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.
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.
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
Can’t read now? Pin for later!
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 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.
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.
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.
I can happily recommend it!
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?).
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!
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.
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!
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!
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 men, packing 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.
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.
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).
Traveling Cozumel with a toddler really complicates our packing list!
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.
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.
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.
Note: Not 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.
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.
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.
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 Bag. This 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.
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.
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.
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!
It won’t last as long as my Citysafe, but it has more than proved its worth so far.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This list also includes travel eye care items, hair care, cosmetics, dental care, and more!
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.
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.
Hair products that are specific to your hair type.
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!).
Your Prefered Moisturizer, Night Cream, and Lotion since travel is brutal on your skin.
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.
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.
A 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.
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
Bandaids which I used to stave off blisters.
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.
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.
A 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.
Good to Know: If your passport gets wet, you can be refused boarding on your plane.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
I put a few small bills in the bag’s front pocket to use so I never flash my cash in public.
Some places are still cash-only, so have your cash accessible – but don’t show it off!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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 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.
During my time in Cozumel, I bought some locally made jewelry and wore it with the jewelry I brought.
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.
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.
Clothing for Cozumel
7-8 lightweight shirts (think tank tops, quick-dry t-shirts, and fabrics that wick)
1 pair of long, breathable pants if you’re going to be hiking
1 tee shirt and shorts for sleeping
Best Shoes for Cozumel
Comfortable Closed-Toed Walking Shoes for hiking and walking around cities and towns.
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.
Underwear and Socks
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.
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.
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.
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.
We love taking family selfies so we need our iPhones – even at the beach!
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.
Computers & Tablets
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
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.
There are some apps that you will want to have downloaded onto your phone before you leave for your trip.
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.
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.
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.
A Quick-Dry Beach Towel because hostels (and even some Airbnbs and hotels) don’t provide towels – even for showers.
A headlamp for accessing your stuff in shared dorms after lights out.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
Wetsuit (if using your own)
GoPro or Other Waterproof Camera
Contact Lenses (if you normally wear glasses)
Any required documents from your Dive Shop (Insurance, IDs, etc)
What Not to Pack for Cozumel
Your packing list for a trip to Cozumel should not include:
Irreplaceable sentimental items
Agricultural products like fruits and vegetables
More than you can comfortably fit in your suitcase/backpack and day bag
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.
How do people dress in Cozumel?
Local Cozumel style is more conservative than what typical beach tourists wear.
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?
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.
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.
Are mosquitos a problem in Cozumel?
Yes, especially after rain and at twilight.
Mexico Travel Resources
Central America Travel Guides
Will you be exploring Central America after your trip to Mexico? Check out these Central America travel guides: