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17 Top Merida/Yucatan Packing List Items for 2022 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring:

Beach in the Yucatan
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With all that Merida and the Yucatan have to offer, packing for your trip can feel a bit overwhelming. You’ll want to be ready for all of the incredible nature, fascinating archaeological sites, and quaint historical towns.

This packing list has got you covered so you don’t forget a thing. We’ve included our favorite must-have products, a guide on what to wear, what NOT to bring, and answers to our most common FAQs on Merida/Yucatan to help make planning and packing for your trip as stress-free as possible!

What to Pack for Merida/Yucatan – 17 Essentials

  • 1.

    The Yucatan is a water lover’s paradise. If you plan on spending any time by the water whether it’s by the pool, on the beach, or in a freshwater cenote, then you’ll need a towel to dry off. I never travel without one of these quick-dry towels because they are portable, easy to clean, don’t attract sand, and of course, quick-drying.

  • 2.

    A great way to cut down on plastic waste and also save money is by using a LifeStraw water bottle. Since it is not recommended to drink tap water in Mexico most people end up buying bottle after bottle of water. By using a LifeStraw bottle instead you can refill your bottle straight from the tap knowing that your LifeStraw will filter out any harmful viruses or bacteria.

  • 3.

    Be prepared for some hot weather in Merida. When you’re in town and away from the beach breeze the humid air can feel pretty heavy but don’t worry! A cooling towel has been a lifesaver for my family and me on many hot days. All you do is wet the towel, ring out any excess water, and then enjoy the cooling effect these clever towels offer. It’s incredible how icy cold they get!

  • 4.

    One of the worst things that could happen on any vacation is ruining your phone by getting it wet and losing all of your vacation photos. The best way to protect your phone when you’re by the pool or on the beach is to keep it in a waterproof case. Not only does it protect your phone from water damage but you can actually use it underwater to get some really fun action shots!

  • 5.

    No matter where you travel you’ll want a set of packing cubes. They are so helpful for keeping your luggage organized and you stress-free. Each set comes with a variety of sized cubes so you can group items together in a cube that fits everything perfectly. Gone are the days of rummaging through your suitcase and never being able to find anything. Trust me. These are game-changers!

  • 6.

    It might be something that’s easy to overlook, but a good beach bag will be so useful you won’t know what you would’ve done without one. You’ll likely be toting sunscreen, towels, snacks, and who knows what else to and from the beach and beyond on a daily basis. Having a beach bag will help you be prepared for the day’s adventure by having all of your essentials ready to go in one bag.

  • 7.

    You’ll definitely need an umbrella during the rainy summer months, but it’s always a good idea to have one just in case no matter the time of year. I love this particular travel umbrella because it feels durable and well-made but at the same time, it’s very compact and easy to pack into any small bag.

  • 8.

    Your vacation becomes even more stress-free when you travel with travel insurance. You can protect your belongings in case of damage or theft. You can also relax knowing that if any health problems arise during your trip you can find treatment without it costing you a fortune. We recommend using TravelInsurance.com to compare plans from top companies and find the best one for you.

  • 9.

    To keep valuables like your passport, credit cards, and cash from being misplaced or stolen during your trip, a next wallet is a perfect solution. This one lays discreetly under your shirt while keeping your things easily within reach. The different zippered compartments help to keep things organized so you always know where everything is.

  • 10.

    The only thing worse than mosquitos is sticky, chemical-filled bug spray. Keep the bugs away with this all-natural bug spray lotion. You don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals like DEET potentially harming your family with this repellent. Its ingredients are naturally derived and really work to keep pesky mosquitoes away.

  • 11.

    We use our phones for everything these days, especially when we travel. They are our GPS, camera, and tour guide all rolled into one. Needless to say, you don’t want to be caught out and about with a dead phone. It’s always a good idea to take a small portable charger like this one when you leave the hotel.

  • 12.

    If you plan on spending time in the ocean or cenotes then reef-safe sunscreen is a must. Oftentimes you’ll see signs by cenotes saying to not swim with sunscreen on because traditional sunscreen contains chemicals that are harmful to the delicate jungle ecosystems. The same goes for coral reefs in the ocean. Traces of sunscreen have been found to bleach corals. You’re better off using reef-safe sunscreen that way you can still protect yourself from the sun while leaving the environment unharmed.

  • 13.

    A VPN is extremely useful to have when you travel and connect to public wifi. You never know who else has access to public wifi networks and you don’t want to risk having your information stolen from your computer. A VPN is a relatively inexpensive and sure way to secure your personal information on your devices so that nobody else can access it. We use NordVPN and it ticks all the boxes.

  • 14.

    Between planes, hotels, tours, and public amenities it’s best to keep your hands free of germs after being in a shared space. Nothing is worse than getting sick on vacation. Hand sanitizer is an easy way to stay germ-free so you can stay healthy and keep having fun.

  • 15.

    Nourish sun-kissed skin on the daily with a moisturizing Aloe vera gel. Between the sun and the saltwater, your skin will need a good dose of daily hydration. It also soothes sunburns in case you forget to reapply sunscreen.

  • 16.

    A sand-resistant blanket is essential for any beach trip. They are lightweight but spacious. The silky material doesn’t catch sands like beach towels. When the beach day is over, simply give the blanket a few shakes and it’s sand-free! You’ll appreciate not having all of your belongings covered in sand.

  • 17.

    Even if you come prepared with bug spray, there will be times that you forget it and will get a few aggravating bug bites. We all know we aren’t supposed to scratch bites, but we also all know that it’s so hard not to. A good anti-itch cream will help resolve irritating bug bites and the urge to scratch them.

What to Wear in Merida/Yucatan

Merida and the Yucatan can be very hot, but don’t be surprised to see locals in long pants and long sleeve shirts. Mexicans tend to dress on the conservative side due to their catholic roots and also wear less revealing clothing to protect themselves from the sun. However, as a tourist in Mexico, there is no problem wearing shorts and tank tops and whatever other beach attire you feel most comfortable in.

The climate is hot and humid, and rainy during the summer. Lightweight clothing is ideal for keeping dry and cool. You’ll have some nicer restaurants to choose from so a dressier outfit or two will come in handy on any nights out. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as you will likely be doing a lot of walking around cute towns and on fun nature excursions.

What should WOMEN wear in Merida/Yucatan? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample Women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

The Yucatan is full of beautiful beaches so be sure to pack your favorite beach attire such as a cover-up, sun hat, sandals, and of course a couple of swimsuits. When you’re not lounging on the beach, light-weight and breathable clothing are ideal as it is hot and humid pretty much year-round. Dresses and skirts are perfect day or night.

A cute pair of sandals and a comfortable pair of walking shoes will cover you for just about any activity. Activewear is also very handy for more active excursions. You’ll be much more comfortable in moisture-wicking athletic clothes while ziplining than in a skirt or jeans!

What should MEN wear in Merida/Yucatan? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Men will likely be most comfortable enjoying the warm weather and the laid-back atmosphere of Merida and the Yucatan in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. If the occasion arises where you want to dine at a nicer restaurant then a button-down shirt and pants would be the way to go.

For lazy beach days or exciting outings in the jungle, swim trunks, and lightweight athletic wear will keep you cool and comfortable. A pair of sandals and comfortable walking shoes are all the footwear you’ll need to comfortably explore all that the Yucatan has to offer.

Packing for the Seasons in Merida/Yucatan

WET SEASON – May, June, July, August, September, October

It’s hot in Merida and the Yucatan year-round, but the wet season is considered the hottest time of year. Your typical beach attire (shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, dresses, swimsuits, and flip-flops) is what you’ll want to pack. Pick light-weight materials that dry quickly to help wick moisture away and keep you cool.

If you visit the Yucatan during this time of year you’ll want to pack some sort of rain gear such as a rain poncho, umbrella, or raincoat as you’ll likely encounter a few rain showers. The average highs are in the upper 90’s and the lows are in the lower 70’s. Dressing in layers will be key. Shorts and a t-shirt are perfect for the day but depending on the person you might need a light sweater at night.

DRY SEASON – November, December, January, February, March, April

The dry season is a very popular time of year to visit the Yucatan. Slightly cooler temperatures, less rain, and holidays in December all make for an ideal time to explore. Just as in the wet season, beach attire will be appropriate during most of your trip. Since the temperatures are slightly lower with highs in the low 90’s and lows in the 60’s you’ll want to bring light layers.
There typically isn’t much rain this time of year so just a travel umbrella should be enough in the off chance there is a rain shower.

How to dress for activities in Merida/Yucatan? (Click to expand)

Water Activities – Since the Yucatan is conveniently located on Mexico’s beautiful Caribbean coast, you can imagine the abundance of water activities offered. Whether you go snorkeling, sport fishing, kayaking, jet-skiing, scuba diving, or whale watching, it’s important to dress comfortably. You’ll want to wear a comfortable swimsuit, flip-flops or sandals, light-weight shorts, and a t-shirt, sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. Bringing along a travel towel, water bottle, and beach bag would also be a good idea.

Exploring the Town – Merida is one of many stunning colonial towns that can be found in the Yucatan. Since you won’t be right on the beach you’ll likely be missing some of the refreshing sea breezes so make sure to dress light. Ladies, this would be a great time to wear your favorite, airy dress or skirt. Shorts and a t-shirt are also comfortable options and the more might-weight the better. Many might find the cobblestone streets to be slightly annoying to walk on in sandals so a pair of walking shoes might be a good idea. Stay protected from the sun with sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

Jungle Adventures – There are plenty of exciting excursions to go on in the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula such as cenote swimming and wildlife spotting. Longer clothes or bug spray will be essential to keeping mosquitoes away. A sturdy pair of walking shoes will help you explore more comfortably. In the case that you plan to visit a waterfall or cenote don’t forget to bring a swimsuit and a travel towel.

What NOT to Bring to Merida/Yucatan

  • 1.Expensive Jewelry and Valuables

    Usually, it’s not the best idea to bring expensive jewelry when traveling in case it gets lost or stolen. Walking around with flashy jewelry makes you stand out as a target for thieves. And this doesn’t only apply to jewelry. As a general rule, it’s not wise to walk around with anything valuable in plain sight, whether that’s jewelry, an iPhone, or an expensive camera. Better be discreet with the valuables you bring or just don’t bring them at all.

  • 2.Drones

    It is actually illegal to fly a drone in Mexico unless you are a Mexican citizen. That means that they could potentially confiscate it at the airport if you try to bring one into the country as a tourist. Better not risk it and sit the drone out for this trip.

  • 3.Thick Clothing

    Besides a light sweater, you won’t be needing any warm clothes in the Yucatan. It’s hot year-round so don’t weigh yourself down with a bunch of unnecessary warm clothes. The lighter the clothes, the better for the hot and humid climate in this part of Mexico.

  • 4.Beach Towel

    There’s no need to bring a beach towel on this trip, a travel towel will do much better. Beach towels are big and bulky and take up way too much space in your luggage. Not to mention they are horrible at collecting sand. Save some space and pack a travel towel instead.

  • 5.Power Adapter

    If you are coming from the US then don’t bother bringing a power adapter. Mexico uses the same outlets as the US. One less thing you have to worry about!

  • 6.Excessive Cash

    Don’t stash away an excess of cash. There are plenty of ATMs and most places take cards. It’s safer not to have a fat stack of cash in your wallet in case you lose it or get it stolen. It’s best to withdraw a little at a time. You can always go back for more.

What NOT to wear in Merida/Yucatan? (Click to expand)

Beach and casual attire are what you will wear the majority of the time so comfort is key. Leave behind restrictive clothes and shoes and instead opt for light-weight, breathable clothing. It’s advised not to wear flashy, expensive jewelry. You don’t want to accidentally lose anything valuable when swimming in the ocean.

FAQs about Traveling to Merida/Yucatan

  • 1. What is the best time of year to visit Merida and the Yucatan?

    To take advantage of the beautiful sights and spend as much time as possible outside, it’s best to visit during the dry season. This also tends to be the busiest time, especially December. To take advantage of the dry season but avoid the crowds, visiting in October, November, and May would be ideal.

  • 2. Do I need to be able to speak Spanish?

    It’s always courteous to the locals no matter where you travel to make an effort to learn basic words and expressions in their language. The Yucatan is accustomed to English-speaking tourists so you should not have too difficult of a time communicating even if your Spanish is close to non-existent.

  • 3. Is tipping expected?

    Tipping in Mexico is similar to in the United States. It is expected to tip waiters, bartenders, bellhops, tour guides, and cleaning staff in hotels. It is standard to tip between 10-20% as the tip is rarely included.

  • 4. Do I need a visa to visit Mexico?

    American and Canadian citizens do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Mexico. Upon your arrival, you will be given a tourist visa that is good for up to 180 days. At customs, they will stamp a small paper form that you must keep for your departure from Mexico. The fee for a lost form is around $25 USD and you can get it at the airport before you go through security.

  • 5. What is there to do in Merida and around?

    There is so much to do in the Yucatan area close to Merida. You could visit the quaint town of Valladolid, swim in cenotes, explore the ruins at Chichen Itza, Coba, or Uxmal, marvel at Las Coloradas pink lake, or visit one of the many biosphere reserves.

  • 6. What is the best way to get around?

    A rental car is the easiest way to explore the Yucatan, but the bus systems are a good option too if you don’t feel comfortable driving in a foreign country or if you’re on a budget. Private buses are very clean, safe, and economical and will take you to every main tourist destination.

  • 7. What is the ideal amount of time to stay?

    If you want to visit Merida and explore the surrounding sights in the Yucatan then 7-10 days would be a great place to start. It gives you enough time to explore all the neighboring sights without feeling rushed.