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

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Last Updated on: 24th July 2023, 11:37 pm

Wondering what to wear to Chichen Itza? Use this guide to help you plan the perfect Chichin Itza outfit for your trip!

Here’s a full rundown of what to wear, what to bring with you, and more importantly – what NOT to wear to Chichen Itza (because I have my own horror stories).

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - La Pirámide, known as the Temple of Kukulcán - photo by Stephanie Craig - El Castillo

I also list tips specific to those going on a tour versus going without a tour, as these two different experiences call for slightly different Chichen Itza packing lists.

Read next: My complete Mexico Packing List and What to Wear on the Plane to Mexico

Can’t read now? Pin for later!

What to Wear to Chichen Itza Mexico - by Stephanie Craig

Visiting Chichen Itza at a Glance

Still need to finalize transportation, tours, or accommodations? Here are my recs to ensure a smooth Chichen Itza excursion.

Popular Chichen Itza Tours + Tickets

Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour

From Cancun and Riviera Maya: Full-day Tour to Chichen Itza and Cenote Maya Swim

From Tulum: Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour

From Mérida: Chichén Itzá, Izamal, Valladolid, & Cenote Trip

Chichen-itza & Cenote Private Tour

Skip the Line: Entrance Ticket to Chichen Itza

Where to Stay Near Chichen Itza (Chichen + Piste)

Budget Hotel: Hotel Doralba Inn Chichen

Mid-Range Hotel: Mayan Bungalow Near Chichén

Luxury Hotel: Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa

Find more Chichen Itza hotels, vacation rentals, and hostels on Booking.com

Transportation

Airport Pickup with English Speaking Driver

Rent a car and drive to Chichen Itza via Discover Cars

Find cheap flights to Mexico with CheapOair

Flying into Cozumel? Book a Round-Trip Ferry Ticket to/from Isla Cozumel

Luggage Storage

Store your stuff for $5 per day in Cancun, Mérida, and Playa del Carmen

Guidebooks

Lonely Planet Mexico

Lonely Planet Cancun, Cozumel, & the Yucatan

Lonely Planet Latin American Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary 9

Vacation Photographer

Book an affordable family vacation photographer on your trip to Cancun, Merida, Playa del Carmen, or Tulum. (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photoshoot).

See also
Best Quotes about Mexico

Protect Your Trip

Get a travel insurance quote

What to Wear to Chichen Itza: Tips + Tricks

Planning a trip to one of the most important historic sites in North America comes with some challenges.

Between the long walking distances, the hot weather, and the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, it can be challenging to know how to dress and what to have with you.

Here’s what you need to know.

Plan for the Weather in Chichen Itza

When you’re planning your Chichen Itza outfit, it’s important to prepare for the weather in this part of the Yucatan peninsula.

Mexico is said two have two seasons. The dry season runs from October through April, while the rainy season runs from May through September.

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - Mayan Ruins - photo by Stephanie Craig

If you are traveling during the dry season, expect it to be hot and sunny in Chichen Itza.

If you are traveling during the rainy season, prepare for rainy and hot days.

Here are the average temperatures at Chichen Itza throughout the year along with how many days of rain to expect:

January: 86° / 63° / Averages 3 days of rain

February: 89° / 64° / Averages 2 days of rain

March: 92° / 65° / Averages 2 days of rain

April: 95° / 69° / Averages 2 days of rain

May: 97° / 72° / Averages 4 days of rain

June: 94° / 74° / Averages 10 days of rain

July: 95° / 73° / Averages 10 days of rain

August: 95° / 73° / Averages 12 days of rain

September: 94° / 73° / Averages 12 days of rain

October: 90° / 70° / Averages 9 days of rain

November: 88° / 66° / Averages 4 days of rain

December: 86° / 64° / Averages 3 days of rain

Dress in Layers

No matter which season you’ll be visiting Chicen Itza in, you will want to dress in layers.

You will likely spend a long day visiting the ruins, so you will need to be dressed for cooler weather in the morning and evening. But you can expect intense heat during the middle of the day.

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

Plan for humidity, especially if you’ll be there during the rainy season.

If you aren’t familiar with how humidity affects heat, I’ll just say this. Imagine you’re sightseeing in a jungle that feels like a sauna.

Outer layers should be waterproof, especially if you’re visiting from May through September.

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - La Pirámide, known as the Temple of Kukulcán - El Castillo - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to wear in Chichen Itza

Choose Breathable Fabrics

You’ll want clothing that breathes so that you get some relief from the heat when you start sweating.

Look for items made of cotton, nylon, polyester, rayon, linen, or silk.

If you tend to sweat profusely when you are walking in the heat, you can also look for fabrics that are moisture-wicking or quick-dry.

This is a great overview of the pros and cons of various breathable fabrics to help you decide which ones work for you.

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - Mayan Ruins - UNESCO World Heritage Sign - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to bring to Chichen Itza

The Best Shoes to Wear to Chichen Itza

During your trip to Chichen Itza, you will walk. A lot.

You will want comfortable shoes that are sturdy enough to survive dirt paths and patches of rocks.

When I travel, I like to wear Tevas or Birkenstocks on days that involve a lot of walking.

Sneakers are another option. If you wear close-toed shoes, wear moisture-wicking performance socks.

If you prefer wearing flip-flops, pack some in your day bag to slip on in the car or on your tour bus. I like this pair of flip-flops with arch support.

Here are men’s versions of the Birkenstocks or Tevas, plus flip-flops or slides for the car or bus.

Pro tip: Make sure your shoes are broken in! Wearing new shoes on a long day of walking is a recipe for disaster.

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - Mayan Ruins -- The Tzompantli - photo by Stephanie Craig | what to wear at Chichen Itza

BYOS to Chichen Itza – Bring Your Own Shade

The archaeological sites at Chichen Itza have almost no shade overhead, so you will be walking outside in the sun for quite a while.

You can bring a little shade for yourself by bringing a good sun hat, travel umbrella, or scarf.

See also
10 Tips for What to Wear on the Plane to Mexico + Airplane Outfits
Mexico - Chichén Itzá - Mayan Ruins - The Venus Platform - photo by Stephanie Craig | how to dress at Chichen Itza

Dressing for a Chichen Itza Guided Tour

A few things to note if you will be going on a guided tour of Chichen Itza.

First, the tour buses are usually air-conditioned and can be very cold. Bring a light jacket so you can cover yourself.

Mexico - Cancun to Chichen Itza Bus Tour - photo by Stephanie Craig

If you’ll be wearing shorts and open-toed shoes, stick a pashmina and a pair of socks in your day bag to pull out if needed.

Protip for the drive: While there’s a documentary played on many of the bus trips, you might want to bring something with you to keep you entertained for the remainder of the journey, like a book, puzzles, or podcasts.

After your Chichen Itza visit: Depending on your tour, you may have additional activities planned for after you visit Chichen Itza. You will want to plan and dress with these activities in mind as well.

My tour included a lunch in Valladolid and a stop at a cenote.

Mexico - Valladolid - Cenote Zaci - photo of Stephanie Craig
Stopping at Cenote Zaci in Valladolid on a Chichen Itza tour

If your tour group will be swimming in a cenote afterward, bring a swimsuit or wear it under your clothes.

If you’ll be visiting Xcaret Park, make sure your outfit follows their dress code.

Mexico - Valladolid - Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Assumption better known as Valladolid Cathedral - photo by Stephanie Craig
The beautiful Valladolid, Mexico

Dressing for Visiting Chichen Itza without a Tour

If you will be driving to Chichen Itza in a rental car, you will be able to control the temperature of the car, so you don’t need to worry about freezing.

You’ll also be able to leave extra clothing in the car when you go in, so you don’t have to be as judicious about what to wear. You can take options.

You can also spend more time getting travel photography, so you might wear a more photogenic outfit (even if it is less functional).

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - Mayan Ruins -- The Tzompantli - photo by Stephanie Craig

Don’t leave any valuables out in your car. You can use rental lockers at Chichen Itza to avoid having anything stolen from your car.

If you will be using public buses, you can travel with Ado. In this case, be prepared with extra layers in case the air conditioning is blasting.

See also
Best Quotes about Mexico City, Mexico

Even if you don’t have a tour, you may want to enhance your trip by reserving a Skip-the-Line ticket or a self-guided tour.

What to Wear to Chichen Itza if It’s Raining

If you will be visiting Chichen Itza in the rain, wear a rain jacket and bring a travel umbrella.

Wear waterproof shoes that won’t slip too much in the rain. Pack a backup outfit in case you get drenched.

What Not to Wear to Chichen Itza

Skip any outfits that involve heavy fabrics, non-functional shoes, offensive language, or are too revealing.

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - Souvenirs - photo by Stephanie Craig

What to Bring to Chichen Itza (Packing List for Your Day Bag)

Here’s what to pack in your day bag to keep with you during the tour:

wallet with RFIDsafe technology

cash (for snacks and tour guide tips – this can be MXN pesos or USD if necessary)

credit card (entrance fees can be paid via credit card or cash – some days have free entry for Mexican citizens and permanent residents)

ATM card

passport

waterproof passport holder 

cell phone

cell phone charger

offline version of Google Maps directions if driving

portable charger

sun hat

sunglasses

travel umbrella

reef-safe sunscreen 

insect repellant

swimsuit (if necessary)

snacks

water bottle

camera

travel tripod (optional)

El Salvador - Juayua - Stephanie Backpack - photo by Stephanie Craig | best day pack for Cozumel Mexico
This is the day bag I took on my most recent trip to Mexico

For your day bag, you can use a day pack, beach bag, or tote bag. These are the three day bags I have used during travel in Mexico:

Pacsafe Citysafe (best anti-theft day bag)

Venture Pal (best budget day bag)

Large Longchamp (best classic day bag)

What Not to Bring to Chichen Itza

Don’t bring anything valuable, dangerous, illegal, or bulky.

Leave Room in Your Day Bag to Shed Some Layers

It can be tempting to fill up your day bag, but make sure you leave enough room in it free so that you can safely stash any layers of clothing that you need to peel off as the temperatures rise throughout the day.

See also
10 Tips for Seeing the Holbox Bioluminescence: Tours, What to Wear, What to Bring, + More!
Mexico - Chichén Itzá - the Temple of the Warriors - photo by Stephanie Craig

Storing Your Luggage While at Chichen Itza

If you will be driving to Chichen Itza with all your stuff in your rental car, you can use the rental lockers at the park to store your stuff.

If you are going on a guided tour or an independent day trip and need somewhere to store your luggage, you can make a reservation with Radical Storage.

They have locations in Cancun, Mérida, and Playa del Carmen and store luggage for $5 per day.

Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula - Quintana Roo - Cancun - Stephanie and Jordan - photo of Stephanie Craig
Hanging out on a tour in Cancun

Chichen Itza Outfit Ideas

For women, t-shirts and shorts or pants are a common outfit.

If you want something a little bit less casual, you can opt for dresses. Both maxi dresses and shorter dresses paired with leggings are popular options.

If you wear a long dress, wear bicycle shorts underneath or something else to keep yourself from chafing.

El Salvador - View from the Mirador Turístico Apaneca (The Apaneca Tourist Viewpoint) - Stephanie Craig
Long, airy dresses are great for Chichen Itza. Just wear something underneath to stop chafing in the heat.

Other chafing tips include using vaseline or baby powder.

For men, t-shirts and shorts or pants are the most common outfits you’ll see. Swim trunks, tank tops, and collared shirts are also popular.

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - La Pirámide, known as the Temple of Kukulcán - photo of Stephanie Craig - El Castillo

More important than what the items of clothing is what fabric it is made from, so check your clothes against the breathable fabrics list posted above.

What to Wear to Chichen Itza Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

These are the answers to the questions that travelers to Chichen Itza need to know before visiting.

Is Chichen Itza worth visiting?

Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been dubbed one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World.”

It’s also one of the most popular day trips in all of Mexico. If you will traveling to anywhere in Quintana Roo or the Yucatan, you will probably see tours bound for Chichen Itza.

I visited from Cancun, but it’s also a popular day trip from Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Xcaret, Merida, and Valladolid.

But is it worth visiting?

See also
The Best Quotes about Cancun, Mexico

Honestly, seeing El Castillo in person had been on my bucket list since middle school.

Other important sites at Chichen Itza, like the Temple of Kukulkan (Temple of Kukulcan), the Great Ball Court, and the Temple of the Warriors are also iconic can’t-miss spots.

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - Mayan Ruins -The Ball Game - Chichenitza Tour Group - photo by Stephanie Craig
A Chichen Itza tour in the Great Ball Court

Is there a dress code for Chichen Itza?

Chichen Itza has no official dress code, but don’t wear anything with offensive language or that is too revealing.

Keep in mind that this is one of the most important archeological sites from Mayan culture, so you should act and dress respectfully during your visit.

This is an important historic Mayan site, not just a vacation destination.

What should you wear to Chichen Itza?

Dress in layers of breathable fabric. Bring a light jacket for air-conditioned transportation.

Mexico - Tulum - Archaeological Site - Beach and Ruins - Stephanie Craig and Jordan - photo by Stephanie Craig

How much walking do you do at Chichen Itza?

You do a lot of walking in Chichen Itza – in areas that have little shade.

How do I prepare for Chichen Itza?

If you are going on a guided tour, make sure your tour is booked.

Then brush up on what’s included in the itinerary, tour rules, and any travel tips they send to you.

If you are going independently, have your transportation (bus or rental car) and accommodations booked.

What do you wear to the Mayan ruins?

Wear light layers that breathe, and prepare to be outside in humidity.

Mexico - Cozumel - San Gervasio Archaeological Site - Mayan Ruins - photo by Stephanie Craig | Cozumel rainforest packing list | Cozumel jungle packing list
Visiting the Mayan ruins in San Gervasio on Cozumel

What is the temperature like in Chichen Itza?

See the weather table above. Expect it to be either hot or hot and rainy, depending on which month you are traveling.

Is it a good idea to wear jeans to Chichen Itza?

I know that some people do wear jeans to Chichen Itza, but I would not be comfortable in jeans.

Should you wear sneakers to Chichen Itza?

Yes, sneakers are a great option for comfortable shoes in Chichen Itza.

Mexico - Chichén Itzá - Mayan Ruins - The Thousand Columns Group - photo by Stephanie Craig

Can you wear shorts at Chichen Itza?

Yes, shorts work well in Chichen Itza.

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

Should I wear a dress to Chichen Itza?

I love wearing dresses when I travel!

Dresses are great for Chichen Itza. Either wear shorts or leggings underneath to avoid chafing from sweating.

Is Chichen Itza safe?

Chichen Itza is safe. Prepare for petty crime by not taking valuables with you and having travel insurance in case something is stolen.

Serbia - Belgrade - Day Bag Pacsafe - photo by Stephanie Craig | best day bag for Chichen Itza
I like traveling with a Pacsafe Citysafe day bag because it has many anti-theft features

Does Chichen Itza have nightlife?

Yes, there is an activity at Chichen Itza at night. You can attend the Light Show. Bring a jacket and insect repellant.

Can you visit during the equinoxes?

Yes, these are the most popular days to visit CItza.

What are the best cenotes near Chichen Itza?

The Yucatan is famous for its cenotes, or pools of water inside limestone sinkholes.

There are two cenotes inside the archeological site: Cenote Xcolot and Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Cenote).

If you are planning an independent day trip to Chichen Itza and want to visit a nearby cenote at the same time, here are some of the best cenotes near Chichen Itza:

Ik Kil Cenote (closest to Chichen Itza)

Cenote Yokdzonot

Tsukán Santuario de Vida

Cenote Kax Ek

Cenote Zaci (in Valladolid)

Mexico - Valladolid - Cenote Zaci - photo by Stephanie Craig
Cenote Zaci

What to eat at Chichen Itza?

Many tours include a buffet lunch or taco bar.

Independent travelers should bring their own food or purchase food at the entrance.

There are no food vendors inside the park past the entrance.

What’s the best Mayan ruin to visit on the Yucatan peninsula?

The Chichen Itza ruins might be the most famous, but there are many other Mayan sites on the Yucatan peninsula.

Mexico - Tulum - Archaeological Site - Beach and Ruins - Stephanie Craig
The Mayan ruins of Tulum

If you love your time in Chichen Itza, check out the sites of Tulum, Coba, Uxmal, and Ek Balam.

5 Things to Pack for Your Trip to Mexico

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

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

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

Mosquito Repellant is the single most important thing you’ll want on you as soon as dusk hits. Have enough to at least get through the first night if you’re packing light.

Full-Sized Travel Towel Unless your accommodations provide them, you will want to bring your own. I always bring my own towel to Mexico.

This is the best travel towel in the world. It’s pretty enough for the beach, large enough that you forget it’s a microfibre towel, and quick-drying, which is crucial in super humid parts of Mexico.

A Go Pro for underwater and action photography. Why go all the way to Mexico and not be able to capture some of the most exciting parts of your trip?

A Dry Bag for your stuff when you go on a boat or to the beach. You can get a larger one to use for a group or if you plan on taking a larger camera.

Otherwise, I use small ones with lanyards to hold my cell phone, money, and credit cards so I could take them with me swimming when traveling solo.

You might also want a separate waterproof holder for your passport. I’ve seen people who weren’t allowed to board their flights home because their passports got water damaged.

Before Your Trip to Mexico – Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

Make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road.

I use Safety Wing on international trips, and I happily recommend them.

It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be enjoying water activities, spending time on beaches, or in towns and cities where petty theft occurs.

If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.

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

Get a Travel Insurance quote for your trip!

Central America Travel Guides

Will you be exploring Central America after your trip to Mexico? Check out these Central America travel guides:

Belize Country Guides

Planning a Trip to Belize: 11 Steps to the Perfect Belize Getaway

What to Pack for Belize

13 Incredible Things To Do In Belize

21 Unforgettable Places to Visit in Belize: Bucket List & Beyond!

10 Spectacular Belize Beaches for Your Caribbean Getaway

The 17 Most Instagrammable Places in Belize

10 Best Books about Belize

13 Beautiful Quotes about Belize for Your Caribbean Getaway

27 Un-Belize-ably Good Belize Puns & Belize Instagram Captions

Ambergris Caye

7 Ridiculously Fun Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize

Belize City to San Pedro: How to Get from the Airport to Ambergris Caye & Back

Snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

How to Visit Secret Beach on Ambergris Caye

Caye Caulker

30 Captivating Things To Do in Caye Caulker, Belize + Caye Caulker Travel Guide!

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

How to Get from Belize City to Caye Caulker

Costa Rica

Your Ultimate Costa Rica Bucket List for a Fabulous Central American Adventure

El Salvador

The Ultimate El Salvador Packing List: What to Wear in El Salvador (Clothing + Gear List)

27 Magical Things to Do on the Ruta de las Flores, El Salvador

50 Pictures of the Ruta de las Flores, El Salvador’s Route of the Flowers, to Spark Your Wanderlust (Photo Essay)

Pin this Guide on What to Wear at Chichen Itza for Your Mexican Vacation!

What to Wear to Chichen Itza Mexico - by Stephanie Craig

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