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How Should I Handle Tipping in Ecuador? Travelers Guide

Curious how to handle tipping on your upcoming Ecuador trip? In this post, you’ll learn the ins and outs of tipping in Ecuador.

Tipping in Ecuador

Tipping in Ecuador: A Travelers Guide

There is some debate over tipping in Ecuador. But you need not worry, the “rules” are pretty basic, and as in most places it is a personal matter based on your discretion.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • It’s customary to keep tips on the small side ($2-$5)
  • Tipping is not mandatory, but is expected after receiving good service
  • Always tip in USD (the United States dollar)

Let’s take a look at some specific examples:

Read more about Ecuador travel.


Tipping Taxi Drivers

Some taxis will have meters and some will not. It’s best to ask how much the drive will cost before you get in.

Ask your travel agency about taxi fares (for specific routes) so you’ll have an idea of what a fair price should be.

While it’s not customary to tip your taxi driver in Ecuador, some people will round up the fare if they’re happy with the drive. If your driver helps with your bags, a tip of $0.50-$1.00 is common.

If the drive is long (over 30 minutes) – and you’re motivated by the service – a small tip ($2.00 – $3.00) might be appropriate.

Tipping taxi drivers in Ecuador

Photo credit: GringosAbroad

Read more about academic and student travel in Ecuador.


Tipping at Hotels

Here are a few things to keep in mind at hotels.

  • Bell boys usually receive $0.50 – $1.00 per bag.
  • For housekeeping staff, a tip of $2.00 – $3.00 per day is common.
  • Tipping for spa services is usually based on 5% – 10% of the total price, and is paid directly to the staff providing the service.

Tipping at hotels and cruise ships in Ecuador


Tipping at Restaurants

In many upscale restaurants, a 10% service charge is included in your bill. In this case, it’s not necessary to tip, but if you’re motivated to because of exceptional service, give it directly to your server. Usually a tip of 3-5% would be appropriate.

In smaller restaurants, the service charge is often not included. In this case if you would like to tip, 10% of the your bill is recommended. And again, leave it with your server.

Tipping at restaurants in Ecuador

Photo credit: GringosAbroad


Tipping Tour Guides

Tipping on the mainland can differ from tipping in the Galapagos Islands.

While on the mainland:

  • The guide: a tip of about $5.00 – $10 (per person, per day) for a group tour would be appropriate.
  • The driver: a tip of $3.00 – $5.00 per day would be customary.

Galapagos guides and crew members have their own guidelines depending of the boat or hotel you are going to. In this case, you will receive the guidelines on site.

Read more about Galapagos travel.


Tipping in Ecuador and You

When it comes to tipping in Ecuador (as in most places) a small tip is seen as polite and very much appreciated.

A note on bargaining: While bargaining is acceptable at open markets and in rural villages (up to 10% bargaining would be appropriate) it isn’t a practice in other locations and settings.

Tipping in Ecuador travelers guide

If you have questions about Ecuador tipping etiquette or any other aspects of Ecuador travel feel free to contact us for recommendations.

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