To hike and visit Machu Picchu is one of the unforgettable experiences, the landscapes, the wonderful views of different mountains and above all the history of the trail makes it a most popular tourist destination.
And as a result of its popularity, the Peruvian government put in place different plans for the protection of the Inca Trail. One of the plans is to allow the passage of 500 hikers per day and those who wish to make the view must be accompanied by their respective guides and porters, who are responsible for carrying all the cargo for the camps, such as: tents, dining room, food for each day, and chemical toilets, the number of porters is dependent on the number of tourists who will travel.
As a consequence of this popularity, many people always ask in different pages if tipping is mandatory, but no, it is not, tipping has become a tradition and if you do not tip it would be something strange for the one who offers the service, if the service is really good consider tipping, in other cases tips are widely accepted and in many cases they are very expected.
Tipping in the Inca Trail
During the hike, you will feel that the great tiredness and perhaps you will breathe with difficulty, since in this hike there are parts that are steep and staggered, in those moments you will realize that your porter goes ahead carrying all your bags and camping equipment.
And the surprising thing will be to see that they do it without any problem and they are always willing to help you and when you arrive at the campsite you will find all the tents set up and with a delicious plate of hot food.
The normal thing to do is to thank and these guys for their great effort, as they make the trekking experience easier and more relaxed, after the thank you, tipping the porters became more common as the tour operators encourage it. but it is difficult to indicate how much you should tip.
How much to tip the guide on the inca trail?
In many countries in America and Europe, tipping employees is a common practice to thank and reward good work, some etiquette and protocol experts recommend a tip of 10% to 20% of the cost of the tour. A tip on a full day tour is $20 to $40 per person, on a half day trip $15 to $20 and on a 4 day trip such as the Inca Trail $100 to $150 but this depends on the level of service provided by the guide. Some tour companies offer private services and this makes the guide receive an extra tip for receiving personalized attention, but other guides spend most of their free time exploring the area to improve the tour, also telling the local stories to have a better experience.
What if I can’t tip enough?
The idea of a guide is that your visit in Cusco and in other places they visit is spectacular, they are not nice because they will receive more tips, they are like that because they want you to enjoy your visit and always have a good comment from us.
However, if it is not in your plans to tip, you can also thank them and let them know that you enjoyed the tour or that you need to improve in some aspects, the guides understand that not everyone plans to tip and still ask what they did wrong when you do not offer a tip.
How else can I be grateful?
Telling your guide about your experience on the trip or how much you enjoyed your guide’s company, asking questions and making your interests known, our guides will be pleased with your enthusiasm or writing a review on Trip Advisor helps the guide know what your experience was with the guide you received.
What if I don’t have cash?
At the end of your visit, thank your guide and tell him/her that you do not have cash and if you have another tipping option such as making a deposit or leaving an envelope with the tip specifying that it is for your guide it will be well received.
What about long trips?
In these cases you will see how hard the guides and other staff work to set up the tents, cook and wait for you with a cup of coffee when you arrive at the campsite, this is where you will see if the tip you give will be well rewarded or not.
What happens if there is more than one guide?
There are cases in which the group is large for the Inca Trail and for this it is necessary to have a second guide, who will be willing to inform, help you at any time as the first guide does, then do not worry about tipping both guides.
Why do I have to tip? the guides are not well paid?
In different countries, especially in the United States, tipping has become a way to encourage and incentivize great service, people who work in different industries in that country rely on tips as part of their income, our guides are specialists in their work, and are well paid by the companies that hire them because they are recommended by some travelers or have good reviews, If they receive a tip they receive it with much gratitude because it is something extra to the payments they receive for the hiring of their services, as we mentioned before they know that if they do a good job they will be remunerated with a good tip and if they do not provide a good service they will not receive anything and only a thank you.
Tipping to Porters and cookers
During the hike, you will feel that great tiredness and maybe you will breathe with difficulty, since in this hike there are parts that are steep and staggered, in those moments you will realize that your porter goes ahead carrying all your bags and camping equipment.
And the surprising thing will be to see that they do it without any problem and are always willing to help you and when you arrive at the campsite you will find all the tents set up and with a delicious plate of hot food.
The normal thing to do is to thank and these guys for their great effort, as they make the trekking experience easier and relaxed, after the thank you, tipping the porters became more common as the tour operators encourage it. but it is difficult to indicate how much you should tip.
How much to tip in Inca Trail?
Tipping is a complicated issue, because it is not known what is the amount that should be given to each of the workers, but we will give you an approximate of how much you should give at the end of the visits, and if the service was excellent or when you see how hard the porters, guides, cooks work, you will probably want to give an extra tip if you want to show your appreciation but not exaggerated.
But if you are not satisfied with the work of the service providers, it is not mandatory to tip them.
Here are some recommendations for tipping on the Inca Trail
- Cook: 150-200 soles is equivalent to 60 USD.
- Second cook: 120-150 soles is equivalent to 40USD
- Porters: 100 -120 soles is equivalent to 36USD
- Drivers: 90-100 soles equals 30 USD All these tipping amounts are given because we base it on the level of service we offer and the size of the trekking team.
Tips are not included in the total price of the Inca Trail tour, so it is recommended to bring extra cash, Peruvian soles or US dollars to offer a tip to the people doing the work. Tips depend on the size of the group and usually you will have to tip the main guide, cooks, porters and in other cases the driver who takes you to the beginning of the trek and picks you up at the end of your visit. when groups are large they may include a second guide and a second cook
Note: it is not advisable to give all the tip to the guide or cook thinking that they will distribute it to all equally, but that is not usually the case sometimes those who receive all the money take most of it and it is also not advisable to ask a porter how much he charges because he will give you a direct answer.