How to Send a Package From La Paz, Bolivia

by Brenna Holeman
The Post Office in La Paz, Bolivia
I almost never write these sorts of “advice” posts, let alone location-specific ones, but I was inspired by the fact that, after sending a box to Canada the other day, word got out at the hostel that I had gone through the experience and many people asked me how it was done.
I often send boxes home while I travel as I am forever tempted to buy things at the many markets along the way. I’ve also been buying all of my Christmas presents while travelling, so I often need to unload my bag and send a few kilos home. I’ve had a good track record when it comes to packages actually being delivered, and, as I heard that Bolivia’s post is quite reliable, I decided to send some gifts home through here. Here’s how I did it.
1. Make sure you have two copies of your passport, as one will go inside the box and the other will be kept for their records. Photocopy places are all over La Paz and it should only cost you 1 Boliviano for two copies (about 15 cents).
2. The post office is located conveniently on Santa Cruz, very close to the Witches’ Market. It is about a 5 minute walk from San Francisco square or 10 minutes from Loki or Wild Rover hostels. When you enter, you’ll head to the right of the lobby and go down the stairs for international packages.
3. You should first go to the back of the room to have your belongings inspected and then packaged. The women there do a great job of wrapping your stuff up, boxing it, and then taping the box shut. You have to pay for this service, betwen 15 and 25 Bolivianos depending on the size of the box. While there you will also fill out your mailing/customs form.
4. Next, you will take your box and form to one of the counters, where you will pay. For 5 kilograms to Canada, I paid around 350 Bolivianos, which is approximately $50. The box should arrive in a few weeks, and I was given a tracking number to follow. Edit: The tracking number didn’t work, but I did receive my package.
Overall, the experience was extremely hassle-free. There were no lines, and everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful. If you want to buy souvenirs in South America, do it in Bolivia – firstly, the souvenirs themselves are very cheap, and secondly, sending them home is easy!
Edit: The box indeed arrived three weeks later!
Do you ever send boxes home when you travel?
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Antastesia. October 19, 2012 - 10:21 pm

I think posts like this are really useful and interesting !
I’ve never done that actually!
But I’m trying to at least start sending cards now! I don’t even find time or motivation to send letters when I’m abroad.ah so lazy.
Btw, I hope you’re feeling better!

Colleen Brynn October 19, 2012 - 11:16 pm

I sent packages home from Brasil and I had a friend send stuff from Santiago in Chile. You should be okay to do so in those places as well.

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures October 20, 2012 - 2:44 pm

Great post! VERY helpful!!!

Christine loves to Travel October 22, 2012 - 2:51 am

Never sent anything home. Next long trip I will try it so I can shop as much as I want without paying extra baggage fees.

This Battered Suitcase October 22, 2012 - 8:21 pm

Thank you so much for your comments, everyone! I am going to try and do more posts like this in the future…

Kiniki January 23, 2013 - 9:09 pm

Hi! I did the same from La Paz to Australia near the end of Dec ’12 and the process was almost too easy. But the tracking number doesn’t actually work (says about 20 days ago it was -going- to leave La Paz) and I’m really worried. Did you receive your package safe and sound? They told me it would take 25 days..


Rebecca August 20, 2015 - 4:00 pm

Did your parcel end up arriving?

Brenna Holeman August 20, 2015 - 5:15 pm

Hi Rebecca, as it says in the post (the last line), it arrived three weeks later!

This Battered Suitcase January 24, 2013 - 12:32 am

Kiniki – Hi there! I did indeed receive my package safe and sound, though my tracking number didn’t work either. I’m pretty sure mine arrived right around the three-week mark like they promised. I actually sent two boxes from Bolivia in the end, and I had no troubles at all! I’m sure yours is on its way!

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[…] (knock on wood) when I decide to ship a batch of souvenirs home if I’m on a longer trip (read here how easy and cheap it is to ship a box from La Paz, Bolivia). There are a few things that I consider to be really, really cheap souvenirs, though, and I find […]

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[…] or I just send souvenirs home along the way, which is often easier than you’d think from local post offices. I’ve sent boxes home from India, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Australia, […]

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[…] as small as a thimble or a postcard. I have lugged bags full of knick knacks all over the world, sent boxes full of treasures home even when I was nomadic and that “home” was my dad’s basement, and budgeted […]

Hana March 18, 2024 - 1:14 pm

This article is out of date!
The post office no longer has boxing/ packaging facilities. We could not buy a box or tape from them. We ended up going down the road and asking the supermarket for old boxes and buying tape.

After we packaged our gifts the process of sending the box was long and slow…even though there were no queues. We spent 1.5 hours there.

Costs for shipping to the UK. We sent 2 boxes and these were the costs:
Box 1) 4kg = 704 bolivianos (£84)
Box 2) 3.8kg =601 bolivianos (£73)

This was a lot more expensive than we were expecting.


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