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Taxes and Tipping

Though waiters and waitresses across the country might prefer that you didn’t know, you should know, if you don’t already, that 10% tip and 13% sales tax are automatically included in the bill at restaurants-so unless you want to add an extra reward for exceptional services, you can hold onto those extra coins.  Many restaurants put both prices, with and without tax, on the menu and some may sneakily list only the pre-tax price.  When in doubt, ask, to avoid an unpleasant surprise at the end of your meal.

In other situations, common sense will guide you.  Prepare to tip more often in fancier establishments, or if someone goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Taxi drivers don’t expect a tip here unless they had to huff and puff over gargantuan luggage.

In mid-range to upscale hotels, maids should get a couple of dollars per day and porters should get 500 colones or $1 per bag.

When leaving a parking space, you may notice the hopeful presence of a self-appointed car guard who’s been watching over your vehicle. (watchingman) They expect about 150 colones ($0.30) per hour for that service.

Sometimes at a cab stand, boys will rush to “hail” a cab for you and open the door-hoping for a few small coins (perhaps 100 colones or $0.20) in return.

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