Camino Etiquette

 Buenas Dias y gracias,

It’s just good Camino Etiquette.

Happy pilgrims following Camino Etiquette

Camino etiquette is just as important along the Camino as it is anywhere else in the world.  While people are sociable and often quick to start a conversation and are friendly, everybody goes on the Camino for different reasons, and there are many reasons as there are people.

Respecting people’s space is key.  They might need to be alone some days while they might need to be alone on others.  They might be doing the Camino on a shoestring and maybe in luxury.  Judging is not something pilgrims should engage in.

While we know that people take the journey for various reasons, we also know that the top reasons for making the trek are religious, spiritual, health, and historical reasons.  What other underlying reasons are a result of the final decision to take the journey are personal.

Camino etiquette should be followed by all pilgrims towards each other, to everyone, and to every space, you pass along the way.


Basic Camino Etiquette to follow


Politeness goes a long way. There is no need to sugar coat every sentence that comes out of your mouth but basic good manners can make a huge difference in how you make others feel whether they are pilgrims or people you meet along the way.

Good Morning-Buenas Dias
Good Afternoon- Buenas Tardes
Good Evening/Night-Buenas Noches
Good Bye-Adios
Please- Por Favor
Thank You-Da Nada
Sorry-Lo Siento
Excuse Me-Perdon
Passing by someone-Con permiso



When you are sharing space with others it is important to keep your clothes clean, and shower.  Body odour can be very offensive to others and while they might be too polite to mention it to you save them and yourself the embarrassment and wash your clothing daily, shower and wear deodorant. There are non-antiperspirant and natural alternatives available on the market to suit everyone’s needs.

Wash your hands regularly and sneeze or cough in your sleeve.  Colds spread quickly and the Camino cough can ruin your journey for several weeks.

Passing Others

Passing others either on foot or on a bicycle can be startling.  People can be in deep thought or have headphones on and might not hear you coming upon them.

If you wish to pass someone then the simple phrase Con Permiso- with permission is advisable.  Then of course as you pass…Buen Camino.

Bicycles who wish to pass pilgrims on foot should ring their bell, slow down as not to startle pilgrims on foot, and possibly cause injury.  If cyclists ring their bells and let people know which side they will be passing them on that is the most respectful and safest thing to do.  Example….ring ring….”passing on your left.  Buen Camino.”





Arriving late at night and leaving in the mornings, be aware of the noise of bags rustling.  If you plan to leave early, either take your pack outside of the dormitory and organize yourself there or prepare your pack the night before. 

Keep your headphone volume to a level where only you can hear it.

Avoid loud talking and laughing during rest time in the dormitory or rooms.  Use the common areas for socializing.




Respect hours and when people are generally sleeping.

Don’t storm into the dormitory or room with flashlights blaring, rustling bags, talking loud etc..

Leave the bottom bunks for elderly or physically challenged individuals.

Leave your bed tidier than you found it.

If you’re a heavy snorer and sleep in dormitories or rooms of 4 to 6 people, give your fellow pilgrims a break every once in a while and rent a private room.



respect common area space

Smoking, cologne, fragrances, loud music, telephone conversations can affect everyone around you in various ways from annoyance to allergic reactions.  Be considerate and avoid wearing scents, smoke in designated areas away from nonsmokers, and keep your music and phone conversations private.

Don’t take a seat or block pathways, sidewalks, or entrances with your backpack or poles.


Scroll down for more Camino Etiquette.

don't banter about price

 Everyone working on the Camino is working hard to make a living and pay their bills.  Be respectful of the prices and if you cannot afford them move on and choose a place or item that is within your budget. 





respect personal property

Make sure you take only what belongs to you.  Check twice that you have taken only your personal belongings. Everyone on the Camino is carrying the bare minimum and brought the things that are most important to them.  Be respectful.

Treat people the way you want to be treated.



respect property

Dispose of all garbage in appropriate receptacles and leave the place nicer than you found it.

Take off your boots or shoes in appropriate areas, NOT in restaurants or bars.  GROSS!




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