Here’s a Tip
There are always questions about tipping in Puerto Vallarta and it took us some time to learn the ins and outs, so we don’t mind friends asking questions. It’s certainly better to inquire what is acceptable, rather than trying to figure it out on your own.
Tipping, of course, is always optional. It is a personal choice and no one should ever be expected to leave a tip. However, wages in Mexico are not like what they are in your hometown. Tips are very important to the typical worker and that’s why they do their best to please.
Some hotels, even the least expensive ones, have maids who show their art of towel folding, tissue roses, and luxurious nighttime bed preps. We recommend leaving either dollars or pesos, equivalent to $5 per day, minimum. The better you tip, the nicer your service will be. It’s good to feel pampered! When we have finished a stay in a hotel/motel, we leave all our pocket change (who wants to lug that around?) and at least another hundred pesos to show our gratitude.
For waiters in Puerto Vallarta, we always leave 20%. It’s unlikely but if the service has been horrid, the best thing to do is speak with the chef or manager. However, after decades of eating in restaurants at every level in Puerto Vallarta, we have had so few bad experiences; they could be counted on one hand. If your food is slow coming out of the kitchen, it’s not the waiter’s fault. If the meal isn’t suitable, remember, they probably didn’t do the cooking either.
Ubers have a built-in tip system. We use it. It makes things easy. If we take a taxi, we tip the driver the same as we would an Uber driver. We give extra for carrying bags, groceries, etc. Never less than 10 pesos.
Grocery baggers don’t get paid a wage and that’s a fact. These are students and grandparents and they work for tips only. We despair when we see a shopper tip a peso or two and in many cases, nothing at all. These workers keep a queue and no matter the size of the tip; they go to the end and must wait to have another go at it.
Employers are required by law to pay their employees an aguinaldo every year, which is a Christmas bonus. It’s equivalent to 15 days of wages and given no later than the 20th of December. We highly recommend, if you have a maid in your employ that you provide them with this benefit. The same would be applied to your gardener, mozo or anyone else working under your roof.
Que es cómo es.