Tipping in Mexico: Essential Guide to Getting It Right

Tipping is a common way to recognize and reward good service, but tipping customs do vary from one location to another. Whether you’re traveling on business, jetting in for a vacation or living in the country, here’s everything you need to know about tipping in Mexico…

Do you tip in Mexico?

Tipping in Mexico is customary and is often expected. Although tipping in Mexico is discretionary, unless a service charge is pre-agreed, common practice means tipping is anticipated in many situations.

Tipping customs to keep in mind

  • Check the bill to see if a tip or service charge is agreed
  • Tip in pesos if you have them, or U.S. dollars if you don’t
  • Some all-inclusive resorts ban staff from accepting tips but it’s customary to offer one

Useful phrases to know

  • Please may I have the bill? – ¿me puede dar la cuenta por favor?
  • How much? –  ¿Cuánto cuesta?
  • Thank you – Gracias
  • Bye – Adiós

Tipping in Restaurants in Mexico

When you eat in a restaurant in Mexico, tipping is extremely common and likely to be expected. It’s customary to tip around 10-20% of the total bill when you’re tipping in Restaurants in Mexico.

If a modest service charge has been added, it’s usual to add a tip as well, so that the total left in gratuity equates to 10-20% of the bill.

Waiters and waitresses typically make a modest salary in Mexico, so tips are used to boost their wages.

The tipping customs in restaurants in Mexico are similar to the U.S., with owners relying on generous customers to make up their staff’s wages.

Most restaurants in Mexico don’t include a service charge on the bill, particularly in casual dining venues.

However, if you’re in a large party or visiting an upscale venue, a service charge is more likely to be added. Check the bill before you decide whether or not to leave a tip.

Tipping Tour Guides in Mexico

When you tip tour guides, the appropriate amount will depend on the length of the tour. If you go on a day tour, it’s usual to tip your guide the equivalent of 10-20% of the cost of the tour.

When you head off on a multi-day tour, tipping the tour leader a minimum of around 60-100 pesos per day is generally expected.

For private tours, however, 200 pesos per day is more appropriate. Tipping at the end of the tour is customary and cash is the expected and easiest way to tip.

Whether you’re visiting the Tulum Ruins, going on a catamaran cruise or taking a trip to Chichen Itza, tipping at the end of a tour is definitely expected.

For tour guides in Mexico, tips do generally make up their wages. If you take a private tour, for example, the gratuity you offer is certainly part of the guide’s wages. While employed guides earn a basic salary, tips are relied upon.

Tipping in Hotels and Guest Houses in Mexico

Tipping in hotels and guest houses is commonplace in Mexico, especially in independently run venues.

In the hospitality industry, many people are on a low basic wage, so tips help to increase their salary considerably.

A service charge is rarely included in small hotels and independent guest houses but do check when you book.

Tipping in Hotels and Guest Houses in Mexico
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You may choose to tip at the start of your stay before you leave or on a daily basis, but cash is always preferred.

Tipping at the beginning of stay can ensure superior service throughout your stay, so it is preferred by some guests.

However, tipping on a daily basis means your tips are more likely to go to the specific member of staff that’s assisted you.

In some all-inclusive resorts, tipping isn’t permitted. However, these rules are often overlooked by management so it’s customary to offer a tip and see if it’s accepted.

It’s appropriate to give your bellhop around 25 – 50 pesos for their assistance and 20 – 50 pesos to your housekeeper per night, although the amount you choose to tip is totally discretionary.

Tipping in Taxis, Coaches & Cabs in Mexico 

Taxi, coach and cab drivers do not usually expect to receive a tip in Mexico, particularly on short journeys. However, if a driver helps you with your bags, tipping around 10 pesos per suitcase is customary.

Taxis are a great way to get around in Mexico, particularly if you’ve never visited your destination before. Although public transport systems are available, traveling by taxi can be much quicker. With unrivalled local knowledge, friendly taxi drivers will often give you ideas about where to go and help you with your luggage.

Tipping in Bars and Pubs in Mexico

Tipping in Mexico is customary when you visit bars and pubs. If you’re exploring the nightlife in popular tourist destinations, such as Cancun or Playa del Carmen, you may be hopping from bar to bar. If so, it’s usual to tip 10-20 pesos in cash per drink every time you’re at the bar.

Tipping in Bars & Pubs

However, if you’re spending a long time in one bar or pub, you may prefer to tip 10-15% of the total bill instead.

If so, tell the bartender this is your intention. When you’re running up a large bill, you may build up a tab and want to pay by card.

It’s not unusual to add the tip to your bill and tip electronically, although cash is preferred.

Tipping barbers and in hair salons in Mexico

If you visit a hair salon or spa while you’re in Mexico, tipping is part and parcel of your visit. Around 15-20% of the cost of your treatment is sufficient.

Often, you can leave a tip at the main desk or reception and it will be placed in an envelope with your stylist’s or service provider’s name on it.

Alternatively, you may prefer to hand them a tip directly.

While poor service may prevent you from leaving a tip, it is customary to do so if you receive average or exceptional service from a barber, stylist or beautician.