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Ecuador Mail, Shipping and Customs

Sending and Receiving Mail in Ecuador

In general, mailing out packages and letters from Ecuador is easy to do, but receiving mail is more complicated. You can find post offices and couriers in major cities like Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.

Ecuador’s national postal service, Correos del Ecuador (Tel, toll-free: 1-700-CORREO / 267736, URL., has a variety of mailing options: EMS (express, priority), certified and regular. Locales are typically open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-noon. Mail usually takes the following amount of time to reach its destination:

  • United States: 8–10 business days
  • Europe: 10–15 business days
  • Asia and Middle East: 18–22 business days
  • Latin America and Caribbean: 5–6 business days

To receive a letter at the poste restante (general delivery) - where the post office holds mail until the recipient calls for it - have the sender address the letter to you like this:

LAST NAME, First Name
Lista de Correos
Correo Central

Your name should appear as it does in your passport, which you will need to have in order to retrieve the letter or parcel. The city is where you will pick the mail up. In the major cities, the main post office branches are:

  • Quito: JapĂłn N36-153 y Av. Naciones Unidas. Also, in the Central HistĂłrico: Venezuela y Chile, Local 25, Centro Comercial Palacio Arzobispal
  • Guayaquil: Aguirre 301, entre Chile y Pedro Carbo
  • Cuenca: Borrero y Gran Colombia esq. Additionally, Correos del Ecuador rents post office boxes.

If you are a member of the South American Explorers Club, you may also receive mail at its Quito clubhouse.

If you are mailing something urgent or important, then it's best to stick with a reputable courier. The international couriers have offices in Ecuador’s large cities:

Fedex (URL:

  • Tomas Berlanga E-1080, between Avenida Los Shyris and 6 de Diciembre (Tel: 593-2-601-7818)

The office is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Fedex also has branches in Cuenca, Guayaquil and Manta.


  • La Mariscal: Av. Colon 1333 y Foch (Tel: 593-2-250-8088)
  • New Town: RepĂşblica 433 y Diego de Almagro (Tel: 593-2-226-5077)
  • Mariscal Sucre Airport (Tel. 593-2-292-2687)

All Quito offices are open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; the first two are open Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. DHL also has offices in Cuenca, Guayaquil and Manta.

UPS/LAAR Courier Express S.A. (URL:

  • Calle de los Cipreses, Lote 26 y de las Avellanas (Tel: 593-2-396-0000)

Major hotel chains in Quito, like the Hilton, also offer express mail service, so be sure to check with them if you plan on staying at one.

Customs and Shipping Costs in Ecuador

Correos del Ecuador offers the least expensive service. To mail a postcard or letter (0-20 gr) to Canada, the US or any other place in North, Central or South America costs $2 ($4.00 certified); a letter weighing 21-100 grams costs $4.75 ($7.75 certified). If your correspondence is destined for Europe, the costs are $2.25 ($4 certified) and $5.50 ($8.25 certified), respectively.

Packages should be sent directly from post offices in Ecuador, and it's safest to send them via the main post office in Quito (Japón N36-153 y Av. Naciones Unidas). Don’t close your packages before you get to the post office: the staff is required to check the contents before the envelope or box is mailed. It is technically prohibited to mail jewelry, cash or other valuables, so use some discretion when choosing to mail something. Reseal the package yourself before leaving it to be sent.

If you receive a package from overseas, and it weighs over two kilograms, you will have to pick it up at aduanas (customs). Flete (transportation) fees and other import taxes are calculated according to the declared value of the package; these fees can be quite high. Some ex-pats recommend having the sender declare a $0 value.

The international couriers—DHL, FedEx and UPS—charge are at least triple what the national postal service does. Check the companies’ websites for shipping cost calculations. With these services, stamps aren’t necessary. The companies can also help with customs paperwork.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Ecuador: Ecuador Phones and Ecuador Internet Access, WiFi and Internet Cafes.

By Rachel Anderson
I'm a twentysomething dandelion floating across the field of youth. I have an unquenchable thirst for writing, exploring and cheap wine. A cross...
09 Oct 2013

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