17 Top Cozumel Packing List Items + What to Wear & NOT to Bring (2019)

Updated on February 8, 2019 by Asher Fergusson

What do I need to bring to Cozumel?

Cozumel is a magical and thrilling place for beach-goers and adventure-seekers alike. Because of the wide range of activities, packing can be tough – we’ll help you learn what to wear in Cozumel, how to pack, and what NOT to bring. We’ll also answer top Cozumel FAQs.

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 tropical paradise!


1) Waterproof phone case – 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.
View on Amazon.com ➜

2) Travel Insurance for Cozumel – 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 are cancelled on you, or you break a bone, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you’re covered.
View their plans at WorldNomads.com ➜

3) Snorkel – An incredible snorkelling destination such as Cozumel calls for quality equipment. Don’t miss your chance to spot sea turtles, whale sharks, and more because your ill-fitting rented snorkel fogs up. Bring your own!
View on Amazon.com ➜

4) Rashguard Men’s and Women’s – 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.
View on Amazon.com ➜

5) Waterproof Camera – Cozumel is one of the world’s premier diving and snorkelling destinations. You won’t regret bringing a waterproof action camera to help you document your adventures for your friends back home!
View on Amazon.com ➜

6) Sunglasses (unisex) – Polarized sunglasses are critical for any beach vacation. Did you know retina sunburn is a thing? You don’t want to find out what it feels like. Protect your eyes from the bright sun with this stylish pair of sunnies. They look great on both men and women!
View on Amazon.com ➜

7) Guidebook – A guidebook is always a handy addition to your packing list. If you’re in need of last-minute activity suggestions, restaurant listings, or transportation info, a guidebook is a reliable place to find it. Buy the Kindle version to save space in your pack.
View on Amazon.com ➜

8) Reef Safe Sunscreen – It’s important to protect our natural environment by using biodegradable sunscreen. It can be tricky to find reef safe sunscreen in Mexico, so be sure to bring your own.
View on Amazon.com ➜

9) Beach bag – This lightweight backpack is ideal for carrying everything you need for a day at the beach. When empty it can be easily be compacted into your luggage to take up minimal space.
View on Amazon.com ➜

10) Bluetooth Speaker – 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.
View on Amazon.com ➜

11) Selfie Stick – A selfie stick is a great way to capture your vacation from a new perspective! There’s nothing worse than going on a trip and coming home with zero photos of yourself. Avoid that fate with this handy device.
View on Amazon.com ➜

12) Quick-dry Towel – This travel towel is the ideal addition to your beach bag. Pack it along on the boat during your snorkelling tour, or use it as a bath towel in your Airbnb. It’s compact and easy to dry, even in the humidity.
View on Amazon.com ➜

13) Portable Charger – 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 in your day bag, so you won’t even know it’s there.
View on Amazon.com ➜

14) Insect repellant – Bugs can be fierce in tropical environments, and bites may quickly become infected in the heat and humidity. Protect yourself from itchy bites by packing a strong insect repellent.
View on Amazon.com ➜

15) Packing cubes – 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 struggle.
View on Amazon.com ➜

16) Hanging toiletry bag – This hanging toiletry kit is a great way to keep all of your items neatly condensed and in one place. You can easily unpack and repack this kit when passing through airport security, making the process as quick as possible.
View on Amazon.com ➜

17) Luggage tags – It can be easy to misplace your luggage in a sea of black suitcases. Set your bag apart with one of these colorful luggage tags.
View on Amazon.com ➜

Other items to bring


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.

What should WOMEN wear in Cozumel? – (Click to expand)

Cozumel’s warm, tropical climate calls for comfortable, lightweight beach attire. Women will feel fresh and stylish in sundresses, linen shorts, and blouses, or maxi dresses. During the day as you’re exploring the beaches, archaeological sites, or riding your scooter around the island, you’ll be most comfortable in shorts a t-shirt, and hiking sandals. Be sure to bring a swimsuit coverup, or a long-sleeved t-shirt to avoid over-exposure to the sun. In the evenings, a sundress or maxi dress paired with flip flops or wedge sandals are perfect for strolling the streets of the town of San Miguel and dining out.














What should MEN wear in Cozumel? – (Click to expand)

When visiting Cozumel, men should plan to spend most of their time in beach attire. Shorts and a t-shirt are perfect for day to day. In the evenings a resort wear styled outfit will add a little composure to your look as you enjoy dinner out on the town. Sensible shoes or sandals are ideal during the day as you’re liable to do lots of walking, but flip flops are perfect for the beach. Don’t forget to pack polarized sunglasses and a sunhat to protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays.












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


1) 🚫 Fancy Jewelry – It’s always best to leave fancy jewelry at home when traveling. Many of your activities in Cozumel are bound to be recreational, and it would be easy for one of your valuables to slip off and get lost in the ocean. Instead, leave your jewels at home where they’re safe.
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.
4) 🚫 Revealing Clothing – Mexico is a conservative Catholic country, so it’s important to keep this in mind when packing for your trip. Avoid wearing anything too revealing as it can lead to unwanted attention, and make a bad impression on the locals.
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.


Follow us for more tips and inspiration

Like us on Facebook here:

Top