How To Tip In La Paz



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By Diane Gaytan de Loftus

When a lot of my friends and family visit La Paz for their first time, they ask me how much to tip in La Paz. Everyone tips differently and is welcome to tip as much as they like but these are the rules of thumb I always use.

Depending on the situation, there are different amounts to tip, and I have covered the most common below:

AT A GAS STATION

  1. When you are getting your gas served at a gas station by the attendant you are free to go without tipping, however if you would like to be nice you can give them 5 to 10 pesos, depending how much you fill up your tank.
  2. When they clean your window while serving your gas, I would typically give them between 10 and 15 pesos. In Mexico there is a common saying that you give a tip… “para las sodas” this literally translates to “for the sodas” meaning that you are paying for them to have a drink while working.

AT A RESTAURANT OR CAFE

  1. If the restaurant or cafe has waiters, you should leave a tip. It’s optional in Mexico to leave a tip, however waiters usually get paid very little and depend on their tips to make ends meet.
  2. I usually tip 10% and if the service and food are excellent or the bill is very small I would leave up to 15%.
  3. I try to leave the tip in cash and in pesos, they won’t mind if you leave a tip with your card or dollars but I feel that in pesos it goes directly to them, no questions asked.

SUPERMARKET BAG “BOYS”

The people who help pack your bags at the supermarket checkout do not receive any salary for their work and therefore rely on tips.

We tip based on the amount we bought and how many bags. That said, a weekly trip to the grocery store could earn them between 5 and 10 pesos. If they just put one thing into a bag for you though, don’t feel like you have to tip.

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

Generally when it comes to service providers, e.g. Taxi Drivers, Hair Dressers, it is normal to tip for extra special attention, above and beyond the normal level of service.

WHEN NOT TO TIP

Many people ask about when to tip, but often forget to ask when not to tip.

Business Owners or Professionals such as Bank Executives and Lawyers wouldn’t expect a tip and may even be offended. However, if someone does you a big favor or really saves the day, remembering his or her birthday or sending a bottle of wine as a thank-you will make anyone’s day.

Diane Gaytan de Loftus is a local paceña. She is the co-founder and owner of La Paz Bay Rentals. She has been the how to girl for her clients and friends and now she will be sharing her knowledge about La Paz with the Baja Citizen.

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