Postal Services in Costa Rica

Details on how the postal system works in Costa Rica, including information on post offices and services…

The postal system in Costa Rica is managed by the Correo Central. The main office is located in San José with 122 smaller offices located throughout the country. Post office hours are generally Monday to Friday from 08:00-17:00.

Sending mail

Apart from utility bills, it is fairly uncommon to send or receive mail within Costa Rica. Individuals or businesses who wish to send a package or a document to another part of Costa Rica, generally make use of the courier service (encomienda) that bus companies provide. Most packages can be transported within one day using this method of delivery.

Mailing a letter with the Correo Central to a foreign address can be expected to take a few weeks to arrive. Packages that weigh more than 2 Kg will usually have to pass through customs (aduanas) on their way out of the country, which can delay the process by a few weeks. The postal system does offer the option to insure packages (certificados).

Receiving mail

Few homes actually have a mailbox to receive mail, so the postal delivery person usually just leaves mail wedged into the front door or front gate of the house.

For those who wish to have more security in receiving mail, it is advisable to rent a P.O. Box (apartado) for an annual fee. Alternatively, the post office can hold personal mail (this process is called "lista de correos"), but it is necessary to present a passport when going to retrieve the mail.

As with sending mail, packages that weigh more than 2 Kg usually have to pass through customs (aduanas), which can delay delivery. Customs officials may determine that certain items, such as electronics, should be taxed, in which case they will advise of this before the parcel can be collected.