Tipping like a local in Mexico
You travel south of the border to enjoy the warm white sands of Mexico beaches but when it comes to tipping, you’re not in Kansas anymore Toto. Despite the fact that the Mexican hospitality is very warm, there are some slight tipping cultural differences to keep in mind that will prevent misconceptions among tourist and locals.

Regardless if you opt for an all-inclusive or not, if you are the type of tourist that likes to get out and get a taste of the local flavor, there are some fundamental tipping etiquette differences between the United States and Mexico that you should keep in mind.

taxi in Cancun A) It is the American instinct to tip the taxi drivers but when in Mexico, it is not necessary. This is especially the case in resort areas with high tourist traffic. Only tip if the taxi driver did something extra special. Standard taxi rates in places like Cancun or the Riviera Maya are pre-determined and already include the tip.


empacadores B) Allow baggers to bag your groceries and then tip them. Most of the baggers are either high school teens or retirees working purely for tips. Standard tipping rates depending on amount of purchases and range from 5 to 10 pesos. This is equivalent to 50 cents to a dollar.




Whale Shark Diving C) It is customary to tip tour and activity guides in Mexico. If you take a dinner cruise or swim with the whale sharks, it is customary to tip the captain of the cruise yacht or tour boat. If you are touring the Yucatan jungle on horseback, don’t forget to tip your guide at the end of the trip. Just like dining in a restaurant 15% to 20% of the over all tour price is an appropriate tip.


gas station attendent D) If you rent a car in Mexico, remember that self service gas stations don’t exist. Regardless of where you roam, there will always be a gas attendant waiting to fill your gas tank, check fluid levels, wash the windshield and clean the tires. If they simply fill the gas tank, most locals don’t tip. Regardless, for the workers that are working under the hot Mexican sun, a tip is always appreciated. An appropriate tip for a gas attendant in Mexico is 5 to 10 pesos.



About the Author

Kristin Kristin McCollum is a travel writer that has spent the past year traveling and working throughout Europe and Mexico. Now settled on the Yucatan Peninsula, she finds inspiration in every person she meets and in the natural beauty which surrounds her. Follow Kristin on Twitter.

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Yucatan Holidays


8 Responses to “Tipping Like a Local in Mexico”

  1. Jean Arnce

    I most always stay at and all-inclusive and even though
    they say it is not necessary to tip, I ALWAYS do. It is always gratefully received and I get better service in the future because of it. The locals salaries are not high and I appreciate their helpfulness and friendliness.

    • Yucatan Holidays

      Hello Jean!
      We definitely agree! It is always nice to tip (and at the same time, help) those people that offer a good service. A lot of people work hard for those tips! 🙂

  2. Tim L.

    Overall this is good, but I beg to differ on the grocery store bagger one: a typical locals’ tip is two or three pesos unless they are making an extremely large shopping trip. I have a beach house in the Yucatan and I currently live in Guanajuato and have gotten the same answer both places. I gave a bagger 10 pesos once because we had filled up three grocery carts when moving into a new apartment and he looked at me like I was Santa Claus.

    Think about it: if a high school kid serves 20 customers in an hour, which is not unusual in a busy supermarket, at 5-10 pesos a customer he would be making more than the salaried managers.

  3. Christina

    My boyfriend is a waiter at a resort restaurant, and while the hotel does pay a percentage of the all-inclusive tips to its waiters, it’s not very much.

    Many waiters in Mexico only get a salary of $50 pesos per DAY ($4.50 USD), so I also agree. It’s a very good idea to give extra tips.

    The waiters need the income, and the fantastic service you’ll receive as a result of the extra tipping is much more than the value of the extra tips. =)

  4. Kristin McCollum

    I agree Jean, the locals are helpful and friendly. Mexican hospitality is a very warm hospitality.

  5. santafetraveler

    I’m going to save this. While tipping here is easy, it is so different when you go to other countries. This will save me research.

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