You have your tickets, the trip itinerary is all set and maybe even a few tours booked; now you have to do the most important thing: fill up your suitcase or backpack—according to your trip style—with all the things you’ll need for your trip. If you’re like me and like to prepare for all situations, you probably want to pack half of your house. For your back’s health, please don’t do this. Let me help you out with some essentials for Yucatán.
I know I am always repeating myself on this topic, but I feel it is important to stress that our Yucatecan heat—and sun—is dangerous all year long. Our temperatures are above 30ºC (86ºF) on most days and can even make it to and above 40ºC (104ºF) during the spring and summer. Take note. You will need sun protection (preferably eco-friendly); the higher the SPF the better. Add in a hat and a hand-fan that will help cool you down. If you don’t have a hand-fan you’ll find plenty of street vendors offering them.
Clothes Clothes Clothes
Yes, your five extra pairs of underpants are welcome, but you can Google “coin laundry” and you will find many that offer good prices. Are you visiting us during the rainy season or when it’s cold? Don’t forget a raincoat or waterproof windbreaker. Vests have become very popular. This way you don’t have to bring a sweater and a poncho. If you don’t have a raincoat and/or windbreaker, do bring a sweater and poncho.
Take note that the rainy season is from June to October, and that when we have cold fronts in the winter they can come accompanied by rain and wind. During the cold fronts (which we call Nortes) the daytime temps can remain high but really dip down in the evenings, which are cold…and humid. Regardless of where you come from, you might feel you need to cover up.
You’re not planning on visiting a cenote on the beach? You should still stick a bathing suit in your luggage—you never know when you’ll run into a body of water and want to jump in! Far from the cenotes and the beach, in Tekax, you’ll find a wonderful pool in the summer. Believe me, you are going to want to jump in and cool off.
There are always random things that we forget to pack, for example, ecological insect repellent. Every time we have rain is the day the mosquitos are going to let their presence be known…and one of them could be carrying the dengue virus. I’m not trying to be an alarmist, I’ve never had dengue fever, but I think it’s better to prevent it and not mess up your trip!
There are things that you will want to carry with you all the time, in my case, it’s sunblock, sunglasses, and repellent. Where can you carry it? Carry a bag or backpack, even the smallest one, and make it part of your outfit! Choose a neutral color so it will work with everything.
Have you asked yourself if you should bring cash or if your cards will be sufficient? The general recommendation is to bring a good amount of cash in small denominations. You are most likely going to deal with local vendors, artisans, or handcrafters at street fairs or in villages who only accept cash. If you are in a village, the nearest ATM can be far away and will only spit out $500 peso bills that the vendors can’t change. For example, during a visit to Maní, we had to travel to Oxkutzcab to find an ATM and couldn’t even find the bank we were looking for. Did it work out? Yes, but in the meantime, we were worried!
Ok, and now, the last thing: your medicines. If you need specific medication, remember to bring it with you. If you end up having something happen like a headache or indigestion, you can easily find these things in the local pharmacies. Many pharmacies have doctors on site, so we suggest you don’t auto-medicate. To be on the safe side, bring the things you might take in these cases.
Editorial by Olivia Camarena Cervera
Yucatecan communicologist. Your favorite Assistant Editor. Writer, blogger, and bookstagrammer in her spare time. She also experiments with TikTok.
Photography by Nora Garrett for use in Yucatán Today.
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