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TIPPING & BARGAINING  (both accepted & recommended)

A tip is defined as a gift or small sum of money given for a service performed or anticipated.  Tips should be earned!  Why should someone who gives you poor service be rewarded?  On the other hand why not over reward someone who has gone out of their way for you.  Not tipping or a low tip for poor service would indicate to the establishment that they need to improve their service.  If the service is excellent and a tip is forgotten, then it could label a person as a cheapskate, and this could reflect poorly on their home country or nationality.  Most would want to avoid this scenario.

In Mexican Restaurants, the accepted tip rate is 10 to 15%,  just like in Canada.
Some exclusive restaurants include tips on the bill. Check your bill before leaving a tip on the table.
The 15% rule can't be applied to hotel maid tips, as it would be too much.  Say you were paying 500 pesos for your hotel room, then a 15% tip would be 75 pesos (about $12.50 Cad. per day).  A 5% tip rule would be more than generous at most hotels.  Let your conscience guide you!
At Hotels, your maid should be tipped daily for making up your room.  Here it's good to tip in advance before they render the service, so its an honor system.  Leave the tip money on the pillow so the maid will know it is a tip.  They often don't take money that is left on a bedside or kitchen table.  Some prefer to tip the maid in person, thanking her for excellent service.
Don't assume that because you are paying an overly high room rate, or are staying at an all inclusive, that you don't have to tip your maid.  In Mexico the income level of labor employees is quite low, so most depend on tips as part of their income.  Be as generous as you can.
Personnel that you should tip: Waiters/waitresses, hotel maids, baggage handlers, grocery bag persons, gas station attendants.  Taxi drivers are not normally tipped in Mexico, as taxies are not metered, but may be tipped if they go out of their way for you.


To bargain means to negotiate over the price of goods or services.

Although it's not a pre-requisite when shopping, bargaining can be fun and entertaining as well as financially rewarding.  Bargaining is an accepted shopping activity in Costa Alegre.

There are however a few polite rules to follow:
1) Never barter for an item unless you truly want to buy it!  Don't waste the venders time.
2) Always be polite & friendly while bartering.  Try to make it fun.
3) Keep your bartering to mainly beach vendors and street markets.  Retail stores have fixed prices.
4) Try not to barter below seventy-five percent of asking price.  Venders need a profit too.
5) A knowledge of Spanish can help you bargain more successfully.
6) Barter in the late afternoon for the best deals.  It's the last chance for vendors to make a sale.