Besides being familiar with local languages and currencies, travelers on South American tours should read up on restaurant tipping etiquette in the nations they plan to visit. Customs for tipping in Brazil and its neighboring countries can vary widely, so you may want to carry a pocket tipping guide with you. Hotel workers and taxi drivers may be tipped differently from place to place.
Brazil Tipping Guide: Hotel and Restaurant Tipping Etiquette
Brazil is South America’s largest country, making it a popular destination for people on South American tours. Hotel and restaurant tipping etiquette in Brazil differs from most other South American countries in that service workers don’t typically expect tips and most Brazilians don’t leave tips.
Tipping in Brazil is common amongst visitor tourists, however, especially if you feel you’ve received very good service. This holds true for waiters and drivers as well as hotel and other service workers. If you’re dining in a nice restaurant, tipping etiquette generally calls for 10 percent of your bill. Some restaurants will add a service fee to your bill up front so make sure to read your bill carefully.
Tipping Guide for South American Tours
If you’re planning to visit more than one country in South America, you’ll want to be familiar with the tipping customs in each of your destinations. In countries such as Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, restaurant tipping etiquette calls for leaving eight to 12 percent of your total bill. Restaurants in other countries, like Peru and Ecuador, will typically add a gratuity charge to your check up front.
In most countries, a general tipping guide for hotel porters is about $0.50 per bag. Taxi drivers can be tipped whatever small change is leftover after paying your fare.
It’s best to give tips in the currency of the country you’re visiting. Many service workers in South America may be unable to exchange U.S. dollars or other foreign currencies conveniently.