Guide to tipping and gratuities in Ecuador

by on 29th November, 2018



Tipping is not mandatory in Ecuador and completely discretionary but it does form a strong part of the culture and people look to tips as a reward for good services.

As a tourist, a little generosity with ‘propinas’ will go a long way, especially if you’re happy with the service you received. If you are not happy though, then don’t leave a tip.

Keep hold of any small notes / loose change to give as tips because most people won’t have change.


Tipping guide


Airport porters:  USD 0.50 – 1 per bag.

This is not a tip, but payment – these people make their living by carrying your luggage.



No tip expected for taxi drivers, but most people round up the fare.

If you have a driver for several days and good service was provided (drove safely, friendly etc.) then a pooled pot between all travellers of USD 5-10 per day is sufficient.


Restaurants and bars

As with most places in the world it is normal to tip in restaurants if the service was reasonable and the food good. A tip of 10% would be adequate. Tipping is not expected in bars, but you may opt to leave small change.


Hotel staff

A friendly and helpful porter who carries your bag to your room are typically given $1 per bag.

Breakfast waiting staff again, leave USD 1- 2 on the table per person, per breakfast.

And the same amount for cleaning staff – in many hotels this is not expected but the staff will be grateful.


Specialist guides – On many trips you will have a number of specialist guides eg trekking, mountaineering, biking, or Amazon/ Cloudforest lodge guides. In most instances these guides have spent a number of years studying at Colleges or Universities to qualify as guides. Generally these guides will be with you for a few days but sometimes just for a day trip. As a general guideline it would be expected to tip each specialist guide USD 20-60 a day in total from the group (this also depends on group size). Again the depth of knowledge of their area or specialist skill, command of English and friendliness should help determine the tip. 



In the Galapagos – In the Galapagos the tipping level is higher than on the mainland and especially if you are cruising on top end boats you may feel that you should tip a little more for added service and the fact that your guides will have a higher guiding qualification. Nevertheless the guidelines of only tipping for good service remains.

We recommend you tip your guide approximately USD 15 per day and the crew (on a boat) USD 20 per day (to be split by all crew members).




It is a general guide and the only rule with tipping is that it is voluntary.


Airport porters                         USD 0.50 – 1 per bag.

Hotel staff                               USD 2-3 in total

Transfer drivers/ taxis             Generally not expected, but can round up fare to nearest ten.

Drivers                                    USD 5-10 per day total from the group

Specialist guides                     USD20-60 per day total from the group

Galapagos                               USD 15 per day for guide/ USD 20 per day for crew (to be split)

Restaurants                             10% for good service



Contact us for more about holidays to Ecuador.



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