What to Wear on Your Mexico Vacation: 4 Things to Consider

—This post was originally published on July 22, 2015.

When you go on vacation, it’s very important to know what you’re going to wear. Obviously, you can’t go to Cancun with winter furry coats, just like you won’t go to Alaska in a bathing suit!

Though Mexico is a country where the citizens dress in formal and modest clothes, depending on the situation, you should know how to fit in.

You can definitely dress as you want, but knowing the way the locals dress is a way of getting treated like a local, instead of a tourist. Also, dressing like the locals could mean that you respect their customs.

Here are a few tips you should definitely follow if you’re traveling to Mexico and are unsure about what to wear. We hope this helps you prepare before packing your suitcase.

1. Consider the Destination

The place you’re visiting plays an important role in deciding what you should wear. For example, in Mexico City and other colonial cities away from the coasts, women and men dress very modestly. For example, unless the temperatures are hot, only a few people can be seen wearing shorts in these cities.

what to wear in mexico

You may want to avoid wearing shorts in these places, and cleavage revealing tops or tank tops. In order to avoid attracting unnecessary attention on your vacation, you can wear long skirts made of lighter material, light-weight pants or jeans, and tops that are not very revealing.

However, for the areas around beaches, like Cancun, you can definitely wear shorts and tank tops. But on your way to the beach and back, make sure you’re covered up because some locals and visitors alike can consider it inappropriate not to.

2. Consider Whether You’ll Spend Your Evenings Out

Some restaurants and bars have set dress codes for men and women. They require formal attire like full pants and closed shoes for men, and formal dresses for women. Though it’s not applicable to all, some follow these rules very strictly.

nightlife in cancun

In order to avoid conflicts, guys can go for the traditional Mexican shirt called guayabera, which can be long and short sleeved.

3. Consider What Activities You’ll Participate In

At every destination in the world, you should wear clothes depending on the activities and tours you’ve planned for the day. Going to a church means wearing modest clothes like t-shirts, long skirts or below the knee shorts.

As Mexico has many famous archeological sites, you may want to wear comfortable closed-toe footwear — most likely tennis shoes — because you may have to walk a lot or even climb.

Learn about the Mayan culture in Cancun

We Recommend: The Maya Museum: A Doorway to Cancun’s Ancient History

For adventure sports activities, you should wear shorts that are not too short. Otherwise, the harness will stick to your skin and even cut into it.

If you’re taking some day trips or doing water activities in Cancun we recommend you wear a bathing suit under your light-weight clothes, so that you can take them off and dry them. Shoes that are good for water rafting or climbing should be on your list too.

4. Consider the Season and its Weather

You should pack your bags depending on season you’ll be visiting Mexico. For summer, you should pack cotton clothes and even a raincoat. The rains are quite unpredictable.

what to wear

We Recommend: 8 Ways to Enjoy Great Cancun Weather

For winters, woolen clothes are not necessary because of Mexico’s location. However, do check the weather forecast thoroughly before you make your trip. Packing a light jacket or sweater is a good idea, just in case it gets a little cooler.