Tipping

Tipping In Latin America:

It’s your personal decision whether to give something extra or not, but keep in mind that many people in the service industry in Ecuador make minimum wage, which is at the moment 425US$ per month, so of course, everybody is happy about a little something as gratification.

Tipping in Ecuador:

  • Most restaurants add a service charge (Servicio) of 10% on top of the bill, anything on top of that (propina) is recommended for exceptional service.
  • In cheaper places, it is not expected, but it’s welcome if you do.
  • Taxi drivers are usually not tipped, although you can round up if you want to.
  • However, for guides, drivers, and people related to tourism this tip is not considered. Therefore, Terra Sur Travels suggests the following: In most cases, a tip of $5 to $10 is acceptable for your guide in mainland Ecuador and $5 for your driver. However, these rates can vary when it comes to the Galapagos Islands since life in the Islands is much more expensive. Here, we recommend around $10 for your naturalist guide. On cruises, guide and crew are gratified separately. For guides, we suggest $10 and for the crew $15 to $20, depending on the boat class and service provided.
  • Kindly note that these ranges are per person per day.

Colombia:

  • What establishments can charge tips?
    Restaurants, bars, social or cultural clubs, discos, cafes and the like.
  • Is the customer obliged to pay the tip?
    No. The tip is voluntary, so the consumer can freely decide whether to pay or not.
  • Can the establishment suggest the tip?
    The establishments can suggest the value of the tip, however, the customer can reject it, accept it or modify it.
  • How should tips be reported?
    Owners and managers must inform people that the tip is voluntary verbally or through notices posted in the establishment as well as in letters.
    Additionally, it will be mandatory to ask the consumer whether or not he wishes to pay the tip and if it can be included in the bill.
  • Can the customer regret paying the tip?
    The consumer can decide at any time whether or not they want to pay the tip or if they want to change the suggested value, even after the bill of sale is issued.

Peru: 

Extra money is not a big part of Peruvian culture but there are times when it is appropriate. The following guidelines will give you an idea of when to hand over something and how much to give in various situations.

The consensus seems to be US$5 to US$10 (15 to 30 soles approx) per day for tour guides. As for porters, drivers, cooks and the like, is between US$3 to US$5 (9 to 15 soles) per day.

Again, the quality of service determines the exact amount. If you are on a luxury tour then the amount will generally be at the upper end of the scale.

How much you give waiters in Peru depends on the type of restaurant. 10% is standard in larger, more elegant restaurants, but this may be added to the bill. You can always leave a little extra on top of the service charge for exceptional service. It  is optional in mid-range restaurants (like chifas, for example), but giving the waiter 1 or 2 soles is a nice gesture. Nothing is necessary for budget eateries such as the family-run menus. The locals don’t often tip in these places, so you certainly don’t have to.

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