I personally always give a good tip wherever there is tipping expected. I am convinced that this helped me recover forgotten cellular-phones and credit-cards in several occasions.
Better hotels add a 16.39% sales tax to room prices; this tax is included in the prices of most "All Inclusive Hotels", but always ask. Most restaurants automatically add a 13% tax and 10% tip to the bill, which is legally correct. Cheaper restaurants may only add the tip and the cheapest may not add anything. Tipping above the included amount is not necessary (ticos rarely do), but adding a few percent for a excellent service is OK.
Tip the bellboys in better hotels and the person who cleans your room deserves a tip too. Taxi drivers are not normally tipped, unless some special services are provided. (I always tip them well). Drivers tip boys and adults that watch their parked cars. The guardians take no responsibility for problems, but do keep thieves away.
On guided tours, tip the guide, depending on how good the guide is. Tip the tour driver about half of what you tip the guide; unless of course the driver is great and the guide poor.
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Text by Lonely Planet.
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