A guide to Tipping in Peru
Please remember that these guidelines are recommendations only to give a rough idea. Circumstances may occur so that you adapt accordingly. Only tip because you want to!
Staff hotel, transfers, guides etc.
- If service was wonderful: round up 10 - 20%. The bigger the bill, less tip is given. For example:
→ Bill is 25 Soles ⇒ pay 30 Soles (about 20%)
→ Bill is 48 Soles ⇒ pay 55 Soles (about 15%)
→ Bill is 110 Soles ⇒ pay 120 Soles (about 10%)
- If service was just "OK": round up 7 - 12%. And again, the bigger the bill, less tip is given. For example:
→ Bill is 18 Soles ⇒ pay 20 Soles (about 12%)
→ Bill is 45 Soles ⇒ pay 50 Soles (about 10%)
→ Bill is 130 Soles ⇒ pay 140 Soles (about 8%)
- If service was not OK: no tip.
most difficult question to answer.
So we’ve done a little enquiry with clients, guides, drivers, office staff, partners & colleagues. Result: more lost than ever.
Amounts may differ over 400% and seem to depend mostly on: clients' and staffs' personal opinion on tipping, private/pooled tour, amount of participants, level of service, amount of time spent with staff member and on the region in Peru.
- Clients' personal opinion on tipping
Lets face it: some clients just “can” tip more than others. We’ve all been born in different families, have had different educations and start-up possibilities or life has thrown us around in different ways. Clients who have saved up for 2 years to come on their long-expected Peru holidays, simply have less money to tip than a long-life entrepreneur.
- Staffs' personal opinion on tipping
OK this one has to be mentioned too: some guides have lost connection to reality and believe because they speak Japanese or German or have another certain skill, their simple presence accredits for an outrageously high tip … NOT.
- Private/pooled tour, amount of participants, level of service
If you are on a private tour with a small amount of participants being guided in a language different from English/Spanish, have been picked up from a 5* hotel, tip-expectancy will be higher than when you are in a large, English/Spanish spoken tour and have been picked up from a surfers-paradise styled backpacker place.
- Amount of time spent with staff member
whole day tours usually generate higher tips than 2-3 hour tours or even just a 10 minute transfer. Also physical work (porters, cooks) and 24 hour guiding (more-day tours) make tip rates go up.
- Region in Peru
There seems to be a difference between the regions in Peru. The more touristy the place, the more staff has become accustomed to receive tips and/or larger tips. On average a guide in Cusco has a higher tip-expectancy than a guide in Chiclayo.
We as an agency in fact support tipping those who “have” or earn least.
How about tipping a high mountain guide in Huaraz or French speaking guide in Arequipa 10 USD less and leaving 1 Sol per day per person, for the cleaning staff in the hotel? The former 2 often earn US $ 140 - 200 per DAY whereas the latter earns US $ 300 per MONTH.
And guess what? Those who have least are usually the most grateful.
Here a recommendation list. Please remember that amounts go wild depending the person you talk to or the features mentioned a bit higher up. Some people don’t give any tip, others the triple of the amounts listed.
Amounts per group.
Cleaning staff hotel: 1 Sol per person per day
Driver transfer < 15 minutes: 0
Driver transfer > 15 minutes: 2 Soles
Driver transfer > 45 minutes: 5 Soles
Driver half day: 10 Soles
Driver full day: 15 Soles
Guide pool tour half day: 20 Soles
Guide pool tour full day: 40 Soles
Guide private tour half day: 30 Soles
Guide private tour full day: 50 Soles
Trekking guide full day: 30 Soles
Trekking guide 24 hours (more-day tours): 40 Soles per day
Trekking/climbing cook 24 hours (more-day tours): 40 Soles per day
Climbing guide 24 hours (more-day tours): 50 Soles per day
Trekking/climbing support staff (muleteers, porters, …): 20 Soles per day
The longer a trek or climbing expedition, the tip-per-day amount usually goes down.
Our staff is paid according to tariffs and we are very rigid in maintaining that. For that reason you will find our tours not the cheapest. We do not support exploitation and respect working conditions, food and accommodation for staff on tours etc. If clients eat a steak, staff eats a steak.
Almost always staff eats better, more varied and more nutritional on our tours than they do in their homes - thank you clients for giving us that possibility!