Understanding Peruvian Tipping Culture
Like most countries, tipping is not compulsory in Peru even though it is greatly appreciated. So when it comes to services rendered, you may be at a loss as to how much you should tip your wait staff, tour guide, taxi driver or bellhop. In order to blend in and feel more like a local, the following are general guidelines to help you better understand Peruvian tipping culture.
- Wait staff at restaurants. While in some countries the wait staff at restaurants expect large tips, in Peru, anywhere between 5-10% of the total bill is appreciated and completely acceptable. Moreover, in small “mom and pop” restaurants, simply leaving a few additional soles on the table will serve as a perfectly acceptable tip. However, like in other countries, the amount you tip may be dependent on the quality of service you received. If the service was excellent, feel free to give a little more than what is customary.
- Taxi drivers. Taxis in Peru do not have meters and therefore it is important that you agree on a price before getting in the car and departing for your destination. Because there are not set fares and the price is often haggled, taxi drivers do not expect tips and it is not common to tip your taxi driver in Peru. While Peruvians never tip their taxi drivers, occasionally you may come across a driver who is exceptionally friendly, communicative and knowledgeable about the country and area you are in. If that is the case, it will never hurt to show your appreciation by giving a couple extra soles as a tip.
- Tour guides and drivers. After participating in a tour, if you enjoyed the experience and were pleased with the services provided, it is much appreciated if you tip your tour guide and driver. In general, in the tour was for a full day, consider tipping S/ 20.00. If the tour was for a half day, consider tipping between S/ 10.00 or S/ 15.00. If your driver has managed to safely navigate the crazy Peruvian traffic, a tip between the amounts of S/ 5.00 and S/ 10.00 is very polite.
- Hotel staff. If you happen to stay in the same hotel for multiple days, tips for the staff are always appreciated. A considerate tip for maid service, porters and bellhops is approximately S/ 5.00.
While tipping is not compulsory in Peru, there are some places (usually those that are more frequently visited by tourists) that expect tips. However, you should never feel obliged to leave a tip. Rather, you should tip because you want to and the amount should be based on your own judgement. Moreover, whenever possible try to tip in the local currency – soles – as this will save the receiver the additional hassle of having to exchange money.