Welcome to Costa Rica, where McDonald's makes more home deliveries than the post office! Many Costa Ricans don't have cars, so home delivery, even for items that you might not expect, is very common. Delivery service is called "express" or "domicilio" in Costa Rica.
In a country without street names or house numbers, explaining where you live requires some creativity. Start with a well-known point of reference, like the nearest school, church or soccer field and from there, map out the easiest route to your house. One block, no matter how long or short, is referred to as 100 meters, or "cien metros." An example of a common address is: 400 meters west of the primary school; purple house with a black gate, opposite the soccer field.
Dry cleaning companies in Costa Rica have a reputation for excellent customer service. Most offer pick-up and home delivery for very low fees, and if you're a regular customer, it's sometimes free.
If you live in an urban area, or even in a town of moderate size, chances are good that local restaurants deliver. Even McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and other chain restaurants have a delivery motorcycle. To inquire whether a restaurant offers delivery, ask "Tiene servicio express?" Delivery usually costs $1-$2 extra, depending on how far they have to travel, and while delivery staff doesn't expect a tip, a couple of extra dollars is always appreciated.
Furniture & Appliances
Most companies offer free delivery on major appliances and furniture; others charge a flat fee, and a few charge per mile. For big-ticket items, always try to negotiate a free or low-cost delivery, especially with small companies or family-owned stores. It's not necessary to tip the delivery man, but a modest amount for stellar service and help with heavy-lifting is recommended.
Several grocery stores, and even your local pulperia (mini-market) provide home delivery; be sure to inquire about their "express" services during your next visit. Auto Mercado, an upscale supermarket with many imported goods, offers online ordering in addition to home delivery. Depending on your local store, large orders may qualify for free delivery, while smaller orders are usually subject to a flat rate-per-kilometer fee. This service is especially convenient during the rainy season, when you don't want to carry heavy bags during torrential downpours. A tip is not necessary, but if your delivery driver goes the extra mile and helps carry your bags inside, you may want to offer an extra dollar or two.