There is no mail delivery service to your house in Panama. That also means no junk mail!
But of course, we all get bills for utilities, cell phones, taxes, bank statements, and more.
So, how do you get mail in Panama if no mail can be delivered to your house?
Most monthly bills are emailed to you. Many of the service providers also have a website where you can also see your monthly statement. Your electric, cell phone, internet, and cable tv bills are all emailed to you.
Panama bank statements and credit card statements are only available online. And, they are only available for the last 90 days so you will probably want to download them. If you’re a US citizen, you’ll need to report the interest you earned on your Panama bank accounts on your US tax returns. The bank does not send you an end-of-the-year statement so you will be responsible for keeping track of interest earnings yourself. You do not owe taxes in Panama in interest that you earn on your Panama bank accounts.
Sometimes it will be necessary to get a letter or package sent from one place in Panama to a different place in Panama. For example, if my attorney in Panama City needs to send me a document for me to sign in Boquete, then I need to send it back to Panama City.
To send mail from one place in Panama to another, you will use a courier service. The two most popular are Fletes Chavale and Uno Express. They both have offices throughout Panama.
To send a letter or a package, you will take it to their office. On the envelope, you will write the person’s name, the location where they live, and their cell phone number. It looks like this:
San Francisco is an area in Panama City. The courier service will send the letter/package to their office that is closest to San Francisco. If you mail a package on Monday, it will be in San Francisco on Tuesday for pick up after 11.
Mary Jane will know to pick up the package at the office in the neighborhood where she lives.
When you send a letter or a package, you will get a receipt and a tracking number that looks like this:
It is customary for the sender to WhatsApp a copy of the receipt to you so you know the package was sent and so you have the tracking number. You can show the photo of the receipt to pick up your letter/package.
During the last Panama Relocation Tour, a client left their tablet at a hotel. The hotel contacted us to tell us which room it was found in. The tour bus was already 2 hours away from the hotel so we asked them to send the tablet to Boquete. It arrived the next day! The receipt you see above is for sending the tablet from the Azuero to Boquete.
HOW TO GET MAIL FROM OUTSIDE OF PANAMA
To get letters or packages from a different country to Panama, the process is different.
You will need to use a mail forwarding company that has an office in your town. They will assign you an address in Miami. You will send the package to the Miami address. Then the package is flown to Panama City where it is put on a truck (often the courier service) to be delivered to the town where you live. You’ll get an email when your package arrives so you can go to their office to pick it up.
Learn more about getting Amazon orders and other packages to Panama.
Living in Panama you need to learn to do some things in a different way. But that’s part of the adventure!