Most trekkers tip their guides, porters, and cooks on the final day of their Inca Trail hike. Tips are not included within the total price of the treks as it’s not obligatory for you to tip, so you shouldn’t feel you have to – however it is a nice tradition and a ‘thank you’ to the team as they work so hard to make sure you are well looked after and have the trip of a lifetime.
How much cash to bring with you
To give you an idea of how much cash you should bring with you for tips and how to split this across the various trail support staff – we’ll have a look at the advice provided by some of our recommended Inca Trail tour operators. These recommendations are for the classic four day/three-night Inca Trail in the currency of Peruvian nuevo soles – in general, it’s best to tip trekking staff using low-denomination nuevo sol bills if possible.
- SAM Travel Peru suggests that each person in the group contributes between 60 and 80 nuevo soles (US$20 to $25) to a “pot,” which is then distributed among the cook, assistant cook, general assistant, and porters. Also, a further 15 to 20 soles ($5.80 to $7.70) from each person in the group for the assistant guide and 18 to 28 soles ($7 to $10.80) for the principal guide.
- Sungate Tours suggests between 60 and 80 soles per porter from the whole group; 80 to 100 soles for each cook from the group; 160 to 200 soles from the group for the guide.
- Orange Nation suggests 50 soles each for a small group (1 to 5 trekkers) to each porter and 30 soles each for a larger group (6 to 16 trekkers). Also a maximum of 80 soles for the guide, 70 soles for each cook and 50 soles for each assistant cook (given collectively from the tour group).
A couple more recommendations:
- G Adventures: “A good rule of thumb is anywhere from $6 to $8 per day for the porters” (15 to 20 nuevo soles).
- Andean Travel Web (an independent website, not a tour agency) recommends taking an extra US$25 to $30 (65 to 78 nuevo soles) per person to cover tips, with additional personal porters tipped separately.
Always remember that tips are not mandatory. The tipping ranges provided above are suggestions only and assume that the service provided was of a good standard, so please only tip what you can afford to if you are happy to do so. If you feel that you would like to tip more than the recommended suggestions above, keep in mind that many porters would be also be grateful for additional donations such as clothing or school equipment for their children.