Tips about tipping in Costa Rica

Tips about tipping in Costa Rica

A tipping guide is never written in stone. It is merely an idea of what the people usually receives in the different circumstances and jobs. However, you may find it very useful once you start tipping in Costa Rica.

tips in costa rica

It happens when you are traveling you are getting to know the currency and the way of life of the people. You don’t know when a tip is too little or too much.


And it can be awkward!


Sometimes people ask the tour guides or the waiters. Sometimes they leave something and always wonders if it was enough.


However, for starters, know that tipping in Costa Rica is pretty much like tipping in the United States.


Still, for many visitors, the guidelines are still very vague.


For us, at Aventuras Arenal, it is compelling for our passengers and visitors to feel happy and relaxed at all times, so! Here it is! A guide that you can print and take wherever!

Aventuras Arenal Tipping Guideline



Required by law to add a 13% tax and 10% tip to the bill. Because of this, you will find that Costa Ricans don’t tip.

However, if you feel that the food was excellent, and the attention superb, 5 to 10% of the total amount of the bill is appreciated.

All tips are usually shared among all employees of the business, so yes, the Chef gets its part. (Mostly everywhere).



Taxi drivers do not expect a tip unless there is an unusual fact. For instance, if they have to carry something big to the car or help you with the luggage or big heavy souvenir bags. $1-2 will be welcomed.

If you feel that they got out of their way to help you enjoy the ride looking for sloths and stopping for toucans, or similar, raise it up to $5-10.



$1.00 – $1.50 per bag, at check-in and check-out.



US $2-5 per night, left every day in the envelope.

Do not leave it for the end of your stay as sometimes their shifts change and the maid that cleaned your room for three days in a row might be in another shift when you are leaving the hotel.


Tour Guides

Depends on the size of the group and the length of the tour. Habitually in La Fortuna, you will enjoy half or full day tours.  10% of the value of the trip is customary.

However, if you bought the tour as a part of a package, the customary for a half day is $5-10 and a full day $10-20


River Guides

Normal tip is $5.00 per person. Throw a bit more if there are less than four persons in the raft.


Boat Skippers

$5 per person. However, if you feel you saw an extra amount of wildlife or interesting things thanks to the eyes and proficiency of the skipper raise it up to $10.



Average tip: US $5.00 – $10 per person per day.


Of course, none of this is written in stone, and you will find the Costa Rican people ready to give an extra mile for you to have an unforgettable trip. But, in general, all people in the travel industry have salaries and tips, even though they are welcome are not considered, in any possible way, as a part of their wages.

Our advice then is, follow your heart and give, if you like to give, whatever you feel is proper, for you and your wallet.

[divider_nd align=”center” color=”#00739e”]

Written by Olga Sáenz-Carbonell for Aventuras Arenal. If you have any comments or doubts, please write to

If you want to reproduce this article please use the following reference and link:

Travel, L. (2018). Travel Guide – Aventuras Arenal – Tour operator La Fortuna – Costa Rica. Aventuras Arenal – Tour Operator La Fortuna Costa Rica. Retrieved 21 June 2018, from

The use of material found at is free provided that copyright is acknowledged and a reference or link is included to the page/s where the information was found.

Material from may not be sold or published for profit in any form without express written permission from Aventuras Arenal

Arenal Volcano tours

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.