What to Wear in Tulum

Trying to figure out what to wear in Tulum can be difficult if you’ve never been. Tulum is this glorious mix of boho beach chic and up-scale city gals away on holidays. I loved it.

This is everything I packed for Tulum and a few things I wish I’d packed. Get ready for cocktails on the beach, amazing sunrises, great seafood and plenty of shopping.

Flowy Dresses

If there is only one thing you pack it should be every flowy, sleeveless, lightweight dress you own. It was the only thing I wore when I wasn’t in my bathing suit. It was the only thing that didn’t make me feel like I was suffocating. These are a few of my favorites at the moment.

Bathing Suits

I kind of wished I had packed a one piece bathing suit.  When we went snorkeling I was wearing a bikini and a life jacket to stay afloat. When We got out of the water I realized the life jacket had ridden up my back and I got a horrible sunburn on my lower back. I would recommend packing a few bikinis for lounging on the beach and getting your tan on and then a one-piece for swimming with turtles and hanging in the cenotes. This one and this one are really cute. Oh, and this one. I’ll definitely be buying that last one – gotta love that pattern!

what to pack for tulum

Lots and Lots of Sunscreen

If you don’t want awful sunburn that leaves you applying aloe vera and standing in front of air conditioning for weeks afterwards, bring plenty of sunscreen. Because it’s a beach town, buying sunscreen once you arrive is quite expensive, so stock up before you arrive. If you do plan on swimming with the turtles in Akumal or hopping in any cenotes, please consider buying eco-friendly sunscreen that isn’t packed with chemicals. It’s better for your skin and for the little critters in the sea.

My favorite brand of eco-friendly sunscreen is a brand I found here in Mexico called Maya Solar. It’s not too heavy on the skin and it’s safe to use in the ocean. Badger is also a good one that is reasonably priced. If you can’t find either of those, you can buy baby sunscreen. Baby sunscreen is all natural and safe on your skin and the environment.


The humidity in the Yucatan is oppressive. You’ll want to pack plenty of tank tops to keep you cool and ensure that you don’t get any terrible t-shirt tans (speaking from experience).

ruins in tulum

Basically the outfit I wore every single day.

Flip Flops / Sandals

Leave your heels at home. Tulum is so casual. If you were to put on a pair of heels or wedges, you’d be incredibly overdressed. All you need is a cute pair of comfortable flip flops or sandals.

My flip flops of choice have always been Rainbow flip flops. I’ve been traveling with them for over six years (obviously replacing them once a year, that’d be nasty! ha). I’ve hiked mountains with them, walked through countless cities, taken them to multiple beaches and Tulum was no different. I love all the colors they come in, too.

If you want something cuter, there are tons on Etsy that I love. These are gorgeous and these are fun and will definitely go with anything. Have fun with your shoes, but make sure they’re comfortable. If you plan on checking out the archeological sites, you’ll want some support.

A Hat

I wish I had brought a hat. There weren’t many places selling them once we got there. It meant either a hot head or constantly seeking shade. Go for something that will protect you on the beach, but is still small enough to wear around town during the day, too. These are a few good options:

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what to wear in tulum

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Laura Bronner

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