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Tipping In Costa Rica:
TIPS ON TIPPING  
BY MICHAEL S. KAYE
President, Costa Rica Expeditions

There are more differences of opinion about tipping than just about any other topic in the travel industry. Should they be included or not? Should specific amounts be recommended to guests?

So, by popular demand. . .well see if were damned if we do, damned if we dont. Of course tipping is entirely up to you. Level of service, whether or not you feel comfortable giving tips, and your budget are all important factors.

Personally, I love to tip (or not tip), depending on service. When I worked as a guide I loved to receive tips. Ive tipped toll takers for giving me particularly careful, detailed directions. Ive also left a penny in a full water glass after suffering through particularly surly service at a restaurant. I think of a tip as a statement.

If you dont believe in tipping, dont feel obligated. Nobody should expect a tip. Regarding Costa Rica Expeditions and our own hotel personnel, if you believe in tipping and do not feel that one of our people deserves a tip, wed very much appreciate hearing from you.

Wed also appreciate hearing from you so that we can recognize extraordinary good work.

Restaurants are required by law to add 15% tax and 10% tip to the bill. As a general rule, Costa Ricans do not tip. I tip up to 10% depending on service.

Taxi cab drivers are not usually tipped unless extra service is provided.

Bellboys are often tipped a minimum of US $1.00 up to US $1.50 per bag, at check-in and check-out. Remember that the people that carry luggage at out-of-town places are bellboys too, even if they are not sporting the normal bellboy attire.

Chamber maids: are so often overlooked. I think they are among the most important people to tip. You may want to consider US$0.50 - $1.00 per night.

Transfer Guides, Service Guides, Corcovado Guides, Tortuguero Guides, & Monteverde Guides: average tip: US $3.00 per person per day. This tends to go up if the group size is less than 4 persons.

Naturalist Guides: average tip: US $10.00 per person per day. This tends to go up if the group size is less than 10 persons.

Divemasters: average tip $6.00 to $7.00 per person, per day. Discover scuba diving courses, average tip $10.00 per diver and full four day certification courses, average tip $25.00.

River Guides: average tip: US $5.00 per person per day. This tends to go up if there are less than 4 persons in the raft.

Drivers: are often overlooked. [Think about this: your life is in his/her hands]. If you tip anyone, tip the driver. Average tip: US $5.00 per person per day. This tends to go up if the group size is less than 4 persons.



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