Panama's national mail system is called Correo y Telégrafos de Panamá, or COTEL. There are branches in most cities and towns; standard opening hours are 7 am to 5 pm. It's best to send mail from big cities—the more remote the origin of your letter, the better the chances of its getting lost. An airmail letter to the United States costs 50¢ and takes a week or two to arrive if posted from Panama City.

You can receive mail by Entrega General (general delivery) at most post offices. Letters should be addressed as follows: [Name on your passport], Entrega General, [city], [province], República de Panamá. There's a Panama City, Florida, so be sure to include "República de Panamá." Note that for letters to Panama City you also need to include the post office number where you want to receive the correspondence.

Airbox Express is a private mail company with both incoming and outgoing services to and from the United States. Their standard charge for sending documents is $6.95.


Airbox Express. 507/269–9774;

Correos y Telégrafos de Panamá. 507/512--7601;

Shipping Packages

Sending packages home through COTEL isn't always reliable, so it's worth paying extra for certified delivery (correo certificado). Most packages take anywhere from a week to a month to arrive in the United States. Many stores—particularly upmarket ones—can ship your purchases for you, for a price. Valuable items are best sent with private express services. International couriers operating in Panama include DHL and FedEx—overnight delivery for a 1-kg (2.2-pound) package starts at about $100. Sending a 1-kg package to the United States with Airbox Express costs $10.50 and takes two to three days.


Airbox Express. 507/269–9774;

DHL Worldwide Express. 507/271–3451;

FedEx. 507/271–3838;


Ready for a trip of a lifetime to ?