Tipping in Playa del Carmen

Tipping is very important to many of the service workers in Playa del Carmen. Pesos are generally preferred because people aren't able to use US dollars very easily. And NEVER leave US coins. They are worthless in Mexico

Tom And Terry
Last modified: 8 months ago


I show the recommended tip in US dollars below. But, that's only for you to adjust to the exchange rate. i.e If the exchange rate is 20:1 the equivalent to a US dollar would be $20 pesos. Mexico uses dollar signs for pesos, which can be confusing.


Tipping in Playa del Carmen

How Much To Tip In Mexico

  • Tour Guide $10-20.00 per person
    • Tour guides in Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations are widely coveted jobs, as they are considered “fun jobs” with generous tipping, and that’s why many of these jobs have no basic salary. So remember, if you enjoyed your day out, your tour guide went above and beyond to make the most of the excursion and he or she had the good grace to not even ask for a tip $5 to $10 US Dollars per person is considered a good tip.
  • Servers: 10-15%
    • The usual rate for tipping in Mexico ranges from 10% to 15%. Watch out for places that add a “service charge”, in which case you should not feel obligated to tip, this is considered an abusive and sneaky practice.
  • Bartenders: 10%
  • Bell Boys: $1-2 per bag
    • or $1 USD because it's the smallest bill
  • Housekeepers: $5 USD per cleaning
    • This would be per couple. If there are 6 of you in a condo, $3-9
    • An envelope is left for your to leave your tip. That way there is no confusion if you have other cash "lying around"
  • Taxi Drivers: ZERO
    • There is no meter. Everything is a flat fee between zones. Many drivers charge more than they are supposed to for fares. Always ask ahead of time what the fare will be.
    • The only time you tip a Taxi driver is when they are handling a lot of luggage or there was some extraordinary service provided (they waited for you in the store).
    • You may end up tipping taxi drivers if you don't have any small bills. Or, at least that's what they will say. Try to carry small bills.
  • Buying fuel
    • There are no self serve pumps in Mexico. There are service people who will do this for you. You're supposed to just sit in the car and wait but stay alert
    • You tip these guys around $5-10 pesos. If you ask for another service like your windscreen washed, tires or oil checked, then you should tip them another $5 pesos on top. If they do it without you asking, it's up to you whether you want to pay or not.
    • SCAM alert make sure that the service person zeros out the pump before fueling. Or you may be charged more than you should be.
  • Grocery Baggers:
    • The grocery baggers have all but disappeared since Quintana Roo banned plastic bags. You may still find them available to pack your canvas reusable bags. They are usually elderly men. Although they may be wearing a uniform, there are not receiving any salary. They are trying to pick up some extra money.
    • I usually give them the Mexican coins that I get for change, or whatever I have in my wallet. I don't want to deal with all of those coins anyway. You may need to give more depending on how many groceries they bagged

Can I tip in US dollars?

Yes, you can. Often times people have only large bills in Pesos and it's just easier to leave dollars instead. Bottom line, they will appreciate a tip, even in US dollars vs. nothing. This is not true for other currencies. Do NOT leave Canadian money or Euros.

What about the restriction on exchanging US dollars?

The restriction is to prevent money laundering. The restriction is $1500 US per month.(see the regulation below) The average maid, bartender, or server isn't going to get anywhere near that amount. Plus, they can use the dollars at Walmart, Chedraui, etc.

"Mexico Banking System Cap on Exchange of Dollars for Pesos:
In order to regulate the quantity of dollars entering the Mexican banking system, beginning September 14, 2010, the Mexican government will cap the amount of dollars foreigners can exchange for pesos in Banks & Money Exchange Establishments to no more than US$1,500 per month.

The measure WILL NOT AFFECT purchases made with credit cards or debit cards in Mexico.

The measure WILL NOT AFFECT the amount of cash (in Mexican pesos) an international tourist can withdraw from an ATM machine on a daily or monthly basis.

It is recommended that all travelers bring Mexican pesos as well as their credit and/or debit cards to minimize any inconvenience the exchange cap at banks may cause."

Bottom line - Use Pesos if you have them. If not, US dollars are appreciated too.


Tipping in Playa del Carmen
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Last modified: 8 months ago
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