There are a few ways you can go about receiving mail and packages in Granada, Nicaragua. We’ve tried one thoroughly, and just recently a second.
Nicabox / TransExpress
The first method we tried was through Nicabox. You’ve no doubt already heard of this if you’ve done any research on the subject at all, but if this is your first stop, let me enlighten you. Nicabox is a service provided by TransExpress.com. What this service does is give you a P.O. Box in Florida that you can have all of your mail and packages (Amazon, Ebay, gifts, etc.) sent to. They will then gather them up and bring them to your doorstep in Nicaragua.
Packages they bring in have to go through customs. So any time I had a package come in I would get an email from them indicating the customs fee. I would then have to physically go to a local bank here and deposit that amount into their account. After emailing them confirmation of this, they would send the package out for delivery and it would show up at our doorstep in a few days.
The main problem with this service was receiving simple letters and bills. Each one they would charge us about $10 USD to bring over and without warning! We’d just get a notice that our card had been charged and the letter was on it’s way. The way we thought the service was supposed to work (and the way it should, in my opinion) is that we would be made aware of the mail we’d received in Florida and then be able to decided whether we wanted it brought to Nicaragua or not, but this was never the case. It was always just shipped out and we were charged.
Here are a few similar services you might check out, although I haven’t tried them personally:
Granada, Nicaragua Post Office Box
What we have since done is to actually get a post office box at the official post office here in Granada on Calle El Arsenal. Apparently you can have mail sent here without getting a post office box. Simply have the sender put your name on it and they will hold it there for you. If you know you are going to have something coming your way, just stop by the post office every day until it arrives. However, we wanted something a bit more official, since we plan to have all of our U.S. correspondence diverted here. Having a box gives us peace of mind that our mail will be held for us, and it also provides peace of mind to people sending us mail. Folks in the U.S. aren’t too keen with just putting our name on something and hoping the post office holds it. Having a P.O. box guarantees our mail will be there for us.
It was a little confusing getting the box, although largely due to translation complications. The officials in the post office kept asking us for some sort of official document which we assumed to be something the government had to issue us. We even wondered if they they were requesting proof of residency.
Turns out all they needed was a written letter of request from us. That’s it! I just wrote on a piece of notebook paper that we were requesting a post office box and detailed the location of our current house, signed it, dated it, and with a C$350 fee we got a P.O. box for three months!
Addressing a letter to a P.O. box at the Granada post office is pretty simple:
Apartado 555 (or whatever the box number is)