If you’re a tourist coming from the United States or Canada to Costa Rica, you’re used to tipping waitstaff, bellmen, even the barista at Starbucks sometimes.
In Costa Rica, tipping etiquette is a bit different.
Tipping in restaurants
In Costa Rica, the tip/gratuity is included in the bill at the restaurant. By law restaurants in Costa Rica are required to add 10% tip to the bill and 13% tax. Even though this is the law, some establishments will only include of these additional charges in the menu items, none at all, or both.
There’s no need to tip in addition to the already included 10% tip (service charge). If you have exceptional service you can leave the change, but usually nothing more than 5-10% of the bill.
How much do you tip a tour guide in Costa Rica?
One of the great things about Costa Rica are the local tour guides. They will make your vacation. They are some of the hardest working people in the industry, and appreciate your tips. For an all day excursion a good tip is anywhere between $10 and $15 per person. Obviously if your experience with the guide is mediocre or poor no tip is necessary.
Do you have to tip at an all inclusive resort in Costa Rica?
The short answer is no, but if you’re going to be staying there you might consider giving a large tip in the beginning to whoever is bringing you drinks poolside. Not many people do this, and the staff will take notice of your generosity and likely be more attentive to you.
Tipping taxi drivers
There’s no need to tip taxi drivers unless you have a lot of luggage that they help you with. $1 a bag will be appreciated.
The above are general guidelines and obviously if somebody give you service above your expectations a tip is appreciated. Tourism is a big industry in Costa Rica and tipping is one way you can show your appreciation to the hard work the Ticos put into making you have a great trip.