You travel south of the border to savor the sunny white sands of Cozumel beaches but with tipping, you’re not in Kansas anymore Toto. Although Cozumel’s generosity is welcoming, there are some slight tipping cultural contrasts to preserve in mind that will prevent misconceptions among visitors and locals. Regardless if you decide for an all-inclusive or not, if you are the visitor that prefers to get out and get a sample of the local character, there are some fundamental tipping etiquette differences between the United States and Mexico that you should keep in mind.
1. It is the American feeling to tip the taxi drivers, but when in Mexico, it is not done. This is the case in resort areas with significant tourist traffic. Only tip if the taxi driver did something extra special. Standard taxi rates in places like Cozumel or the Riviera Maya are pre-determined and already encompass the tip.
2. Allow baggers to pack your groceries and then tip them. Most of the baggers are high school teens or retirees working for tips without a weekly wage. Standard tipping rates depending on the number of purchases and range from 10 to 20 pesos. This is comparable to 50 cents to a dollar.
3. It is accepted to tip tour and activity guides in Mexico. If you choose a dinner cruise or scuba dive with a dive company, it is customary to tip the captain of the dive boat and the divemaster leading the tour. If you are exploring the Cozumel jungle on horseback, don’t overlook to tip your guide at the end of the trip. Just like eating out in a restaurant, 15% to 20% of the overall tour cost is a proper tip.
4. If you rent a car in Mexico, recognize that self-service gas stations don’t exist. Regardless of where you roam, there will invariably be a gas attendant waiting to fill your gas tank, inspect fluid levels, wash the windshield, and fill the tires. If they only fill the gas tank, most locals don’t tip. Regardless, for the employees toiling under the hot Mexican sun, a tip is always welcomed. An appropriate tip for a gas attendant in Mexico is 10 to 20 pesos.