Postal Mailing Costs In Ecuador

Post office practices in Ecuador are quite a bit different from what you may be used to based on experiences in the United States or Europe. For one, daily home delivery simply doesn't happen. Most locals keep a post office box at their local branch, and many expats pick up mail addressed simply to the main post office in the town where they are living.

This different way of operating extends to the mailing side of postal operations in Ecuador as well. If you have something to mail, you will do well to keep current postal rates and norms in mind as you plan your packaging! This Hub is dedicated to what it may cost you to ship something from Ecuador to other parts of the world using the national post system, Correos del Ecuador.

Ecuadorian Postal Logo

When you see this logo, it's the official post system!
When you see this logo, it's the official post system! | Source

No Tiered System Discounts

One norm of the Ecuadorian postal service to keep in mind is that there are no tiered systems for discounts. If you are coming from the United States, you may be used to the Priority Mail vs. Parcel Post vs. Media Mail systems, each with their own rates and sharp discounts between them. In Ecuador, things are different.  Distinctions come in the form of a simple question, "Fast or slow?"

Speed = Costly

For most letters and packages mailed from Ecuador, you can expect things to arrive in about a week.  This is the standard speed, Correspondencia Ordinaria.  It's about 5 - 8 business days for the US, and 8 - 15 business days for the rest of the world.  A letter out will cost you a bit over $1.

If you really need something to get there fast, you have the option to use Correspondencia EMS.  This mail is significantly more expensive relative to the standard system, costing around $15 for a letter to go out.  The advantage is that Correspondencia EMS offers delivery in 2 - 3 business days.

Weight Is What Counts

Other than speed, the other main factor in mailing costs in Ecuador is weight.  The general rule of thumb is that one kilo of mail weight will cost you about $10 USD to send (as of this writing).  Rates are subject to change at any time, and vary a bit between the regions.  This Hub is based on the national standard rates, so be sure to inquire at your local post office for the going rates in your city in Ecuador.

Depending on the country you are mailing your items out to there may be some weight limits applied.  The Ecuadorian Post Office notes that it imposes no weight limits on outgoing mail for Correspondencia Ordinaria or Correspondencia EMS, but due to customs, duty, and tax issues in other countries there may be weight limits on what can be sent.  Cross reference with your native post office if sending something large.  If you want tracking on the item, the weight limit is generally held to 2 kg for bar codes and certified mail at the international level, with regulations subject to change at any time.

While mailing packages out of Ecuador is a bit different than what you may be used to doing in your home country, it is not impossible.  Plan to be lightweight with your packing and ship early to avoid rush rates (account for holiday closures!) so that you can be as cost efficient with your Ecuadorian shipping adventures as possible.

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Comments 8 comments

WriterOnTheRoam profile image

WriterOnTheRoam 5 years ago from Cuenca, Ecuador Author

Readers, I'd love to hear your experiences mailing things in Ecuador - what did you ship, how much did it weigh, and what did you pay?


2intumbabiro profile image

2intumbabiro 5 years ago

I have mailed 3 birthday cards from Ibarra, purchased at Hallmark. The first one cost $5.75; the 2nd $5.23; and the 3rd $3.25! None of them was heavy and wouldn't have required extra postage in the States. All were put on a scale. How do I know that scale is zeroed before weighing? We are not consistently getting mail from the States. E.g. My bank mailed new debit cards on May 6th and I haven't received them. I was told by the p.o. here it would take about 2 weeks. SO, is there anything I can do to insure I'm not over paying for mailing cards?


WriterOnTheRoam profile image

WriterOnTheRoam 5 years ago from Cuenca, Ecuador Author

I guess you can't know if a scale is zeroed before weighing. I do know that 100 g is a fine line that once crossed leads to higher rates - perhaps stick to letters or use a mailing service from the States?

As to getting mail from the States, that is a real problem throughout the country. Stuff goes out okay, but incoming mail is frequently delayed, lost, or hung up in customs. Many expats in Cuenca have adopted Club Correos as one option, and gone paperless for as much stuff as they can.


Susan B 5 years ago

What's CLub Correos? Thanks


WriterOnTheRoam profile image

WriterOnTheRoam 5 years ago from Cuenca, Ecuador Author

It's a program run through the local post offices that enables inexpensive international postage.


Mommabull 4 years ago

I was wondering - I need to ship packages to Ecuador and want to use the USPS. Can I send my package to one of Correos del Ecuador's agents located in the general area of its receipient?


WriterOnTheRoam profile image

WriterOnTheRoam 4 years ago from Cuenca, Ecuador Author

Mommabull,

You might have to make a phone call on that - I know you can send letters to be held at the main post office in Cuenca, but I am not sure what happens with packages.


shaun 4 years ago

we just posted 2.5 kgs from ibarra to australia and it cost nearly 70$. was a little shocked. check out our ecuador blog http://ww.weroamaround.com

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