Tipping?

Old Jan 8th, 2004, 07:28 PM
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Tipping?

First trip to C.R. and wondering about tipping. Taxi drivers? Tour guides? Housekeeping? Should we use $ or local currency and how much?
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Old Jan 9th, 2004, 08:12 PM
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Tipping is not done in CR as in the US. A service charge is automatically added in most restaurants except the smallest sodas. In better hotels you can tip the maid $1/2 day and bellhops get $1/bag. Taxi drivers are not normally tipped unless they provide some special service. Be sure to agree on a fare before getting in the cab! Tour guides and drivers can be tipped $1 or more depending on the size of the group(Smaller - more $)and the level of service provided. Dollars are fine but conversion to Colones is ok too.
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Old Jan 9th, 2004, 08:14 PM
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Propino = tip
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Another question about tipping, at all inclusive resort. Last year in the Dominican Republic, I wasn't tipping any of the servers at our meals, and they were surly to us, at best. Then toward the end of the week, I started giving our servers a few dollars at each meal, and the quality of the service improved so drastically, it wasn't funny -- they started smiling, responding quickly to requests, and actually going out of their way for us, etc. So, is it the same in Costa Rica? Is it "expected" even though it isn't "expected"?
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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I always tip where ever I go - even if it's not "expected." (Sometimes, I think people who give the advice that it's not expected just NEVER expect to tip Certainly not saying that's the case here btw.)

Most of the places we travel have a per capita FAR below the U.S., and every tip we have ever given has been met with a smile and a thank you.

I always especially make sure to tip in cash directly to the server (even if we pay via credit card) as those "included" service charges rarely make it into their hands. They are pooled or they are an added profit to the establishment and don't go to the service staff.
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 08:58 AM
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Just got back from CR. We tipped at restaurants, hotel guys who carried our bags, our tour driver, taxi drivers... What's wrong with tipping? It's courteous and nice. You'll feel worse if you know you should have tipped and didn't, than if you surprise someone and make their day by giving them $1 or 50 cents more. And what is a $1 more? We usually gave 15 percent, except in restaurants where it was explicitly stated that service was included, then we only left a little. We are American. We tip. That's how it is.
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 09:41 AM
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I always tip hotel maids and taxi drivers, anywhere I visit but particularly in economically poorer countries.
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 10:07 AM
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On our latest trip a friend gave us 'the lowdown' on what a very small wage is earned by Ticos in the hospitality business [maids, wait staff, etc.]

We always tip , but must say that outside San Jose, no Tico has ever even hinted to us that they expected a tip.

Jerry
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 10:13 AM
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On a related note-- here's something I found somewhat counter-intuitive...

After returning from CR we met a Costa Rican man visiting the U.S. We talked about our great experience in his country. He asked us if we "haggled" in the local shops. We said that we didn't, as we felt the prices were fair and the folks there probably needed our money more than we did.

He said that tourists *should* haggle over price, particularly in "local" places. He said that not haggling raises the prices for the local people, as merchants know that they can hold out because a tourist will pay more for something.

Just an interesting perspective. There might be a lesson for tipping in his beliefs as well (although I will continue to tip well in other countries, it's just what I feel is right.)
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 12:55 AM
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Two subjects on this thread :

1. Worldwide, if there's no price on the object you wish to purchase, odds are that the price is negotiable. There are several items which break this "rule" - such as vehicles. In many cultures, the strength of a person's character is measured by their bargaining ability.

2. Tipping. I actually tip anyone anywhere that provides good, great, excellent service - accordingly. I have no issues with giving a few dollars to a person employed in a country where that amount of money makes a larger impact to their income than it does to my outgo.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 05:17 AM
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There is a say in Spanish, "Al son de el dinero baila el mono" meaning the monkey dances to the sound of the money been handed. It is very truly that if you tip, you get preferential treatment...like others have said, a few dollars in latin america go a long way...
Everytime i go to one of those all inclusive and lying by the pool, I tip 5 or 10 dollars for the day, and my coronas, etc, etc, come flying...no time for them to get warm....Also treat them with respect and said something nice, they deserve it.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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We always tip , but must say that outside San Jose, no Tico has ever even hinted to us that they expected a tip.

Speaking for Latin America, people outside the capital or biggest city, are very humble and respectful, that could be one of the reasons they do not hint for tips. Just look at them when they talk, they lower their head, hardly any eye contact and in a posture like saying, your orders are commands...but these are the most pure souls, they have no malice...and they deserve the most. Please tip them, a few dollars could mean a roof in their humble houses.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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Just to add my "dos colones" to this post, check your tab at the restaurant and/or bar. Generally 10% is added on to the bill and if you feel you'd like to add another 5-10%, you have that at your discretion. However, not ALL establishments add on the 10% so it's best to check your bill as it will be listed as "servicio". I generally do not tip the taxi drivers unless the road to my destination is rather rough or extremely steep. The road to the house is steep and the drivers sometimes have rough time of it so I give them a bit of a tip as extra "gracias". I also tip the watchman outside the restaurant (as long as he IS employed by the restaurant and not scoping our my vehicle!) especially when they assist with backing up or watching that the road is clear. US $ or colones work equally well.

Lisa
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 10:45 PM
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Even though tips are inlcuded in the bill at restaurants, we would always leave at least a few extra dollars. We also tipped cab drivers, who sometimes seemed surprised but not offended. Definitely tip housekeepers and tour guides too.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 04:11 AM
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I always tip cab drivers, waiters, and hotel staff. How much do you tip the tour guides? We'll go on several tours while there from horse back riding, canopy tours and maybe fishing and hiking. In the case of fishing, several people will be working to make sure our trip is fun. What do you give the driver and crew?
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 04:24 AM
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We usually tip tour guides between $5 and $10 depending on quality, length of tour, etc. Drivers a couple of dollars.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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Hey , I am curious , perhaps I am slow on the uptake , Lisa has a restaurant in M.A. ????
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 10:57 PM
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Seemingly, Lisa is referring to the watchman that many restaurants in CR employ to "watch"/protect customer's cars. It IS customary to tip them a few colones for watching the car (If I recall correctly, when growing up there, it was done when you left the restaurant)
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Old Jan 18th, 2005, 04:14 PM
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We always tip extra. And we have always gotten extra. Remember the ticos are sharing their beautiful country with us. Let's reward them for this.
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