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).
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.
Can’t read now? Pin for later!
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
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
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
Protect Your Trip
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pro tip: Make sure your shoes are broken in! Wearing new shoes on a long day of walking is a recipe for disaster.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
What to Wear to Chichen Itza if It’s Raining
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.
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:
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)
cell phone charger
offline version of Google Maps directions if driving
swimsuit (if necessary)
travel tripod (optional)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But is it worth visiting?
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.
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.
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.
What do you wear to the Mayan ruins?
Wear light layers that breathe, and prepare to be outside in humidity.
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.
Can you wear shorts at Chichen Itza?
Yes, shorts work well in Chichen Itza.
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.
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)
Tsukán Santuario de Vida
Cenote Kax Ek
Cenote Zaci (in Valladolid)
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.
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.
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.
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: