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Tipping in Costa Rica - A Complete Guide

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 Costa Rica as enjoyable as possible, we'd like to provide you with some information on how tipping works here. Is it customary to tip in Costa Rica? Where should you tip or not? How much should these tips be? In this article, we'll provide you with all the answers.

Restaurants and bars

In restaurants in Costa Rica, tipping is customary. A tip of 10% to 15% is typical. Many restaurants automatically add a 10% 'service charge' to the bill for taxes or service. If there's already a 10% tip included, giving extra tip afterward isn't expected, though it's optional. Often, menus indicate whether a service charge will be added to the bill. If no service charge is included, it's customary to tip between 10% and 15%.

At bars, it's typical to tip 5% to 10% when ordering drinks along with snacks. If you're only ordering a drink, rounding up the bill is a common way to leave a small tip.


In Costa Rica, tipping hotel staff is customary. If someone assists with your luggage to the room, it's typical to give around 1 dollar per bag or backpack. Additionally, many people leave a tip of around 2 dollars for the cleaning staff.

Street food

In Costa Rica, tipping when buying food on the street is less common. However, it's highly appreciated as a sign of gratitude and good service. A tip of 10% to 15% isn't expected. Still, rounding up the bill is a kind gesture. Street food is usually cheaper than meals in restaurants, so rounding up generally involves small amounts.

Taxi, shuttle service and Uber

In Costa Rica, tipping transportation staff is customary for good service. It's typical to give a 10% tip to taxi personnel for longer rides. For shorter rides, rounding up the fare is appreciated. When using a shuttle service, it's polite to tip the driver around 10%.

In many places in Costa Rica where Uber operates, the price is predetermined, and tipping isn't expected. However, if you're satisfied with the service, giving a 10% tip is appreciated.


In Costa Rica, it's customary to give a tip of about 5% to 10% after a tour, especially if you're satisfied with the service. You can give the tip directly to the guide. Some tours have a designated box or envelope for tips, which is convenient if you prefer not to hand a tip directly to an individual. This way, the tip is distributed among the tour staff.

Tipping in Costa Rica conclusion

In Costa Rica, tipping is customary, and the amount varies depending on the activity and service quality. Of course, tipping also hinges on personal preferences and budget. You might be more inclined to tip during a three-week vacation in Costa Rica compared to after three months of traveling. Tipping isn't obligatory; it's considered an extra gesture and seen as a nice touch.

Do you want to read more about Costa Rica?

See all our articles with the best tips to discover all beautiful places in Costa Rica.

Do you want to read more about Costa Rica?

See all our articles with the best tips to discover all beautiful places in Costa Rica.

About the authors

How nice that you are on our website and that you have read this article! We are Mirte and Matthew, two Dutch adventurers with a passion for traveling, discovering cultures, and gaining new experiences. We've translated our love for the world into this website. We hope our articles inspire you to go on adventures! You can learn more about us through the button below.
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