Mail and Courier Service in Peru
The Peruvian postal service, known as SerPost, has a bad reputation among its customers for losing packages. However, many people use SerPost for a wide variety of parcel deliveries without having a problem. Despite its reputation, sending mail within Peru and to most international locations usually goes off with out a hitch. That is – if you’re in Lima. The caveat here is that outside of the capital city, service can get a bit sketchy.
When receiving mail, smaller packages and envelopes will usually be delivered directly to the address. Anything larger than shoebox size (or if there’s a suspected high priced item inside) will require customer pick up from the local SerPost office. You’ll receive a postcard to advise you when the package arrives. At pick-up, you’ll need to show a DNI, passport or carnet, and will be required to pay the custom fees, if any. They will open the package in front of you to verify the contents. There is an excellent thread in our forum regarding package pick-ups from SerPost. See thread here.
When sending mail out, it’s best to pay the extra money to send it registered airmail. Letters to the US, Canada and Europe typically take about 2 weeks, packages will take longer.
SerPost also offers other services, such as postal money orders (national and international), general delivery service and post office boxes. They have offices everywhere; to find the closest to you, simply go to their main web page (http://www.serpost.com.pe/) and click on Red de Oficinas to use the search form.
Instead of depending on SerPost, some expats have had great luck with using mail forwarding services. These services collect your mail in your home country, and ship it to you at predetermined intervals. Some services will scan and email your correspondence to you, allowing you to read it online. The following companies have been used by members of our forum:
Of course, there are also the standard parcel services available, although our forum members have had varying degrees of success with them. Our forum members frequently have problems with customs charges when shipping products through these services, although other than high rates, the reliability is very good. Links to the English versions of their websites: