Post Codes and the Postal System in Colombia

Information on sending and receiving letters and parcels, mail services, finding a Colombia postal/ZIP code and how to write addresses in Colombia...

Post codes or ZIP codes in Colombia are made up of six digits. The first two digits indicate the department, the next two digits indicate postal zones, with 00 being used for the department's capital, the last two digits are the postal districts.

Postcodes, known as código postal in Spanish, were only recently implemented throughout Colombia, for this reason they are not yet widely used or well-known.

Addresses

Cities in Colombia use a numeric system to determine streets, addresses and buildings; in Bogotá it has been recently modified and therefore it is still common to see the old address plates in the street, crossed over with a red line, and the new ones close by.

  • Calle are streets running east-west
  • Carrera refers to the streets running in a north-south direction

The numbers for Calle go up towards the north, with Calle 1 situated in the city centre. Streets running south from the city centre also increase in number but have Sur (south) added to them. The Carrera streets start in the mountains that border the city in the east and go up in number towards the west. Streets that continue further east in the mountains than Carrera 1, go up in number and have Este (east) added to the address. Common abbreviations for Calle and Carrera include Cll. Cr. Kr. C. and K.

  • Example:
    Kr 14 no. 67-23

Kr refers to the road on which the entrance to the building is situated (Carrera 14) and no. 67 is the number of the cross street that comes afterwards. The final number after the dash refers to the specific building and the approximate number of meters from the intersection, with the even numbers on one side of the street and the odd numbers on the other.

The smaller streets in residential areas that run between the numbered streets have the number of the larger street and a letter. For example after Calle 23 and before Calle 24 you can find a small Calle 23A or as many as 23A, 23B, 23C, 23D and 23E. Sometimes the term Bis is also used and added to the street name for these smaller streets, for example Calle 27bis.

Furthermore, addresses often have Oficina or Apartamento (abbreviated to apt.) and a number after the street. This is the apartment number, or an office number.

Writing addresses on mail

A standard address when sending mail to Colombia can be written as follows:

  • NAME
    CALLE 23A 67-40 (this is the street address and building/apartment number)
    Bogotá, Cundinamarca (town and department)
    COLOMBIA

Mail and Postal Services

Post offices (correos) can be found throughout the towns and cities of Colombia and postal services are provided by Colombia's national postal service, 4-72.

Services provided by 4-72 include:

  • Letter and package delivery
  • Money orders
  • Courier services for packages and delivery
  • Tracking
  • Find more information about all the services available

Mailing packages and letters can be relatively expensive in Colombia, and the procedure can be complicated. Many people use private postal companies for mail and package delivery.