Thank you for subscribing!
Got it! Thank you!
Tipping in Mexico: A Gratuities Guide for Restaurants, Hotels, and All-Inclusive Resorts | Frommer's Mike Scheid on Unsplash

Tipping in Mexico: A Gratuities Guide for Restaurants, Hotels, and All-Inclusive Resorts

Tips on tipping waitstaff, hotel workers, bartenders, and tour guides in Mexico

How to tip in Mexico? The rules are similar to those in the United States, with a few variations. 

In both countries, service workers—especially restaurant employees—rely on tips to make up for low wages. 

So make sure to budget for gratuities and have cash on hand to reward waiters, hotel staff, bartenders, and tour guides. 

Tipping in the local currency, pesos, is of course the most convenient option for the recipient, but you can also dole out U.S. dollars. If you do that, use bills, not coins, because the latter are difficult to exchange. 

In Bars and Restaurants

If you see a charge labeled IVA on your final bill, the restaurant has applied Mexico’s 16% value-added tax (IVA stands for “impuesto al valor agregado”), which goes to the government, not the waitstaff.

To show your appreciation for the meal, tip your server around 15%. Raise that up to 20% if you were wowed. Note that some establishments automatically charge a service fee, so keep an eye out so that you don't tip twice. 

Bartenders should get 20 pesos (about $1) per drink or 10%–20% of the total bill.

At Hotels and All-Inclusive Resorts

For carrying your luggage to your hotel room, give porters 40 to 50 pesos (about $2–$3). 

Leave the same amount—40 to 50 pesos (about $2–$3)—for the housekeeping staff each time your room is cleaned. 

Standard tipping procedure at all-inclusive resorts on the Riviera Maya and in other beachy areas is less clear-cut. 

Many hoteliers claim that when they say everything is included in your nightly rate, that means gratuities are covered right along with your hotel room and round-the-clock feedings at the shrimp buffet. 

Still, you might want to show your appreciation to waiters and bartenders who don’t water down your margarita. Something in the range of 10%–15% should do it if they’re already getting a service charge.

For hotel porters and housekeeping staff at all-inclusive resorts, plan to follow the same tipping procedure as in traditional hotels, as described above. 

Note, however, that some all-inclusive resorts don't permit the majority of employees to accept tips. At Sandals and Beaches resorts, for example, only butlers, tour guides, and massage therapists are allowed to accept gratuities.

It's wise to familiarize yourself with your resort’s gratuities policy before your trip to avoid over- or under-doing it. 

On Day Tours

Give tour guides an extra 15%–20% on top of the cost of excursions to express your gratitude for being shown wonders such as Chichen Itza or Mexico City’s street food.

In Taxis

Here’s one place where tipping customs in the U.S. and Mexico diverge. Cab drivers in Mexico don’t expect tips in most cases.

If a driver helps with your luggage, though, it’s polite to give 10 or 20 pesos (about $0.60–$1) per bag.

After all, nobody likes a peso pincher. 

Need help deciding where to go in Mexico? Check out our roundup of the country's most magical villages.