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Postal Services

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2011

post office costa rica
 - Costa Rica

Sending Mail:

You'll find post offices in nearly every city and town in Costa Rica.  Most post offices in the Central Valley have delivery/receiving times comparable to the San Jose post office.

  • If you are sending a package that weighs less than two kilograms (roughly 4 pounds), you can mail it with confidence from any Costa Rican post office.  Depending on delivery location, it will take anywhere from one to two weeks to arrive in the United States or Canada. Delivery to Europe and Asia takes roughly two to four weeks.
  • For roughly $1 more, you can send letters or packages certified, requiring the receiver to sign upon delivery.
  • Express Service costs less than a dollar more and speeds up delivery time by three days.
  • Any package weighing more than two kilograms can still be mailed from a local post office, but it will have to go through Costa Rican Customs, known as Aduanas. The customs agents will open the package, sort through it and label the contents before re-sealing it and sending it on its way. This process can easily add an additional two to three weeks to the delivery time and may result in an odd missing item.
  • As a rule, you can rely on your hotel to post your letters for you, even when you're traveling in remote locations.
  • EMS Courier Service is available at most post offices and is comparable to UPS or DHL. Packages can be tracked online, include signature receipt and arrive to most destinations within six days. Costs:
  • USA: $23.80 (100 grams); $30 (1 kilo)
  • Europe: $33.85 (100 grams); $43.85 (1 kilo)
  • Asia: $46.40 (100 grams); $60 (1 kilo)
  • Another option is M-Bag service (bulk media mail). Costs:
  • USA: $10 1 kilo; $3 per additional kilo
  • Europe & Asia: $28 1 kilo; $3 per additional kilo

Receiving Mail:

  • General Delivery at any post office in the country will hold a letter addressed to you for a month at a cost of ten cents per letter. Some post office branches do not charge for this service.
  • You can also receive packages that weigh less than two kilograms care of General Delivery at a local post office.
  • Packages weighing more than 2 kilograms will be processed through Customs, and may add several weeks to the process. Recipients will be notified by mail that their package is at Customs for pick-up. Electronics and high-ticket items within packages may be taxed.
  • You'll need your passport to retrieve your mail from General Delivery. Tell your friends to address letters to the name that appears on your passport. The postal employees will not hand a letter over to you if it is addressed to somebody else. P. O. Boxes: For a fee of $20-$25 for the first year, you can rent your own post office box. Each additional year costs about $4 to maintain.

Current Rates & Delivery Times

Destination Weight Rate  Delivery Time
USA/Canada letter $0.70 1 week or more
USA/Canada 1 kg package $15.65 1- 2 weeks
USA/Canada 2 kg package $31 1-3 weeks
Europe letter $0.79 1-2 weeks
Europe 1 kg package $24 2-3 weeks
Europe 2 kg package $44 2-4 weeks
Asia/rest of world letter $1 2 weeks
Asia/rest of world 1 kg package $31.30 2-3 weeks
Asia/rest of world 2 kg package $51 2-4 weeks

Business hours vary from branch to branch. Typical hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some branches have limited service on Saturdays.

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