GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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The postal system (CorreosChile) is efficient and reliable; on average, letters take about 10 days to reach the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. They will arrive sooner if you send them prioritario (priority) post, but the price is higher. You can send them certificado (registered), in which case the recipient will need to sign for them. Vendors often sell stamps at the entrances to larger post offices, which can save you a potentially long wait in line—the stamps are valid, and selling them this way is legal. There are no mailboxes in Chile. You must mail letters from a post office or through your hotel. Post offices are open from 9 to 6 or 7 on weekdays and from 10 to 2 on Saturdays.
Postage on regular letters and postcards to the United States costs 590 pesos; for other international destinations, the cost is 780 pesos.
Correo Central—Santiago's main post office—is housed in the ornate Palacio de los Gobernadores, in Santiago Centro on the north side of the Plaza de Armas. It is open weekdays 8–7, Saturday 9–2. There is a second downtown branch near the Palacio de la Moneda (closed Saturday), as well as one in Providencia near the Manuel Montt metro stop and one near the Escuela Militar station in Las Condes.
CorreosChile. 800/267–736. www.correosdechile.cl.
An inexpensive alternative for sending parcels weighing up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) is to use the Chilean postal system, CorreosChile, which although slow—up to 20 business days—is reliable. Shipping a small parcel of 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) will cost 16,100 pesos to North America. Express service is also available.
Federal Express has offices in Santiago and operates an international overnight service. DHL, with offices in Santiago and most cities throughout Chile, also provides overnight service. If you want to send a package to North America, it will take one to four days, depending on where you're sending it from in Chile and the kind of service you select.
Chile's post office (courier service) can ship overnight parcels of up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) within Chile (major cities). ChileExpress and LanCourier also offer overnight services between most cities within Chile.
ChileExpress. 800/200–102. www.chilexpress.cl.
CorreosChile Courier Service. 600/950–2020. www.correosdechile.cl.
DHL. 800/800–345. www.dhl.com.
Federal Express. 800/363–030. fedex.com/cl_english.
LanCourier. 800/800–400. www.lancourier.cl.