum beach hotels often have uneven paving or sandy paths to get to your room. I figured this out the first time I visited Tulum, when I had to drag my wheeled bag through the sand to my beachfront cabana. (Insert world’s tiniest violin song here!)

If you’re someone who can pack carry-on only, though, you won’t have any problems. This Delsey Helium carry-on is a stylish option if you need a new wheeled bag, and this carry-on is a great weekend tote that slides over a bag handle.

If you’re looking for a versatile backpack, this classic pack from Osprey has an awesome deal right now since a newer model just came out. Osprey has a lifetime warranty and is a favorite of adventure travelers!

photo of an aerial view of Playa Pescadores in Tulum
Playa Pescadores in Tulum

Pro beach tip

Learn to tie a sarong with this video from Cosmopolitan.

Buen Viaje!

I hope this guide helps you have an amazing Tulum trip! Be sure to join my mailing list to download my free packing list and capsule wardrobe planner, and check out my guide to creating a packing list for any trip.

How to Create A Packing List With A Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Learn how to create a packing list for minimalist travel with my step-by-step guide. Travel light and chic + get a free packing list template & capsule wardrobe planner!

Read more

Haven’t finalized your getaway yet?

Check out my travel guide on booking an affordable trip to Tulum!

Tulum on A Budget: 6 Steps to Beach Bliss on a Budget

Tulum, Mexico is a hip vacation spot frequented by the stars. Get my best tips for an affordable Tulum trip: budget hotels, restaurants, activities & more!

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Or get my tips on the best beachfront hotels in Tulum and Tulum Airbnbs, including boutique stays, luxury resorts and villas great for a group.

Where to Stay in Tulum: Best Tulum Beach Hotels, Resorts & Villas

Tulum has a seductive hold over many vacation-goers thanks to its stunning setting and beach hotels that let you step from your room right into sugary-soft white sand. Find out the best places to stay for a dream vacation, honeymoon or girls’ trip here!

Read more

Airbnb Tulum Mexico: Stylish Stays + Insider Tulum Tips!

Get expert tips on the best Airbnb Tulum stays, from budget glamping to beachfront cabanas, stylish apartments. and luxury villas for a group!

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Ultimate Mexico Packing List

Headed to more Mexico destinations? Don’t miss my ultimate Mexico packing list!

Packing List for Mexico From Cabo to Cancun + Outfits Inspo!

Grab these packing tips for museum hopping in Mexico City, relaxing on beaches, or climbing ruins and swimming in cenotes.  From Cabo to Cancun and everywhere in between, this ultimate packing list for Mexico will have you covered!

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Tulum, Mexico Packing List

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Adrienne, The Haphazard Traveler

I used to be a hot travel mess, but I got better! I kept the name and now blog my best tips for culture and adventure travel from around the globe. Follow along for travel advice, destination info, and photography from faraway lands - and at home in Washington, D.C.

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