Monday, July 22, 2013

Legacy of the Colonial Gold Rush: El Sexmo Gold Mine in Zaruma

Although Ecuador is a small country, with an extension of only 250,000 square kilometers, I had the opportunity to visit an area that was completely unkown to me, when I I was offered the job to travel to Zaruma, the “gold capital” of this country and explore 500 meters into the Sexmo gold mine. This small town has a magical-realisto location, by a large river, and on top of a mountain spoted with holes from the mines, and after 1:00 hrs., every day, completely covered by clouds, this special appearance almost makes the town a good candidate for the theme for any novel written by the famous writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez or for a painting by the Ecuadorian artist, Endara Crow.

This is one of the few places in the country that has a gold mine that can be visited, so we got our helmets, rubber boots and cameras, and followed our local guide into the depths of the mountain. It is a strange feeling to know that anything could happen there, since there is water pouring from every single crack of the mine, and flowing towards the entrance, and also some closed tunnels, due to landslides that had happened some time ago.

It is perhaps one of the oldest mines found in our country that is still in production today. We will be happy to organize a great adventure or holiday for you. Visit us at:, specialized in-land tour operator from Ecuador.

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