Updated on February 19, 2020 by Asher Fergusson
We’ll help you learn what to wear in Cozumel, how to pack, and what NOT to bring. We’ll also answer top FAQs about Cozumel travel.
Don’t forget that any trip will require patience and a little go-with-the-flow flexibility – let yourself enjoy the ride and have fun in this Mexican paradise!
What to Pack for Cozumel – 17 Essentials
1. Neck Wallet
Don’t be the victim of pickpocketing and petty theft during your vacation in Cozumel. Particularly in more touristy areas, you’ll want to avoid becoming a target. Keep your phone, passport, wallet, and keys safe and out of sight in this handy neck wallet that can be worn beneath your clothes.
Cozumel is one of the world’s premier diving and snorkeling destinations. You won’t regret bringing a waterproof action camera to help document your adventures for your friends back home! This one is compact, durable, and SUPER affordable.
A waterproof phone case is an essential item for visiting Cozumel. It enables you to bring your phone with you to capture the stunning underwater scenery. Additionally, you can swim while having the piece of mind that your valuables aren’t left unattended on the beach.
These handy packing cubes help you condense your items so they fit seamlessly into your luggage. These will surely make packing and unpacking a breeze rather than a frustrating struggle. Packing cubes will help keep your belongings organized and will ensure you avoid overpacking as well!
Much of your trip to Cozumel is liable to be spent on the beach, far from a power outlet. Keep your phone and camera topped up with this tiny portable charger. It easily slips into your day bag, so you won’t even know it’s there.
It’s important to take all of the precautions possible when it comes to sun exposure in the Caribbean. A severe sunburn can really derail your vacation. If you’re planning to spend extended time on the water, be sure to pack a rash guard to help protect your skin.
Keep yourself protected from potential hackers when you inevitably connect to WiFi in public places like hotels, cafes, and airports while in Cozumel. Using a VPN while on WiFi will ensure that your sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers remain safe and secure.
If you’re visiting from the United States, you will not need an adapter to plug in your electronics while in Cozumel. However, if you’re traveling from another country, you’ll definitely need to use a reliable adapter. This one is amazing because it works in nearly every country and comes with a lifetime warranty guarantee!
The tap water isn’t safe to drink in Cozumel. To stay properly hydrated and avoid using endless single-use plastic water bottles, invest in a handy LifeStraw water bottle which will filter your drinking water and keep you comfortable in the hot Mexican sun.
10. Quick Dry Towel
This travel towel is essential for your trip to Mexico and can easily be tossed in your beach bag or daypack. Bring it on the boat during your snorkelling tour or use it as a bath towel in your Airbnb. It’s compact, lightweight, and dries easily, even in the humidity.
It’s important to protect the environment by using biodegradable sunscreen. It can be tricky to find reef safe sunscreen in Mexico, so be sure to bring your own. Protect yourself from Cozumel’s intense sun rays in a safe and environmentally responsible way!
Travel insurance is non-negotiable. It’s always best to take precautions when you’re abroad. In the event that your luggage gets lost, reservations get cancelled, or you break a bone, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re covered.
13. Beach Bag
This cute beach bag is ideal for carrying everything you need for a day at the beach. It’s waterproof and even comes with an insulated cooler in the bottom so you can keep your snacks and drinks fresh while you lounge at the beach or pool.
This speaker is the perfect way to turn a beach day into a beach party. It’s easily portable and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about keeping it out of the splash zone. You can easily connect through bluetooth so you won’t need to be in a WiFi zone to use it.
Though the food in Mexico is indisputably delicious, the cleanliness standards may not be up to what you’re used to in your home country. Be sure to bring along activated charcoal tablets which will quickly absorb toxins in your system to keep you healthy and enjoying your vacation.
Whether you’re hanging out at the beach, the pool, or popping into a seaside cafe for a snack and a drink, you’ll definitely want a stylish swimsuit cover up. This one is cute, affordable, and comfortable, and it’s perfect to throw on after a day in the sun.
17. Gorgeous Dress
Regardless of your plans while in Cozumel, it’s likely that you’ll enjoy at least one nice dinner or night out on the town. Be prepared with a stylish, lightweight dress that can be dressed up or down with the right accessories. This one is gorgeous and looks great on a variety of body types.
Other Cozumel packing list items not to forget
What should I wear in Cozumel?
Cozumel Island is undoubtedly one of the ultimate beach destinations. Located right off the coast of Playa del Carmen, in Mexico’s Caribbean, it delivers pristine beaches, luxurious hospitality, fantastic diving experiences, archeological sites and fun for the young-hearted and adventurous.
When visiting a tropical island such as this one, casual, lightweight clothing is ideal. Think linen or light cotton items that will keep you feeling fresh in the humidity and sunlight. Obviously, beach attire is the go-to, but don’t forget to account for rainstorms, which may crop up at any time in the Caribbean.
Dry Season (February, March, April)
Cozumel’s dry season lasts just a few months. During this time, the daily temperature averages in the mid 80’s, and in the evenings it drops as low as 70. Packing for this time of year is pretty straightforward. Stick to lightweight, breathable fabrics, and ensure you have ample protection from the sun. Bring a light sweater or pashmina for a little extra warmth after the sun goes down.
Wet Season (May, June, July, August, September, October, December, January)
Cozumel’s wet season lasts for the majority of the year, but September and October are the wettest months. You can expect temperatures in the mid-80’s during the day. In November and December, the temperature can go as low as 65 degrees overnight. You can expect heavy rain showers, complete with thunder and lightning, frequently throughout these months. Your standard beach attire is perfect the majority of the time, but be sure to pack a compact rain shell or poncho in case you get caught in a shower.
What to wear for activities in Cozumel
Snorkeling/Diving – Cozumel’s Palancar reef is one of the most famous diving destinations in the world. If you book a tour to scope out the life below the sea, be sure to pack reef-safe sunscreen. It’s wise to bring a rash guard to protect you from the sun during snorkeling trips. Finally, don’t forget a waterproof action camera to help you capture memories from your trip!
Beach Club – There are many lively beach clubs along the coast of Cozumel. Board shorts and a t-shirt is the ideal uniform for a day of sand and surf. Meanwhile, women will feel great in a swimsuit and sundress or swimsuit coverup. Be sure to bring a beach bag to carry your reading material and water bottle.
Eco-Parks – Cozumel’s eco-parks offer an excellent way to experience the beaches, snorkeling reefs, and wildlife on the island. Be sure to quick-dry, active clothing as you’re bound to lots of walking, sunbathing, and venturing in and out of the water. A daypack is a great addition to carry a beach towel, snacks, and water.
Mayan Ruins – Some of the most important places of worship for the Mayan people are located on Cozumel. Visiting these sites makes a wonderful, educational day trip. Be sure to wear breathable clothing as you’re bound to spend lots of time in the direct sunlight. Sensible shoes are ideal as well; sneakers or hiking sandals will protect your toes while keeping your feet comfortable in the heat.
What NOT to bring to Cozumel
2) Heavy Clothing – While Cozumel can be rainy, it is almost never cold. Save space in your bag for souvenirs and leave your heavy layers at home. Instead, be sure to pack a rain shell in case of showers.
3) Don’t overpack – Overpacking just adds extra weight and expense to your trip. Hauling around a bulky suitcase is inconvenient on cobblestone streets. Streamline your packing to include only the essentials.
5) Books – Books are bulky, heavy, and don’t stand up well in humidity. Instead, bring a lightweight, compact Kindle. As a bonus, you won’t have to strain your eyes to read in the sun, as the brightness auto-adjust to fit the lighting in your environment.
6) Excessive Cash – There’s no need to carry a large amount of cash during your trip to Cozumel, as there are plenty of banks with reliable ATMs from which to withdraw money. Carrying large sums of money makes you vulnerable to theft, so avoid bringing more than you need.
What NOT to wear in Cozumel
Cozumel is the epitome of a casual, Caribbean beach destination. Casual, beach-friendly clothes are the most ideal option. Avoid packing heavy layers, as the temperatures in Cozumel are regularly in the 80’s, even during the wet season. You’ll feel uncomfortable and sticky in anything too heavy. Instead, stick to light, synthetic layers if you’re in need of a sweater. If you’re staying at a resort, be sure to pack a couple of dressier outfits, like chinos and a collared shirt for men, or a maxi dress for women. This will have you looking stylish during dinner at the resort restaurants.
FAQs about a vacation in Cozumel
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit Cozumel is February through April. During this time of year, the water is clear and warm, and the daily temperatures sit comfortably in the mid-80s. This is also the dry season, so the air is less humid, and rain showers are rare. You are almost guaranteed to have perfect weather during this time of year.
What are the best things to do on Cozumel?
Cozumel’s main attraction, by far, is the Palancar reef. Visitors come from all over the world to dive on this spectacular undersea landmark. If you’re not a diver, snorkeling is a close alternative. For landlubbers, there are plenty of beaches, eco-parks, and Mayan ruins to visit. You can also sample tequila, or take a surf lesson the east side of the island.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Due to the large number of tourists that visit Cozumel each year (over 1 million), many of the locals, particularly those in customer-facing roles, speak English. That said, it is a nice gesture to learn a few courtesy phrases in Spanish. This will help you make an excellent first impression when interacting with locals.
What is the best way to get around?
The most popular method of transportation on Cozumel is by rented scooter. It’s a great way to zip around the island and see all the sights without spending a lot of money on gas. That said, a rental car is a great alternative for those who prefer a roof over their heads. You generally have the option to rent a vintage VW beetle, a jeep, or a typical sedan. During high season it’s important to reserve your car ahead of time, as there can be shortages.
How do I get to Cozumel?
The three most common ways to arrive on Cozumel are by plane to the Cozumel airport, on a cruise ship, or by passenger ferry from Playa del Carmen. The ferry ride from Playa del Carmen lasts about 45 minutes, and ferries depart every hour in each direction.
Is tipping expected?
Tipping is expected within Mexico, including on Cozumel. Tipping 10 to 20% in restaurants is standard. You should also plan to tip tour guides, and the cleaning staff in your hotel. There is no standard set amount to tip for those individuals, so it is ultimately left up to your discretion.
What is the currency on Cozumel?
Cozumel’s local currency is the Mexican Peso. Because of the large number of tourists from the US, some businesses will accept US dollars in addition to pesos. However, you typically get the best rate when you pay in pesos.