Greetings / Saludar: Besos, abrazos, mano?

Hola a todos,

I am always a bit confused how to greet in which Spanish speaking country… so here’s my questions:

  1. Sometimes you give two kisses (one on each cheek) and in other places it’s only one (but on which cheek?!). As here’s so many tutors from different countries, I’m curious, how you greet others?
  2. I once went to see a doctor in Argentina and she also gave me besos to greet me which I was very surprised about… is there any situation in which you would do a handshake ever? Or not kiss the other person or just give a hug?

Looking forward to you responses :slight_smile:


Well, I believe it does depend on the country. In México, there is always only one kiss, that is if it is a woman and a woman, or a woman and a man, never a man and a man because of “mainly” stuff. Men would greet each other with a handshake.

And that one kiss is usually always with the right cheek, so you lean to your left.

What is really funny in México is that sometimes the “kiss on the cheek” ends up being more like a cheek to cheek greeting and the kiss is just the sound of it but no kiss on the cheek really happens hahaha.

Personally, I always try to be a step ahead from the awkwardness and just raise my hand and say hi from a distance haha but that is not common in México, it’s just a personal thing that I prefer doing to avoid awkwardness into not knowing how I am supposed to greet someone, one kiss? Two? Secret handshake? Roll and wave? I never know.


In the ecuatorian mountains we are as conservative as in Germany: Shaking hands and sometimes (between very good friends) a kiss or clapping the shoulder and that’s it! @kjanina: You’d feel very comfortable here jajajajajajajajaja :wink:


In Peru it’s just one kiss, even if you don’t know the person, but someone’s introducing them to you, you give them one kiss. But it’s the way @andreacoyotzi describes, just cheek to cheek, not an actual kiss on the cheek. But you would never give a kiss to someone in a formal situation, such as at the doctor’s, for example. You would either shake hands or don’t do anything.
And if it’s a close friend, a hug is also very normal :slight_smile:.


Hi Kjanina
I’m a tutor from Buenos Aires Argentina. Here we kiss each other in most encounters even when you meet a doctor, a lawyer or a professional. But it’s also possible to shake hands depending on your preference. A hug is very common between friends and family.
I hope it will be useful for you and other students of Spanish
A hug from Buenos Aires :raising_hand_woman:t2::kissing_heart::argentina::airplane:


In Colombia it is exactly the same as @andreacoyotzi has described it. It is like the cheek to cheek kiss. With friends and people you just met. Also as @stefanierambow mentioned, we never kiss in formal situations. :kissing_closed_eyes:


All my Latin American friends do 1 kiss. The only place that I’ve seen 2 kisses is in Spain (or from people from Spain) :slight_smile:

Also, it’s always between a woman + man or woman + woman. I always see men greet other men with handshakes of some form

Now my question is… when do you know if you are supposed to hug them after the kiss? Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, and I never know if I should hug or not, and it has made for some very awkward greetings in my experience :laughing:


I’d say: It depends.
Okay, I know, that’s a very useful answer :wink:
But between men a hug is more common than between women or between a man and a woman.
Just observe well. If the other person starts to hug you, give him or her a big hug. If not, not :smile: )