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Tipping in Panama?

Canada
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103 posts
15 reviews
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Tipping in Panama?

We are going to Panama from Toronto next week and I understand that we should bring US $. Previously we have been to Cuba, Mexico etc a few times where small gifts were greatly appreciated in lieu of/ in addition to money as tips. Can anyone tell me what tipping is like in Panama? Are they satisfied with $2-$3 tip as in Cuba? Do they like gifts?

Tempe, Arizona
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1. Re: Tipping in Panama?

only US dollars are accepted!! money is more desirable than gifts. some kind of tip is better than no tip, which i see a lot.

London, Ontario
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1,361 posts
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2. Re: Tipping in Panama?

Most people tipped US$1 a time. This is sufficient, that is tip the bar tender etc, or tip the maid daily the US$1 bill. Actually with the maid I tipped $2 the first day, then $1 a day after that, and then at the end of two weeks topped it up to make a total of $20. One warning though, the $1 bills are harder to find than hen's teeth. The desk and boutiques will NOT hand them out, and also the ATM dispenses $20's. I suggest, that before leaving Toronto, you find a Thomas Cook Money Kiosk and ask for 50 $1 bills. Even then they may not have that number for you. Because it's all inclusive, you never seem to spend any money so unable to break down large denominations of bills. As far as gifts are concerned, the waiters and bar tenders really love these lanyards that you wear around your neck that they can hang their photo ID's on. (Especially if they have CANADA on them). But maybe you can find ones that have the Union Jack on them. They will be unique to them.

Canada
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103 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Tipping in Panama?

Thank you very much for the info everyone - exactly what I was looking for!

London, Ontario
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1,361 posts
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4. Re: Tipping in Panama?

I reread your post and see you mentioned Cuba. Many Canadians take gifts to Cuba as 'material possessions', and medical supplies are hard to get there. In Panama, there is no shortage of goods etc for the Panamanians to buy. Their hourly wage is just less than US$2 an hour for the lowest paid hotel workers, so tipping is best for them. That way, they can buy what they want or need for themselves.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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623 posts
17 reviews
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5. Re: Tipping in Panama?

Money is customary for tips. 10-15% is the usual for restaurants though, not $1-$2 as posted.

6. Re: Tipping in Panama?

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