In 2018 the Bolivian post service Ecobol (Empresa Correos de Bolivia) was closed (with a backlog of post left undelivered) and the government created the Agencia Nacional de Correos (www.oopp.gob.bo/agbc). Mail sent from bigger cities is more reliable than that sent from small towns. Expect delays!

  • To mail an international parcel take it open to the post office so that the contents can be inspected. After inspection close it yourself (take what you need with you) before handing it over.
  • You may be asked to fill in some official forms detailing the contents of the package. Avoid being too detailed, and don't explicitly mention items that might be attractive to thieves.
  • The cost of sending the package depends on its weight. If you are offered the chance to 'register' the package for a small cost, then take it, it doesn't guarantee much, but at least it gives you some kind of leg to stand on if it subsequently disappears.
  • Avoid sending anything valuable by standard mail, use an international courier, such as DHL (www.dhl.com). It's more expensive, but it will get to where you send it.

Parcels

  • To mail an international parcel take it open to the post office so that the contents can be inspected. After inspection close it yourself (take what you need with you) before handing it over.
  • You may be asked to fill in some official forms detailing the contents of the package. Avoid being too detailed, and don't explicitly mention items that might be attractive to thieves.
  • The cost of sending the package depends on its weight. If you are offered insurance take it, it doesn't guarantee much, but at least it gives you some kind of leg to stand on if it subsequently disappears.
  • Avoid sending anything valuable by standard mail, use an international courier. Its more expensive, but it will get to where you send it.

In some cities, you might have your parcels checked by customs at the post office; in cities without in-house customs agents, you may have to trek across town to the aduana (customs office). A parcel’s chances of arriving at its destination are inversely proportional to its declared value, and to the number of ‘inspections’ to which it is subjected.

Receiving Mail

Reliable and free lista de correos (poste restante) is available in larger cities. Mail should be addressed to you c/o Lista de Correos (Poste Restante), Correo Central, La Paz (or whatever city), Bolivia. Using only a first initial and capitalizing your entire last name will help avoid confusion. Mail is often sorted into foreign and Bolivian stacks, so those with Latin surnames should check the local stack as well as checking for your first name. La Paz holds poste restante for two months. You will need your passport to collect the mail.