There’s nothing more exciting than getting your suitcase out, ready to pack for an upcoming vacation.
But it can also be quite stressful.
If you’re anything like us, you’re always adding this and that to your suitcase to make sure you’ve got everything you might possibly need (then removing stuff because your suitcase is too full).
Well, if you’re wondering what to pack for Cabo, you’re in luck.
We’ve visited the Mexican resort area of Los Cabos countless times (and at different times of the year) – and we’ve carefully curated a list of all the right clothes, toiletries and electronics to remember.
Planning a vacation to Cabo is easier with this post!
So, no matter what month you’re visiting or the kind of trip you’re keen on (adventurous or relaxing), here’s our complete Cabo packing list.
Contents: What to take to Cabo
Tips for what to pack for Cabo
Your essential Cabo packing list
Packing gear for carrying stuff
Beachy things to pack for Cabo
What to pack for water activities
Other essential things to bring to Cabo
Travel tips on what to pack for Cabo
Consider the weather and time of year
It’s warm in Cabo, right?
Thanks to its position at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, it’s often warmer in Cabo than many other locations in North America.
However, there are still seasons in Cabo – meaning it has a definite winter and summer season (though not like you get further north, say in Canada).
If you’re visiting in the winter months, you’ll want to pack for slightly cooler weather.
When packing for Cabo in January, for example, remember some layers for the early mornings and evenings (including a thin light jacket). But don’t worry. You’ll definitely still need a swimsuit!
Winter is also the dry season. There’s very little chance of rain, so you don’t have to think about a rain jacket.
In the warmest months (i.e., summer), you can ditch the jacket. And you’ll want to pack clothes made from breathable fabric.
Think about the activities you’ll do
Some Cabo activities are unique – like hiking in Fox Canyon to a waterfall; swimming with whale sharks; horseback riding along the beach; and even camel riding in the desert!
Other activities include different types of watersports such as scuba diving and snorkeling.
So you’ll want specific items and clothes for these.
However, if you’ll be spending most of your time around the pool or beach, then you should be ok with beachwear and a few fancier items for dinners out.
Organize your Cabo essentials
To maximize space in your luggage, think about your essentials ahead of time, lay them out all at once, and organize them in a way that works best for you.
This is one sure way to confirm that you haven’t missed anything.
Your essential Cabo packing list
Okay, let’s get started on packing for Cabo!
To make things easy for you, everything here can be bought on Amazon.
Prices shown are in US dollars. As an Amazon associate, Cabo Visitor earns from qualifying purchases.
Packing gear (for things to take to Cabo)
1) Carry-on luggage
Choosing the right carry-on bag lets you pack more – and potentially allows you to travel carry-on only!
The Travelpro Maxlight is an expandable suitcase, with the maximum dimensions for standard airplane carry-on baggage.
At only 5.4 lbs, it’s impressively lightweight, meaning you should be able to carry it even when it’s full of stuff. And it can fit a surprising amount inside. (There are plenty of internal and external pockets to keep all of your items organized.)
The handle expands to 42.5 inches, so it’s easy to glide along the floor. And the wheels spin around – perfect if you’re rushing for a flight!
Of course, due to its carry-on size, it can be picked up and placed in the overhead compartment.
2) Packing cubes
If you don’t have much room in your suitcase and would like a way to organize everything better, we recommend packing cubes.
In fact, using packing cubes is one of our top packing tips, no matter where your travels take you!
These compression cubes come in black, rose, teal or with beautiful vacation scenes on them.
Their two-zipper system squashes out air and unnecessary bulk in your piles of clothes, making it easy to pack much more.
With these cubes, we’ve been able to travel lately with only carry-on luggage – no checked bag!
This makes traveling so much more convenient. And we don’t have to waste time waiting for our bags at the luggage carousel (or worry about lost checked luggage) upon arrival.
3) Toiletries bag
Don’t you want to keep your toiletries and makeup organized, even when you’re on vacation?
This water-resistant bag holds all of your toiletry products. And as it hangs on the back of the bathroom door, you can easily get at any of your items, from toothpaste to mascara.
Made from polyester, this bag comes in baby pink, yellow, teal, navy, black and gray. Or you could bag one (oh, poor pun!) in a gorgeous floral design.
Cabo outfits and clothes
Life’s a beach in Cabo, and most visitors live in their shorts, t-shirts and sundresses all day long.
However, don’t forget warmer clothes for the evenings (especially in winter). And you’ll definitely need smarter clothes for resort evenings if you’re staying at a fancy hotel like the One and Only Pamilla.
Here are some ideas for what to wear in Cabo.
Going to Cabo without a swimsuit is like heading to the moon without a space suit.
Even if you’re visiting in the cooler months, you’ll find plenty of use for a bathing suit, as the days heat up.
This one-piece Miraclesuit is incredibly flattering to all figures, thanks to its tummy tucking material and underwire support. In fact, it’s made from Miratex® fabric, which has twice the shaping power of normal lycra.
(Janice can personally attest to the fact that Miraclesuits do make you look slimmer! She has a couple of them in her swimsuit wardrobe.)
Choose from various colors, including black, royal blue, brown and a multi-hued design.
5) Second swimsuit
In fact, your Cabo clothing should include at least two swimsuits.
This one from Hilor comes in over 40 different colors and patterns, so you’re bound to find one you like.
It’s received 5-star reviews from more than 14,000 Amazon customers. And with a mesh waistband and thick straps, this swimsuit is supportive, flattering and an excellent price.
6) Swimsuit cover-up
You’ll also want something light and breezy to cover up with when walking back to your room or getting a drink by the pool bar.
This casual shirt-style dress comes in over 40 colors. Made from lightweight material, it has rolled-up sleeves and a loose collar to protect your neck from getting burned by the Mexican sun.
We think it’s ideal and will become one of your favorite beach-appropriate outfits for Cabo San Lucas.
Shorts are a necessity in Cabo, and most visitors have at least one pair in their luggage.
We love these sporty shorts. Wear them while walking around town, boating or going out to one of Cabo’s tastiest taco joints.
They have a handy pocket (although be careful with valuables, as there’s no zipper) and a ruched waist.
The inner briefs are sweatproof too, so they’re ideal even if you’re visiting Cabo in the hot, sticky and humid summer months.
8) Short sundress
If you’re out and about in the day, or if you’re looking for something a little smarter than shorts to wear in the evening, this pretty cotton and polyester sundress is popping with color.
It comes in over 30 patterns and looks charming with most any accessory.
9) Cute maxi dress
It’s tempting just to pack shorts and beachwear for Cabo San Lucas.
However, the town has plenty of clubs and restos to go for drinks or dinner, places where you might want casual-cute clothing.
Plus, there are fancier places, like these Italian restaurants in the town, where you could dress up a bit.
This maxi dress comes in a variety of colors, including grape purple, light yellow and red with a white floral pattern.
It’s perfect if you’re wondering what to wear in Cabo at night! The dress is ankle length on most gals and can be paired with strappy chunky sandals (ideal for a fancy meal night) or sneakers for a more casual evening.
Slouchy, casual T-shirts are a must on your Cabo San Lucas packing list. Luckily MIHOLL has a fantastic selection of different colored tops.
Some even have funky patterns like leopard print or tie dye.
These are a bargain, so you could always snap up a few!
11) Tank tops
Tank tops are just the thing for keeping cool on those hot Cabo days.
This selection is made from 58% cotton. They have a slightly tailored fit and come in a pack of two. You can choose from colors like yellow and white or black and pink.
12) Light cardigan
As we’ve mentioned, the evenings can get cool in winter, especially if you’re visiting Cabo in December, January or February. So it’s a good idea to pack a hoodie, long-sleeve sweatshirt or light sweater.
For activities like the San Jose del Cabo Art Walk (which takes place on Thursday evenings), you’ll want to pack a more stylish sweater.
We love this Merokeety cardigan, which you can get in neutral beige, mustard yellow, turquoise or virtually every other color in the rainbow.
Made from acrylic and spandex, the open-front cardigan has two side pockets. It’s loose and comfy and will keep you warm too.
However, if you’re wondering what not to take to Cabo, it’s lots of warm clothes. Even in the winter months, a few lighter layers will be just fine! (No need for fleece jackets, for example.)
Footwear for Cabo
Once you’ve worked out how to dress in Cabo San Lucas, you’ll want to figure out what shoes to take.
We have a thing for shoes (at least Janice does) and we’ve found some great sandals in different styles.
Feel the breeze on your tootsies with this pair of ONCAI flip-flops!
Non-slip and waterproof, they have the added benefit of a rubber sole and anatomical arch support. They’ll keep your feet comfortable with every step you take.
They’re great for the beach and pool, but you can also dress them up nicely for meals on the town.
14) Casual sports sandals
Alternatively, for something more structured (but still casual), consider these TEVA sports sandals – they’re robust and sturdy.
For general kicking about, hanging by the pool or going on long walks, you won’t get hot and sweaty feet in them. They’re also ideal for water activities as they’re waterproof.
They come in a variety of attractive colors, including metallic gray and star and moon patterns.
15) Beachy sandals
You might also want some flat sandals with a bit more sass. We adore the Plaka sandals brand for this purpose.
Made with a vegan-friendly rubber sole, these comfortable sandals are delicately plaited and provide support for your feet, while also looking fashionable.
As the straps are made of nylon, they’re suitable for the beach as well. If they get wet, the water will quickly run off.
16) Dressy sandals
These dressy sandals from Sam Edelman are a cute pick when you want to go out for fancy dinners or cocktails in Cabo.
They come in over 15 metallic and neutral colors, look sophisticated and are comfortable.
Things to pack for Cabo for the beach
Once you’ve packed your Cabo clothes, turn your attention to beach gear.
There are many beaches in Los Cabos, and the beach is probably where you’ll spend most of your time. (Maybe at a fancy beach club?)
17) Sun-protective rash guard
This sun-protective rash guard is trendy and shapely and also very practical.
It protects your skin from the Cabo sun’s strong rays, letting you swim and snorkel in the sea for longer.
Of course, sunglasses are essential for any sun vacay – eyes need sun protection too!
You’ll find tons of different styles in the RayBan store on Amazon.
We especially like the look of these classic Erica-style RayBan sunglasses.
19) Sun hat
A floppy sun hat will protect your face from the bright sunshine and help keep you cool.
This FURTALK hat comes in black, gray or beige with a black or white band. Its wide brim provides ample shade and it looks effortlessly chic.
20) Water bottle
To help stop plastic pollution, bring your own water bottle. Many hotels have water stations where you can refill yours.
Check out this collapsible travel bottle. You can push it down into a small ring, so it basically takes up no space in your bag or backpack when empty. You can even fit it into your pocket!
When full, it holds 17 ounces of water (about two cups). Of course, it’s watertight, so there’s no risk it will leak.
It’s also dishwasher-safe. If you have a dishwasher at your Cabo accommodation, simply pop this bottle in to sanitize and clean it (or use hot soapy water).
21) Reef-safe sunscreen
Sunscreen is essential in Cabo.
As you’ll be in the water a lot, we recommend using reef-safe products. These don’t bleach coral, which helps to protect the underwater world for years to come.
The reef-friendly Sun Bum sunscreen has an SPF of 50 and is water resistant. We love the smell too – like a mixture of banana and coconut.
What to pack for Cabo for water activities
22) Waterproof phone case
With all the water-based activities in Cabo, it’s good practice to waterproof any electronics to avoid damage.
So don’t forget to pack a waterproof phone pouch or case!
You can just slip your phone inside the case to take underwater photos. (Be sure you follow the instructions to check that the pouch is indeed watertight.)
Even if you’re not going into the water with your phone, this case will protect against accidental splashes.
You can also get these pouches in larger sizes for larger iPhones and other models; some can fit keys and money too.
23) Waterproof GoPro
Also consider a waterproof GoPro.
It lets you take underwater photos without having to worry about damaging your camera or phone with salt water (or worse, dropping it into the ocean).
24) Snorkeling gear
While there are places to rent a mask and snorkel, taking your own gear means you can head out into the water whenever you like (and it can save you a little money).
Cressi, an Italian manufacturer, makes a good two-lens snorkel travel set that’s affordable and lightweight. It consists of a mask with adjustable straps and a silicon skirt, plus a dry snorkel with a purge valve.
The set also comes with short stubby fins (which take up less room in your luggage). They have a heel strap that can be adjusted to the size of your feet.
25) Sea bands
If you’re going whale watching or on a sunset boat cruise, and you’re prone to motion sickness, think about packing sea bands.
These wristbands apply acupressure to your wrist to reduce nausea. They may help prevent you from getting seasick without taking medication.
26) SPF Lip balm
Due to the dry climate in Cabo most of the year, chapped lips are a risk. So add some lip protection to your toiletry kit.
Burt’s Bees SPF lip balm is a good choice. It’s moisturizing and comes in different flavors, from vanilla bean to cucumber mint.
27) Tinted sunscreen
You’ll also want a special sunscreen to protect your face.
With an SPF of 40, this EltaMD sunscreen is dermatologist-recommended and protects against UVA and UVB rays.
Slightly tinted, it can act as a foundation. It’s also moisturizing (but non-greasy), light and sheer looking.
We love this product, as do others! More than 13,600 Amazon buyers have given it a 5-star review.
29) Dry shampoo
Dry shampoo is a blessing when you’re on vacation.
If you don’t have time to wash your hair in between the beach and going out for dinner, just sprinkle on some of this and your locks will instantly be grease-free!
29) Leave-in conditioner
Did you know that you can also get leave-in conditioner?
Sun Bum (creators of the sunscreen, see #21) also makes a great leave-in conditioner.
This spray conditioner helps detangle your hair and lock in moisture. If you highlight your hair, it also helps to retain the color.
Other essential things to bring to Cabo
30) Portable charger
A portable charger can come in handy when vacationing anywhere, including Cabo.
It’ll help keep your phone powered all day, so you can continue taking photos (or find your way back to your hotel at the end of a long day trip).
This portable power bank is made by the reliable Anker brand and is super powerful. It has two USB C ports and one USB A port.
31) Noise canceling earbuds
Listen to the music of your choice with Bose noise canceling earbuds! They’re useful on airplanes, walks and any other place where you want to tune everyone else out.
With three pairs of ear tips, these next-generation Bose earbuds are designed to provide a good fit. (Not everyone has the same shape or size of ear canal.)
32) Sleeping mask
Want to sleep on the plane? Not keen on being woken up by early morning light at your resort in Cabo? You need a sleep mask.
Mzoo’s mask is an Amazon best-seller and has thousands of fans (including us).
Made of soft smooth foam, the comfortable contoured design means there’s no pressure on your eyes.
This eye mask blocks out light completely. It also has an adjustable buckle strap (not a Velcro one), so your hair doesn’t get all tangled up in it.
33) Small day pack
If you’re planning day trips from Cabo, a day pack is essential.
This foldable day pack is the cat’s meow. Simply unfold it when you’re ready to use it, and then empty it, fold it and pop it back in your suitcase once done.
With two pockets on the front and water bottle holders at the sides, it’s a great travel backpack. And it comes in several different colors, from purple to red to black.
34) Small purse
When you go out at night, you probably don’t want to carry your phone, money, lipstick and room key in you day backpack. A purse looks better.
We love this compact Michael Kors purse, made from high-quality PVC and leather. It comes in a few different color combinations and has an adjustable chain strap.
35) Waterproof Kindle
Vacations are the best time to lose yourself in a good book, right?
However, packing a library of paperbacks or hardcover novels just isn’t practical. That’s why Kindles are so great. You can download many books onto one slim, light e-reader.
The latest version has a large 6.8 inch display with thin borders. It’s also waterproof, making it ideal for the beach or pool.
Has this ultimate packing list for Cabo helped you?
Hopefully, you’re no longer wondering what to pack for Cabo san Lucas.
Whether it’s your first trip or you go to Baja California every year, this list of Cabo vacation outfits and other gear is a good checklist to use before your trip!
One last thing, don’t forget the following:
- Passport, travel documents and other important documents
- Credit cards
And save a teeny bit of room in your suitcase for some of those souvenirs from Cabo you’re sure to buy on your trip!
By the way, this Cabo vacation packing list (with outfit ideas) can also be used as a Mexico packing list for any beach vacation in other parts of the country.
So you’ll want to save this guide on Pinterest for later!
Discover more of Los Cabos!
- Weather, events and activities in Cabo San Lucas in November
- Is is safe to visit Cabo?
- Our favorite Italian restaurants in Cabo
Planning your trip to Cabo?
Here are our favorite travel resources:
Resorts: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel in Cabo – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)
Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).
Tours: For the best local guided tours in Cabo, check out GetYourGuide and Viator.
Car rental: Renting a car in Los Cabos is one of the best ways to explore. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.
Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more.
Vaccines and meds: We follow CDC travel guidelines to see what medications and vaccines are needed for trips. You can get vaccines at your pharmacy, travel medical clinic or doctor’s office.
Need more help planning your trip? Check out our ultimate Cabo travel guide! It’s packed with crazy useful trip planning info.
Pssst! If you make a booking or purchase through our site, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!
Photos: 2 to 4 © Janice and George Mucalov, Cabo Visitor
About the authors
Award-winning travel writers Janice and George Mucalov are frequent visitors to Los Cabos. Here on Cabo Visitor, they share their essential tips for discovering the best Cabo has to offer! See About.