Travelers should remember that tipping traditions differ from country to country, and Puerto Rico is no exception. Following the lead of the U.S., travelers should remember to tip in Puerto Rico.
Often tips are included in the bill. When they're not you'll want to follow these simple guidelines so you'll know when and even how much to tip during your stay in Puerto Rico.
Like many other islands in the Caribbean, some restaurants in Puerto Rico incorporate a 10 percent to 15 percent service charge into the total cost of the meal, particularly if you are part of a large group. Be careful to check your bill, so you don't inadvertently tip your server twice. If you are unsure if the restaurant has included an automatic charge, just ask your server.
When a service charge is not included in the bill, tipping remains at the diner's discretion, but you should plan on tipping your server 15 percent to 20 percent of the total tab -- more if the service is particularly outstanding. Bartenders should be tipped at least 10%, but a simpler guideline is $1(USD) to $2(USD) per round, depending on their attentiveness. If the service was exceptional, however, leaving more than the customary amount is always welcome.
Some hotels in Puerto Rico include a seven to 10 percent service charge in the final bill, so you should ask about the hotel's service charge policy when making your reservation or upon checking in, to avoid an unpleasant surprise at the end of your trip. Remember to give bellhops at least $1(USD) per bag and leave maids $2(USD) per day.
When in San Juan, taxis authorized by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company have a distinct look that makes the cab easy for visitors to find. Look for the sentry box logo and the Taxi Turistico label. They charge set rates based on a visitor's particular destination. A city tour can cost you $30(USD) per hour. Metered cabs that are authorized by the Public Service Commission start at $1(USD) with an additional $0.10(USD) per 1/13 mile. There is an additional $0.50(USD) charge per suitcase.
If you are in any other Puerto Rico location, the suggested thing to do is to call for a taxi, whether tourist, metered, or fixed. Many cabs are privately owned and offer door-to-door service; expect a wait until their vehicle is full. When tipping your taxi driver 15 to 20 percent is customary.
Knowing how to reward excellent service can save you from embarassing moments, and boost the confidence of excellent service workers. Pay it forward with a tip that meets the gratuity customs in Puerto Rico.
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