101 Things to Bring to Cozumel: Packing List for What to Wear & What to Bring to Cozumel

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Last Updated on: 19th June 2023, 07:11 pm

Trying to decide what to pack for Cozumel? 

If you need help with what to wear in Cozumel and what to bring with you to the island, use this Cozumel packing list to make sure you come prepared!

Here are the important things to take on vacation to Cozumel (and when to leave them behind), so you can have a fabulous time on the island.

This list includes just over one hundred items that I always pack for Cozumel.

Mexico - Cozumel - Jordan and Valentine Getting on the Plane - photo by Stephanie Craig | clothes to wear in cozumel

Now, you may wonder if that’s too many things to take on vacation to Cozumel – so I also include information on when to leave these items behind plus what not to bring to Cozumel.

So whether this is your first trip to Cozumel or your tenth, this list will help jog your memory while packing for your Caribbean island getaway!

My ultimate goal is for you to pack light without forgetting any important Cozumel travel essentials.

Mexico - Cozumel - Marina - photo by Stephanie Craig | cozumel vacation packing list

So if you’re wondering what to bring to Cozumel or what to wear in Cozumel, here’s my ultimate Cozumel packing list so you have an awesome and safe trip!

Pro tip: Only going to be in Cozumel for the day before heading back to the mainland?

Skip to the section, “Packing List for a Cozumel Day Trip,” which is near the end of the post.

Exploring more of Mexico beyond Cozumel? Check out my complete Mexico packing list, which includes information for more kinds of destinations in the country.

Read next: Essential Cozumel Travel Tips

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101 Things to Bring to Cozumel Packing List for What to Wear & What to Bring to Cozumel by Stephanie Craig

My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2023

These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.

Protect Your Trip via Safety Wing

Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide and Viator.

See also
10 Tips for What to Wear on the Plane to Mexico + Airplane Outfits

Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.

For English-speaking private airport transfers, book through Welcome Pickups.

For road trips and independent travel, rent a car through Discover Cars.

Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.

For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.

Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photoshoot).

For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two from Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.

Where to Stay in Cozumel

The kind of accommodations you will have will help determine what you should bring to Cozumel.

There are dozens and dozens of hotels in Cozumel, so it can be intimidating to find one that meets your travel style and needs.

Whether you choose to stay in a vacation rental, an all-inclusive resort, or an independent hotel in the town of San Miguel, make sure to read a few reviews by other travelers.

It’s too easy to make hotels look good online these days!

Here are a few of my favorite hotels in Cozumel for different budgets:

Budget Hotel in Cozumel

For my most recent trip to Cozumel, we stayed at the Suites Colonial in downtown San Miguel, just off the main plaza.

We loved it because of its location and the fact that it had a kitchen with a stove and a full-size refrigerator.

Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula - Quintana Roo - Cozumel - Hotel Garden - photo by Stephanie Craig | first trip to cozumel | second trip to cozumel

Since my husband is a chef, he always wants the option to be able to cook his meals (though he ended up loving the food in Cozumel so much that he never did).

The breakfast was included and was a simple continental breakfast with the option of fruit, yogurt, eggs, and toast.

While it’s not the least expensive hotel in Cozumel, it’s easy on the budget, has a great location if you want to feel like you’re really in San Miguel, and it is just a five-minute walk from the ferry terminal.

See also
Best Quotes about Mexico
Mexico - Cozumel - Breakfast at the Hotel - Jordan - photo by Stephanie Craig | how do people dress in cozumel

I can happily recommend it!

Book your stay!

Mid-Range Hotel in Cozumel

If you want to feel like you’re staying in the jungle, but still be within a ten-minute taxi ride to the beach, check into the Villas El Encanto Cozumel.

The hotel has a pool and a private oasis feel that you won’t get at hotels downtown or the big all-inclusive resorts.

This is perfect for couples visiting Cozumel who don’t want to break the bank. Also great for groups of friends traveling together (girls’ trip, anyone?).

Book your stay!

Mexico - Cozumel - Playa Azul Hotel - photo by Stephanie Craig | packing list for a trip to cozumel

Luxury Hotel in Cozumel

If you want a luxury experience in Cozumel, book your stay at the Cozumel Palace.

This oceanfront five-star all-inclusive resort is great for couples and families who want to spend the majority of their trip soaking up the sun on the beach and splashing in the pool.

With two pools, a spa, private beach access, a fitness center, room service, and a restaurant, you won’t have to worry about a thing once you arrive!

Book your stay!

Mexico - Cozumel - Playa Azul Beach Club - photo by Stephanie Craig | packing list for cozumel
Playa Azul Beach Club in the Hotel Zone

Adults Only Hotel in Cozumel

If you are looking to avoid being around families and want to have a romantic getaway, you might consider an adults-only resort like the Secrets Aura Cozumel.

Here you’ll find all the luxuries of a great resort, including access to Cozumel must-dos like diving lessons. It’s perfect for a relaxing getaway with your partner.

Book your stay!

Cozumel - Tequila Tour - photo by Stephanie Craig | packing tips for Cozumel

7 Most Popular Tours in Cozumel

If you haven’t decided what kind of activities you’ll be doing in Cozumel, then it will be hard to pack for them.

Here are the most popular tours in Cozumel. Some of these sell out, so plan ahead!

If you do book any, check the details on what to wear and bring with you so that you are prepared!

Cozumel: El Cielo, Palancar Reef, and Beach Party with Food

Mr. Sanchos Beach Club All-Inclusive Day Pass

See also
23 Best Souvenirs from Mexico City: Gifts for Yourself and Your Loved Ones!

Cozumel Food Tour

Cozumel: Snorkel and Swim with Stingrays

Atlantis Submarine Expedition in Cozumel

Cozumel Beach Horseback Riding Tour

4-Hour Certified Scuba Diving Tour with Two Tanks in Cozumel

What to Bring to Cozumel: The Ultimate Cozumel Packing List for Every Traveler

Isla Cozumel is a pretty easy place to pack for if you’ve traveled in Latin America before, but if this is the first time you’ll be in the region, then you might be surprised at some of the items on this list!

Mexico - Cozumel - Chen Rio Beach Club - Jordan - photo by Stephanie Craig | Cozumel packing tips

Good to Know: I have this list split up into a general Cozumel packing list of items for everyone, separate sections for what to wear in Cozumel for women and menpacking tips for Cozumel for plus-size travelers like myself, what technology to bring, Cozumel, Yucatan, and Mexico guidebooks (including the two I used), and what you need to pack for backpacking Cozumel hostels, all-inclusive resorts, cruise ships, and what to bring for day trips.

Mexico - Cozumel - Chen Rio Beach Club - Rocky Beach - photo by Stephanie Craig | things to bring to Cozumel

Luggage Options: What Backpacks or Suitcases to Use to Pack for Cozumel

The first thing you need to decide is what kind of luggage you plan on taking with you, and this will be dictated by your travel style

Only you can decide if you’re going to take a roller bag-style suitcase or if you’re going to backpack.

If you plan on traveling with only a carry-on, then you will need a minimalist packing style.

When I go to Cozumel, I have always paired it with time in Playa del Carmen and Cancun, so I like to bring a suitcase with wheels for getting from place to place.

Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula - Playa Del Carmen to Cozumel Ferry - Valentine - photo by Stephanie Craig - waiting for the Cozumel ferry | what to pack for the ferry to Cozumel

If you’re flying in and out of Cozumel and won’t be staying on the mainland, then you don’t need to worry as much about what kind of luggage to bring.

For our most recent trip, we packed for three for two weeks in Mexico in one large checked bag and one smaller carry-on bag plus two day bags and a diaper bag (plus a stroller).

See also
24 Hours in Puerto Vallarta: Itinerary for One Perfect Day in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Traveling Cozumel with a toddler really complicates our packing list!

Mexico - Cozumel - Chen Rio Beach Club - Jordan - photo by Stephanie Craig | toddler packing list for Cozumel

When I travel to Cozumel solo, I take a day bag and one carry-on size suitcase.

However, if you are going to check a bag, then you can choose a larger suitcase that will hold a few more items.

Some things to consider when deciding between taking a roller bag or a backpack as your main piece of luggage:

Will you be staying in hotels or shared hostel dorms in Cozumel?

Are you staying in an independent hotel or an all-inclusive resort?

Will you be flying into Cozumel or taking the ferry from Playa del Carmen?

Do you want to travel carry-on only or are you comfortable checking a bag?

Will you be staying in one or two locations, or will you be moving from place to place often?

Best Backpacks for Cozumel

I use a Bergans Skarstind 48, which I bought in 2018 to backpack the Caucasus, and it survived many trips over the years, including trips to Latin America.

Unfortunately, it’s now out of production. The closes thing I can find to it is the Osprey Renn 50 for women and the Osprey Kestrel 48 for men. 

This style of backpack holds more than enough clothes to get through a week without having to do laundry, just with a little mixing and matching.

Azerbaijan - Border Control - photo by Stephanie Craig | best backpack for Cozumel

I can fit a week’s worth of clothing, two pairs of shoes (plus wearing a third on the plane), makeup, toiletries, a travel hairdryer, etc. all in this bag.

NoteNot all backpacks are carry-on-sized. To make sure you can use your backpack as a carry-on, check the dimensions of the bags against your airline’s baggage policies.

See the Osprey Renn 50 and the Osprey Kestrel 48 on Amazon.

Best Roller Bags for Cozumel

I have used an Osprey Sojourn 80L roller bag as my main suitcase in Mexico before. It has survived long trips on four continents without ever letting me down.

See also
The Best Quotes about Cancun, Mexico
My dog napping in my Osprey suitcase - photo by Stephanie Craig | best suitcase for Cozumel

However, this is a large suitcase. A smaller alternative is the Osprey Rolling Transporter 40 Duffel Bag.

As an alternative, I recently started using a Ricardo spinner suitcase similar to the Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay as my go-to for domestic travel, and it’s also the suitcase I used for my most recent Cozumel trip.

Washington - Kennewick - Hampton Inn - Suitcase - photo by Stephanie Craig | best suitcases for Cozumel

So which is the best roller bag for packing for a Cozumel vacation?

Well, it depends!

If you plan on traveling extensively around Mexico and Central America, I would go with the Osprey Rolling Transporter 40 Duffel BagThis way you have a bag that can stand extensive wear and tear.

If you plan on going to Cozumel as a stand-alone trip, I would get something chicer that you can use for all your trips in the future – not just Cozumel.

The Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay is a great option for this.

See the Osprey Rolling Transporter 40 Duffel Bag and the Ricardo Beverly Hills Malibu Bay on Amazon.

Best Day Bags for Cozumel

I have two go-to day bags for all my trips, and both are perfect for use as Cozumel day bags.

The Pacsafe Citysafe is great for cities and beach towns because it has many anti-theft features designed to deter pickpockets, like wire mesh sewn into the lining and an RFID pocket.

Serbia - Belgrade - Day Bag Pacsafe - photo by Stephanie Craig | best day bag for Cozumel

It also transitions to a night bag easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day. 

I have used my Pacsafe bag to help thwart pickpockets all over the world, and it has never let me down.

It also has a laptop sleeve if you need to travel with your laptop.

For my most recent trip to Cozumel, I used my Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Daypack. This is my favorite budget day bag.

El Salvador - Juayua - Stephanie Backpack - photo by Stephanie Craig | best day pack for Cozumel Mexico

It was a steal for the price, and it has survived eighteen US national parks as well as trips to Washington state, Texas, Mexico, and El Salvador!

See also
40 Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Planning a Trip to Cozumel Made Simple!

It won’t last as long as my Citysafe, but it has more than proved its worth so far.

See the Pacsafe Citysafe and the Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Daypack on Amazon.

Read next: 10 Tips for What to Wear on the Plane to Mexico + Airplane Outfits

Organization (Bags within Bags)

If you aren’t a bags-within-bags person, you need to become one, at least when you travel.

This will help tremendously when you’re traveling, whether you’re backpacking around Mexico or staying at one luxury Cozumel hotel.

Bulgaria - Sofia - Packing before a trip - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to bring to cozumel
Being a bags-within-bags person really helps turn the chaos of packing into a smooth trip once you leave!

I divide my stuff up into these bags and then organize these in my suitcase:

1-2 large packing cubes for clothes, swimwear, and bathing suit covers.

1-2 medium packing cubes for underwear, socks, and pajamas.

6 small cosmetic-style bags for smaller items. I have a random collection of bags bought at various H&Ms across Europe, but they are all similar to this one. 

I have them split up like this:  wet toiletry bag, dry toiletry bag, prescriptions and medications, small tech like cords and chargers, hair essentials, and makeup.

1 laundry bag that came with my packing cubes to separate dirty laundry during the trip.

1 Canvas Tote Bag that can be used as a beach bag for beach days, for grocery store hauls, and as a go-to day bag for any day where you’re going to be taking it easy and don’t need a ton of stuff.

1-2 empty gallon zip lock bags and 3-5 empty small zip lock bags for packing open bottles, wet clothes, etc. as the trip progresses.

After 56 countries and 45 US states, I have settled on this system that works for me.

I tweak it for the specifics of each trip, but generally, this system serves me quite well!

Toiletries & Skincare

You will want to take good care of your skin while you are on your beach vacation! This starts with sun protection, but it doesn’t end there.

See also
13 Tips for What to Wear to the Tulum Ruins + Tulum Outfit Ideas Plus What to Bring

This list also includes travel eye care items, hair care, cosmetics, dental care, and more!

Mexico - Cozumel - La Joya Gift Shop - Souvenir Shopping - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to bring when traveling to cozumel

Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner. Some people swear by eco-friendly solid shampoo, but I just refill the same travel-size bottles with the products I use at home.

A small hairbrush. I use one like this, but get one that is right for your hair type.

Travel-sized hairdryer for those who need a hairdryer and are not staying in a hotel that provides one. Many hotels in Cozumel don’t have hairdryers.

Full-Sized Travel Towel. Most bloggers I know hate their microfibre travel towels, but I opted for a big, beautiful microfibre beach towel that’s perfect for the beach or a hostel.

I always bring my travel towel wherever I go. Especially places like Cozumel where you will likely visit multiple beaches or need a beach towel for a boat ride.

Dry Shampoo for those who like to use it. These are the ones I use when I travel.

Hair products that are specific to your hair type.

Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula - Quintana Roo - Playa del Carmen - Souvenir Shopping - Reef Safe Sunscreen - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to pack for a cozumel vacation

Reef-Safe Sunscreen for all the time you will spend outside. If you’re flying carry-on only, bring at least one or two travel-size sunscreens. Get an SPF 50 if you can. A sunburn will ruin your trip!

Mosquito Repellent for the mosquitos. If you’re traveling carry-on only, bring a travel-sized insect repellent. It’s important to prevent mosquito bites to prevent getting dengue fever and Zika.

Even if you will buy bug spray there, bring some to start your trip!

Tissues, Toilet Paper, or Kleenex (We used baby wipes since we were traveling with a toddler!).

Travel Sized Hand Sanitizer

Your Prefered Moisturizer, Night Cream, and Lotion since travel is brutal on your skin.

Makeup

Makeup Removing Towelettes

Toothbrush and Travel Cover

Travel-Size Toothpaste

Floss

Soap

Deodorant

Hair Removal Items for those who care about that sort of thing. I bring a razorshaving creamand Nair when I travel to the beach.

See also
13 Tips for What to Wear to Chichen Itza + Outfit Ideas Plus What to Bring

Nail Care Items for those who need them. I bring a nail file, nail clippers, and whatever nail polish I’ve been wearing to touch up chips.

Mexico - Cozumel - Drinking an agua fresca at Chen Rio Beach Club is one of my favorite things to do in Cozumel - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to pack for a cruise to cozumel

A Pair of Tweezers

Eye Care items: Everyone should have sunglasses or prescription sunglasses. If you wear contacts, bring your case and solutions, as well as a backup pair if you have one.

If you wear glasses, bring a hard case for storing them. I travel with two pairs of prescription glasses and two pairs of prescription sunglasses.

This is because I’ve lost pairs of glasses twice while traveling, and not having a backup pair is asking for a disaster.

Mexico - Playa del Carmen - Jordan with a coconut - Packing List for Cozumel - photo by Stephanie Craig
Even the toddler needs sunglasses!

If you will be diving or snorkeling, you can’t wear glasses in the masks so bring disposable contact lenses. You might be able to buy one or two disposable pairs just for this purpose without investing in a complete contact lens routine.

Laundry Detergent Powder if you will be traveling long enough to need to wash clothes in your sink. For me, this is usually if I’ll be gone for more than a week. I put some in a ziplock bag to avoid bringing too much.

Something to deal with that special time of the month. If you have to deal with a period on the road, pack whatever you need depending on your preferences.

Reusable Water Bottle with a Filter if you want to be able to drink tap water safely.

Do not drink tap water in Cozumel unless you use a filtered water bottle! Always use bottled water if you don’t have your own filter. Yes, even at fancy resorts.

You’ve been warned. My entire family got traveler’s belly on our last trip (on the very last day!), so be cautious.

First Aid Kit & Medications

Over-the-counter medication from pharmacies is easy to find in Cozumel, so you don’t need to lug around everything you could need. Just make sure to bring a few basic items.

See also
17 MUSA Cancun Tips: Planning a Visit to the Underwater Museum in Cancun (Isla Mujeres Underwater Museum)
Mexico - Cozumel - Chen Rio Beach Club - Life Guard Hut - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to pack for an all inclusive resort in cozumel

A basic medicine kit will include:

Your prescriptions, necessary medications, contraception needs, and regular vitamins. If you forget something, head to the nearest pharmacy.

You can get a lot of what you’ll need once you’re in Cozumel as pharmacies are well-stocked with great prices!

Anything you take weekly (for me this would be things like antacids).

Your OTC pain medicine of choice. I brought a small bottle of Ibuprofen.

After Bite for mosquito bites (even being extremely careful, you may end up with some if you have to go somewhere at dusk).

Small Baby Oil for sandfly bites. Hopefully, you don’t get sandfly bites (they are the worst!), but if you do you will be so happy you can pull this out ASAP.

A travel-sized First Aid Kit

Mexico - Cozumel - Pharmacy - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to wear in cozumel

Bandaids which I used to stave off blisters.

Travel-sized Vaseline (Always, always, always pack Vaseline).

Sleep aids if you anticipate sleep issues from any time changes.

Sea-Band Wristbands if you get motion sickness and will be on boats, golf carts, or winding roads.

Imodium and Pepto if you get stomach issues when you travel. (This was clutch for us!).

Aloe in case of sunburn.

What Travel Documents to Pack for Cozumel

Here are the documents you need to bring with you:

Your Passport as well as hard and soft passport copies. You need the passport to enter and exit the country, and copies in case you need to work with your embassy in the event your passport is lost or stolen.

Put a hard copy in your luggage and email yourself and someone you trust a soft copy. Pics or Xerox copies are both fine for the soft copy.

Passport Holder to keep your passport from being damaged.

I also had a dry bag waterproof passport and cell phone holder that I used to protect my passport at pools and beaches.

See also
3 Ways to Get from Cancun to Chiquila Ranked from Easiest to Hardest

Good to Know: If your passport gets wet, you can be refused boarding on your plane.

Cozumel - Renting a Car in Cozumel - Stephanie Craig - Jordan - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to bring to Cozumel to rent a car

Your Driver’s License if you plan on renting a car.

Scuba Certification information if you are going to scuba dive.

Your Travel Insurance Policy information. For my last trip to Cozumel, I purchased travel insurance and emailed the policy information to my mother and husband in case they needed to access it on my behalf.

I’ve had several broken phones, a nearly stolen wallet, car rental accidents, etc, so I always prefer to pay for travel insurance just in case I need to use it.

Mexico - Cozumel - Airport - Landing in Cozumel - Valentine and Jordan - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to pack for Cozumel

It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be in destinations that are considered more dangerous, like some areas of Mexico (but not all!), or doing outdoor activities like hiking, scuba diving, and swimming.

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip to Mexico!

How to Bring Money to Cozumel

Whenever you travel abroad, money can be one of the biggest concerns. Here’s what you need to bring with you to be able to access your money in Cozumel.

Credit Cards & ATM Cards

Bring your credit cards and bank cards as well as a hard copy in case they are lost or stolen, plus email yourself a soft copy just in case.

Your cards have the international toll number for you to call your company if there’s an issue.

You can give your companies a travel notice so they don’t suspect fraud and shut your cards off.

Make sure you bring at least two cards. Never travel with only one account or one card. You never know what can happen on the road.

Mexico - Cozumel - Scotiabank ATM - photo by Stephanie Craig | Cozumel packing list

A lot of places in Cozumel take credit cards, so you will use this option a lot.

Make sure your cards don’t have foreign transaction fees. Since I travel so often, I don’t use any credit cards that have this kind of fee. Ask your bank and credit card companies if you are unsure.

See also
23 Best Souvenirs from Mexico City: Gifts for Yourself and Your Loved Ones!

I also use Charles Schwab, which reimburses me for ATM fees I pay to other banks. This helped me save money in Cozumel since some beach clubs and other small businesses are cash-only.

Cash

Since Mexico uses the Mexican Peso (MXN) as its official currency, it’s better to get cash in Cozumel from an ATM than bring USD.

Many places take credit cards, but having access to cash is important. Try to take out enough for your first few days before you leave the airport.

I use cash to pay for expenses where I couldn’t use a credit card, like some beach clubs and stores.

Bring multiple cards linked to separate accounts (just in case!) and make sure to let your banks know you’ll be traveling!

I used credit cards at our hotels, many restaurants, and some shops.

Mexico - Cozumel - Chen Rio Beach Club - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to pack for an all inclusive resort in cozumel
Some places are still cash only, so have your cash accessible – but don’t flash it!

You can access ATMs in many towns – but not all towns. Starting with some cash at the beginning will make life easier.

Good to Know: If you do get quoted in USD for prices and have USD on you, you can use it. Just know that things tend to be more expensive when quoted in dollars rather than pesos.

The conversion should be 1 dollar to about 20 pesos, but this is only helpful if you know the price in both currencies!

Many times prices quoted in USD are actually a bad conversion rate, so beware!

Storing Your Money

I kept my cash (and my passport) in the backward-facing pocket of my Venture Pal BackpackPair this with a wallet that RFIDsafe technology that blocks your cards and passport from being scanned.

Alternatively, you can use any wallet if your bag is something like the Pacsafe Citysafe since you can keep your money, passport, and credit cards in the inner pocket that has RFIDsafe technology.

Mexico - Cozumel - San Miguel - Taxi Line - photo by Stephanie Craig | packing list for Cozumel
You’ll want cash for the taxis

I put a few small bills in the bag’s front pocket to use so I never flash my cash in public.

See also
Best Quotes about Mexico

Some places are still cash-only, so have your cash accessible – but don’t show it off!

I’ve never used a money belt when I travel, but if that would make you more comfortable, there are much better money belts available today than in the past.

I also don’t use a full decoy wallet, but you can make yourself one if you feel more comfortable.

What to Wear in Cozumel: Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories

Use this packing list as a guide to what to wear to Cozumel and make adjustments as needed.

This will cover enough clothes to wear in Cozumel for about a week. If you will be there for less time, take less. If you will be in Cozumel for longer than a week, or if you are on a longer trip around Mexico, then prepare to do laundry on the road.

Mexico - Cozumel - Chen Rio Beach Club - photo by Stephanie Craig | cozumel cruise packing list

This is what we used, and we stayed in Mexico for over two weeks on our most recent trip.

I’ll admit that I made some Cozumel packing mistakes by underestimating how hot the weather would be on the Yucatan Peninsula in February.

The weather in most of Cozumel is hot, so you will want to plan accordingly. However, it can get windy and overcast, so bring layers!

Average highs are always in the mid-to-high eighties, with temperatures exceeding this often throughout the year.

If you aren’t used to the heat, you might be surprised at what the locals wear in Cozumel. You will find people wearing heavy items of clothing like long sleeves, collared shirts, and jeans, year-round.

However, unless you grew up in a hot climate, you’ll be happier in light clothing that breathes.

After all, there’s a difference between local Cozumel fashion and what’s the best dress code for tourists who aren’t used to the weather.

Mexico - Cozumel - Stephanie Craig and Valentine Souvenir Shopping Downtown - photo by Stephanie Craig | cozumel fashion - what to wear in cozumel

You also need to plan for the season you are visiting. Cozumel has two main seasons – the rainy season from May through October and the dry season from November through April.

See also
40 Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Planning a Trip to Cozumel Made Simple!

Another thing to consider is that a lot of what you will want for clothing in Cozumel depends on the parts of the island you will be visiting.

If you’ll be in the jungle in the island’s interior, prepare to sweat!

Below I have recommendations for every kind of trip, and then you can select only the items and amounts that make sense for your Cozumel itinerary.

What to Wear in Cozumel for Women

This list covers a Cozumel vacation packing list for a week.

Take items off if you’re going for less time than that. Going for more time? You’ll want to do laundry while there.

Local women dress more conservatively than tourists. If you want to fit in with locals, you may find that the best dresses to wear in Cozumel are flowy maxi dresses, and you may want to opt for fuller-coverage swimsuits over very skimpy ones.

Mexico - Cozumel - Souvenir Dresses - photo by Stephanie Craig | best dresses for Cozumel

However, if you will only be at all-inclusive resorts in Cozumel, then you don’t need to worry about blending in since these resorts are removed from the town.

My favorite outfits in Cozumel were sundresses and light dresses with bicycle shorts during the day and leggings plus a light jacket at night!

What Clothes to Bring to Cozumel

3-4 dresses if you primarily wear dresses when traveling (like me). I was happy in light sundresses that were loose and didn’t stick on me when I was sweaty from the heat.

2-7 lightweight t-shirts or tank tops depending on how many dresses you are taking. Blouses are also a good option.

I brought two tank tops for sleeping in since I wore dresses out every day. If you plan on wearing short sleeve shirts during the day, I would get ones that have a loose fit.

You can also bring a long sleeve shirt in case the weather changes or your accommodations are cold.

See also
The Best Quotes about Cancun, Mexico

2-4 pairs of pantsshorts, or skirts. Look for ones that are loose and breathable. I would skip jeans unless you know you enjoy wearing jeans in the heat.

1-3 pairs of yoga leggings or hiking pants if you will be doing activities in the jungle or visiting the Mayan ruins.

1 pair of shorts for sleep bottoms

1 light cardiganjean jacket, or kimono for layering during the day and staying warm at night.

Even if you’re outside in warm weather, the air-conditioned buildings can get cool at night, so a light jacket is always a good idea!

Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula - Quintana Roo - Playa del Carmen - Cozumel to Playa del Carmen ferry - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to wear in Cozumel

I brought a cropped denim jacket and it was a great option for on the ground as well as on the plane – which was freezing.

1 rain jacket if traveling during the rainy season

2-3 swimsuits for beach destinations, the cenote, or pools. You can wear whatever swimwear you feel the most comfortable in, from bikinis to a rash guard and swim pants.

I felt comfortable in a high-waisted bikini.

If surf lessons are a part of your travel plans, you can ask the surfers at your company if they have any special requirements for what they want you to wear to the beach for your lesson.

1-2 swim cover-ups. This can be anything from a sarong to a specialized beach cover-up to a regular dress.

I have a black t-shirt racerback dress that doubles as my favorite cover-up during beach vacations!

Best Shoes for Cozumel

You don’t want to overload yourself with shoes in Cozumel.

I like to have three options. Two get packed in my suitcase/backpack and one extra can be worn on the plane.

Mexico - Cozumel - Souvenir Leather Shoes - photo by Stephanie Craig | best shoes for Cozumel

Flip-flops for the beach and to wear around my hotel. I prefer this version with arch support for tired, travel-weary feet. Slides are another option.

Sturdy Travel Sandals like Birkenstocks or Tevas for walking around. These are my two favorite sandals for travel because they are sturdy and made to be walked in.

See also
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You definitely want to have walking shoes for Cozumel if you plan on spending time in San Miguel.

Hiking Shoes with traction or sneakers if you will be doing any activities that require close-toed shoes or are going in the jungle.

If you don’t need hiking shoes, you can bring extra sandals or a nice pair of dress shoes.

Optional: Water Shoes if you will be swimming at rocky beaches.

This beach was rocky so it was nice to wear water shoes to protect our feet.

Pro Tip: for hiking shoes and Birkenstocks, make sure you get them early and break them in. I learned this the hard way. Blister city.

Underwear and Socks

2-4 Bras, Bralettes, or Sports Bra depending on your planned activities

8 pairs of underwear or however many days you will be there plus one extra. Keep the extra pair in your carry-on luggage if you will be checking your suitcase – just in case!

2-3 pairs of bicycle shorts for wearing under dresses and skirts to stop chafing

2-4 pairs of quick-dry socks for hiking days or days when you need to wear closed-toe shoes

Mexico - Cozumel - Winjet Ferry - Cozumel to Playa del Carmen - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to wear in Cozumel for women

Jewelry and Accessories

You should avoid taking important jewelry with you to Cozumel. I don’t travel with expensive jewelry, and I would avoid taking any sentimental irreplaceable jewelry with me.

(I lost a wedding band in Cozumel once, and I never found it!).

I took this set of six pairs of hoops that are cute and versatile and really easy to replace if I lose them. I selected the silver set, but the gold is really cute, too!

(I actually left a set behind on the Olympic Peninsula a few months later and I already replaced them).

I also wore two rings from James Avery that I wear every day, but I didn’t take any real jewels or anything expensive.

Mexico - Cozumel - Las Minas De Taxco Jewelry Gift Shop - photo by Stephanie Craig | what not to bring to Cozumel

During my time in Cozumel, I bought some locally made jewelry and wore it with the jewelry I brought.

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3 Ways to Get from Cancun to Chiquila Ranked from Easiest to Hardest

I also wore my old Fitbit watch, which I accidentally lost on my Holbox Bioluminescence tour! I really do lose a lot of jewelry in Mexico.

I wouldn’t take a watch that looks expensive, but maybe something cute that won’t be an issue if it doesn’t make it home.

I pack my jewelry in my travel jewelry case.

Take whatever hair accessories you like to use. I took some hair clipsheadbands, and no-metal elastics.

A hat for staying out of the sun, especially at the beach. You can do a cute sun hat or a dad hat. I wore a visor to the beach on my last trip to Cozumel.

Pro tip: If you don’t want to wear your hat on the plane and don’t want a visor or baseball hat, look for something foldable so you can store it in your luggage while you travel.

What to Wear in Cozumel for Men

Here’s a list for men for packing for a week in Cozumel.

If you’re going to be there longer, plan to do laundry. If you’re going to be there for less than a week, take less of each item.

Mexico - Cozumel - Punta Sur - Freedom in Paradise Reggae Beach Bar & Grill - Valentine - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to wear in Cozumel for men

Clothing for Cozumel

7-8 lightweight shirts (think tank tops, quick-dry t-shirts, and fabrics that wick)

3 undershirts

3-4 pairs of shorts

1 pair of long, breathable pants if you’re going to be hiking

1 tee shirt and shorts for sleeping

2 pairs of swim trunks

1 rain jacket

Best Shoes for Cozumel

Comfortable Closed-Toed Walking Shoes for hiking and walking around cities and towns.

Comfortable day sandals like Birkenstocks or Tevas.

Flip-flops or slides for the beach, cenotes, and your hotel.

Optional: Water Shoes if you will be swimming at rocky beaches.

Pro Tip: for hiking shoes and Birkenstocks, make sure you get them early and break them in before your trip.

Mexico - Cozumel - Playa Azul Beach Club - Jordan and Valentine - photo by Stephanie Craig | packing list for Cozumel for men

Underwear and Socks

7-8 pairs of underwear

4-5 pairs of quick-dry socks

See also
17 MUSA Cancun Tips: Planning a Visit to the Underwater Museum in Cancun (Isla Mujeres Underwater Museum)

Jewelry and Accessories

Just like in the section above for women, I would caution you to not take valuable or irreplaceable sentimental jewelry to Mexico.

If you do have personal jewelry that you love, I would take pieces that are replaceable.

Tank tops and hats are great for beach destinations

A hat for staying out of the sun.

An inexpensive watch (optional).

I pack my jewelry in my travel jewelry case.

Mexico - Cozumel -Timeshare Tour - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to wear in Cozumel for men

Cozumel Packing Tips for Plus Size Travelers

It’s hard to find clothes in Cozumel for plus-size bodies in typical shops, which is something I have found to be true across Mexico and Latin America.

I always pack a little more than my peers, because I know I can’t replace my wardrobe mid-trip.

This makes what clothes to bring to Cozumel that much more important – because whatever I take is what I’m stuck with for the whole trip!

Our clothing also takes up more room in our bags, so I tend to look like I pack more even when I am packing lighter than other travelers.

Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula - Quintana Roo - Playa del Carmen - - Stephanie on the Beach with Cocos Frios - Coconut Drink - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to wear in Cozumel for plus size travelers

My favorite brands for women’s plus-size travel clothing are TorridPretty Garden (I wore this jumpsuit in El Salvador this year and loved it), and Swimsuits4All.

I shop Snag Tights and Torrid my chub rub shorts (and keep vaseline handy just in case!).

I don’t have recommendations for men’s plus-size travel clothing for Cozumel, but beware that they don’t sell larger sizes often – even for men.

If you have questions about what to wear in Cozumel for plus-size travelers, drop them in the comments and I’ll add my two cents!

Cozumel Packing Tips for LGTBQ Travelers

Where I have recommendations for what to wear in Cozumel these are organized by gender so that I can link out to specific items, rather than a prescription for how one should dress for gender expression.

I hope you purchase the clothes for your trip that make you the happiest and most comfortable, regardless of gender and expectations.

See also
24 Hours in Puerto Vallarta: Itinerary for One Perfect Day in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

I am not an expert on LGTBQ travel in Latin America, so I cannot comment on how safe or unsafe travel is for LGTBQ travelers in Cozumel regarding clothing selection or any other matters.

This post from Queer in the World details LGTBQ travel in Mexico in better detail than I can!

What Technology to Bring to Cozumel

Here’s the tech that I brought with me to Cozumel.

Cell Phones

I brought my iPhone and two iPhone chargers. I took most of my photos in Cozumel on this phone.

We love taking family selfies so we need our iPhones – even at the beach!

I used my Otterbox Case to keep my phone safe instead of a Waterproof Phone Case.

Cameras

I took my Sony ZV-1 point-and-shoot camera with two memory cards as my primary camera, but I ended up not using it much and sticking with the convenience of my iPhone.

I sometimes travel with a Nikon DSLR, but the combo of my iPhone and Sony ZV-1 are more than enough for my needs when I want to travel light.

I don’t travel with extra camera batteries, but if you want your camera to be your go-to and not your phone, it’s a good idea to pack extra batteries.

Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula - Quintana Roo - Cozumel - Ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen - Jordan with tablet - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to bring to cozumel

Computers & Tablets

I traveled with my Macbook Air, laptop charger, and iPad mini. The wifi in our hotels was pretty good, so I was almost always able to connect.

I didn’t bring a Kindle since I used the Kindle app on my iPad.

We brought my son’s tablet, which was a lifesaver on the plane! It makes traveling with a toddler much easier

Adapters

Since I travel from the US, and Mexico and the US both use the same electrical outlets, I don’t need to pack an adapter for Cozumel.

If you are coming from a country that uses different outlets, you will want to bring a universal adapter.

Backup Battery

I never travel ANYWHERE without a portable charger. Recharge it every night of your trip – it’s a safety issue! Bring a power bank that can handle at least one full phone charge per person.

See also
10 Tips for What to Wear on the Plane to Mexico + Airplane Outfits

Apps

There are some apps that you will want to have downloaded onto your phone before you leave for your trip.

Google Translate

Google Maps: Download the map of Cozumel before you leave. This is important for peace of mind in case you can’t access the internet after you arrive.

Skype: Great for calling to get your bank cards unblocked

Facebook Messenger: This is ninety percent of how I communicate these days

Instagram: Because aren’t we all basic at heart?

Adobe Lightroom Mobile: for photo editing

Podcast Addict or other Podcatcher: Looking for travel podcasts to inspire you? These are my favorite travel podcasts

Dropbox Mobile: for backing up cell phone photos

Your Airline’s Mobile App: so you can check in to your flight and check your flight’s status

Your Bank’s App: so you can check if there are issues while you’re out of the country

Guidebooks for Cozumel

Lonely Planet Mexico and Lonely Planet Cancun, Cozumel, & the Yucatan are available as paper copies or in a Kindle edition. You typically won’t find major guidebooks once you land, so get yours ahead of time.

Mexico - Cozumel - Lonely Planet Cancun Cozumel and the Yucatan - photo by Stephanie Craig | Cozumel packing tips
Reading my guidebook on my iPad on the plane

I used both of these to plan my last trip to the Yucatan, and I read them cover to cover!

I typically love Rick Steves’s guidebooks, but he there are no Rick Steves Mexico or Rick Steves Cozumel books.

Cozumel is a very English-friendly destination, but there were times when we used Google translate. If you want a Spanish dictionary, get the Lonely Planet Latin American Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary 9 to try to communicate in Spanish.

See the Lonely Planet Cancun, Cozumel, & the Yucatan on Amazon

Packing Travel Tips for Cozumel Hostels

Hostel life can save you money, especially in some of the pricier areas, but make sure you pack everything you need to stay in Cozumel backpacker hostels comfortably.

Flip-flops or shower shoes are a necessity. I can’t imagine going to Cozumel without flip-flops, but it’s extra important if you’re in hostels using shared showers.

See also
13 Tips for What to Wear to the Tulum Ruins + Tulum Outfit Ideas Plus What to Bring
Best Microfiber Towel for Travel - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to pack for Cozumel hostels
I always bring my travel towel wherever I go.

A Quick-Dry Beach Towel because hostels (and even some Airbnbs and hotels) don’t provide towels – even for showers.

A lock for your securing your stuff in dorm lockers. If you also want to lock your bags, make sure the locks are TSA-approved locks.

Sleep Mask and Earplugs if you’re a light sleeper and will be sleeping in shared dorms.

headlamp for accessing your stuff in shared dorms after lights out.

If your hostels won’t provide bedding, bring a sleeping bag liner and a travel pillow.

What to Pack for an All-Inclusive Resort in Cozumel

If you will be staying in an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel, there are a few items you will want that the average first-time visitor to Cozumel won’t always need.

First, a nice outfit (or two) for dinner. Think casual and comfy, but a bit more dressy. Resorts can have dress codes for their restaurants – look yours up and follow it.

For women, a longer, flowy dress or a nice blouse with dress shorts can be great options.

Men will want collared shirts. It’s possible that a jacket and long pants will be required for men as well.

Comfortable dress shoes for dinner that coordinate well with your dinner outfits. Check to see if close-toed shoes are required.

If you plan on enjoying nightlife outside of your resort, make sure your shoes won’t cramp your style.

Mexico - Cozumel - Grand Park Royal Cozumel All-Inclusive Resort - View of Cruise Ship and Pool - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to pack for a Cozumel all inclusive resort

You won’t have to bring your own beach towel, since the resort will provide them (though I still do).

However, you’ll want to pack towel clips to help you identify which chairs are yours in a crowded resort.

Bring cash for tips. Even if you’re paying with your credit card, you’ll end up needing more cash at the resort than you think!

Finally, bring lots of snacks! While you hope you love the food at your resort, you will want some of your favorite snacks on hand in your room – just in case!

See also
40 Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Planning a Trip to Cozumel Made Simple!

What to Bring When Traveling to Cozumel on a Cruise Ship

A Cozumel cruise packing list is mostly identical to what I’ve already listed, with two major changes.

Mexico - Cozumel - San Miguel - Cruise Ship - photo by Stephanie Craig - Cozumel Cruise Ship packing list

First, for your excursion on Cozumel, bring appropriate clothes for your activity for the day.

Second, check with your cruise line for ship and dining dress codes.

Packing List for Cozumel Day Trips

If you will only be in Cozumel for the day, you won’t want to bring your luggage. Instead, leave most of your stuff in your mainland accommodations and pack a day bag.

Most people who take a day trip to Cozumel come from Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Cancun, or the Riviera Maya.

You will arrive in Cozumel on the ferry. Bring a light layer in case you are cold on the ferry, especially at night.

Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula - Cozumel - Ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen - photo by Stephanie Craig | Packing List for Cozumel Day Trips

Bring a day bag with the appropriate clothing for your activities.

Wear comfortable walking shoes if you will be doing a lot in town.

Bring a bathing suit and a cover-up, even if you don’t plan on going to the beach.

Bring credit cards, cash, and your cell phone.

Download or screenshot the ferry timetables (from both companies) before leaving for Cozumel.

Cozumel Dive Packing List

Dive Mask

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Snorkel

Fins

Wetsuit (if using your own)

Dive Computer

GoPro or Other Waterproof Camera

Dry Bag

Contact Lenses (if you normally wear glasses)

Scuba Certification

Any required documents from your Dive Shop (Insurance, IDs, etc)

Mexico - Cozumel - San Miguel - Dive Shop - Mural - photo by Stephanie Craig | Cozumel Dive Packing List
Check with your dive shop to see what documentation they require

What Not to Pack for Cozumel

Your packing list for a trip to Cozumel should not include:

Expensive jewelry

Irreplaceable sentimental items

Illegal substances

Agricultural products like fruits and vegetables

More than you can comfortably fit in your suitcase/backpack and day bag

Mexico - Cozumel - San Gervasio Archaeological Site - Mayan Ruins - photo by Stephanie Craig | Cozumel rainforest packing list | Cozumel jungle packing list

Cozumel Packing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

These are the questions travelers ask the most often about what to bring to Cozumel.

What to pack for a Cozumel vacation?

See above! At a minimum, bring your passport, clothing, and toiletries.

See also
3 Ways to Get from Cancun to Chiquila Ranked from Easiest to Hardest

How do people dress in Cozumel?

Local Cozumel style is more conservative than what typical beach tourists wear.

Mexico - Cozumel - Machete Restaurant and Motorcycle - photo by Stephanie Craig | Cozumel packing tips

What type of clothing should you pack?

Bring lightweight clothing that breathes. Bonus if it quick-dries. Dress in layers.

What to wear in Cozumel in summer?

Cozumel is a year-round destination with similar temperatures throughout. The summer is the rainy season, so pack a rain jacket and travel umbrella.

Mexico - Cozumel - Restaurant - Sopa de Lima - Lime Soup - photo by Stephanie Craig | packing for Cozumel

Do you need water shoes in Cozumel?

I like having water shoes in Cozumel because some beaches are rocky.

What to pack for a cruise to Cozumel?

Check your cruise line’s dress codes and make sure you have clothing that is acceptable.

During your Cozumel excursions, wear appropriate clothing for your activity.

Mexico - Cozumel - Grand Park Royal Cozumel All-Inclusive Resort - View of Cruise Ship at Sunset - photo by Stephanie Craig

How much money should I bring to Cozumel?

You can bring your ATM card and take cash out during your trip. Have enough cash for your ride to your accommodations and tips for your driver and bellhop.

Can you brush your teeth with tap water in Cozumel?

No, do not use the tap water in Cozumel for anything. We learned this the hard way, even though we were only using tap water for brushing our teeth.

Mexico - Cozumel - San Miguel - Waterfront - Rosalia del Carmen Boat - photo by Stephanie Craig | cozumel vacation packing list

Are mosquitos a problem in Cozumel?

Yes, especially after rain and at twilight.

Mexico Travel Resources

101 Things to Bring to Mexico: Complete Packing List for Mexico + What to Wear

101 Things to Bring to Cozumel: Packing List for What to Wear & What to Bring to Cozumel

40 Essential Cozumel Travel Tips: Planning a Trip to Cozumel Made Simple!

24 Hours in Puerto Vallarta: Itinerary for One Perfect Day in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

23 Best Souvenirs from Mexico City: Gifts for Yourself and Your Loved Ones!

17 MUSA Cancun Tips: Planning a Visit to the Underwater Museum in Cancun

13 Tips for What to Wear to Chichen Itza + Outfit Ideas and Travel Tips

See also
23 Best Souvenirs from Mexico City: Gifts for Yourself and Your Loved Ones!

13 Tips for What to Wear to Tulum + Tulum Outfit Ideas

10 Tips for What to Wear on the Plane to Mexico + Airplane Outfits

10 Tips for Seeing the Holbox Bioluminescence: Tours, What to Wear, What to Bring, + More!

3 Ways to Get from Cancun to Chiquila Ranked from Easiest to Hardest

Pin this Guide to What to Take on a Trip to Cozumel for Your Cozume. Vacation!

101 Things to Bring to Cozumel Packing List for What to Wear & What to Bring to Cozumel by Stephanie Craig

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The Best Quotes about Cancun, Mexico

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