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Knowing when and how much to tip in Mexico is something every first-time visitor needs to learn. Tipping etiquette isn’t universal so standard practices in your culture may not always carry over to other countries like Mexico.
In America for example, tipping around 15-20% is expected but in Japan, tipping is frowned upon. In many situations, it’s even perceived as rude or insulting. You’d never want to insult anyone so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the tipping customs in Mexico before your trip.
In this article, we’ll give you a guideline on when to tip and approximately how much to tip when faced with different scenarios in Puebla and Mexico.
VISIT PUEBLA QUICK LINKS
To make your trip to Puebla even more eventful, we’ve compiled links to popular tours and activities here. Click on the link for a guide to some of the best Puebla Tours.
- Guided Tours: Puebla Sightseeing and Food Tours
- Day Trips: Day Trips to Puebla from Mexico City
- Cooking Classes: Puebla Cooking Classes
Top-rated hotels in the Historic Center, the best area to stay for people on their first trip to Puebla. Click on the link for more Puebla hotel recommendations.
- Luxury: Casona de los Sapos Hotel Boutique
- Midrange: Hotel Boutique Casareyna
- Budget: Hostal Casa De Arcos
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IS TIPPING NORMAL IN MEXICO?
Yes, tipping is normal in Mexico. Similar to the United States, tipping for good service isn’t obligatory but it is expected and appreciated in Mexico. The word for “tip” in Spanish is propina. At street food stalls in Mexico, you’ll often find a tip jar or box with the word “propina” on it.
How much you should tip varies from situation to situation but standard tipping etiquette – especially at restaurants – recommends that you leave a tip of at least 10% of your total bill.
IS IT BETTER TO TIP IN US DOLLARS OR MXN PESOS IN MEXICO?
You’re free to tip in any currency but tipping in Mexican pesos is best. It saves locals from the trouble of having to exchange the currency. If your bill was quoted in pesos, then it’s best to leave a tip in pesos.
With that said, Mexico receives millions of American tourists annually – many of whom stay at all-inclusive resorts – so tipping in US dollars isn’t uncommon. At all-inclusive resorts, tipping in US dollars is fine.
HOW MUCH TO TIP IN MEXICO
How much you should tip depends on the situation but in the service industry, a good rule of thumb is to leave a tip of at least 10%. But if you’d like to leave more for good service, then that would be greatly appreciated.
As a general rule:
10% – Standard minimum
15% – For good service
20% – Because you can
Be sure to check your bill before leaving a tip. In our experience, we’ve only seen a service charge added to our bill once or twice. If it is, then there’s no need to leave an extra tip.
I’ll get into this in more detail below but here’s a summary of expected tipping amounts in Mexico for some of the most common scenarios.
Tipping in Mexico Quick Guide
- Waiters/Bartenders: Minimum of 10%, 15% or more for excellent service
- Hotel Porters: MXN 20-40 or USD 1-2 per luggage
- Bus Baggage Handlers: MXN 5-10 per bag
- Tour Guides: At least 10% of the tour cost, 15% or more for an excellent tour
- Taxi Drivers: Round up to a convenient amount
- Musicians: A few coins
HOTELS / ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS
Luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts in Mexico receive a lot of American tourists. Tipping is still common even though many of these all-inclusive resorts have a no-tipping policy.
I read that wages for hotel workers are still fairly low so if you’d like to offer a tip to hotel staff as a token of your appreciation, then you’re welcome to try. Depending on how strictly the hotel or all-inclusive resort enforces its no-tipping policy, hotel staff may or may not accept it.
Depending on how many bags they have to carry to your hotel room (and how far they have to go), you should give a tip of around MXN 20-50 per bag to your porter.
Similarly, you can leave a tip of MXN 20-50 per day for the housekeeping staff at your hotel or all-inclusive resort. If you’re messy, then you should leave more.
We used to live in a serviced apartment in the Azcarate neighborhood of Puebla and we would leave a similar tip. Two ladies cleaned our studio once a week and I left them a tip of MXN 50 each per week.
I was sad to read that people in the restaurant service industry in Mexico don’t get paid much. Like their American counterparts, they don’t get paid a living wage so they rely heavily on the tips they receive, which is why it’s so important for you to leave a good tip.
The 10%-15%-20% guideline is a good rule to remember after a restaurant meal. In fact, if you pay with a credit card, then you’ll be given the option to leave a tip of 10%, 15%, or 20%.
Personally, I always leave a tip of around 15% (sometimes more if I’m happy with the service), but 10% is the minimum.
Street Food Stalls
Many street food stalls and fondas (family-owned eateries) in Mexico will have a propina jar where you can drop a few coins or small bills.
We absolutely love Mexican street food so I’m always happy to leave a tip of around 10-15%, but you generally aren’t expected to leave as big a tip at street food stalls as you are at fine dining restaurants.
If you see a tip box, then go ahead and drop in a few pesos to show your appreciation. If you don’t see one, then a tip probably isn’t expected.
The same 10% minimum rule applies to bartenders as well.
Fast Food Chains / Cafes
You’ll sometimes find tip boxes at the ordering counter of well-known chains like Burger King or Starbucks. Personally, I never leave a tip at these types of establishments but you’re welcome to leave a few coins if you like.
We usually use Uber to get to or from the bus station or airport. You aren’t expected to leave a tip but we do anyway, around 10%. Compared to the US, Uber is super cheap in Mexico so we don’t mind giving a little extra.
We prefer Uber so we only use taxis if we have to. Like Uber drivers, you aren’t expected to tip taxi drivers in Mexico.
Taxi rides are usually negotiated beforehand in Mexico so if you’d like to give a small tip to your taxi driver, especially if they help you with your luggage, then you’re welcome to do so. A 10% tip or rounding up to the most convenient amount should be enough.
Bus Baggage Handlers
When you ride one of those luxury interstate buses in Mexico, baggage handlers will load and unload your bags from the luggage compartment. I watch how much locals tip and they usually give between MXN 5-10 per bag.
For some reason, people don’t usually tip the baggage handler at the origin. They only tip the person unloading their bags at the final destination.
Gas Station Attendants
Gas stations in Mexico are full service so attendants will pump your gas and clean your windshield. Giving them a small tip of MXN 5-10 should be enough.
TOURS & OTHER RECREATIONAL SERVICES
The same 10%-15%-20% guideline applies to tour guides as well. I’ve taken a couple of day tours in Mexico and both times, I gave 10-15% of the tour cost.
If you were really happy with the tour, especially if it was a private tour, then giving more to your tour guide will always be appreciated.
Tour Bus Drivers
A tip of around MXN 20-50 should be enough for the tour bus driver.
It’s very common to be sitting at an outdoor restaurant in Mexico and then suddenly start hearing live music playing. Musicians will go from restaurant to restaurant and play a few songs before asking the diners for tips.
If you’d like to give a few coins, then you’re welcome to do so. I usually give between MXN 5-10. In the case of the restaurant below, where there were three musicians hired by the restaurant itself, I gave MXN 20. The amount is really up to you.
Almost every bathroom inside a bus station or commercial center in Mexico will be a paid bathroom. You typically have to pay before entering the bathroom but on rare occasions, there’s a bathroom attendant inside who’ll give you paper towels to dry your hands. A few coins amounting to MXN 5-10 will be greatly appreciated.
Beauty / Grooming / Massage / Spa Treatment Services
The same 10%-15%-20% guideline applies to barbers, hair stylists, manicurists, pedicurists, and masseurs as well. Give a minimum of 10% and if you’re happy with their service, then you’re always welcome to give more.
We haven’t done a lot of grocery shopping so we don’t see this often, but I read that grocery baggers are usually given small tips in Mexico. Apparently, they aren’t employed by the supermarket or grocery store so they rely completely on customer’s tips.
A tip of around MXN 10 should be enough for a few purchased items. Give more for larger purchases.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON TIPPING IN MEXICO
Even though tipping is observed in Mexico, that doesn’t mean you’re always obligated to leave a tip. Tipping, by definition, is still voluntary so if you aren’t happy with the service you were provided, then don’t feel pressured to leave a tip.
For example, I once paid without leaving a tip at a local restaurant in Mexico City because the wait staff was rude. We were so put off by the experience that it was the only time I didn’t leave a tip at a restaurant in Mexico.
When I leave a tip, it’s because I want to, not because I have to. I often give good tips even when it isn’t customary as a gesture of appreciation (like to street food vendors and Uber drivers). A tip is a show of thanks so if you were given poor service, then don’t feel pressured to leave one.
Thankfully, I’ve only abstained from leaving a tip just once in Mexico. A vast majority of the time, Mexican servers are warm and welcoming. They’re attentive and offer excellent service, which always leads to a well-deserved tip.
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It's up to you how much you tip, but the recommended amount in Mexico is between 10% – 20% (15% is a good standard in tourist areas) of the bill or ticket price.Is $5 usd a good tip in Mexico? ›
They depend upon those tips to live. If you're on a tour with a lot of people (20-100 people), each person should leave a tip of at least $5 U.S. (90 pesos). If you're on a tour with very few people (e.g., four people in your family), the group should leave a tip that is equivalent to 15-20% of the cost of the tour.Is $20 a big tip in Mexico? ›
In Mexico, a good rule of thumb for tips is to leave 10-15% of the bill. 50 pesos would be a standard tip for a bill that was around 500 pesos. For example, if you go out for dinner and get drinks, you should expect to spend around 400 MXN. That would mean your tip would be between 40-60 MXN.What is a good tip in Mexico all-inclusive? ›
How Much Should You Budget for Tips Per Day? The cost of tips for an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico will vary based on your daily adventures, but the general guideline is to plan on about $10-15 per day (which translates to roughly 200-300 Mexican Pesos).Is 10 pesos a good tip? ›
Restaurants: For good service, a 10% tip is standard. For really good service, anything between 15% and 20% is acceptable. Street food: Again, tipping is not required or expected, but it is appreciated (saying “keep the change” is sufficient). Taxis: If the driver helps with bags, 10–20 pesos is a good tip.Is it better to tip in usd or pesos in Mexico? ›
Should I tip in pesos or dollars in Mexico? It's always best to tip in cash, using Mexican pesos. While it might be tempting to leave a few foreign coins as a thank-you, those coins can't be exchanged and won't be of much use to your waiter or tour guide.How many pesos is $1 in US money? ›
1 USD = 17.898 MXN May 05, 2023 07:20 UTC
Check the currency rates against all the world currencies here. The currency converter below is easy to use and the currency rates are updated frequently.
Waiters working at restaurants and bars should always be tipped for good service; a sum equivalent to 10-15% of the total bill is appropriate.Do you tip when you check out of a hotel? ›
Tip the housekeeper.
The general rule of thumb is a couple of dollars for each day. You should leave the tip out in the open, like the nightstand, and with a note so the housekeeper doesn't confuse it with cash you've just left out (which you should never do, by the way).
Since most major tourist attractions accept both U.S. dollars and pesos, you should bring a little of both. However, don't bring too much. Even though Mexico is generally safe, it's not a good idea to carry around large wads of cash in your wallet or pockets.
While tipping may not be required at some all-inclusive resorts, many guests prefer to do so. In the event that you would like to tip staff during your all-inclusive vacation, it is important to find out in advance whether staff would even be allowed to accept those tips.How do you tip in Mexico with US dollars? ›
In Mexico, tipping in either U.S. dollars (bills only, no coins) or pesos is acceptable, though pesos are usually more practical for the recipient (and will save them a trip to the casa de cambio). The amount you tip is at your discretion and should be based on the quality of service you received.Is it rude not to tip at all-inclusive resorts? ›
Do I Need to Tip at an All-Inclusive Resort? While tipping is a discretionary and optional gesture, at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and others, it is certainly encouraged.What is the best currency to take to Mexico? ›
What currency should you bring to Mexico? The best currency to bring to Mexico is a mix of pesos and US dollars. Use the dollars to pay for tours, entrance fees, accommodation, and travel.How much do you tip housekeeping at a resort? ›
The recommended tipping range
The American Hotel & Lodging Association suggests leaving a $1-to-$5 tip per day for the housekeeping staff. The tipping range is helpful when estimating your trip budget, but how much you should ultimately tip depends on a few factors (more on this later).
There are very few places left for a $1 tip.” The Emily Post Institute recommends tipping a coat room attendant $2 for the first coat and $1 thereafter; and the same amount when an airport sky cap, doorman, grocery store bagger or bell boy.Should I tip 10 or 20%? ›
The appropriate amount to tip servers depends on your service. 15% is appropriate for average service ; 20% if your server is above average. You should feel free to tip above 20% if you received excellent service. If you received poor service, it is better to talk to the manager than skip on the tip.Is $100 pesos a lot in Mexico? ›
Is $100 a lot of money in Mexico? Yes. $100 USD goes a lot further in Mexico than in the United States and in other western currencies.Is $2 usd a good tip in Mexico? ›
Suggested Tip: $2-3 per bag / 30-50 pesos
We usually tip $10 USD or 150 pesos, whatever we have on us.
If you're staying at an all inclusive resort, you will only need about 100 pesos per day per person for tips (I'd say this is minimum). If you're staying at a hotel in Puerto Vallarta, for example, and eating out for each meal and throwing in a couple happy hours, you might want to budget 500 pesos per person.
More On How Far $100 USD Will Get You In Mexico.
Considering the fact that $100 USD equals over 2,000 MXN, you can get a whole heck of a lot!
|Conversion rates US Dollar / Mexican Peso|
|5 USD||89.49650 MXN|
|10 USD||178.99300 MXN|
|20 USD||357.98600 MXN|
|50 USD||894.96500 MXN|
Depending on your route and length, tipping can differ. For a large vehicle carrying multiple people, $2-$3 should suffice. For drivers spending the majority of the day with you, as is the case with a limo or moving between airports, hotels, and events, 10 to 15 percent of the total bill is custom.Is $20 a good tip in Cancun? ›
It's customary to tip from 10-20% depending on the size of the Bill and the quality of service. Always check your Bill before tipping as some restaurants will automatically add a service charge to your Bill. If no service charge has been added, we recommend a minimum 10% to 20% based on your experience.How much should I tip a shuttle driver in Mexico? ›
Any tip is gratefully received, so what is the tipping etiquette for drivers in Cancun and the Riviera Maya? In general you should tip your Cancun shuttle driver 50 pesos per person on board. That's about $2.50 USD but please remember that it is best to use the local currency of pesos for tipping!Is a dollar tip a lot in Mexico? ›
In Mexico, tipping in either U.S. dollars (bills only, no coins) or pesos is acceptable, though pesos are usually more practical for the recipient (and will save them a trip to the casa de cambio). The amount you tip is at your discretion and should be based on the quality of service you received.Is 200 pesos a lot in Mexico? ›
200 pesos is around $10 and while Mexico may be cheaper than the United States, it isn't THAT cheap.Is it better to use cash or credit card in Mexico? ›
Paying with a credit card will give you the best exchange rate. Most restaurants, hotels and stores accept credit cards in Mexico.How much is $1 US in Mexico today? ›
1 USD = 17.7625 MXN May 05, 2023 22:31 UTC
The currency converter below is easy to use and the currency rates are updated frequently.
Since most major tourist attractions accept both U.S. dollars and pesos, you should bring a little of both. However, don't bring too much. Even though Mexico is generally safe, it's not a good idea to carry around large wads of cash in your wallet or pockets.Is it rude to not tip in Mexico? ›
Mexico's tipping culture is impromptu and often spontaneous. Tipping is always optional although the people serving you will appreciate the small token of your appreciation in exchange for good service.How many pesos should you take for a week in Mexico? ›
I usually recommend going to your bank a week or two before your trip to Mexico and getting about $50-75 USD worth of Pesos. This should come out to about 1,000-1,500 Pesos.Can I use my debit card in Mexico? ›
Credit cards, debit cards, prepaid travel cards and cash are all accepted in Mexico. Outside of a few purchases like transportation fare or local shops, a credit card will be your best bet for everyday purchases.How many pesos do I need for 2 weeks in Mexico? ›
I usually budget about 1500-2000 per day for two people when staying non AI- but that is an average, and that is for a couple. For a 2 week stay, depending on your itinerary, your consumption level and where you eat, you might spend only 12,000 pesos or you might spend 25,000....Should I keep my passport on me at all times in Mexico? ›
When traveling in Mexico, the law requires that foreign visitors carry a passport and entry permit. You may be asked to present these documents at any point. If you do not present these documents, immigration authorities may lawfully detain you for up to 60 days while they review your immigration status.How should I bring money to Mexico? ›
The best currency to bring to Mexico is a mix of pesos and US dollars. Use the dollars to pay for tours, entrance fees, accommodation, and travel. For everything else use pesos. It should be relatively simple to get pesos in your own country before you travel.How many credit cards should I bring to Mexico? ›
Carry at least two cards on your trip to Mexico, preferably connected with Visa or Mastercard. If you just take an American Express card, you won't get to use it in many places. Think no foreign transaction fees.