Through the benefit of the world-wide web, email, and international cellular networks, communicating while living abroad is easier than ever. Despite these high-tech methods, snail mail still plays a major role in the delivery of essential items from parcels, invitations, magazines and, of course, birthday cards from dear Aunt Betty. When one decides to move to Cabo and live in that beachfront condo or colonial hacienda on the golf course, how do they get mail in Mexico?
The easiest way to assure delivery of your snail mail is with a local mailbox service. This cottage business sets you up with a delivery address at their office in the U.S. and transports your mail to your mailbox in the local office in Mexico. This arrangement avoids international mailing fees and delays for your routine deliveries and mail. All magazine subscriptions, cards and letters, monthly bills, statements, payments and even your Netflix CDs are delivered to the local U.S. address. The same is true with your catalog or online orders. You still get that free shipping from Nordstrom’s and Amazon prime! Naturally, the mailbox store charges a fee to transport the mail from the U.S. address to the local Mexican mailbox. These fees vary according to the provider.
Here in Cabo, the Mailbox Store has a mailbox office in both San José and San Lucas. For an annual fee of $250 USD (U.S. dollars), I have the benefit of an address in a suburb of San Diego. My magazines, various regular mail, and my Sunday New York Times are all delivered routinely. Twice a week, the Mailbox Store loads a truck with mail in San Diego and drives it down the Baja peninsula to the stores in Cabo and delivers my mail to my mailbox. Parcels include a premium charge based upon on size and weight.
Correos de México is the official mail carrier in Mexico. I have used this mail service with success, albeit, it’s extremely slow. It takes two to three months to send or receive a letter or parcel from the U.S. using Correos de México. The expedited carriers such as FedEx, DHL or Estafeta are not that fast either. In fact, there is no overnight delivery from the U.S. to Cabo; minimum delivery is three days.
Another alternative is to use a mail forwarding service. These businesses will furnish you with a dedicated U.S. address and offer various services such as scanning, sorting and disposing of junk mail, consolidation, and forwarding of other mail.
The Bottom Line: How to Get Mail in Mexico
Modern technology and various mail services have taken the headaches out of managing your mail while living in Mexico or abroad. Most of the traditional snail mail has been eliminated by paperless businesses and use of email. But even with this technology, there are some things that continue to rely on hand-to-hand delivery. Despite what your needs are, now you can easily manage all your mail while enjoying your new life in Cabo.