There are more differences of opinion about tipping than just about any other topic in the travel industry. Should they be included or not? Should specific amounts be recommended to guests? So, by popular demand. . .we’ll see if we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t.
Of course tipping is entirely up to you. Level of service, whether or not you feel comfortable giving tips, and your budget are all important factors. Personally, I love to tip (or not tip), depending on service. When I worked as a guide I loved to receive tips. I’ve tipped toll takers for giving me particularly careful, detailed directions. I’ve also left a penny in a full water glass after suffering through particularly surly service at a restaurant. I think of a tip as a statement.
If you don’t believe in tipping, don’t feel obligated. Nobody should expect a tip. Regarding Costa Rica Expeditions and our own hotel personnel, if you believe in tipping and do not feel that one of our people deserves a tip, we’d very much appreciate hearing from you. We’d also appreciate hearing from you so that we can recognize extraordinary good work.
You'll want to have small denomination bills: $20's, $10's, $5's, $1's. These are not easy to get in Costa Rica and they come in handy for tips, as well as small purchases like fruit or beverages in the street.
Sign seen in Whitewater River Trip bus in the US: "Tipping is not a city in China."
The word for tip in Spanish is "propina" and is defined as a synonym of "reward". It comes from the Latin word "propinare" which means to give something.