Guide for Tipping in Peru
It is always challenging to figure out the tipping policy when you are traveling to a foreign country. Peru is no different and can even be a more challenging place to navigate the realm of tipping as most of the workers are incredibly humble. Peru is a country that thrives on tourism, and the locals working in the industry will work very hard to make your stay wonderful in hopes of earning a little extra for their pockets and there are a few circumstances where tipping is expected. Here are some general guidelines for you to consider while traveling, but please remember – tipping is always optional!
As you go through this guide remember:
- Do not compare Peruvian tipping amounts to what you might expect to pay in your home country. One or two soles will be more than enough. No need to focus on leaving 10% or 15%.
- Feel free to tip in both Soles or US Dollars. Peruvians are using US Dollars more and more these days and in some cases it is the preferred currency.
- While there are some industries where tips are more “expected, ” please do not ever feel obligated to leave a tip if you have had poor service.
Tipping Tour Guides
- This is one area where tipping will generally always be expected, but again, please only tip if you feel your tour guide has done a good job.
- As a general rule of thumb, a tour guide will anticipate getting S/. 35.00 – S/. 40.00 or $10-$15 dollars per person for a full day tour. If the guide is only leading one or two people, the hope would be that the small group would provide a little more in tips for the “private” tour.
- The tour guides in Peru are very well trained, so you should anticipate that service will be outstanding and you may want to tip above the amount listed. Please do so.
- Please remember to tip the driver if you are on a tour what requires bus or van service. The traffic in Peru is crazy and requires a lot of focus, so it never hurts to show some appreciation. About S/. 10.00 or $30 from the group would be great.
Tipping Guides, Porters & Cooks for longer hikes (2+days)
- Trekking guides, porters, chefs, and (when necessary) horsemen generally rely solely on tips for the majority of their income. These teams work incredibly hard to make sure you are having the best experience of your life by taking care of your stuff, cooking amazing food, and leading you safely and enthusiastically through one of the most beautiful places in the world.
- Depending on the duration of the trip, size of your group, and, of course, the service provided, the following tips can be considered for a four day hike each:
- Porter $25 ($8/day hiking)
- Horseman $15 ($4/day hiking)
- Chef $50 ($12.50/day hiking)
- Guide $50/day ($200 TOTAL for a 4 day hike)
- These would be the TOTAL amounts expected for each worker from the entire group. These are NOT per person rates.
- Please see this chart as a sample of what an individual person should expect to bring for tips:
Remember -these amounts are strictly meant to be used as guidelines. These teams work incredibly hard during the hikes and if you feel they deserve more, please show them your appreciation.
Other Helpful Tipping Info:
Tipping in Hotels
- There is a service fee already added to your bill that goes directly to paying the employees, so there is no need to tip.
- Depending on the type of hotel, you may have a doorman on concierge. It is usually customary to tip this person if they have helped you with your luggage or they have been particularly helpful during your stay by accommodating requests or making recommendations. A tip of S/.5.00 or $2 would be common.
- It is not necessary to leave a tip for housekeeping. In fact, any money “left” in the room will likely be placed in a lost and found area for up to 90 days.
Tipping in Restaurants
- It is not common to tip in most restaurants. If you feel you have had fantastic service or a really great meal, you can leave one, two, or even five Soles on the table.
- One exception to this rule is for high end restaurants. In these establishments, it is expected that you will leave a minimum of 10% tip, or more if you have had amazing service.
Tipping Taxi drivers
- YOU MUST ALWAYS AGREE ON A PRICE BEFORE YOU GET INTO A TAXI IN PERU. Taxis here do not have meters, so do not get in unless you have agreed on a price before you begin.
- Taxi drivers do not expect tips and will take you for only the negotiated price. It is a rule that there is no re-negotiation on price once the ride has started, so even if there is terrible traffic, do not feel obligated to pay more for their time.
- If the driver has been extremely friendly or has managed to take a route that avoided a ton of traffic, you can consider giving a tip or S/. 2.00 or S/. 3.00 ($1-$2) if you really want to, but normally taxi drivers never get tips.
Tipping Guides in Museums and Cultural Sites (1-3 hour tours) –
- Guides in Museums and cultural sites do generally expect tips and, depending on the duration of the tour, size of your group, and of course the quality of the tour, costs may vary. Generally for one person, a good tip would be S/. 5.00 ($2) for one – 1 ½ hours, or up to S/. 10.00 ($4) for 2 – 3 hours.
- Once again only tip if the guide has very interesting and enthusiastic.