Nugget Shooting in Ecuador

by Chris

Hello Stan, First let me say a big THANK YOU for such an excellent and informative site. WOW, what a lot of great information.

I do have two specific questions for you.

1: Where can I purchase ALL of your e-books in ONE fell swoop? Would there be a discount for such a large purchase?

2: I am looking to travel to Ecuador to check it out as a retirement location and I specifically want to know if Nugget Shooting is a possible avocation there. Your books will guide me to productive areas, but how does Nugget Shooting work within the laws, land ownership, personal safety and general customs of Ecuador?

I really look forward to your answers. Thanks Again, Chris

Stan's response: Thanks for the kind words Chris. For me, Ecuador has been a kind of explorer's paradise over the years. It is not for everyone, but it sure has been great for me. You may like it a lot too.

Although gold nugget shooting is not practiced by many people in Ecuador yet, the prospects are huge. Large gold nuggets have been found in several different parts of the country.

One of my favorite coarse gold areas is around the Tena area in the jungle. Many kilometers of ancient channel gravel/bedrock contact zones are fully exposed if you know where to look. I have literally seen millions of dollars of coarse gold commercially mined from these channels when I worked with Hampton Court Resources in years gone by.

I have watched Natives hand pan these contact zones with great results. Of course I have taken friends to some of these proven spots too so as to not waste much time when prospecting. Everyone always finds nice gold. These areas would also suit a metal detector just fine.

In additions to this huge area, I also love the upper stretches of the Jatunyacu River. Here you will find many kilometers of exposed bedrock in the live, flowing river. During flood stages, large quantities of gold come down the river and lodge in the cracks and crevices. This is also coarse gold country and the Jatunyacu is one of the richest rivers in the world.

As in all parts of the world, in order to enjoy success in Ecuador, you must have a good detector and be an expert in its use. You must also be a very good and experienced gold prospector, and know where to look.

I hope that helps to get you started!

As for the my e-products, just e-mail me a list of everything you want and we could discuss a very deep discount.

Comments for Nugget Shooting in Ecuador

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Aug 23, 2015
Bringing a detector into Ecuador
by: Anonymous

Would like to know if I could bring in a gold detector into the country of Ecuador and if A permitted is required for it

Feb 24, 2015
Type of Metal Detector
by: Anonymous

Hi Bill, well actually I bought my detectors about two months ago. They are not the AT Gold, but hopefully they will work OK? I wish I could have discussed this earlier as I think I could have got an AT Gold, might have been a Pro, can't really remember.

Sure, I will bring an extra battery pack for each as well. Haven't heard back from you in regards of difficulty as far as getting them there. I will probably be flying into Bogota first. I remember flying out of Bogota and they heavily searched my bags. They opened up my chess set thinking I stashed something in there. When I got hope the rook was missing, ruined my whole set.

So I will go into Quito and see if I can get one to complete my set.

OK, hope to hear from you,


Feb 24, 2015
How to Transport my Metal Detector(s)?
by: Anonymous

HI guys, thanks for all the help. Bill, after reading what you wrote about getting your detector wet I decided to get two metal detectors(used).

One is a Garret Infinium (waterproof) and the other is a White's GMT. Couldn't pass up on the price, and couldn't afford a Minelab. Do you think these will be OK?

Also, is it possible to bring two down? If so, how should I pack them and am I going to have problems getting them down there?

I heard any gold that I find I need to give the government 52% of the find. Is that true?

Well, I will wait to hear from you all. Again, I appreciate your input and look forward to hearing from you.


Feb 24, 2015
What Type medal detector
by: Bill

Hi Q dog, I have had several detectors here in Ecuador one I ruined caught in a torrential downpour. After that I wanted water proof. Another thing I wanted was battery operated because some places I hunt are very remote no place to recharge the battery.

Third some areas actually many areas have trash in the ground so discrimination is great also. So for my money the AT Gold by Garret after owning 3 other types is what i use and will stay with.

I Have never really had a problem with the ground being to Hot for VLF. Its not a minelab but its pretty light and Indestructible which is also very Important. Nobody is fixing them here also.

Dec 05, 2014
Type of Detector
by: Qdog

Hello and thanks for all the great information. I'm just wondering about the type of detectors you are using. I don't know to much about the type of soil there but I'm wondering if I should bring a PI detector or the VLF type? I would appreciate your help in deciding what I should try... Qdog

Stan's response: Howdy Qdog, Conditions are different all over the country. Personally, I just use a simple Minelab X-Terra 705 for detecting in general. I also have a Geophex mini-res resistivity unit and a Gem-2 magnetic anomaly detector for those special projects. I would think a PI would be great for many applications here too.

Aug 20, 2013
laws, rules & regs on nugget shooting in ecuador
by: Steve


Hi Stan:

Following on the question and your response about nugget shooting in Ecuador... Stan can you elaborate on the legal matters if any, or cultural norms, etc that should be observed for this activity.

Are there any off-limits or restricted areas were they can not be used. Can a tourist using a metal detector leave the country with gold he may find? Are there any cost involved in doing so?

So you say if you are coming to Ecuador, bring a detector with you.

Raleigh, NC

Stan's response: I am seeing more and more metal detectors used in Ecuador, mostly by gringos. Nugget shooting is fine, although you should have a land owner's permission before searching. That said, there are many good areas to freely nugget shoot on government lands. The beaches can be searched as well.

Gold can be legally exported with a license. However, a few ounces probably wouldn't matter. Any antiquities found are not allowed to leave the country.

I highly recommend bringing a metal detector to Ecuador!

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