First of all we would like to mention that it is not custom to tip in Peru as it is in many other countries. As a consequence most Peruvians do not show their appreciation for a good service by leaving a tip. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, on the contrary when you are happy with a service use your judgment and our guidelines to adjust the amount to the situation. But please remember, that our guidelines should give you a general idea only, as there might be special circumstances involved that you have to consider.
Also there are certain places where tips will be expected, mostly because they are frequently visited by tourists and the people depend on this additional income.
- Only tip because you want to and not because you feel obliged to!
- Don't compare the tipping amount with what you are used to in your home country, as salary levels in Peru are way different. For example a "basic" worker gets a monthly remuneration of S/. 750 (Peruvian Nuevos Soles) – about 268 US$. That means S/. 31.50 or 11.20 US$ a day.
- When you tip, do so in local currency (Nuevos Soles). This allows you more flexibility with the amount you would like to pay and also the "receiver" will not have to worry about exchanging it.
Tipping in Peruvian Hotels
In hotels and more likely in the better establishments the doormen will appreciate a tip after helping with luggage or at the end of your stay when they have been very helpful with tips on places to visit or recommendations in the surroundings of the hotel. A tip of S/. 5.00 will be highly appreciated. It is not common to tip the maid and as there will be most likely a different one each day (in bigger hotels) you might tip the wrong one.
Money left in the room will be considered "Lost & Found" and the finder will get it after about 90 days if it was not claimed by the guest. Also remember that you pay with your accommodation bill a 10% service charge that will be split equally between all the employees.
Tipping in Peruvian Restaurants
It is custom (and expected) to tip in high end restaurants – usually about 10% of the bill, whereby you can adjust this percentage up when you have been served exquisitely. In small restaurants, in markets or if you dare to eat on the street it is not custom to leave a tip. But if the "culinary experience" was so extraordinary leave S/. 2.00 to S/. 5.00.
Tipping Taxis in Peru
Taxis in Peru do not have meters and prices are negotiated before getting into the car (see our dedicated section about this topic). The drivers do not get any tips and you only pay the negotiated price, even if they hit one of the notorious traffic jams and the journey takes twice as long as usual. There is no re-negotiation and the drivers know that. But you might as well come across one of those super communicative drivers that are interested in discussing god and the world with you or are honestly interested in your stories as a traveler.
We had lawyers, engineers, architects, cops... as taxi drivers that were trying to get a couple of bucks on the side using the family car. So if you had the luck to meet one very special person making sure you had a very special and enjoyable drive (and only then) you can show you appreciation by leaving S/. 2.00 to S/. 3.00 as a tip. But remember, Peruvians never ever tip a taxi driver...
Tipping Guides in Museums and Cultural Sites
Guides in Museums and cultural sites expect tips and depending on the duration of the tour, group size (if and how much others are giving the guide) and of course the quality of the tour given and additional information provided you can give about S/. 5.00 (1 – 1 ½ hours) or up to S/. 10.00 (2 – 3 hours). Once again only tip if the guide has been really enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge and interacting with you – There are huge differences!
Tipping Tour Guides in Peru
If you would like to tip your tour guide for a job well done (considering the same evaluation as per above guides) you could consider about S/. 20.00 for a full day tour or about S/. 10.00 to S/. 15.00 for a half day excursion. When the service was outstanding and the tour guide has gone way beyond you can adjust the mentioned amounts. Don't forget to tip the driver of the bus that has safely managed the crazy traffic bringing you from site to site (hardly anybody does that, assuming the tour guide will share) – S/. 5.00 to S/. 10.00 (½ day – full day) will do the trick.
Tipping Trekking Guides, Porters & Cooks (like: Inka Trail)
Trekking guides, porters and cooks are usually not paid a tip on a daily base when the tour spans two or more days. It is common practice that the tip is collected by all participants of the group and then the staff will be paid a share of the total. Depending on the duration of the trip and of course the service received the following tips can be considered each: Porter S/. 40.00 to S/. 80.00, Cooks S/. 70.00 to S/. 100.00 and each Guide S/. 150.00 to S/. 200.00. Often the tour operator will give recommendations on the expected amounts.