Costa Rica Gold Prospecting

by Bill

I have purchased some property in the mountains of Costa Rica's central pacific coast. Looking at an old map of the area, I found that one of the streams on my finca is named Minas Ora (good sign). I asked around and apparently many years ago, there were a couple of Ticos working a mine somewhere on the upper part of my place. Could be real because the story talks about some Gold and not fabulous wealth. This year I am going to do some prospecting. I have a metal detector, gold pan and turkey baster.

I have been hunting gems for a few years but the gold is a new thing. I'm open to suggestions.

Stan's response: I would recommend signing up for my free gold prospecting course found at (in the pop up window). After that, practice panning with 10 bb's (from a bb gun) in sand and gravel. When you can finish the pan in less than 5 minutes and recover all 10 bb's, you are ready to go prospecting on your river according to what you learn in my free course. Please let me know how it goes. You may be on to something good!

Comments for Costa Rica Gold Prospecting

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Jan 15, 2019
gold panning
by: Anonymous

Bill how did you do on your propecting in CR

Jun 22, 2018
Keep Truckin
by: Elgorddo

Get Bent Anonymous.Its his land and he can do what he wants.Last thing hes got to worry about is a Liberal Troll.

Mar 24, 2018
A Ban is a Ban
by: Anonymous

Don't be selfish. Think of the environment. It may be your land but it is the world of all our children and their children.

Mar 03, 2018

Hi, I will be in Costa Rica in April. If you have Gold, I would like to buy or sell your Gold on my Google website:

If you interested, lets meet in person in April to location convenient for you.


Oct 10, 2017
Ocean Dredging Osa, Costa Rica
by: Captain Dave

Would the current ban on mining include running a small dredge and sluse box on a boat offshore?

If so what are the boundaries and what if any areas would be permitted?

Thanks in advance

Aug 24, 2017
What about metal detecting
by: WW

What about metal detecting?
I was thinking of bringing down the new minelab 7000.

Aug 19, 2017
Find a partner to look for gold.
by: Alaska

Hi.. I'm Costa Rican native, I live north of my time in United States and I'm planning to move back to Costa Rica in planning to look for god in Costa Rica if it's someone wanted a Adventure to find gold in Costa Rica please write to my Gmail and I'll be happy to contact you maricruz.ville.1

Jan 13, 2017
AT-PRO Garrett metal detector for sale in Costa Rica
by: Gary

Hello, I have a Keene sluice box two big metal gold pans and a AT-PRO Garrett water proof metal detector that has had very little use, for sale all or part, near San Jose CR. call Gary 7160 7348

Sep 03, 2016
Costa Rica Rich Coast!
by: Alberto

I'm a costarican native who moved to Canada 17 years ago. I own a small granite company but in the last year I've been thinking about spending some time in Costa Rica to do some prospecting. Can you recommend me a place down there where I can go learn how to pan?

Aug 24, 2016
Gold Hunting Partner
by: GFA

Hi everyone,

I am a 32 years old tico from San José and I'm looking for a gold hunting partner here in CR. I'm well educated and have been always interested in gold mining. I don't have the equipment like metal detectors, but I have a strong 4x4 truck (1990 Mitsubishi Montero) in very good conditions, which we can use. My only mining experience was a short adventure I did alone to an abandoned mine in San Mateo de Orotina, but I have been reading about geology and gold mining techniques. I've been also researching about CR's gold mining history. I have good survival skills, mountain experience and local knowledge. If anyone is interested please contact me back at

Jul 03, 2016
Agates in Costa Rica
by: Costa Rica Greg

I have found large beautiful agates at the the Rio Carate mouth and the Drake Bay river mouths on the Osa Peninsula... one was the size of a baseball with rich orange color. Good luck!

Jul 03, 2016
Gems, Agates or Jaspers in Costa Rica?
by: Jason

Any gems, agates and Jaspers in Costa Rica?

Apr 11, 2016
Rio Minas Oro
by: Costa Rica Greg

Hi Everyone, I checked out the Rio Minas Oro outside of Orotina with another member and go figure, there is gold there. There are megalithic stone bowls the indios used for mining there which are neat as well as petroglyphs on rocks.

I used a snorkel and pan to dive one of the the several round basins carved in solid stone out of the bedrock of the the river with waterfalls in between and scooped several pans of gravel. Each held large amounts of black sand and panned out to much ultra-fine gold amounting to very little in weight.

The equipment they used in the past couldn't capture fine gold so I'm sure there is a lot in these basins waiting to be found.

Cheers and good luck!

Apr 11, 2016
Seekiing a Gold Prospecting Partner in Costa Rica
by: Keenan

I am looking for a gold prospecting partner to hunt in Costa Rica. I have an apartment in San Jose I use as a base. I have the basic equipment, metal detectors, pans, etc. If anyone is interested and serious you can reach me @ good luck to all.

Dec 21, 2015
Looking for Adventure Partner, Gold Seeker in Costa Rica!
by: Rob

I live here in Costa Rica in the southern zone. I have the fever as I am sure most of you can relate if you are reading this post. I have recently discovered gold in a river not located in a national park or reserve and I have some ideas as to how to extract it legally without attracting too much attention.

I also have a Garret ATX deep seeker and plan to go to where the big nuggets are as this is legal here to use keeping it low key.

If you are looking for someone highly motivated to become involved with in C.R., I am someone that would like to talk with you. Please write me at if you want to chat. Rob

Stan's comment: This sounds like an exciting opportunity. Please keep us posted on your progress. A photo would be great to see as well. Best of luck out there!

Oct 28, 2015
Seeking a Gold Dredging Partner in Panama or Costa Rica
by: j gomes

I am looking for a dredging partner in northern Panama or southern Costa Rica. I have a lot of dredging experience and can make a lot of prospecting equipment. I have a pan, metal detector, and small sluice. I am looking for someone with a claim or river on their land. If interested, contact at

Apr 30, 2015
Mining in Costa Rica
by: Diego Prendergast

If you want to mine for gold, by all means go somewhere else in South America. Go to Columbia or South Panama.

Mar 27, 2015
Costa Rica Gold Prospecting
by: Nick Stenson

If you were to find s site where there is gold would it not be seized or nationalised by the government ?

Feb 11, 2015
Living in Costa Rica
by: MIchael Moore

I would like to fine some good camping places where we could pan for gold....

email me

Dec 07, 2014
Costa Rica Gold
by: Anonymous

Over the years had hit various locations in CR with a White's Goldmaster.

Los Juntas has lots of mines filled with bats and vertical shafts.

Miramar has a huge open pit. It's now locked up but years back you could roam freely.

Osa has lots of rivers, but one of the locals told me they were all professionally dredged years back. If you visit the sodas in these areas I guarantee you will find some gold as the miners often pay with nuggets, and they are for sale.

Dec 05, 2014
Buried Gold in Costa Rica
by: Hector Campos

My grandfather and father passed down stories of buried Indian tombs they found in the jungle, it is illegal to un-earth them and the gold must be reported to the government, that is why they never un-earthed them, but they also didn't report the find, in case of emergency some day.

Nov 15, 2014
Costa Rica Gold Mining History
by: Anonymous

Does anyone have any information on Gold mine owners in the 1970's-1980's? Is there a site that may list this type of information?

Oct 23, 2014
Costa Rica Gold Prospecting
by: superbob

I'm going to be in Costa Rica for 6 months plus. I'm going to have a lot of free time on my hands and would like to explore the countryside and pan for gold. If anybody is looking for someone to help out with something let me know:

Aug 21, 2014
Oro, the book (Gold in Costa Rica)
by: Costa Rica Greg

It is available on Amazon by Cizia Zyke and a must read for Costa Rica Adventurers

Aug 21, 2014
Re; Oro (Gold in Costa Rica)
by: Anonymous

Hey I am looking for this book "Oro" but cannot find it?

Aug 05, 2014
Gold Prospecting Equipment in Costa Rica
by: Anonymous

I have a small dredge and sluice setup for sale here in Costa Rica that I bought from Keene Eng. in California. I will let the whole package go for $2,000 if anyone is interested.

Aug 04, 2014
Gold Prospecting in Quebrada - Coast Rica
by: Antonio

Hey Guys, After my first gold prospecting experience in TN, I am planning a gold prospecting adventure in Costa Rica where I own 18 acres in the mountains near Ciudad Colon. It has a waterfall drop of 150 feet and abundant creeks.

Anyhow, I'll be down there for 10 days; September 5 - 15. Anyone experienced is welcome to come and prospect the area with me.

The Quebrada is actually called Quebrada Honda. I have more details upon request...

May 31, 2014
Gold Prospecting in Costa Rica
by: Ready

Hi, I live on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I want to try panning for gold. I have not sent for a panning kit yet but have a metal detector.

Where can one search? Can one go to any river or stream? Will the government or the private owners give you a hard time? Is it worth the time and effort?

I do not want to travel to the Osa every time I want to pan. Can one pull a few ounces out on the Pacific side?

Last, does someone want a partner to search with?
Thanks! Ready

Mar 25, 2014
Greg - Gold Prospecting in Costa Rica
by: bruce

Yes Greg I would love to do some testing and searching. send me an email if you want and i will give you my contact info.

Mar 24, 2014
Costa Rica Gold - Hey Bill
by: Costa Rica Greg

I also live on the Central Pacific coast and have a lot of Artesan mining equipment. If you want to check out your Rio Mina Oro let me know.

Mar 24, 2014
Oro Gold in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica
by: Costa Rica Greg

Everyone interested should read the book "Oro" now banned in Costa Rica but available online. It shares exactly where and how much gold is in the osa peninsula and surrounding areas. Also the British geological survey 1981 also available online maps the gold rich deposit as it crosses the Osa before heading out to sea.

It is however illegal to mine in most areas although there are a couple of tourist concessions near the Carate on the Osa open to artesanal mining only.(no machines)

If you want a real gold adventure I would head to Bonanza in Northern Nicaragua but pack your six shooter because its the real Wild West.

Good luck!

Mar 20, 2014
Good Gold Mining in Costa Rica
by: Bruce

It is very simple here to find locations John.
Also guys I have some video of a river here that there is a mine that was worked for 71 years. Before this the Natives were pulling out huge amounts as well.

I have many pics and videos. What I need is help from someone on which spots in and around the river to look for best 1 or 2 man with small eq. you can email me if you like:

Mar 17, 2014
Costa Rica Gold Mining
by: John

What are the options for mining for gold with a 1-2 man operation in CR if you are on private land. Can you do a high banker or a small dredge? e-mail me at

Feb 25, 2014
Gold Panning in Costa Rica
by: Bruce

I live in and search the mountains of Costa Rica. I would love to get together with others that want to go gold panning. I have locations, so bring your stuff.

Feb 06, 2014
Gold Mining Banned in Costa Rica !!!
by: Alex

Gold, the most sought after precious metal in the world, is not worth its weight when it comes to protecting the environment.

Gold has been mined around the globe from rich deposits deep under the earth’s crust, in rocks and caves and even in the rainforest. The high commodity beautiful ore is a natural gift of the earth which provides both necessary function and luxury in daily lives.

Mining of gold has been banned in countries such as Costa Rica in recent years, along with restrictions and laws governing other gold mining projects in various areas of the world. citizens of Costa Rica realized the natural habitats to multitudes of flora and fauna were in jeopardy. They made a case for protecting the land and effectively stopped the intrusion of actions from a foreign land. Life became more precious than gold revenues at that point.

In 2010, an unanimous vote of the Costa Rican congress decided to ban all gold mining...

Dec 28, 2013
Gold Claims in Costa Rica
by: clint

This is to the man who lives in costa rica Anonymous

i am planing to come to costa rica and live i have 6 mining claims in the united states i would love to sell them get my self a claim there what hase to be done to get a claim there i would like to do a much biger operation there by osa there are some big claims for sell do you no if there is such big claims for sell there i am looking to stay awy from the scamers if you no what i mean i no alot about hard rock and placer but i would love to bring both of my sons there to live and work with me on our own claim and meat all new people i am tired of this place wife left my boys and me thank god haha we need a big chang and a new place cald home if i may ask what do you think and happy new year

Dec 25, 2013
Information on Gold Panning in Costa Rica
by: Doug

My wife and I are planning a trip in January 2014 to Costa Rica. How do you go about talking to the right people to get permission to pan? Is it safe to look in streams we happen across? What are the laws? Any help would be appreciated. I have a pan I got for my birthday, but have not panned before. Thanks

Dec 25, 2013
Yes, There is Gold in Costa Rica!
by: Anonymous

I own a piece of property on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica with a mountain stream on the back property line. I have panned on the Pacific side just west of Puerto Jimenez toward the Luna lodge which is the end of that road.

Don't believe the maps the road ends @ the Luna Lodge then you walk. Not recommended. We panned all day and got a small vile of gold. I don't know much about it other than it was real hard work with a rake and shovel; then you pan.

The main thing is safety. The police won't save you and the snakes are deadly. Be very careful. I don't recommend it for the novice, especially the OSA where the survival guy was.

Panama would be safer and cheaper by 50%. My email is tahowell52@ if you have questions I have lived in Costa Rica for 5 years.

Dec 20, 2013
Gold Claims and Concessions

If you are not an experienced gold prospector, there is a gold mine of information on; hundreds of videos.

I am a hobbyist gold miner in Arizona. I know how to recover gold. Finding it is the key. But my main concern would be safety. Here in the states, being on someone's claim can get you lead... as in a bullet.

Have you access to claim maps there or do you stay on your own property? Searching mining records is a great time saver. Those are readily available in USA. In general, do you feel safe there? I would like to learn more about CR.

I am one of the founding members of a prospectors club organized in 1982. As they say Gold is where you find it. my email is willfindall@ Gimme a buzz. I am Olin

Dec 04, 2013
Advice on Costa Rica Gold Prospecting?
by: SilverTim

Anyone have a little advice inside Costa Rica on prospecting in the virgin highlands or to obtain a piece of property with proven potential?

Nov 11, 2013
Gold Pan
by: Rich

Where can we find a gold pan to buy in Costa Rica?

Sep 07, 2013
Gold in Costa Rica
by: Kimnterry

My boyfriend and I are interested in searching for gold somewhere near the OSA. We will be in San Jose 12/26/13 and leaving puerto Jimenez 12/06/13. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

May 31, 2013
Stan's Gold Prospecting Course
by: The Foxfire

If possible, go through Stan's course. It will show you where to look in the bends of the river/ creeks, and more.

Let us know how you do. If you're coming up with black sand, know that you're in or close to the area where gold will be found. In other words, if gold is there, you're in the zone and should see it.

Stan, maybe you can clarify what I just said. Lol, Pretty tired right now.

May 30, 2013
Panning Gold in Costa Rica
by: Whicket williams

I am in Costa Rica right now. I have my gold pan with me. It is a good one. I am not very experienced. I found some gold in Alaska. I would love an invitation to come prospecting with you. I'm just north of Jaco today.

Mar 02, 2013
Gold in Costa Rica?
by: Alex

I do not understand. Is there is gold in Costa Rica or not? How many grams you can pan for a pan? And can we use there electric dredges for gold?

Jan 31, 2013
Gold Prospecting in Costa Rica
by: Capt Rex

I have been finding for a long time. I really enjoying searching for that yellow gold. I will be in Costa Rica for the 2nd week of march. Would love to meet you. We will be staying im the Guana Coste area. How far is that from you?

Dec 06, 2012
Gold Mining
by: Anonymous

... been in mining over 40 years, both underground and placer... learn to pan very well, be patient, say again, be patient and learn to grid an area. oh, even empty pan sez something - no gold here. forget dollar signs and have fun... the rest will take care of itself. matt

May 19, 2012
Gold Panning Practice
by: Anonymous

Stan is right. I took my initial lessons from a champion gold panner from Colorado. He recommended using lead pellets or small lead fishing weights smashed with a hammer as they will act much like small gold pieces.

The BB's Stan is referring to will be harder to keep in the pan when trying to develop some speed with the ability to keep all your finds in the pan. If you can do as Stan says, you'll be pretty good and can pan with confidence knowing that whatever is lying beneath the thin layer of black/green sands in your pan, will be exactly what you harvested out of the steam.

Stan's course is good advise, I have it myself. But if you want a video to see it in action, check out You Tube or GPAA's "how to" videos.

The Foxfire

May 19, 2012
Where to Learn Best and Most Accepted Way to Pan for Gold in Costa Rica
by: les

I am 60 now. have always loved watching people recover gold. I would love to learn how to do it.

Mar 08, 2012
Gold Panning in Costa Rica
by: The Foxfire

I have had the same idea. I was mentored by a geologist that said there was plenty of gold along the entire west coast. He has hundreds of claims. I was considering moving to Costa Rica and panning for retirement money.

Not sure how lucrative it would be. As most prospectors in the states try to find an ounce a day, I think an ounce a week would do nicely down there.

Would love to go on the expedition with you in search of a good find up or down stream from your place.

Stan is a good one to learn from. Years ago before my trip to Alaska, I purchased the Garret Gold Panning kit. It contains everything you need but I would also, since you have your own place, consider getting a portable sluice box.

Depending on how well the water runs down that stream, you might be able to incorporate a water ram to pump the water up into a high banker for a more efficient way to process the material. Keep us posted on what you have planned and how it goes. I am hoping to be there this summer.

Stan's response: Small, one-man, manual, gold mining operations can be great if done properly and in the right place. You're right about 1 ounce per week being plenty for a guy.

You can do this sort of thing in almost any gold bearing location because this type of mining is usually allowed, even in tightly controlled countries that don't like big gold mining operations.

I knew a guy near Puerto Napo (Sardinas) in Ecuador who mined like this. He accumulated rain water in a pond near the top of a high hill. He had a plastic hose installed, originating at the bottom of the pond. He used a plastic Coke bottle as his hose nozzle to increase pressure.

Simple gravity gave him enough pressure to hydraulically mine an ancient river channel wall down below the pond, about 100 meters away.

He ran the material through a "ground sluice" with earthen riffles, no modern materials or metals of any kind. He cleaned up about once per week.

I attended several of his cleanups over the years. He never got less than 2 ounces of coarse gold in each clean up. He is comfortably retired now, living in Tena. No one has ever continued his operation.

May 31, 2011
Costa Rica Gold
by: Bill

I did some panning inland from the central pacific coast but with little success. There is a lot of gold found in Costa Rica but not in the area I was panning and metal detecting. It was interesting in that the black sand in my own streams that I panned turned out to be green sand. Under the loop it turned out to be tiny peridot crystal which have weathered out of the basalt flows there. I did find other mineral specimens that indicate that somewhere above a 150 foot waterfall there is some serious mineralization going on. The waterfall happens to be on the stream named Minas Ora so next year I will make the climb and continue my search.

Mar 19, 2011
Costa Rica Gold prospecting
by: Anonymous

I was thinking seriously of spending time in Costa Rica to begin gold panning. Have you been successful in Costa Rica, or am I wasting my time? Thank you for your candor. Bruce

Stan's response: While you can certainly pan for gold in Costa Rica with some fair results, larger gold mining activities have been curtailed by the government. Costa Rica has become like a small USA and is heavily regulated now. Personally, I would look to investigate some other countries throughout Latin America.

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