When you travel to another country, it's always a bit of a learning curve to understand the customs. Tipping is one of those typical things that can often be tricky when you've just arrived. To make your trip to Colombia as enjoyable as possible, we'd like to provide you with some information on how tipping works here. Is it customary to tip in Colombia? Where should you tip or not? How much should these tips be? In this article, we'll provide you with all the answers.
In Colombia, it's customary to give a 10% tip at restaurants. This is a voluntary tip and not mandatory. In many restaurants, this amount is included in the bill. Some restaurants ask if you want to include it, but not always. It's important to know that you can refuse this tip, although it might be an uncommon step. We recommend doing so only if you're genuinely dissatisfied with the food or service. In smaller local eateries, the tip is usually not included in the bill, nor is it requested. However, it's still customary to leave a 10% tip. When visiting a bar or café just for drinks, there's less expectation to give a 10% tip. Rounding up the bill or leaving around a 5% tip is more common in these cases.
Tipping hotel staff in Colombia isn't generally expected. However, if someone assists with carrying your luggage to the room, it's customary to give a small tip of around one dollar per bag or backpack. Additionally, leaving a daily tip (around 1 to 2 dollars) for the housekeeper is a gesture of appreciation, although it's not an expectation.
Throughout Colombia, you can find the most delicious things on the streets, like freshly squeezed fruit juices, arepas, empanadas, and almojábanas. It's not customary to tip at street stalls. However, rounding up the amount you need to pay is a nice gesture. Street food is inexpensive in Colombia, so rounding up usually involves small amounts.
Tipping taxi drivers isn't customary in Colombia. However, they do appreciate small tips or rounding up the fare. Especially if the driver has given helpful tips or you've had a pleasant conversation practicing your Spanish, it's something you can consider. As a general rule, as in many places, it's advisable to agree on the fare before getting into the taxi.
Giving a small tip after a tour isn't expected but is considered polite, especially after a full-day excursion, where tipping around 5 to 10% is customary. In many Colombian cities, 'free walking tours' are offered, typically lasting around 2 hours. While these tours are free, it's generally anticipated that at the end of the tour, you'll give a few dollars in tips, though it's not obligatory.
In Colombia, it's customary to tip around 10% at restaurants, often indicated on the bill. However, tipping is never obligatory, and you can opt not to do so. In other places like hotels, tours, or when having street food, tipping isn't expected but is greatly appreciated.