One thing most expats living here in Costa Rica must contend with is the post office mail delivery system, Correos de Costa Rica. It’s not like anything in the US or, I would imagine, Canada or the UK. First of all, Costa Rica does not have home or business addresses with a number, like most of us are accustomed to, which is a bit confusing, especially at first. So I bet you’re wondering how you receive your mail and packages. Most expats that I know use a forwarding address in the US to get their mail forwarded to a post office box here in Costa Rica, which is the most expedient way to receive your mail.
My preferred mail forwarder in the US is US Global Mail Services, located in Houston, Texas. I am quite happy with their services and would highly recommend them. However, since the COVID-19 outbreak, their prices have increased greatly, and they forward mail through DHL, Fed Ex, and UPS, of which DHL is the least expensive. However, DHL will not deliver directly to a post office box. Instead, they drop off mail at a certified DHL drop-off affiliate in your area—in my case, it’s Electrocomp here in Grecia. You will receive a tracking code and, once the delivery is made, you receive an email notification.
Another important issue you must consider is how to receive packages, such as those from Amazon. The package must go through customs and be declared, and you will have to pay fees and duties, which can be expensive. I found this out the hard way the first time I ordered something from Amazon. First I had to go to the main customs postal center near San Jose to pay the fee and duty, which were more costly than the item I had purchased—and that doesn’t include transportation costs to and from San Jose. It was a very expensive lesson to say the least.
Some expats utilize the services of Aeropost, which I’m not very familiar with, and many expats seem to have mail forwarders located in Florida. If you have any updated mail forwarding information, drop a comment or suggestion in the box below.