Any day trip you make in the Yucatan, Mexico, home of the ancient Mayan, whether it be tripping around Chichen Itza, hiking through the Tulum jungle or ATVing along ancient Mayan sacbe’s, it is cool to be fashionable and not packing the kitchen sink.
Being a local in the jungles and beaches of the ancient Mayan world all my life and knowing a lot of adventure guides I have written a fashion article on dressing fashionably in the jungle! This is PART TWO and is called “How To Prepare and What TO Wear”.
My name is Landis Grace and welcome to the jungles and adventures of the ancient Mayans.
So, from PART ONE you now have a nice beachbag or backpack that matches your swimsuit and it is fairly light and easily portable and it has everything you will need for your day trip. Now we can talk about your clothing and towel options.
The following rule is very important to keep in mind to fully enjoy any tour you take -
A day trip is not to be spent lining up in washrooms or dressing room getting changed and unchanged into your swimsuit. It is also a time to not be lugging around huge wet beach towels or convincing your boyfriend to carry yours either.
The following is a list of points to heed. There are some variations, but basically it is the same theme.
1) DO wear your swimsuit underneath your clothing. If you feel better wearing a one piece bathing suit, then I recommend to find a bathing suit that looks like it is a one piece, but it actually two pieces. That way if you have to go to the bathroom it won’t be so difficult and secondly, you will have the option of leaving top on/bottoms off or vice versa if you get wet or hot.
Note though, if you have a personal hygiene issue with wearing your swimsuit, here is the trick – wear a small minipad in your swimsuit and just before you go swimming, remove it and put it in some toilet paper and a baggie for your beachbag until you get it to a garbage.
2) DO bring a pair of underwear with a matching bra (preferably without underwire because of the bulk), that is sexy and has colors that match your whole outfit in case you don’t dry completely before getting on the bus. Put them in a larger ziploc bag and use the bag for the wet swimsuit if you decide to want to get changed after all. And – if you want to be really prepared for anything – make that bra and underwear a second swimsuit!
3) DO wear a comfortable blouse or dress on top of the swimsuit. My favorite is a throw-over dress because it is so easy to wear. You can buy one in Mexico – they are everywhere. They come in different styles and colors and are relatively inexpensive. Pick one that matches your swimsuit, beachbag and sandals. Obviously don’t get a super long one – not good for climbing ruins and jungle walking. If anyone sees underneath, you will have your swimsuit on, or you can wear some fitness pants, see below.
4) DO wear shorts and a button up shirt if you don’t want to wear a dress. Make sure they are light, and won’t stick to your body when you get damp from walking or leftover swimming. I recommend the button up for two reasons – you won’t get all tangled lifting it over your head and also, it gives you another option for ventilation if it gets hot – you can unbutton it and leave it open, because you have your swimsuit underneath!
I also recommend light shorts. Fitness pants can be good for two reasons – there is no bulky zipper and they dry really fast if they get wet. They cover the top of your leg, so you won’t have to worry about too much showing when you are climbing in and out on the swim ladders at the cenotes. If you are going ziplining, having shorts on by themselves or under the dress is a must, because your dress will be flying! Also fitness shorts don’t have pockets so you won’t be tempted to use them. That way all your important possessions will be safe in your beach bag and not at the bottom of the cenote under your zipline experience. Best to have everything in your beach bag.
5) DO add a pareo. Saris, sarongs, wraps and pareos are all the same thing, but here in Mexico they are called pareos. The pareo will be your towel. They are fairly inexpensive, very light, very absorbant and very versatile. They also make EXCELLENT souvenirs for your friends back home, too, so buy a few more later before you go! Pareos come in so many colors you will be sure to find one to match your swimsuit. Or, if you are reading this in the planning stage, you can find a nice light fabric about four feet long by three feet wide in your local fabric store that rocks and all you have to do is sew a hem on the open ends and you have a pareo. The pareo is so cool because you can use it for all kinds of things before you use it to dry off after swimming – you can drape it around your neck to look cool and also absorb any perspiration you have or sometimes if the sun is hot at Chichen Itza or the Tulum Ruins you can drape the pareo over your head and hold the two corners up, so you have instant shade! If you are getting sun burned, you can wear it like a head scarf to cover your face and shoulders and it is so light, you won’t be like a furnace underneath!
If your dress needs a belt, voila, use your pareo!
If you need longer handles for your beach bag, use your pareo!
If you go out on an ATV and its dusty and you want to cover your mouth, use your pareo!
If you rent bikes in Coba Ruins and you need a bungie cord to tie your stuff in the basket, use your pareo!
If you buy a huge souvenir and it doesn’t fit in your beach bag, make a sling and carry it in your pareo!
You can see what I mean about pareos, right?
If you want to be a super star and travel super light, you can even use your pareo as your dress – they are large enough and there are lots of videos on YouTube demonstrating how to tie them on.
6) DO wear a hat! Like I mentioned a lot of the ruins are in the sun with very little shade, so you will want to have shade on your face for a good part of the time. Wear a medium color hat because you will be sweating and you don’t want one of those unsightly sweat lines for all to see when you take the hat off for swimming. Also – this is a good rule – don’t buy a hat that says something Spanish on it unless you TOTALLY know what it says! I speak Spanish and I am really surprised at what some hats say! Get the kind of hat that has the velcro hasp at the back, because if you decide to get some sun tan you don’t want it squished in your beach bag – just velcro it on one of the handles and carry it around. You might even want to have a safety pin to pin it there just in case.
7) DO wear sunglasses. I recommend the type that have the saddle holding them on your nose instead of two separate nose pads. You are going to be taking your sunglasses on and off all day; for being in and taking photos, for swimming, for being inside dark caves – and those sunglasses with nose pads always get caught in your hair when you have them on your head. I highly recommend getting one of those cool croakies neck cords to wear around your neck, too.
If you follow these rules you will be the most efficient jungle teen on your trip – fashionable and traveling light but totally prepared for everything.
In PART ONE your stylish backback or backpack contains your camera, phone, plastic bag as wallet, plastic bag with a small amount of sunscreen, water bottle, compact mirror, tissue, lipstick, mascara, maybe a hairbrush, elastics and – for the first half of the trip anyways – apples, oranges and cookies.
In PART TWO we added your stylish undies and matching bra or a second two piece swimsuit in a larger plastic bag and a safety pin. You will want to add a small non-transparent baggie to put your mini-pad in until you can throw it out. Your bag is still pretty light and you are not packing the kitchen sink. You will have time to enjoy the trip thoroughly and know you look stylish and like you have it goin’ on.
You are matching and stylish from top to bottom, from hat to sandals.