Make sure to learn about how to tip in Mexico before your trip

Tipping in Mexico: Everything you need to know [2023]

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Traveling to Mexico is an exciting experience. There are so many things to think about and learn before you go, but it’s also part of the learning new culture.

It is important to learn about the country ahead of your visit so you can honor the local culture and act appropriately. One of the things you should get familiar with is how to tip in Mexico πŸ’°

Like every country, Mexico has its standards for tipping. You want to be sure that you understand what is expected of you before you go so that there are no surprises when you arrive.

We asked Chantelle from Flannels or FlipFlops to explain tipping in Mexico to help you get prepared for your vacations.

Tipping in Mexico restaurants is expected and appreciated as many people working in the food industry make low wages.

Tipping in Mexico: a complete overview

Tipping etiquette in Mexico is part of the culture. In Mexico, tips are often given for good service whether it’s restaurants, transportation 🚌 or any other service.

πŸ‘‰ The amount of your tip depends on the type of service that was provided and your experience as a customer .

Don't forget to learn about tipping etiquette in Mexico before your trip.

Here are some general guidelines for tipping in Mexico:

πŸ“Tip bellhops who carry your bags 20-50 Pesos per bag ($1-2 USD)

πŸ“Tip restaurant waitstaff 10-15 percent of the bill, unless a service charge is included (in which case you do not need to tip)

πŸ“Tip porters who help you with your luggage 20-50 Pesos per bag ($1-2 USD)

πŸ“Tip hotel maids 20-50 Pesos ($1-3 USD) per day

Learn a few Spanish words before your trip to Mexico, especially if you plan on venturing outside the main tourist areas. It’s one of my top travel tips for Mexico.

DID YOU KNOW? A tip in Spanish is la propina πŸ˜€

Gas station attendants, fast food workers, and housekeeping attendants may not speak much English. Being able to thank them and express your needs in Spanish will show respect and appreciation for the Mexican culture. 

βœ… Learn my top tips for Mexico travel.

What is tipping culture in Mexico? As a traveler, you are usually expected to leave a small tip in restaurants in Mexico.

What is tipping culture in Mexico?

In Mexico, tipping etiquette is part of the culture and is expected in many situations. Salaries in Mexico are lower than in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, and your gratuity will go a long way.

Tipping in Mexico resorts is common. It is customary to leave a tip for any services provided at all-inclusive resorts, from bellhops to waiters and bartenders.

Tipping in Mexico is also customary for restaurant servers, waiters, and bartenders.

Gratuities should be given in the form of cash, but cards are accepted in resorts and many restaurants.

Let’s get you ready for your vacation to Mexico, by discussing the most common tipping scenarios πŸ˜ƒ

Best hotels in Bacalar Mexico

Tipping in all-inclusive resorts in Mexico

All-inclusive resorts are a popular choice for vacations in popular destinations in Mexico like Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Bacalar. All-inclusive resorts provide meals, drinks, accommodations, and entertainment for one upfront price.

βœ… Check my complete guide to renting a car in Puerto Vallarta to explore the city outside the resort area.

Remember to think about tips when formulating your budget for a Mexico trip. The staff at the hotels work hard to provide you with the best service possible, and you will want to reward them for their hard work.

Some hotels will say that tips are part of the “all-inclusive” model, but it truly is best practice to show appreciation by offering tips.

Villa Marilu is one of the best hotels in Bacalar on the water

πŸ‘‰ Tipping at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico should include bellhops, bartenders, servers, housekeepers, and concierge services if you use them.

For toting luggage 🧳 to your room, 20 to 50 Pesos is an appropriate gratuity for bellhops (about $1-2 USD).

Giving the housekeeping staff 20 to 50 Pesos ($1-3 USD) per day is a nice gesture. This can be left every day, or at the end of the visit. Leave a note or message that the cash is for them, or hand it to them directly.

It's common to tip bartenders in Mexico when going out to a restaurant

For bartenders 20 Pesos or $1 per drink 🍹 is customary.

For servers in all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, 15 percent of your bill is a good amount for quality service, and you can tip more if you feel your service was above and beyond.

βœ… Read my complete guide to Cancun drinking age to stay safe while having fun.

If your food bill has a “service fee” added to the bottom, the tip has already been added to your total. In this case, you do not need to add a tip πŸ’΅

Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido are some of the best cenotes to visit near Tulum

Tipping in Mexico guided tours

There are so many unique and incredible activities in Mexico and one of the best way to enjoy them is by booking a guided tour.

Some of the most popular excursions in Mexico are snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta 🀿, whale watching πŸ‹ in Baja California, visiting Mayan ruins in Yucatan or sampling food in Cancun 🍱 where you can try traditional Mexican dishes and enjoy street food πŸ˜‹

And make sure not to miss some of the best Tulum private tours that allow you to enjoy cenotes in one of the best destinations in Mexico’s Rivera Maya without the crowds.

Best cenotes near Tulum

βœ… CHECK MY COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE BEST TULUM TOURS

If you plan on taking guided tours in Mexico, bring cash πŸ’΅ to tip your tour guide.

10-20 percent of the tour price is a good rule of thumb for tipping your guides. You can adjust this amount based on the service the guide provided.

If you feel they were very engaging or informative, giving a little extra will help show your gratitude. For example, Bacalar boat tours are always a lot fun and local guides their best to show you the most beautiful lagoon in Mexico!

How much to tip a private tour guide in Mexico?

You can tip a private tour guide 10-20 percent of the total price of your tour, but always feel free to give more, if you think they provided an exceptional service.

Rosa Negra is one of the most popular restaurants in Tulum Hotel Zone

Tipping in Mexico restaurants

Visiting restaurants is one of the best things to do in Mexico if you want to dive into the country’s rich culinary culture! As with all countries, tipping for food service in Mexico varies by situation.

Tipping at sit-down restaurants in Mexico

The customary tip for sit-down restaurants in Mexico is 15 percent for good service, and more if you feel the service was exemplary πŸ˜ƒ

Tip in cash if possible, as credit cards are not always accepted. Popular destinations like Tulum or Cancun are easier with many restaurants in Tulum accepting cash. 

When paying your bill in Mexican restaurants, watch out for service fees. If they are applied, the tip is already included. It often happens when you are part of a large group.

When going to restaurants in Mexico, always remember to leave a gratuity unless it's included in your bill

βœ… One thing to watch for in Mexico is a charge labeled IVA on the bill, the restaurant has applied Mexico’s 16 percent value-added tax. 

This fee is not the same as a service fee and does not go to the waiters, but to the government.

I suggest you try to eat at small, locally owned restaurants while visiting Mexico. Not only does this help support the local economy, but it also allows you to fully experience traditional Mexican food, often made from family recipes that have been passed down through generations.  

Best restaurants in Tulum

Tipping at bars in Mexico 

20 Pesos per drink ($1 USD) is a good amount to tip for drinks in bars in Mexico. If you have a waiter delivering your drinks to a table then you should tip both the waiter and the bartender.

If you are in a tourist area, such as Puerto Vallarta, and notice that you are being served well-poured drinks that aren’t watered down, giving the bartender a small extra tip will ensure you keep getting quality drinks.

Tipping in Mexico all-inclusive resorts is always appreciated, so make sure to leave a gratuity when you are going out to a restaurant or ordering a massage

Tipping at beach clubs in Mexico

Beach clubs are located in tourist areas, you can visit the beach club and enjoy pools, beaches, bars, restaurants, and activities like kayaking and snorkeling. 

At beach clubs in tourist areas of Mexico, such as Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel, you will often have a dedicated waiter that serves you food and drinks throughout the day.

It’s important to show your appreciation to these waiters or waitresses by tipping. You can tip 10-15 percent of your food and drink bill.

If the beach club is all-inclusive, you can tip your waiter as you go, or at the end of your day. In this case, you should tip what you think is fair.

I usually leave about 100 Pesos (just over $5 USD) per person for our waiter at the end of an all-inclusive beach club day πŸ–

Tipping in grocery stores in Mexico

Something that you will encounter in Mexico that is very different from the US and many other countries is tipping in grocery stores πŸ›’

If someone is there to bag your groceries, it is customary to tip that person. In many cases, these people do not work for stores, and the only money they earn is tips.

Tip anywhere from 5 Pesos and up based on how many bags πŸ› they have packed for you.

Tipping food delivery drivers in Mexico

Just as you would in the United States, you should tip your delivery drivers. 10-20 Pesos ($1-2 USD) is acceptable.

Best tours from Cancun

Do I need to tip street food vendors?

Eating street food is one of my favorite things to do when traveling (also my favorite at home!)

I love the creativity, and love that goes into the street food menus, and the vibe is usually lively and fun.  

πŸ‘‰ You can’t leave Mexico without ordering at least one street taco, churro, or elote!

Street food vendors do not expect a tip and it is not customary to leave any extra money. Sometimes you will see a tip jar on the counter, and if you feel inclined to do so, you can leave a few pesos there.

Do I need to tip at fast food restaurants in Mexico?

You do not have to tip at fast food restaurants in Mexico. As a rule, if you aren’t being served, you do not have to leave a tip.

Tipping in Mexico gas stations

If you have rented a car πŸš™ and need to refill the gas, there will be an attendant to pump your gas. 

βœ”οΈIt’s against the law for you to pump your gas in Mexico.

The gas station attendants will expect tips for their time, just a few pesos will do.

βœ… CHECK MY COMPLETE GUIDE TO RENTING A CAR IN MEXICO

Some gas station attendants will check your oil and the air in your tires or windshield wiper fluid. If you receive this service, consider tipping a few additional Pesos. 

Tipping hair stylists/barbers in Mexico

You should plan on tipping your hairstylist about 10 percent of the total of your service if you feel they have done a good job.

If you are having a massage or spa treatment, at least 10 percent of the total is expected as a tip.

If you are at a resort, check your bill to see if the tip has already been added in the form of a service fee. 

Tipping in Mexico transportation

If you aren’t driving yourself around while in Mexico, you’ll need to consider bringing tip money along for your driver.

How to tip a shuttle bus driver? 

Shuttle bus drivers are often employed by resorts and will pick you up from the airport to transport you to the hotel. You may also use a shuttle bus driver when taking excursions like private Tulum tours.

It is a nice gesture to tip your drivers after you arrive at your destination. The suggested tip amount for shuttle drivers is 50 Pesos ($2.50 USD). You should tip in cash. 

Do I need to tip taxi drivers in Mexico?

Taxi drivers in Mexico do not expect to be tipped. If you are feeling generous, you can tip, but it is not expected. πŸš•

I normally choose to round up my fare price and let cab drivers ” keep the change” as a tip. If the cab driver has helped me with my luggage, I would leave a tip.

Another thing to consider regarding taxis is taxi stand attendants.

Normally you will come across taxi stand attendants outside of a cruise port, or major resort area. They are there to help you acquire a taxi and get you where you need to go. 

These attendants should be tipped a few pesos.

Tipping bellboys in Mexico

Always tip your bellboys about 20-50 Pesos per bag after they have carried your luggage to and from your room.

If you have heavy, or numerous bags, consider tipping a bit more.

Everything you need to know about tipping etiquette in Mexico

Is it customary to tip in Mexico?

Tipping is customary, expected, and appreciated in Mexico. While there are general amounts that are good starting points, it’s always nice to give a little more if you are able.

Is it better to tip in Pesos or Dollars in Mexico?

The easiest method for the recipient would be if you tipped in Mexican Pesos, which is the local currency.

However, you can also tip in U.S. dollars – just make sure to use bills and not coins. 

There are rules in Mexico that make it hard, and sometimes impossible to exchange foreign coins.

Raw Love is one of the best vegan restaurants Tulum

Tipping in Mexico: FAQs

Now that you have a good idea of the tipping culture in Mexico, let’s answer a few common questions to make sure everything is crystal clear.

Is $20 a big tip in Mexico?

Determining what a “big tip” is will depend on what service you are tipping for, and what the total bill was. A general rule is about 10-15 percent of your total bill.

Should I buy pesos before going to Mexico?

You can go to your bank and exchange money before your trip to Mexico. By doing this, you will have pesos when you arrive. 

Usually, this can be done without a fee, whereas some places in Mexico will charge a fee for exchanging money.

You can also bring your credit card and exchange money once you are in Mexico. Be sure and tell your credit card company you are traveling to Mexico before you go, to avoid any complications.

Should I take cash to Mexico or an ATM?

You should come prepared with cash when going to Mexico. However, you shouldn’t carry large amounts of cash with you when exploring cities for the day. 

You can lock cash in your safe in your room and only bring what you think you will need for the day.

Avoid pulling large amounts of cash out at ATM’s to avoid becoming a target for theft. You can use your credit or debit card to pay for tours, accommodations, or food and save cash for tips and smaller purchases.

How do you tip at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?

There are a few all-inclusive resorts that have a no-tipping policy. There are somewhere tips that are not expected, but very much appreciated.

The best idea is to check the resort policy when making your reservations so you know what to expect as every hotel is different.

Even if the tip is “included” in your rate, it is a nice gesture to offer a tip to those who go out of their way to serve you.

Should I carry cash to Mexico?

You should carry small amounts of pesos with you to Mexico. When you go out, avoid flashing large amounts of cash, or bringing more than you need.

Is it better to tip in pesos or dollars in Mexico?
Always tip in pesos as it helps service staff to avoid exchanging money.

Tipping in Mexico: final thoughts

As you can see, tipping in Mexico is customary and appreciated. Knowing the etiquette of tipping in Mexico will help you become familiar with the culture. 

This guide will help you get prepared for your travels to Mexico!

When in doubt, leave a tip! Most people in the service and tourism industries rely heavily on tips to supplement their income, so leaving a few extra pesos will be appreciated. 

More resources for planning your trip to Mexico

  • Agoda.com β€“ a great website for budget hotels in popular destinations in Mexico.
  • WorldNomads β€“ Great service for insurance coverage that will keep you safe on the road.
  • Safety Wing β€“ Excellent insurance plan for long-term travelers that offers competitive rates is you are planning to stay on the road several weeks in a row. 
  • iVisa β€“ the best website for getting help with your visa for Mexico.
  • DiscoverCars.com β€“ Rent a car to discover different regions on Mexico.
  • GetYourGuide.com β€“ This is one of the best platforms for finding best guided tours in Mexico. Get Your Guide is my favorite platform that offers awesome tours and top-notch guides in many popular destinations across the country.
  • CheapoAir.com β€“ One of the best platforms for saving money on flights to Mexico.
  • Booking.com β€“ a popular website with tons and tons of options for accommodations of all sorts.